We’re In This Together: How To Help Other Authors Succeed

A common query Becca and I get is, “Why do you do what you do?” It’s a fair question, because in order for us to coach writers through our books, speaking, and our One Stop for Writers site, we’ve had to temporarily put our fiction-writing on hold. Not an easy decision. But the fact is we love to see dreams realized. This is why we do it. As writers ourselves, we know the power of THIS particular dream–a book in hand, our name paired with the title, and the knowledge that readers are losing themselves in a world we’ve created.

We celebrate each time someone we know achieves this dream–and how could we not? It’s so wonderful to see all that hard work pay off! Today, we are celebrating because our friend Kristen Lamb has just released her first mystery thriller, The Devil’s Dance.

Many of you know Kristen and the giant heart she has for writers. She has such passion for those of us in this industry and gives her all every day through her blog and the relationships she builds. So when someone so authentic and genuine rounds the fiction horn, well, we can’t help but cheer especially loud!

I’ve been away the last month in Italy, but the book is on my kindle now and I can’t wait to read it. I hope you’ll check it out too. But first, let’s look more at book releases in general and talk about what we can do to help the authors we know.

Launching a Book: Behind the Scenes

When an author releases a book, it’s all smiles and excitement…on the outside. What we don’t see is the anxiety going on within: will this book find its readers? Will it become lost in the glut of fiction available? If I share my excitement too freely, will people see it as unwanted promotion?

These worries are universal among authors. And, with the saturation of promotion these days, it’s important we don’t push a book too hard ourselves. Inside, we hope others will step up and help.

(And BOOM, this is what community is about, right? Stepping up!)

So if you know an author like Kristen who is releasing a book and you want to help, here’s a few things you can do (beyond the obvious of purchasing the book).

1: Ask your local library to bring the book in. Many libraries have an online form and they often pay attention to requests. Click here to find a library near you…and why not request Kristen’s book while you’re at it? 🙂 If it is an ebook release, first encourage your author friend to make the ebook available to a service like OverDrive.

2: Leave a review. This is the clear obvious one, but often people stop at only submitting it to Goodreads or Amazon. Please cut and paste the review to all the main sites the book is being sold (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and if it applies, Smashwords.) For example, you can review The Devil’s Dance on Amazon and Goodreads. It wasn’t at LibraryThing, so I added it (if you’ve read this book, please give it some review love?)

3: Place the book on appropriate lists. If you loved reading the book, help others find it. Goodreads has many great lists you can add books to, or start your own. Using Kristen as an example, you’ll see her reviews are excellent. Think of how much it will help her if reviewers add The Devil’s Dance to some of the “best” lists so others also find it.

4: Visit Pinterest and pin the book & link to appropriate boards. We want to get that cover and link out there, right? If you have a board for books you love, add it. Look for group boards you can contribute it to (if the book’s genre is a match or it covers an area of interest that the board is about). Another tip: if you write a similar book as your author friend, then pin their book to boards where yours is. Why? Well, looking at Kristen as an example, she’s got a very strong brand. If I wrote in the Murder Mystery/Suspense/Thriller genre and my book was similar to hers, I would want our books to show up together as it may help my own book gain visibility.

5: Blog about the book or author. If your blog audience is readers who may like this book, please blog about the book. It doesn’t have to be full of promo–just tell your readers what made it special, and link to the book and the author. Or ask the author for an interview, or to guest post. These posts can then be shared on social media, finding even more readers. In Kristen’s case, featuring her and her book is also good for you too, because it is easier for her to share a post on YOUR blog than her own. She’ll send readers your way so they discover you as well!

6: Share the author’s content when it fits your audience. Authors are in many places, which gives us an opportunity to help their content be found by retweeting and reposting…as long as it matches our audience. Chances are, your author friend may have many social accounts. You can help them find their readership by connecting with them in these places. Let’s take a peek at Kristen. A social media maven, she has many accounts: twitter, facebook, an amazon author page, a goodreads profile, instagram, Google +, she’s at linked in, and has a you tube account. Like most authors she has a website…but she also has another space, the WANA tribe.) So wherever your author friend is online, find them. If you use the same networks, reach out, and share their content to help people discover them. Our industry is all about relationships and we help one another become more discoverable. If you are passionate about your friend’s book you can also share it on Instagram as it’s a great visual platform for book covers.

7: Upvote their best reviews on Amazon so they rise to the top. This is a simple thing that can really help! Simply “like” the best reviews that you agree with so these are the first ones potential readers see.

8: “Stumble” the author’s blog pages which will best help readers find them. StumbleUpon is something that’s been around forever. This site allows you to submit pages to be “stumbled,” meaning that people who are interested in that page’s content (which you create tags for) may find it when they use the Stumble it tool. You can submit your own posts (which I do) and traffic comes from those pages & tags FOREVER. Handy right?

It’s just after 9 am, and look at how many visitors are from Stumbleupon.

So sign up for an account, and find a page or two from your author friend’s blog that tie into their book. Submit these by clicking a toolbar Thumb’s Up icon you’ll add to your toolbar, and create appropriate tags. Here’s what I did for Kristen’s book page (click to enlarge)

9: Use your connections. Sooner or later we all realize that marketing is all about relationships, not promotion. You know people. I know people. Chances are, these aren’t the same people. If you can think about a connection you have (in real life, online, in media, etc.) that might help your author friend, then do what you can to make a match. Trust me, what goes around comes around. Even with someone like Kristen who is super-ultra-mega connected, Becca and I do what we can to help her–for example, to frequently recommend her as a speaker for conferences and workshops. To date this has been more with a writing or social media and marketing realm focus, so we’ll have to now figure out how to best try and raise her visibility with influencers in the mystery/thriller market specifically.

10: Ask what they need. This one is the most important, and I don’t know about you, but I am pretty terrible about asking people for help. (I like to be the helper, not ask for help, and frankly this hurts me a bit.) I think a lot of authors are like me so if you have an author friend who has a book out, ask them how you can best help. Marketing a book is tricky. Often other people can promote more directly than the author themselves can. Your offer of help will likely erase some of the anxiety that hits when your author friend is grappling with book marketing.

We’re all in this together. Let’s help one another out the best we can!

Have other tips to share? Let us know, or tell us something you love about Kristen Lamb. 5 commenters will win their own copy of The Devil’s Dance

Winners have been draw, so watch your email boxes!

And good grief, jetlag. I almost forgot to share this book’s killer blurb. Read on!

There’s no place like home…unless someone wants you dead.

When Romi Lachlan’s fiancé makes off with a half-a-billion dollars, she finds herself broke, blackballed and the FBI’s prime suspect. Forced to take refuge with her crazy-as-a-bag-of-cats family at the Cactus Flower trailer park, Romi’s sure her life can’t get any worse until Special Agent Benjamin Sawyer shows up, determined to recover the money and put her away. But persuading the hard-nosed G-man she’s innocent is the least of her worries. The body count is rising and Romi must uncover the secret to the town’s newfound prosperity before the secret buries her.

Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ Website

Do you know Kristen Lamb? If so, consider doing some of the things above. She’s done so much for writers and this is our opportunity to pay-it-forward. 🙂

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About ANGELA ACKERMAN

Angela is an international speaker and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also enjoys dreaming up new tools and resources for One Stop For Writers, a library built to help writers elevate their storytelling.
This entry was posted in Book Review, Buying Books, Marketing, Promotion, Publishing and Self Publishing, Social Networking, The Business of Writing, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to We’re In This Together: How To Help Other Authors Succeed

  1. Very useful info. Thanks–something actually positive to accomplish when I’m stuck not writing, dinking around on social media.

  2. Pingback: Running YOUR Race—Be Content Yet Stay HUNGRY – Kristen Lamb

  3. Wendy Decker says:

    Angela, you provide such a wonderful service for authors! I’m almost finished with the edits on a YA book you critiqued for me in 2012. I hope our paths will cross again.

  4. Thanks for the informative post, as well as all the hard work you put into helping writers become better at what they do. When it comes to stepping up, I think you two are great role models!

  5. Pingback: Reading Links 5/30/17 – Where Genres Collide

  6. This is an awesome post and I was excited to see other ways that I could help Kristen and my favorite authors out! Thank you for sharing!

    • That’s terrific! I really love how the writing community seems to “get it” and help one another as they can. It’s one of the best parts of being involved in the book industry, IMO!

  7. JORDAN TEMBO says:

    Congratulation Kristen!
    I can’t wait to read your book.

  8. Laura Lynn says:

    Congrats Kristen,
    I don’t normally read murder mysteries but I did attend one of your workshops years ago at DFW Writers Conference. Your book WE ARE NOT ALONE is on my kindle.

  9. Janet Smart says:

    I love the blurb! Congratulations to Kristen. Some of this info you wrote about is all knew to me. I need to try some of them out on mine and other writer’s books. Thanks.

  10. Willis says:

    I’d love to win this book–thanks!

  11. This blog gives me inspiration and hope, as I revise my first mystery thriller. I love this genre! It is an exciting one for writers, my adrenaline flows when I write the action and suspense scenes, thanks to the Thesaurus series by you and Becca! I can’t wait to read Kristen’s book. I’ve set a new goal: That someday you’ll announce my debut thriller! GO KRISTEN!

  12. Mary Van Everbroeck says:

    Hi Angela: Such a wonderful educational, motivational and inspirational piece. You, along with Becca and other contributors to this website continue to amaze me. You are all so very thorough and transparent. There is no question in my mind that the passion displayed throughout these posts come from a place of deep conviction, desire and willingness to help Writers. I along with thousands of fellow Writers thank you, Becca and others connected with you, for the rich contribution you make to our lives as people who’ Write’! In regards to today’s Post, yes, I’m certainly going to investigate Author, Kristen Lamb and her book, ‘The Devil’s Dance’. Also due to several of the tools you cite in your Post I will be exploring and learning about: Kobo, Library Thing, WANA Tribe, Instagram, Stumble, Tumbler, Reddit and the Lists on Good Reads that you can add names of Books to. While I am familiar with terms such as Instagram, and Tumbler I do not know how to use them. This Post is particularly timely in the respect that I am in the process of creating content for a blog. Yesterday I allowed Michael Hyatt to teach me how to do this through a tutorial. Late last evening of the three considerations I had given to what will be the theme of my blog, I decided to blog about my current journey; that of learning how to Write Stories in a way that others can learn from and enjoy reading. I decided that if sharing my knowledge and experiences while on my journey helps even one, two or three fellow Writers while on their journey, then I should do this. I hope that you get to relax a bit after your travels. I just received ‘The Emotion Thesaurus’. I’m looking forward to diving in. Take care! Mary

    • Mary, what a thoughtful comment, and such kind words–thank you! I am so very happy that you are getting help from us, and the writing community at large. Becca and I would never be where we are today without the help of others and so we are always happy and honored to be part of that chain. Kristen is of the same mindset, so i hope you do check her out–you’ll get lots of help from her blog. Michael Hyatt is a great source of info as well, especially when it comes to blogging and social media. I’m excited for you and your blog–that’s awesome you are jumping in!

  13. Congrats, Kristen! Hope this book does awesome for you! You help SO many people!

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