Thursday, June 24, 2010

For the Love of Books (and the Authors who Write Them): 13 Ways to Help Your Favorite Books Out

Those of you who have followed me since my early Textnovel days know I speak the truth (and sometimes, perhaps, a little too freely). The truth is, you (as readers and some of you as bloggers) make a world of difference when it comes to a book's (any book's) success. I think now's a good time to remind everyone (whether you love 13 to Life or not) of some things you can do to help any and all of your favorite authors.
  1. See your favorite authors' books in the bookstore? Try to make sure at least one is turned "face out" so anyone standing in the aisle sees the front cover. Spines are nice, but don't often sell a debut book. If shelf space is limited, face out 1 copy directly in front of the spines of the same book (no author wants to steal space from others).
  2. If you don't see your favorite authors' books in a store, ask about them. Look for a clerk to see if they have any. If they don't, raise one eyebrow (it takes a little practice) and ask (politely) if they've read the book. Perhaps suggest why you think they should carry it and who among their customers would probably love it.
  3. Do an "If You Liked _____, Check Out ______" list so people who like certain books and want to read similar things can easily see recommendations. This is great to post on sites like, Goodreads, etc.
  4. If you know a favorite author's going to be appearing somewhere (anywhere) spread the word through Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media connection you have. The worst thing for an author is to do an event and have no one show up.
  5. Recommend their books to your friends. You wield so much unbelievable power this way, you have no idea. Suggest it to suitable family members (let's face it, some people will not like anything you recommend, so don't push, but suggest--you can start by asking family members what they're currently reading--it's a great way to make people think!).
  6. If you write up a great review for a book, post it everywhere! Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Borders, LibraryThing, your blog... You get the idea!
  7. When you know a new book by a favorite author is coming out, pre-order one online and/or call your local brick and mortar bookstore and ask them to order a copy--heck, suggest they may want to order a couple for their shelves.
  8. Tell your local librarian about your favorite book and encourage them to get one for the library.
  9. Write a quick note to your favorite authors letting them know what you think of their books and how they've affected you. We love this. :D
  10. If you wrote an awesome review of a favorite author's book, find out who to send it to (in addition to the author). That sort of thing can get you quoted in future books or on websites.
  11. Do a Waiting on Wednesday mention of them or if you get swag, do an In My Mailbox post. If they have a book trailer, jump into the Trailer Thursday meme or Teaser Tuesday. It all helps!
  12. If you love a book and have a blog, get a second copy and offer the book up as a contest prize. Let the author know, they may help encourage traffic to your contest by reTweeting!
  13. Remember books make great stocking stuffers, great gifts for Valentine's Day (or the anti-Valentine's Day equivalent), great gifts for birthdays and sometimes anniversaries. spread the love by giving the gift of a book you love.
So, if you adore an author or just love their book (some of us do have prickly personalities), try and do something to spread the word about them. And share with me the other things you do to help authors that I may have overlooked.

Hope you're loving what you're reading!


Jeff Reid said...

If you're one of those readers who "fantasy cast" your favorite fiction, go to and 'cast' it. If it's not on Storycasting, use their 'contact us' link and tell them to put it on, so you can cast it. We WILL put it on, plus the actors you ask for.

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Tom Tancin said...

Hi Shannon! I thought I'd let you know that I was at a B&N at the Promenade in Saucon Valley (Pennsylvania) yesterday and I saw two copies of your book, cover facing out, under the new teen fiction. I wanted to send you an email but couldn't find how to contact you personally. I have been following you because I now have my book on

Congrats on your success!!!

Tahlia said...

What a great post. Readers so easily forget this side of things and some of them are so simple. to do.

Can I out a link to this on my blog?

Also where can I read some of your novel?

I have a blog about my new YA fantasy novel's journey to publication. It's called 'Lethal Inheritance',and you can read ch1 at and see what I'm up to at

I'm into authors supporting each other. I figure that the more good books awe get out there, the more readers will want to read.

Cat Johnson said...

Great post. I would only add to yours how VERY important reader comments/reviews are because the rumor is on only books with 20 reader reviews or more will be recommended by the site to readers.