Before I share tips to help your favorite author, I also want to share WHY your favorite author needs your support. Thank you for reading.
The cold reality of the publishing industry…
1. Books that are not sold by a bookseller (ie, Costco, Target, Walmart… because that’s where people are buying now when they don’t buy online) are returned to the publisher. Booksellers pay ONLY for the books they sell. And it’s the writer that suffers. Our sales numbers look AWESOME one quarter, then they stumble the next quarter as all those books that didn’t sell return to the publisher.
2. Other than J.K. Rowling (who wrote an amazing series and was able to capitalize on its marketing) and E.L. James (who wrote a crappy series and also capitalized on its marketing), your neighborhood author is NOT rich. Most have a full time job or other income source that puts food on the table. For her books, authors are paid royalties, which for industry majority, is below the poverty level. Authors do not receive payment when a book is borrowed, loaned, or, God forbid, stolen. (Piracy is a REAL thing in this digital age.) Also, with many independent booksellers closing and larger retailers with limited bookshelf space, the only way for an author to earn royalties on her backlist (previously published books), is to buy online (which is totally cool, because I do buy my books online). However, brick-and-mortar retailers are more inclined to display new releases and for a very limited time. A book’s exposure time to the buyer has been drastically reduced. Plus, these stores are also more inclined to carry books from household name authors, or a debut author being touted as the “next big fill-in-the-blank-here.” And we all know there are more debut authors than space on the shelf.
3. Books with the best selling power get the best display tables (or online spots). If a book has selling potential, you’ll be darn sure the bookseller will place that book in a prime spot so it keeps on selling. So what happens to all the books that might be selling, just not as well? The back shelf, folks.
A publisher is more inclined to negotiate future contracts when an author’s books sell.
How can YOU make sure your favorite author’s books sell so she can keep writing more books?
Honestly, we are lucky to be living in the digital age because social media has done wonders for marketing via word-of-mouth. We can share EVERYTHING via the click of a button. We tweet, we pin, we blog, we post. While the way we distribute books has changed (online retailers), the marketing has not. Word-of-mouth is still the best way to spread news about an author’s book. And by word-of-mouth, I mean “recommend.” You tell your friends, who tell their friends, and so on. It’s the domino effect. News spreads and multiplies, and when we hit the lottery, it goes viral.
Come on, you read a good book, you want to tell everyone about it. Right? RIGHT? You know I’m right. 😉
I ALWAYS want my friends to read what I’m reading because I LOVE discussing the book.
Supporting your favorite author means she can keep writing for you. It’s a win-win situation. So, here are some quick and easy tips
1. Ratings and Reviews. Loved a book? Go to Amazon or Goodreads or any other platform that gives you the opportunity to rate that book or write a review. Seriously, the best way to appreciate an author is to write a review. It doesn’t have to be long-winded. A few sentences. A couple words. The number of reviews really does help a book’s placement online.
2. Share What You Read. Tweet about the book. Pin the book cover to Pinterest. Share your review on social media. (Amazon and Goodreads makes this very easy.)
3. Recommend the Book. Do you belong to a book club? Does your coworker love to read? Tell them about your favorite author’s new book.
4. Gift a book. Share your love of reading with your family. Give them a book for their next birthday or the upcoming holiday.
See? It’s simple, yet it can make all the difference to an author’s world.
Thanks for supporting me and my writing.