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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A2R Marketing: The Care and Feeding of Your Favorite Author

Come on, 'fess up. You have a crush on an author and are happy with the one-sided affair.

You read his or her work with books you own, got from a library, or borrowed from a friend. You fell in love with a story or a character because something touched you in a way you never thought possible. Somehow, the author reached into your heart and expressed something you knew was there, but didn't know how to articulate. Then, you read the quick bio in the back of the book and were even more intrigued with the person behind the words. Shyly, with no one looking, you googled her and found blogs or recent interviews. You liked what you read, or viewed, or heard. You were hooked.

We authors are a complicated sort. We spend hours alone, crafting sentences we hope will do exactly that - to beguile and hook you. You've bitten our sweet apple and thought you were safe in your curlers and fuzzy slippers, with a mug of tea in one hand and a thick tome in the other. You thought you were safe from need.

You were wrong. For each sated moment you enjoyed, a hunger grew. Maybe you talked about your new love with anyone who would listen (thank you!). Perhaps you suggested our book to your book club (wonderful!). The more adventurous of you "liked" a Facebook page (yes!), followed us on Twitter (yippee!), or left a comment on a blog (way to go!). Maybe you've even been so bold as to attend a reading (incredible!). Thank you for carrying us in the crook of your arm as you commute (cover out, please, so all can see), or got sand in our pages at the beach (aahhh!). Lip prints on your e-reader are perfectly acceptable as you kiss a favorite passage. If you've done one or all of these things, you may have smiled to yourself thinking you've cared for your beloved author.

Everything mentioned above is fantastic and greatly appreciated, but there's more you can do. Remember, we authors are lovers of words. Not just our own words, but yours, dear Reader. Yes. Your words. Post a review. Gulp! We ask you to declare your love of us publicly. We ask you to stand on the rooftop of the great House of Barnes & Noble, or atop Mount Amazon, or on the shores of Goodreads, and shout, loudly and proudly, that you've read our words and want more.

Because, in those digital wilds, more of you lurk. We authors know this to be true. There are readers out there who want to know what you've read and what you thought. In the process of caring for us, you get to care for your own. How perfect can that be?

So, as you care for us, feed us with your words and reap the reward knowing you're providing sustenance for others, just like you.

Here is a check list for ensuring proper care:

  • Tell your friends and suggest it to your book club. Many authors are happy to join your group for an evening and others can do appearances via Skype.
  • Ask your local library to buy a copy. Better yet, but one and donate it after you've read it!
  • If the author has a Facebook page, please "like" it;
  • Ditto for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.;
  • If you see them on a blog, comment.
  • On Amazon, post a review AND add the author as a 'favorite' by visiting their author page and clicking the "Add Favorite" star button below their image;
  • Add the book to your Goodreads list and review it there.
  • Authors are happy to hear from you. Reach out. 

More on A2R (Author to Reader) Marketing can be found here.