Your friends can support you as an author in a few easy ways, but they may not know exactly how. So, today we’re going to list 7 easy ways your friends can help you sell more books.
Next time you release a book, let your friends know these tactics, and you may be surprised at the great support you’ll get!
- Leave a review: If they read the book, they can leave an honest review on Amazon. Let them know that reviews greatly help your book get noticed by readers. A book with a hundred reviews will be shown to more shoppers and will sell more than a book with three reviews. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t expect friends to read your book if it’s not a genre they usually read. Yes, some will read it just because they love you, but others won’t be able to. Explain the importance, but don’t put your friendship on the line.
- Rate reviews on Amazon: They can take a few minutes to click “yes” or “helpful” on the “Was this review helpful to you” question on Amazon. Voting on the positive, detailed reviews moves those to the top of the review page (automatically pushing the negative ones to the bottom) and on Amazon, the one with the most votes is shown as the most popular positive review. On Amazon, they can also click helpful on the most positive negative review, so that it shows as the most popular negative review instead of something that is unfair or that attacks the author. Even negative reviews are helpful if they say some positive things about the book, or even if they state specific, accurate reasons why the person didn’t like the book—after all, you don’t want people who would also not like those aspects of your book to buy and leave more negative reviews. However, it does seem to be better NOT to click “no” or “unhelpful” on inaccurate or extremely negative and simplistic reviews, or even reviews that attack the author. Instead, if a review is obviously unfair, have your friends use the report option and explain why so the retailer will remove them, which they do when they get enough reports. Remember that reviews help narrow your audience, so as long as your book has about 3.8 stars or more, don’t worry too much about the bad ones!
- Recommend the book: They can recommend your book to their friends who read that genre, whether that’s emailing or texting someone they think will enjoy the book, or just mentioning your book if the topic comes up organically in a conversation.
- Post about your book: Ask them to post about your book on social media, even if it’s only to announce that their friend published a book and those who read that genre should check it out.
- Use your promotional swag: If you produce promotional pieces, such as bookmarks, magnets, pens, or t-shirts (if you don’t have an online store for these, check out this post about the topic), send a few to friends so they can use them and spread the word through their actions.
- Request your book: The next time they go to the library, your friend can request your book. With enough requests, the library will order your book to add to their stock. Often new library releases are featured in a special section.
- Front-face your book: If they find your book at a bookstore, they can turn the copies of the book so the covers are facing forward; this way, the cover can catch the attention of someone browsing the shelves.
- While your friends are likely willing to help you promote your book in small ways, they won’t be pleased if it’s the only thing you ever talk about when you get together. Just like with an author newsletter, self promotion should only be a small percentage of the conversation.
- If your friend doesn’t show interest in buying your book, don’t push them to do so. Remember, this is your business, not theirs.
- Friendship is a two-way street; show interests in your friends and offer help where you can, and you’ll find that they’ll be happy to help you in return.
- At the end of the day, connections are more important than money. If you keep that in mind when asking your friends for help, you won’t come across as salesy or pushy.
How have your friends helped you sell more books? Let us know in the comments below!
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