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Originally posted by [info]josephinemyles at Five things you can give your favourite authors for Christmas (and they won’t cost a penny)



I’ve been thinking lately about ways I can let my favourite authors know how much I appreciate them, and things I can do to help them boost their sales – but without spending any money myself because it’s not in plentiful supply right now. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Sending fan emails

There are few things nicer than opening up an email to discover a letter from a reader saying how much they enjoyed one of your stories (or all of your stories!) I always get a bit embarrassed writing them in case I come across like a deranged sycophant, but I’m getting over that and making an effort to write them more often. Feel free to ask questions about the story – most authors will be delighted to talk about them in more detail.

Five star Amazon reviews

These can have a real impact on sales, as for many authors (especially in our genre), a significant portion of their sales will come through Kindle editions. Because of the way Amazon works out its rankings, four and five star reviews have far more impact than a lower star rating with a glowing review. It can also help if you tag the book with as many relevant tags as you can think of, as this will help it show up more often when customers are idly browsing.

Reviews and ratings elsewhere

Amazon might be the biggie, but reviews on Goodreads and other bookseller’s sites can be valuable too. If you bought a book from Fictionwise, All Romance eBooks or elsewhere, have a check to see if you can leave a review/rating. Reviews don’t need to be long. Even just a couple of sentences saying why you loved something can be valuable in attracting new readers.

Listopia/Listmania votes

You can create a Listmania list on Amazon with your top ten favourite books with a specific theme. Goodreads have the Listopia system where you can create your own lists or add a book to an existing one. You might want to check if a favourite book is already on any Listopia lists (detailed on the Goodreads page for that book) and add your vote to help bump up its ranking.

Blog/Tweet/Facebook with links

Any way you can get the word out about a favourite book or author will help them in some way. It’s even more valuable to them if you include links to their blog and/or website, as incoming links help boost their search engine rankings, meaning more new readers might discover them when browsing.

Jordan Adds:
Another easy way to help out the authors you like is to click on the tags that are already there beneath their books on Amazon. When the tags have lots of clicks, it affects the search algorithm and makes these books more discoverable to potential new readers who are searching for something different to read. It's easy, and it's anonymous.

In fact, I have a few things that came out this month that can really use your tag-clicks. It will take you less than a minute. I ESPECIALLY need them on the maze books.
50 Odious Over-and-Under Mazes
50 Excruciating Mazes
Fire Thief
Body Art: a Thriller



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 20th, 2011 11:37 am (UTC)
Will definitely go give you some clicks :)
Dec. 20th, 2011 11:52 am (UTC)
Thank you - I think it makes a big difference!
Dec. 20th, 2011 11:55 am (UTC)
five things
Done and done! Wow didn't know about the Mazes--really cool/fun. Also I really enjoyed the Fire Thief, hadn't seen it before and here I thought I had read everything you had out.

Tracy Goodin
Dec. 20th, 2011 12:25 pm (UTC)
Re: five things
Woo hoo, thanks Tracy!!
Andi Lea
Dec. 20th, 2011 12:43 pm (UTC)
I love this list! And I am so glad you added the bit about tags. I've been tagging all of my favorite books.
Dec. 20th, 2011 02:13 pm (UTC)
That's something I need to do more of myself.
Dec. 20th, 2011 05:10 pm (UTC)
Tags on Amazon
Done and I'm going to buy Fire thief :)
Dec. 20th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Tags on Amazon
I hope you enjoy Fire Thief! I was really pleased with the rewrites on it.
Dec. 23rd, 2011 01:03 am (UTC)
And you can add: Gush about the books to your friends who trust your taste and judgement so they buy the books themselves, or you can just buy the books for them too. I've been doing that and my friends have been enjoying your books very much! :)
Dec. 23rd, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
That's wonderful! I would feel guilty asking someone to gush about my writing to their friends (it seems like one of those things I just need to try really really hard to make happen on the merit of my work) but I think it is the SINGLE best way for new readers to discover my stuff.

Thank you so much.
Josephine Myles
Dec. 23rd, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
Ha! I feel like this post has gone viral now :)

Thanks for reblogging, Jordan. I was thinking of your writing in particular when I wrote it - not that you've ever led me to believe I'm coming across like a deranged sycophant!
Dec. 23rd, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you for writing such a fabulous post to begin with!

I always get excited when you write to me about one of my stories. Obviously I could just write them to get them out of my head and leave them on my hard drive for myself, but the reason I publish is because I'm eager for other people to see them, too. And when someone wants to discuss them with me, even better!
Jan. 11th, 2012 01:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this info -
And here I thought the last thing a busy author would want was something to distract them from writing. And I get the sycophant thing because when I truly love a novel - and I am picky - so when when I find a great one such as your PsyCop series - there is a strong sense of gratitude for a great experience. Just keep writing - I'll keep buying and throw a few reviews in now and again! Did I say Thank You?
Jan. 11th, 2012 06:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks for this info -
I can't speak for what motivates every author, but I write because I have to, and I publish because I'm dying to share what I've written. Hearing back from readers completes that loop for me. It's profoundly inspirational to hear that something that evolved in my head (the Cannery, for instance) now lives in other people's heads too! That seems like the coolest thing in the world.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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