January 17, 2011

My Apology, Fellow Authors

Dear fellow authors,

This is a formal apology for what I am only now discovering is my intense ignorance.  I thought I was doing good things to help promote you and your fabulous works, but now I’m discovering there is more that can be done.  Simple, easy steps I can take that will make a difference to an author sitting in front of his or her laptop obsessing over their online presence or their Amazon numbers.  As I discover the small things that can make a big impact, I feel so bad that I didn’t know and I wonder how many other things I still haven’t discovered.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble reviews.  I had someone mention mine to me, “Oh, you even have a five star review.” I was like, “Wow, you saw that already?”  When I went to the local library, they said, “And we’ll go online to see what people are saying about it.” I thought, “Oh crap! What if there’s nothing there?” I’ve only posted a few reviews in the past, because reviews just aren’t my forte. I’ll be changing that, now that I know the impact they have for potential readers and purchasers. I’ll post reviews for books I give a Motivational Speaker or Rock Concert rating to, and I’ll get to as many of the Golf Claps as I can.

Goodreads Adds.  I’ve recently gotten better at adding the books I intend to read to my “to read” shelf on Goodreads, but I’ve seen book adds go viral!  In the future I won’t hesitate to add a book that has piqued my interest, even if I don’t expect to read it anytime in the near future. Now I know that little extra exposure can go a long way.

Tweet and Facebook congratulations over book launches or favorable reviews.  Share event information.  All those things take seconds, but a nod from a fellow author can often carry more weight if someone is on the fence over whether or not to buy the book or attend an event.

Titles in blog posts can be so important too.  If you are hosting an interview or posting a book review, make sure to include the name of the book and the author in the title so that it will show up in search engines.  Anytime you can include the title of a book or the name of an author, DO.

Mention, mention, mention.  Everywhere and as often as possible.  I’m not suggesting you sacrifice your writing time and take up promoting fellow authors. But I now realize there are more effective ways to use my online time. And these steps don’t really take too long, especially once it becomes a part of your modus operandi.

I didn’t know! I’m so sorry, fellow authors.  Will you forgive me? There is so much more I could have been doing to help.  Now I do know and I’ll do my level best to take those few extra moments to help shine a spotlight on your babies.

Sincerely,

Newly promoting author

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