Monday, November 03, 2008

How To Support Good Books

Whether you have never published a book or have written many books, how do you support good books?

We have a wealth of reading material. Pick your type of reading and it is certainly being produced in large numbers. The "catch" for these new books is getting any attention or reviews. Newspapers and magazines are constantly cutting back on the amount of review space they will allow in their publications. The majority of magazines only want to give the space to positive reviews. Maybe you've written some book reviews. It's a great place to break into the market, get in print and learn about books in the process. Through the years, I've written hundreds and maybe thousands of book reviews. I began much of my freelance writing with book reviews and it is something that I continue today. In recent years, I have not written many reviews for printed magazines but many times I will support a good book with my online resources.

If you love good books, in this entry, I want to suggest some ways you can support those titles.

First, buy the books. Whether you get them in your local bookstore or online, purchase the books.

Then when you find a good title which helped you or you found a page-turning novel, make a commitment to tell others about it. It's this aspect of telling others that I want to focus for this entry. One of the easiest ways to tell others is through a customer review on Amazon or Borders or Barnes and Noble. Your words don't have to be lengthy or profound. A couple of sentences will suffice for your review along with a five star rating. It is surprising the number of books which have no reviews or only a few customer reviews.

It's only during the last few years that I have been actively writing these customer reviews. If you look at my own Amazon profile (this link), you can scan down the list of books on Amazon and notice some of my books have a number of reviews like Book Proposals That Sell yet other books have no reviews. At the moment, I've written over 220 customer reviews on Amazon. It's one of the ways I support good books and tell others about it.

Also I recommend you blog about good books. Readers will follow your recommendations.

Another way is to use Twitter to tell people about good books. For example, Amazon has a permanent link for each review. You can paste that permanent link on Twitter along with some words. Some of the people who follow you on Twitter will go over read your review and then purchase the book or at least put it on their Amazon wish list for the next time they are buying books.

I participate in several online forums and often in my posts to these forums, I will mention a resource and provide the link to take people right to the page where my review is located. Today I posted a new review for Samuel Greengard's AARP Crash Course in Finding the Work You Love: The Essential Guide to Reinventing Your Life. If you are thinking about changing careers or reinventing yourself, this book is excellent and something I recommend. Notice I have a short link in my post to take you right to the Amazon page. I used a tool like snipurl or tinyurl to make this link. Why? Because often in emails and other formats, the long Amazon link will be broken. If it is broken, it's not easy for someone to use it and go to the page where you direct them.

I encourage you to do more than just read good books. Take the proactive step to tell other people about them. You will be glad you did.

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5 Comment:

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Patsy Clairmont Left a note...

I am such a bookie! Nothing like a good read unless it's a good read and the opportunity to spread the news.

Thanks for the helpful tips!

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Debbie Petras Left a note...

I love to read and to blog. So I appreciate your advice about writing reviews on some of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Thanks!

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

Patsy and Debbie,

Thank you for the great comments.

BTW,Patsy Clairmont has written some amazing books. Keep up the good work.


At 6:41 PM, Blogger Avily Jerome Left a note...

Thanks, Terry!

I actually just did my first book review on my blog. I am looking forward to doing many more.

I need a job to support my book review addiction.... :)

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Krista Phillips Left a note...

I WILL do a book review on my blog someday soon!

Ohhh, I have one tip for promoting books as well!

I'm a firm believer that many readers will never look at reviews on Amazon, will never read a blog unless it's their favorite author and will never peruse the Internet for our well thought-out reviews. (Even though there are many people that do so we need to cover that market certainly!)

But many readers (especially the one's I personally am targeting) are going to be found out in the 'real' world.

So I've taken to bringing a book along with me during the day. I keep a copy in my purse, or lay it on my desk at work.

The few times I did this (not really on purpose, I was just going to read at lunch...) I got lots of interest.

"What are you reading?"

"Is that author any good?"

"Where can I buy that book?"

I was paying for an ice cream cone at Dairy Queen in the mall the other day (Don't ask why I'm buying icecream in November...) and the lady behind the counter was leaning over and staring down at me in a very... uncomfortable... way. I looked at her funny, and she leaned back quick. She said that she was an avid reader and was trying to peak at the book in my purse to see what I was reading.

I, of course, told her about it, and also mentioned that I was a writer and someday if she ever saw a book by "Krista Phillips" on the shelf that she needed to buy it:-)

Sooo.... I guess that long story is just to say that conventional word of mouth about books is essential as well!


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