Good day! Welcome back after a well-deserved short break! I thought I’d write a fun post especially for all those lucky people who received a new Kindle for Christmas. Now you need to practice using your Kindle, by buying some great books and for this you need to support your favourite author!
So here’s ten easy things to do:
1. Buy their books!
Your number one priority! But did you know that because “indie” authors are independent from traditional big publishing houses, they can control the prices of their eBooks? Moreover, while big-house publishers have a large corporation to support, the indie author, who essentially becomes his own publisher, is free to offer amazing deals. Often books can be as low as $.99/£0.85! Fab! Amazing! I hear you declare! Let me get at them!
2. Spread the word!
If you like something, you want to tell others, correct? It’s one of the favourite things we like to talk about. We all love a “good deal,” a “great product”, something that actually does what it’s supposed to do, and this includes an entertaining book we’ve just read. Because my friends all talk about what they read, I’ve been introduced to authors I might never have read before–and that includes all genres. Can you imagine the indie author’s struggle to get noticed in the flood of more than 300,900 books published annually? I believe there are now over 900,000 books on Amazon alone! But telling friends doesn’t end there.
3. “Like” the book!
There’s a “Like” button to click on right beside the title on the author’s book page on Amazon.com, indeed all Amazon sites have this next to the book. Maybe you “like” the book because you’ve read it and thoroughly enjoyed your experience. Maybe you “like” the title, synopsis or the cover. Or maybe you just really “like” the pizzazz this author shows by actually writing a book and asserting their right to sharing their work, whether or not they are supported by a big-house publisher.
4. Share your opinion!
After you click “Like,” you’ll get a prompt to share with others: “tweet,” “Facebook,” or “email.” This is a jolly clever way to help both readers and authors when you think about it. How many times have you wanted to share a title of a favourite book with someone and didn’t actually get it “spot on?” By extending your “Like” through those channels, the recipient sees exactly which book you’re talking about.
5. Click their “tags!”
I know loads of readers who have no idea what ‘tags’ are, (including my husband!) ‘Tags’ are what the author has selected to describe their book for Internet searches. Say for instance you want a book that is fiction, which includes mystery, specifically thrillers. You might type into the search bar these tags: books, fiction, mystery, suspense, and thrillers, and even women sleuths. The results you get will include books with these tags. The more frequently an author’s book is tagged, the greater number of clicks per tag, does something magical to their book’s ranking. Tags are found near the bottom and have little boxes to tick. Check the ones you agree with and even add some more if you feel it warrants it, but don’t check the “Agree with all tags” because it does not affect the author’s ratings–something about Amazon’s algorithms…
6. Keep on clicking!
There is even an Amazon promo Tutorial.mp4 “How to ‘like,’ ‘tag’ and review books on Amazon to help promote your favourite authors in less than four minutes,” Charlotte Abel uses an actual Amazon.com book page–for one of her novels, in fact. She says, “Click on every button that looks click-able.” So far, we’ve clicked on “Like” and “tags.” What else is there? Well, does the author have any reviews yet? If so, you can click your response to the question, “Was this review helpful?” If it was, click “yes.” Again, quoting from the You Tube video, “The more stuff you click, the more it helps this author, and the more it helps others find this book.” (Except the ‘agree with all tags’ button).
7. Rate the book!
Whether you bought it on Amazon or some other place, there is probably a star system for rating. For some of us, rating anything is “even more terrifying” than writing a review. If that is what’s holding you back, then you could either develop your own definitions for ratings 1-5, or you could use someone else’s, like the ones from Goodreads.com for instance:
- 1=didn’t like it
- 2=it was okay
- 3=liked it
- 4=really liked it
- 5=it was amazing
You can either be the star of your own video or you can do a written review on amazon.com. Some people demur, “but I’m not a writer.” It’s true that many of the reviews are really long, well-written and therefore scary as hell if you’ve never written one before. They are most likely “reviewers.” I am not a professional reviewer; I review what I’ve read for interest. The good news is that on Amazon, a review can be as short as 20 words–the kinds of short reviews you might have seen inside a paperback. And it’s so easy to write 20 words! Just say what you liked about it. If the author picks up your review you, too could be published and included in the “front matter” of their paperback version. Simply scroll to the top of that book page where the title is. If the book has reviews, click on that line, e.g., “1 review,” or if there are no reviews yet, “Create your own review.” You’ll be asked for a Title and Review Type (video or written), and then have a place to add yours. Easy peasy!
9. Rate your books on Goodreads!
This is an amazing place where I can tell readers what I think about books I’ve read. I can also read their comments about other books. Most reviews are brief. My link on Goodreads is http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2967303.Faith_Mortimer
10. Understand “indie” author and spread the word!
This topic deserves it’s very own post, but for now, a quote from the Indie Book Collective’s web page will suffice:
… ‘Just as the movie industry was revolutionized by the ‘Indie’ movement; filmmakers with passion and a unique vision, the publishing industry is seeing the same move towards authors creating, publishing, and marketing their own work. Publishing houses are not buying new authors like they used to. Developing new talent simply isn’t profitable for them so new voices aren’t being ‘heard.’…
So as we recognize and promote Indie films by attending Indie Film Festivals, we can honour these Indie authors in all the ways listed above.
So I’m loading my Kindle for the months of winter reading and looking ahead to Spring and Summer. How about you?
Thanks to everyone who was kind enough to buy my books recently. The Christmas holiday has seen some phenomenal sales of eBooks for Kindle and there are some truly wonderful books to be bought. When you think about it what else can you buy for less than the price of a sandwich, a possible masterpiece that a writer has plotted, sweated, worried about and taken weeks, months, years to write?
Good Reading and wishing you all a Happy New Year!