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Amy Lou Jenkins is the award-winning author of Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting

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Help a book out: 10 things you can do to spread the



By Karen McQuestion

Let's say you've just finished reading a book so great you wonder why the author isn't a household name. You'd love to help get the word out about this author and his/her book, but really, what can one person do?

Funny you should ask. Let me tell you a little story illustrating the power of one person.

After I uploaded my novel, A Scattered Life to Kindle, and it had been out a short time, a woman named Alice started conversing with me on the message boards. Alice loved A Scattered Life and talked it up on the forum. I mean, she really talked it up. Soon others read it and reported back that they'd enjoyed the novel as well. I would turn on my computer in the morning and read whole conversations about my book, the one no publisher had been interested in acquiring. It was unreal. There were times I could barely read the words through the tears.

Shortly thereafter, a film producer in L.A. contacted me interested in obtaining the film option for the book. He'd found out about the book due to the "buzz" on the message boards. Yes, the buzz had started with Alice--one woman from the East Coast, someone I'd never met. My story had resonated with her and she went to the time and trouble to share her enthusiasm with others. 

And so, a career was made. Thanks, Alice! 

As a reader and person who has Internet access, you have more power than you know. For anyone who is interested, I've come up with a list of ten things you can do to help a book reach other readers. Most of my suggestions are free to do, and all of them are (fairly) easy.

Here goes:

1) Buy the book. How does this get the word out? Ongoing sales tell the publisher and author that there are readers for the book, which leads to more of a marketing push. And if it's an online sale, it raises the ranking, which is a quantitative sign of the book's popularity to other potential buyers

2) Click the "Like" button in the orange box on the book's page on Amazon. You have the option to share the recommendation via email, Facebook, and Twitter. But trust me, even if you do nothing more than click the link, the fact that the number went up will make the author very happy.

3) Write a positive review and post it anywhere you can think of including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, your blog, Goodreads, LibraryThing, or Shelfari.

4) Email your local library and ask if they'd consider buying a copy of the book.

5) Better yet, email your library and ask if they'd be willing to add the book to their collection if you would buy and donate a copy. If they say yes, do so.

6) Suggest the book for your book club. And if you aren't in a book club, mention it to people who are.

7) Post on Twitter or Facebook. Something as simple as, "Just read a great book--The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein," will suffice. If you enjoyed the book, there's a good chance your friends/followers will too.

8) Go on the message boards on Amazon and recommend the book to other readers. Make sure to include a link.

9) Talk about the book. In everyday life, conversations abound. Instead of the usual chatter about gas prices and the weather, talk about your new favorite book. I've found out about some terrific books this way.

10) Donate money to your local library. There's no guarantee they'll buy your favorite books/authors, but it's all going to the common good. And that benefits everyone.

I hope this helps. Have a good day!

 Reprinted with permission Karen McQuestion