The book world is without doubt one of the most competitive, in terms of garnering readership, creative communities out there. Fact. Add in the word ‘Indie’ and we’re adding a whole other element of navigation. The path to readership is fraught with dead ends, twists, turns and ruddy great big plot holes. Not to mention the financial burdens involved in actually producing and marketing a book. It’s tough not to lament over another’s success and wonder when your ship is going to come in, right? So, how we can help each other succeed?
Success breeds success. It really does. My readership, is yours and vice versa. We’re all paddling the same canoe. It’s so tough to find innovative ways to catch a potential new reader’s eye and we’re all focussed on upping our social media presence in the hope of that one video going viral, right? Wouldn’t it be great if we all paddled together? Coached each other? Supported each other? No man is an island, scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours and all that other clichéd malarkey. I mean, malarkey aside, it really does work in more ways than you think. People will always need stories, in whatever format, the demand for stories will never go out of fashion. Stories have been an integral part of human lives for millennia. There’s room for all storytellers at the fireside. But how can we help each other to shine? Here’s a few suggestions: (feel free to add your own in the comments)
Share your tribe’s news, covers and releases.
- Celebrate their achievements. Someone won an award, got their books in a store, gave an interview? Shout it to the world. It can only make you look good. I mean, you know this person so by the rules of social media, you rock too!
- Recommend tried and trusted cover designers, editors, and formatters. We all started on the bottom rung and clawed our way up by knowing a ‘friend of a friend who formats’ on a budget.
- Make time for each other. Five minutes of your time to chat with a struggling writer is priceless.
- Form a small group of writers from similar genre’s to help you all bash out those kinks and quash the self-doubt.
- Offer cross promotions in your reader groups and newsletters.
- Host mini book club events in your groups where you suggest a book by a fellow author. Then they can do the same for you.
- Read and recommend a fellow author’s book. I think this one honestly has the biggest influence. Sharing release news posts is nothing compared to a genuine and honest personal recommendation to your readers about a book that you have read. Your readers love you and your work, so hearing about ‘this great book’ by a friend that you have personally read and loved, is going to have them heading to the ‘one click’ button like a shot. You could even offer to write a few lines for the author to include in their own marketing material - ‘as recommended by UK amazon bestselling author…XXX’ goes down a treat on the cover! If you don’t have the time to read an entire book, perhaps offer to read the first 2-3 chapters and write a small forward that they can include in their marketing. Word of mouth is everything! And, it’s even better when it comes from one of your peers.
There are so many avenues we can utilise if we work together to continue to create what is already a fabulous and supportive community, let’s make it even better!
Written by Author C.L. Monaghan