Monday, December 28, 2009

Supporting authors when your heart is bigger than your wallet

As we look forward to a new year, I'm thinking about all the books I'm anticipating in the coming year.

I'm sure you know there are a LOT of great books for kids and teens coming out in the coming months. A lot as in hundreds and hundreds, many of them by debut authors who need all the help and support they can get. Unfortunately, most of us can't really buy hundreds of books each and every year. So I thought I'd post a list of ways we can support our fellow authors in other ways besides purchasing the book. When we can buy the book, wonderful! But when we can't, we can do other things that will help the author in the long run. I'm sure you know most of these, but I thought it might be a nice reminder for all of us, me included!

Lisa's Top 9 list of ways to support your author friends

1. Ask your public library to order a copy. There's a box at my library where you can request titles for purchase. Some libraries have it on-line. It really only takes a minute to do it. Usually you can request that the library reserve the title for you once they order it. That way you're first on the list to read it!

2. 
If you see an interesting interview or a great review about an author you know, tweet about it or put the link in your blog and point people there. Stuff like this is much more interesting when it comes from someone besides the author herself.

3. E-mail the author and ask if he/she has any bookmarks or postcards you could pass out to teachers, librarians, friends, etc.


4. "Like" a book on Amazon. And if you can take a couple of minutes to write a review after you've read a book, even a brief one, even better. Then copy and paste that review to other places like www.powells.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. Good reviews are helpful to an author, especially when a book first comes out.

5. Have a few book lists ready in your purse or wallet, in case a conversation comes up where you have a chance to give some recommendations. This happened to me just the other night, when a girl said she was done with BREAKING DAWN and didn't know what to read next. Word of mouth is HUGE, especially for authors that aren't well known, so be ready when the opportunity strikes!

6. If you go to an author's event, take a picture and post it to social media. If it's a really good picture, maybe try submitting it to the Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf on-line newsletter.

7. Make a list on Amazon, and put your favorite books in a certain genre, or favorite books of the year, or ten books you're really excited about in the coming year, whatever. People DO read those lists!

8. If you have a kid's birthday party to go to, give a book! Combine it with something else, if you'd like, to make it more fun and interesting, but buying books as gifts is really a win-win situation, right? Good for the kid, ultimately, if he/she ends up reading it, and good for the author and publishing industry.

9. Respond to questions on Goodreads, Amazon, twitter, etc. and recommend new titles. I often see the same titles being recommended over and over again, and while I know that's because they are GOOD books, there are other books, not well known, that could be getting some well-deserved air time too.

Are there any other good ones you can think of?

23 comments:

  1. Wow! I do lots of these things. I didn't realize how important putting reviews or lists on Amazon & GoodReads were to do so I will start doing it. I also donate hard covers of current books that I have finished to the library so that more copies are available for kids and teens who might not be able to purchase the books. And I personally know the purchasers of books for my city library and she gets regular emails from me. LOL!

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  2. Lisa-

    This is a GREAT list. I'm working on my #5 to put in my planner right now.

    Good luck and may everyone put you on their #5 :)

    bria

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  3. This is a great post! I have been doing several of the above mentioned things this year and will continue to do it! =] I'll be linking to this blog post.

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  4. This list is great. I already do some of these things, but I'd like to do more to help my fellow authors.

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  5. Lisa-this is great. I work in a library, and make sure we order the books I see, but I also want to order them for myself. My husband gets after me for buying every book I see! I need to post my reviews in other places and I love the idea of having a recommended reads list ready to go!

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  6. Great post. It made me happy to read things I've been doing help the author when I can't buy the book. Another thing I've done (I hope it's not frowned upon by the booksellers) is turn a book face-out on the shelf. Perhaps it'll be put back where it 'goes', but even if it catches someone's eye that way it's worth it. It's about promting quality literature as much as a particular author.

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  7. This a great list, Lisa! I am going to Tweet and perhaps link form my blog as well. As a new author who is struggling with marketing I am so grateful to friends who do these sort of things!

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  8. Great post, Lisa! As we expand our networks it can be difficult to keep up and buy all of these books. This is a fantastic list!

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  9. great post Lisa! I'm already doing some of these, but I'm going to make sure I'm doing more regularly.

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  10. I love this post. Lots of great ideas.

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  11. Those are some pretty good tips that I hadn't thought of before. I especially like making a list of favorite books to keep in a planner or notebook to share with others as well as checking with my library regarding requesting specific books.

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  12. I'm a School Librarian as well as a blogger and I will always order books that my students request. I encourage the students to make their own bookmarks with recommendations and then I stick them inside the books. As you say, word of mouth is a really powerful tool and is probably the most effective at encouraging students to try something new.

    This was a fab post. I really do need to put more of my reviews on Amazon.

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  13. Oh, Lisa, how my fellow authors and I thank you, thank you, thank you. Yes we do. We can't afford to buy as many books as we'd like to either. This was a wonderful reminder post. Bless you for your practicality and generosity.

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  14. I am a high school librarian and I just loved your 2 free verse novels, I booktalked them to my reading students and both went out and came back---the girls who took them LOVED them, especially the free verse format. Keep on writing these great books. I publish reviews of every YA novel I read on Goodreads, I add to lists on many blogs and many of my followers will put books I have read and reviewed on their lists to read.

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  15. Thank you so much everyone - I'm glad you found the list helpful.

    BJ, thanks for your kind words about my books. As long as my publisher keeps buying them, I'll keep writing them!!

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  16. Posts like this may be just the kind of thing that's making Teen Fiction the hottest part of the book market. Let's keep the conversation going among readers and writers of young adult fiction. We need each other!

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  17. Good golly, this is brilliant. Linking to you, tweeting you and giving you virtual kisses. ***

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  18. Great, great post, Lisa! Love these ideas.

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  19. As an author, I can't thank you enough for sharing this list. Posting on Goodreads and Amazon is a tremendous help!

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  20. Also support your local independent bookstore! You can do special orders through many of them, if the book you want is not in stock!

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    1. Hi Cori, yes, I LOVE indie bookstores. This list was primarily a way for people to support authors when they can't buy every book they want. But I agree that many people don't realize if they can't find a book on the shelves, they can go to a clerk and ask to order it!

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