Welcome guest, Julie Moffett! Leave a comment to win one of two copies of the ebook of No Money Down!
My Top 5 List: How to Help Your Favorite Author
Hi, everyone! I’m Julie Moffett, author of the geeky Lexi Carmichael mystery series. The 8th book in the series, NO STRINGS ATTACHED, released Monday, July 4th. Yay! A big thank you to Sherry for inviting me to guest post. I’m so honored and excited to meet all of you!
So, introductions aside, the topic of my blog today is how to help your favorite author. I started thinking about this because one of the most common questions I’m asked by readers is, “Why don’t you put more books out a year?”
People are often surprised to discover I hold down a full-time job in addition to writing (and single parenthood). Here’s a big surprise — writing isn’t always a lucrative business. Most mid-list writers are struggling artists. I have several friends who are considering giving up writing altogether because there is often little to no financial return for their time and effort investment. That always makes me sad. But, here’s the GOOD news! That doesn’t have to happen. There are ways YOU can help your favorite authors keep writing.
There are lots of reasons I could list, but I’ve chosen five ways you can help your favorite authors keep writing and maybe even take a shot of making a career of producing the novels you enjoy. So, without further ado, here is the list.
Buy the Book. Sounds simple and it is. Each book you buy helps the author increase his/her sales record and be better positioned for producing future books.
Buy the Book as a Gift. Books are the perfect gift. Seriously!! Besides, if you ask nicely, most authors will happily provide a bookmark or bookplate so you can give an autographed book. Pretty cool, right?!? There are also ways to sign e-books. Just shoot a quick note to your favorite author to find out if he/she knows how to do it. (I do!!)
Recommend the Book. Word of mouth is a great way to help your favorite authors get recognized by others. You can recommend it to your neighbors, friends and family. Or you can recommend the book by liking it, tagging it, suggesting it or writing a review on Amazon.com, GoodReads, BarnesandNoble.com and a zillion other sites and online bookstores. Blog about it! You get the idea.
Review the Book. Although this is mentioned in #3, it deserves an entire section of its own. If you have a blog, a Facebook account, a Twitter handle or belong to LinkedIn, tell others what you like about the book and/or the author in your own words. Share your thoughts about the books on your social media platform. If you liked the book, a few kind words can make a world of difference. It can be an entire blog post or it can be a few words. It doesn’t matter. Just get the word out. In today’s world, algorithms drive sales. Reviews create the algorithms. The more reviews, the more publicity. The more publicity, the more people see the book. The more people see the book, the bigger the sales. Simple math. All you’ve got to do is write the review.
Let the Author Know You Like the Books. Most authors have websites. Many have social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Honestly, it isn’t hard these days to track down your favorite author. Don’t assume they are inundated with constant praise and encouragement from the public at large. The truth is that most writers operate in a vacuum. Half the time we’re convinced our stuff is crap. If you enjoyed a novel, please take a minute and let your favorite author know. It can be just a sentence or two letting them know how much you liked the book or the characters. I can tell you from personal experience that one positive fan letter can energize me for a loooooong time. That is, perhaps, the best gift of all you can give a writer.
So, did I miss anything? Please let me know. For commenting, I’ll draw two names to win a free e-copy of NO MONEY DOWN! Go!!
Bio: Julie Moffett is a bestselling author and writes in the genres of mystery, historical romance and paranormal romance. She has won numerous awards, including the 2014 Mystery & Mayhem Award for Best YA/New Adult Mystery, the prestigious 2014 HOLT Award for Best Novel with Romantic Elements, a 2016 and 2014 HOLT Merit Award for Best Novel by a Virginia Author, the 2016 Award of Excellence, a PRISM Award for Best Romantic Time-Travel AND Best of the Best Paranormal Books of 2002, and the 2011 EPIC Award for Best Action/Adventure Novel. She has also garnered additional nominations for the Daphne du Maurier Award and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her book A Double-Edged Blade was an Amazon #1 Best-Selling Novel.
Julie is a military brat (Air Force) and has traveled extensively. Her more exciting exploits include attending high school in Okinawa, Japan; backpacking around Europe and Scandinavia for several months; a year-long college graduate study in Warsaw, Poland; and a wonderful trip to Scotland and Ireland where she fell in love with castles, kilts and brogues. Julie has a B.A. in Political Science and Russian Language from Colorado College, a M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and an M.Ed from Liberty University. She has worked as a proposal writer, journalist, teacher, librarian and researcher. Julie speaks Russian and Polish and has two sons. Visit Julie’s website at: www.juliemoffett.com Follow Julie on Social Media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JulieMoffettAuthor Twitter: @JMoffettAuthor Instagram: https://instagram.com/julie_moffett/
Great list, Julie! Showing up for author readings and events is also a wonderful way to show support. (Buying a book from that hosting bookstore rather than Amazon also helpful.)
Oh, yes! Those are great ways to show support!!
Thanks, Julie! Great tips.
Readers often ask me how they can help, so I thought a handy dandy list might be helpful! 🙂
Hear, hear! Yes to all your recommendations, starting with “buy the book.” (I might add, buy it soon after its release, because that’s when publishers are looking.) Readers don’t stop to think that publishing is a business, and it runs on sales and income. They’re looking at the bottom line, not the brilliant prose or the endearing characters. So those sales, particularly early ones, really matter.
And after you’ve read it (and told the author you loved it), if you don’t have room to keep it, give it to your library or a local book sale so someone else can enjoy it. (My local library has actually opened a permanent sale room for the books they can’t shelve.)
Ours has a used book store in the basement, too, Sheila.
I always take already-read books to the library!! Then I go to the library during their book sale and buy more. Ha! It’s a happy circle of life!! 🙂
Wow. I love that idea! That’s what I’m going to do once in a while.
Very good advice. I love to have my own copy of a book. Sometimes I even go back and re-read it!
I read my favorite books multiple times, too!
I’m a re-reader too, Jennifer. I love to own books for just that reason!
Welcome, Julie! I love your series — it’s so fun!
Thank you for inviting me, Sherry! oxoxox
Great suggestions! Thanks for visiting today, Julie!
Thanks for stopping by Jessie!! 🙂
What a great post today. I try to do all of the things that you suggest readers should do, and I really do a lot of spreading the word via email as lots of the people I am in touch with are not on any social media. So I do all I can via email. Keep up the great writing.
That is kind of you. You’re right! A lot of people aren’t on social media, so it’s great that you reach out to them. Thank you!!!
Great ideas! I’d put recommend the book to your neighborhood library also if they aren’t carrying it. Any way to get books into the hands of others works!
Excellent idea, Diane!! I forgot about that one and it’s important!!
Loved the tips Julie — and I Love the Lexi Carmichael series . As an IT female – it is great to see “computer geeks” shown as regular people with quirky minds. Would love to know how you came to learn both Russian & Polish.
I’m so in awe of you, Debbie!! Girl IT power!! I’m so glad you are enjoying the series!!
So, in regards to my Russian and Polish… I studied Russian in college. During graduate school, my advisor suggested I learn to speak another Slavic language to make myself more marketable, so I attended the University of Warsaw for a year. I took most of my classes in Polish (except my Russian language class) and lived in the dorm. No one spoke English!! It was an exciting time to live there behind the Iron Curtain (I’m dating myself), and I was one of only 9 American students at the university at the time. I have a LOT of adventures to relate from that time!! 🙂
I love buying the books of authors I enjoy reading. Purchases may be of e-book form or paper/hardback form. I prefer paperback or hardback form since I find it easier to refer back to when I go to leave a review but e-book format allows me to carry my kindle and have many books to choose from without the weight of several books. Thanks so much for the opportunity to enter your giveaway.
Thank you for buying books, electronic or print! You rock! Thank you also for leaving reviews! Good luck with the giveaway!! 🙂
Julie-welcome to Wicked Cozy Authors! It is so great to have you here.
How do you sign digital books? (Inquiring minds…)
So, authors can sign digital books in a variety of ways. The method I use the most is Authorgraph (https://www.authorgraph.com/). It’s fun and easy to use. My publisher also created an app that I can use to sign electronic books at a book signing, but I don’t believe it’s available to the general public. I’m also often asked to sign kindle and nook covers when I’m at book signings. So there are ways…
These are great tips and I didn’t know you could sign e-books, Very curious about that! I also like to make gifts a little more special with following the theme. If there is tea/coffee/cookies/crafts etc involved, I always pair the book with something of that nature as well! Perhaps with a geeky theme, a suduko puzzle!? Thanks for the chance to win too!
Yes, you can sign e-books! I use Authorgraph (https://www.authorgraph.com/) the most. I LOVE the idea of making little items in the same theme as the book to accompany a book. I may need to consult you on that. Any thoughts as to things a craft-challenged person like me could make to go along with my geeky-themed books? 🙂
Such great advice!! I do every single one of the suggestions!! You write terrific stories!
Thank you SO much! You aren’t my mother, right?!? (My Mom’s name is Donna, so I’m just checking!) Ha! 🙂
Great post. Thanks for sharing. I try to do everything I can to spread the word about great authors & books. You have really highlighted what & how to do it.
Hi, Doward! I am SO familiar with your blogs, posts and name that we don’t even need an introduction. Thank you SOOOOO much for all you do for mystery writers and the genre! oxoxoxoxo
I also do everything I can to support that authors I love, including the things you’ve listed above. But it’s always great to be reminded of the seemingly simple things that can make a big difference.
You are absolutely right, Mark!!
One can also request a new book at the library: doesn’t guarantee they will buy it, but it at least puts it on their radar screen. (If I win the ebook I WILL review it).
Yes, that is an excellent idea and one I definitely should have added. Good luck on winning the book! I will put all names in my Cub Scout hat and have my 9 year old pull the winners from the hat. He LOVES to do that and always asks, “Do you think they’ll be happy I picked THEIR name?” 🙂
Whoever wins will be ECSTATIC!
Until recently, I never knew how important pre-order and near release time were so important to sustaining a series, as well as writing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Thanks for your tips!
Yes! Publishers are watching VERY carefully the weeks leading up to and following a new release. Purchases and reviews are quite important during this time. Would now be the time to mention I just had a release last Monday? 🙂
What a great list Julie. I leave comments / reviews all the time and when I discover I’ve missed one I do it right away. I also recommend authors and books whenever I get a chance and I stay in touch with so many authors I find it hard to find time to read! I buy books that fit my favorite genre all the time, of course that is cozy mysteries and just regular mysteries. Thanks for the chance to win.
Thank you so much, Mary Jane!! I certainly appreciate and applaud your efforts!! Way to go and good luck winning the e-book!! 🙂
Thank you for visiting the blig, and these great tips.
Thanks for stopping by!! Appreciate the warm welcome. 🙂
Thank you Julie for your five tips. They are very useful. My son – Jon F. Merz – writes urban fantasy so I know how hard it is to make a living as a writer. The marketing of your books is more of a job than the actual writing it seems…especially since publishers don’t really do much to help. Keep writing! I love the mystery “cozy” genre. It’s a real escape to cozy up with a cozy!
Marketing is really hard work!! I agree. That’s wonderful to hear your son is a writer. Congratulations to him!! 🙂
Thanks for coming by, Julie! Great tips 🙂
Thanks, Liz!! 🙂
Love your books, Julie. Thanks for the tips. Any suggestions for persuading a library to carry more cozies and other types of mysteries? My local library flat out refuses to purchase paperbacks and buys very few “genre” books, and those only from high profile writers like Stephen King or Danielle Steel or Mary Higgins Clark, etc. Very frustrating for a genre fan.
I wish I knew the answer to this. I’m just trying to figure out how to get them to buy electronic books. For my local library, I may have been known to donate a couple copy of my paperbacks and they have taken them gladly. We’ll have to brainstorm. Maybe if there are any librarians reading this, they will give us some insight. 🙂
BTW, thank you very much for the kind words about my books!!
Thanks for the great list of tips. I do try to pre-order books by my favorite authors, but don’t always post online reviews. I will make a point to do that more in the future. Looking forward to reading your series. I’ve added it to my Goodreads list!
Thanks Julie for the tips. One day I hope to publish so I can really use these as well as put them into practice. Marilyn firstname.lastname@example.org
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