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Lou Jenkins is the award-winning author of
Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting
"If you combined the lyricism of Annie Dillard, the vision of
Aldo Leopold, and the gentle but tough-minded optimism of Frank
McCourt, you might come close to Amy Lou Jenkins.Tom Bissell
author of The Father of All Things
"Sentence by sentence, a joy to
Phillip Lopate, Author of
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Help a book
out: 10 things you can do to spread the
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.
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
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
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.
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