Posted in Book Reviews

How to Use Social Media to Help Your Favorite Author

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I’ve recently found myself in Amazon’s Reviewer Jail, and I’ve learned that I’m not alone in here. This “jail cell” is getting rather crowded. I’m not about to tell you that honest reviews are no longer valid or that we authors don’t care about them or don’t need them. That just isn’t true. But what I do want to focus on are the various ways you can share the work of your favorite author, or the enjoyable novel you’ve been reading, without sharing a review. I hope this list gives you new and easy ways to get active. And for my fellow cellmates, I hope it brings you a new area to focus on now that Amazon has taken away your ability to review on their site.

First of all, for many authors, Amazon is not the only place where you can leave your honest review. Traditionally published novels will also sell on sites such as Christianbook.com and Barnes and Noble. For the self-published author, you’d have to ask since many, myself included, are published solely through Amazon. However, no matter which publisher your favorite author works with, you can always leave your honest review on Goodreads.com. Membership here is free, and you’ll find many book-loving people to share your thoughts with there.

If you blog, you can share your review link on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. Since Facebook allows limitless wordcounts in a single post non-bloggers can leave their full review on their wall as well as several book-focused groups within the site.

But I promised you some non-review related things, so here we go . . .

Recommendations:
Honest to goodness, personal word of mouth will go a long way. That doesn’t mean you mindlessly recommend every book. You want to be personal about it. Be sincere. Be authentic. Here are some ways to do that:
1) Post the book’s link on your wall and tag a friend who you think will be perfect for that book. Be sure to let them know why you think they’re a good fit. If you or your friend are the shy type, you could always private message the link and info.
2) There are several book-loving groups on Facebook. Readers in these groups are often looking for something new to read. It’s only a matter of time before someone is looking for something you’ve already read and can recommend.
*If you’re a Christian Fiction reader on Facebook, Avid Readers of Christian Fiction would be a great place to start.  Another happening group is Celebrate Lit Community Forum.
3) Recommend your favorite new read to your book club.
4) Request your favorite author’s books at your public and/or church library.
5) Goodreads has a super easy way to recommend a book with a single click to your Goodreads friends. If you’re a member, be sure to use this feature.
6) Don’t forget, Goodreads also has many groups, most of which are divided into genres. There are lots of ways to share your favorite books there.

Share:
1) One of an author’s main promos is running a sale or freebie offer. When you hear of the sale, be sure to share it! This helps your fellow book friends and your favorite authors. Don’t be afraid to tag or private message your friend when you know that particular book is a great fit for them.
2) And again, don’t forget your book-lovers groups. Several groups allow sale/freebie links.
3) When you find your favorite author offering a giveaway, don’t be stingy. Share the giveaway link on your wall!! Tag a friend. Don’t leave it just on your wall, but share it with your favorite readers’ group as well.
4) Another major promo for an author is a Facebook party or live chat. You’ll be doing them a great favor by inviting interested friends to their party and sharing their party link on your wall. *Again, don’t annoy your friends by inviting them to a party they won’t enjoy. Only invite those who you truly think will be interested.

Novel Quotes:
Probably second to the recommendation of a trusted friend is hooking a potential reader with a quote from the novel. Here are a few ways to do that:
1) Many readers share the first line of the novels they read. Maybe that could be your new first step when you start a book is to share the first line with your friends on Facebook, or Twitter if the line is short enough.
2) Personally, I’m a big fan of the last line of the first chapter. You could shake things up a bit by sharing that line instead. Or share both on separate days.
3) I’ve seen a group of bloggers posting the first line of a novel. They call it First Line Fridays. You might consider hopping on board with them or starting your own ring of bloggers.
4) Share one of your favorite lines after you’ve finished the book. Share on your wall or at the end of your review.
*Just be sure not to share any spoilers!!
5) Many authors put together their own graphics with favored lines from the novel. When you see one, share it! Or if you’re crafty, put one together yourself and share it with the author. You can also pin these graphics on Pinterest.

Personal Novel Pics:
There is nothing more recognizable than the book’s cover. So show off the book you’re reading. You can take the picture of the physical copy or your e-reader with the cover on the screen. Here are a few ideas, but the possibilities are endless.
1) Selfie with the book
2) Take a pic at your child’s practice
3) While reading on your lunch break
4) Outside on a sunny day
5) Inside on a rainy day
6) Sitting on the sofa beside your comfy blanket
7) On the table beside your cup of tea or coffee
8) Your stack of TBR books
I’ll stop there but suffice it to say that readers LOVE to see pictures of books. I promise, they’ll enjoy your pics no matter where you take them. You could take a new pic with each book or make a habit by taking a pic of what you’re reading once a week.

Give it Away:
You can’t beat sharing a book by giving it away!
1) Buy a copy as a gift for a friend who would enjoy it.
2) Donate your copy to your public or church library.
3) Host a giveaway on your blog or social site.
* Just remember that you are NOT allowed to give away Advanced Reader Copies. How do you know if your copy is an ARC? If you received a copy BEFORE the book was released whether through the publisher, author, or some other review program: You most likely have an ARC. They are trusting you NOT to share this copy and to leave an honest review wherever you review books. When in doubt, just ask!

Book Awards and Games:
Here are some other fun and simple ways to share your favorite author’s work.
1) Nominate or vote for the novel on a Goodreads list. These lists get a LOT of traffic. Being visible here could mean a lot to your favorite author, even if they don’t get the highest number of votes. Again, don’t vote willy-nilly. There are so many variations of lists, so it shouldn’t be hard to find an honest fit for your favorite novel.
2) At the end of the year, month, or season, share your top reads with your friends. You can post this on your blog or on your favorite social media site. Be sure to let the author know that you selected them as a favorite. They’ll appreciate it, I promise.
3) Cover games. Again, the most recognizable aspect of a book is the cover. Playing a little game with the cover would give exposure and have fun with your friends at the same time. Maybe pit two covers against each other to see which is the favorite. Or cover up the cover photo and leave one small spot visible and see which of your friends could guess the cover first.

Send a Note:
Okay, so this last suggestion doesn’t spread the word about the novel, but it does spread the love. Consider sending the author a note. You never know what that might mean to them. God may just use you and your humble message to encourage them during a hard week.

I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any suggestions that I didn’t include?

 

 

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16 thoughts on “How to Use Social Media to Help Your Favorite Author

  1. Great suggestions, Anita! So sorry you’re in jail. Someone needs to bake you a cake with a book in it.

    When I go somewhere, I like to leave the book I’m reading on the passenger seat with the front cover up, in case someone peeks in. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your sympathy, I really do. Being locked up was a frustrating experience, but almost immediately I started praying about how to use it for good. And I really do think it forced me to regroup and put more effort into promoting books when my rights were revoked. I think I just fell into the trap where leaving a review was the most that needed to be done, so that was all I did. Once that was no longer an option for me, I started looking around and realized that we spend more time on social media and less time reading reviews, so . . . I’m guessing social media platforms will end up carrying more weight.
      🙂 A book cake sounds lovely!!

      And that’s a GREAT idea!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so blessed to have met you through your books! I love all of these ideas, and will continue to practice them. When your next book comes out, I’m going to recommend that my book club reads it! I did a discussion on the Ancient Words series during our “read your own book and discuss” month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!!
      I’m grateful for your friendship as well.
      And I’m glad to hear you’re already so active.
      Liz would make a great book club read!! I hadn’t even thought of that!! There’s certainly plenty to discuss there. I’m glad you thought of it!

      Like

  3. A great list Anita! I’m not creative so you definitely gave me ideas. Thanks for all the fun we have being in your group of readers also for letting us vote for the covers and keeping us informed of the progress of your books. Keep writing and we will keep reading. 😊😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! That means a lot to me!! I’m so happy to know that you’re enjoying the group and my work. And you’re welcome; I’m thrilled to hear that I was able to help you find new ideas to help your favorite authors.
      You’ve been a blessing to me and I know you are to other authors as well!

      Like

    1. Thank you for mentioning BookBub! I haven’t made it over there to their site yet so I had no idea how to use it.
      Do you enjoy it? Is it basically the same as Goodreads or are there different features?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Amazon doesn’t call it “jail,” but I did in order to make light of the situation.
      What has happened to me, and several others I’ve heard from over the last couple of years on social media, is that we were “found” to be in violation of Amazon’s reviewer policy. The trouble is most of us will tell you that we have no clue where we had inadvertently gone wrong. And the bigger problem is, Amazon doesn’t tell you. The story seems to be the same from person to person. All of a sudden, out of the clear blue yonder, their reviewing rights are revoked. I contacted them, as many other confused and concerned reviewers did, but only received the same general message stating that they found the person to be in violation and that the decision was final. They do not tell you exactly what you’ve done or give any examples or proof that you were actually in violation. It’s almost like winning a lottery, it feels so random. You have no opportunity to defend yourself or gather any satisfying explanation. It’s very disappointing. Amazon wants and cares about making sure that the reviews left on products are not tainted. But I’m finding in many of these cases, they’re deleting and forbidding honest reviews/reviewers. It’s a situation where in order to correct a problem, they ended up hurting innocent people. I’m sure it’s a hard job for the company to dishonest reviews off their site. But I would have appreciated some personal contact, especially after I personally contacted them.
      Either way, the more you’re around book reviewers, the more you’ll hear about this situation. But because of this, I set out to find, and help others find, solid ways to help promote authors without every leaving a review.
      Oh, I realized I may have completely answered your question: You can search up the Amazon reviewer policy to read all their rules. To my knowledge, there isn’t a rule about how many reviews to post, although you would garner their attention if you posted too many in one day.

      Like

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