3 Ways to Help an Author Promote a Book

No shocker here: Authors do most of the promotion on their own books. 

That Hollywood stereotype of publicists, marketers and web masters sitting at an author's side, helping spread the word about his or her latest writing effort? It's not true. It's a fantasy. There is no PR machine, no Oz behind the curtain. 

It's pretty much all on the author.

Second unsurprising fact: Authors tend to be introverts. We communicate well via writing...not as well in person. In fact, it's hard to make a phone calls some days even if you know you must. So asking an author to beg, plead and cajole strangers into caring about his or her work? Well, it's a hard ask.

So that leads us to this essential list: 3ways to help an author promote a book.

You have my permission to do all of these. Or one or two. But grab the nearest book to you -- it might be on your bedside table. It could be sitting on the couch. Maybe you have it playing on your smartphone. But it meant something to you. It moved you. It educated you. It felt like a meaningful effort by that author.

Tell them. I know you don't ask your co-workers to rate your reports, but books are a different kind of business. We need feedback!

1. Write review on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble or publisher website. This allows the rest of the world to hear your opinion and find out about the book. It also does something with algorithms or other mumbo jumbo to make a book more searchable. Whatever it does, it offers feedback to the writer. And we need feedback -- we work in relative isolation for years at a time. We have few or no co-workers. We need your thoughts.

2. Share a picture on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social-media platform of the book's cover. Tag a friend or two. Write up what the book felt like to read. Tag the author. This helps the writer get the book in front of new readers, and that is half the battle when informing others about their work. Put a "like" or thumbs up on these posts. That spreads their reach even further.

3. Tell your library, book club and local bookstore about this new read. Bookstores want to stock things that are interesting to the community. Book clubs like to read interesting things. Help a writer by sharing their stories with these influential groups. Librarians are powerful -- they know where to find information but they also know how to share information in rich and meaningful ways. 

Thank you for reading. No, seriously, thank you for READING. Thank you for loving stories. Thank you for seeking books as a source of information and inspiration. It is important.