Pretend you’ve just opened up your favorite magazine. You see a name–the name of your favorite writer, whose articles you always like. You flip right to the page with their latest story and start to read.
Or maybe there’s an author you like so much that you head for the book shop as soon as their newest title comes out. Or perhaps your librarian knows they are your favorite writer and steers you to all their books.
Or maybe there’s a book you always recommend to friends, but no one’s ever heard of that author or that book before.
I’ve been doing research about marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) in the last few weeks, and what’s interesting is that for writers, many of the best ways to promote our work are free—but depend on the participation of our fans to succeed.
How can you help writers like the ones I described above improve their sales and market visibility?
Here are a few steps. Even if you do just one of these things for a
desperate struggling fledgling writer out there trying to establish a career, it would be fabulous!
- Review every book you love on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads (not just mine, everybody’s), particularly if no one else has reviewed it yet. If that author you love writes for magazines, send the editor a letter praising their best articles and stories.
- Sign up as a “fan” of your favorite author’s Goodreads page. You’ll find out if they have new books coming out, when their blog has been updated, if they are making public appearances, and even what they are reading right now.
- Visit that writer you love at their author blog &/or website.
- Link to their site from your own site, if you have one about writing, reading, books, teaching, or any related theme.
- “Like” their posts.
- Share their posts over social networks or by email. The buttons are usually just below or above each post.
- Become a follower of the blog (and receive notice about your favorite author’s new posts).
- Post comments on their blog.
- Ask them to guest post on your blog (and post the link to their blog as your byline). Or offer to review their newest book on your own website.
- Buy your favorite author’s books or get others to buy them (like schools and libraries, for example).
Building a platform as a writer is a big job–and we need the help of our readers. So I beg you…send all us writers out there some love!