In an attempt to be completely self-serving, I’m compiling this list of ways you can help your writer friends out. Awesome, I’m sure you’re thinking. But seriously, I’ve had several people ask me, “What can I do to help you with your book?” Here is my answer, or answers as it were, as this is presented in handy-dandy (somewhat tongue-in-cheeky) Q&A format.
Q: How do I help my writer friend?
A: You can buy the book.
Q: Then what?
A: You can read the book.
Q: Seriously, I’m trying to help you; could you be a little more specific?
A: Fine, okay.
- If you like it, or think someone else will like it, you can tell people about it.
- You can share it or information about it on social media or blog about it.
- You can review the book if you like it. If you don’t really like the book, that’s okay. Sometimes friends just don’t like their friends books. Maybe it’s not a genre they love or they just think you’re a nice person, but kind of a crappy writer. If you can’t honestly give a 4 or 5 star review, just skip this step. It’s okay.
- You can give tech support. Both of my younger brothers have been great with this. They understand how to format pictures and make social media work and do PR for my blog in a decade that does not start with 19– (which is where my tech brain is stuck).
- I wouldn’t complain if you used my book at your book club (like some of my truly amazing friends are actually doing).
- I also wouldn’t complain if you bought extra copies and gave them as books to your friends and told your friends to review it (like my completely amazing sisters are doing; not to brag, but I can brag because my siblings are the best).
- I still wouldn’t complain if you wanted to interview me for your blog or radio show or, heck, family newsletter.
Q: What if I don’t want to buy your book because I’m broke and I might not even like it and we’re not even that good of friends.
A: All fair concerns. Here is what you can do if all or some of the above concerns apply to you.
- If someone is willing to read an advance copy and leave a review that’s always helpful. They get to read the book for free, and you get a review out of it. Even if the review is later than you thought it would be, that’s okay. Just leave it when you can.
- Ask for it at book stores and libraries. The more people ask, the more that library or bookstore is likely to add it to their shelves (that’s right cheapskate friends; make the library do the buying for you; the writer still sold a book and libraries influence lots of other readers outside of the writer’s circle).
- And lastly, it’s always nice if people attend your events. So if there’s a signing or a book fair, show up and say hello. You don’t have to buy the book. You don’t even have to talk about the book. Sometimes it’s just fun to see a friendly face.