Lots of people have asked how they can help support me now that my book is out in the world. Usually I say something like “Oh, you know…” But actually, you may not. And after reading an article that talked about how crucial the first three months are in determining whether a book ends up on a book store shelf or in a cut-out bin, I decided to take the what-can-I-do question a little more seriously. Because small things help. And because some of my best friends are writers who can use a boost. I’ll bet some of yours are, too. And as my three-month window is now nearly over (ahem) I figured it was time to get cracking.
– Ask your library to carry your friend’s book(s). Most libraries have an online form you can fill out, asking the library to stock certain items. This will get your friend’s book to the masses. For free!
– Check out your friend’s book from the library. Even if you’ve already read it. Even if it’s a kids’ book and you don’t have kids!
– Donate a copy of your friend’s book to your school library.
– Buy the book. There are lots of ways to find it — through your local indie book store or online. If you buy through your local store, you get extra karma because you’re helping them, too. And if it’s not in stock, they’ll order it for you, thus putting the book on their radar.
– If you like the book, please consider putting a review on Goodreads or Amazon or Barnes and Noble. This helps more than you know. A rating or a kind word goes a long way!
– If you see something about the book on social media, retweet or share or comment. Not all of the time (we know you are not a walking billboard) but sometimes. One tweet from my brother resulted in a book sale to his high school friend’s little sister. And, okay, it’s just one sale. But put another way: It’s one sale!
– “Like” your friend’s book page on Facebook.
– Does your friend have a book trailer? Share that, too! I know my kids would appreciate your sharing the one that they made for me, because they would really like to get as many hits as PSY.
– If your author-friend is going to visit a library or book store, try to get your other friends to go.
– Tell your best friend the teacher/reviewer/book festival chairman about your friend’s book.
– Remind your author friend to stop worrying and obsessing. Then kick your friend in the butt and tell her to get back to work on the next thing.
-And finally: Know that your author friends appreciate you. If there’s a way we can help with whatever you’re doing, we’d love to see a list.
– Two quick additions for 2015:
– Adding the book on Goodreads to your to-be-read pile helps because then other people know the book is out there.
– My friend Linda Budzinski, whose book Em & Em shares a book birthday with How to Behave at a Dog Show, suggests that buying a book in the first couple of days it’s on sale will help, too.
THANKS SO MUCH, FROM ALL OF US.