12 Ways to Help Your Friends’ Pre-Release Promotion Efforts

Imagine this scenario. Your writer friend, an agency mate, or one of your favorite authors has a book coming out. Even though you’re eager to spread the word, the book won’t be released for several months. The wait seems endless, but you want to do something. Now.

I’ve faced this dilemma many times. In the past I toughed it out, contenting myself with sending encouraging messages to the author, tweeting about how eager I was to read the book when it hit the shelves, and admiring the cover on the booksellers’ sites.

All that changed this week. My friend and agency mate Katie Ganshert has a book coming out in May, and I want to do all I can to help her promote it. Fed up with nibbling my nails while waiting for the release, I engaged my gray matter, coupled my brainstorming with creativity and tenacity, and found 12 ways to help promote Katie’s book, Wildflowers from Winter, before the booksellers begin shipping it to eager readers.

1. Place a pre-order on a bookseller’s site. I chose to place my pre-order for Wildflowers from Winter on Amazon. The pre-order will help boost Katie’s sales. On the release day (or perhaps sooner), Amazon will fill all the pre-orders at one time, creating a surge in the book’s stats and moving it higher on the best sellers ranking. That can help draw attention to Katie’s book, leading to more sales, which will make Katie and her publisher happy.

2. “Like” the book on Amazon. The cute little “like” icon is found beneath the book’s title. All it takes is one click, and you’re done. The more likes there are, the more likely a person taking a peek at Katie’s book is to read the book’s blurb and place a pre-order.

3. “Tag” the book on Amazon. Tags are words that customers associate with a book and are likely to use when they perform searches. If you look at the page for Katie’s book, Wildflowers from Winter, and scroll down to the “Tags Customers Associate with This Product” section, you’ll see at least six tags. I know, because I added them.

The more people who agree with the tags that are there, the more likely it is that Katie’s book will appear when readers perform searches using those tags. It’s easy to agree with the tags that are already there. Just click the box in front of each tag. There’s a place at the bottom of the section to add additional tags if you’d like.

4. Share the book’s Amazon page with others. You will find buttons under the pre-order box on the right. There’s an envelope button. Pressing it will give you a window in which to compose an email message. Using the Facebook button enables you to post the book’s information to your wall. The Twitter button gives you an easy way to share a link to the book’s page with your followers.

5. Share the book’s Barnes & Noble page with others. On the Wildflowers from Winter page at Barnes and Noble, you will find a +1 button for Google Plus and a Facebook like button just below the title on the right hand side of the book’s page. Pressing the buttons will help you spread the word about the book on those two sites.

6. Share the book’s Christianbook.com page with others. Because Katie’s book is an inspirational romance, you can find Wildflowers from Winter on Christianbook.com. In the middle of the page below the book’s title and price information, you’ll see four buttons, which enable you to share the link to the page via email, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus.

7. Share the book’s Goodreads page with others. If you’re a member of Goodreads, a site where readers hang out and discuss books, visit the Goodreads’ page for Wildflowers from Winter. In the “Share This Book” section in the sidebar on the right, you’ll be able to press the buttons, which enable you to share the link to the book’s Goodreads’ page on Facebook, Twitter, or your website. You can +1 it on Google and “like” it on Facebook, too.

8. Add the book to your shelves on Goodreads. Go to the Wildflowers from Winter Goodreads page. Underneath the book’s cover, locate the “Add to My Books” button, and choose the “to-read” option. The more people who list the book as one they’re looking forward to reading, the better the chances are that others will take notice of the book and place a pre-order for it on one of the booksellers’ sites.

9. Become a fan of the author on Goodreads. Go to Katie Ganshert’s author page on Goodreads. Underneath her stunning photo, click the “Become a Fan” button. The more fans she has, the more she’ll attract the attention of potential readers.

10. “Like” the author’s Facebook group page. Search for the author’s name on Facebook and see if there is a group page. The titles of the pages will vary. Some authors use their names with Fan Page after them. Others precede or follow their names with Author. Still others use Reader Group after their names. It’s easy to tell if the author has a group page because, if so, the name will appear at the bottom of the search findings under the “Pages” heading. The name of Katie’s Facebook group page is Author, Katie Ganshert.

11. Invite the author to be your blog guest when the book releases. Contact the author and issue an invitation to be a guest on your blog. Be sure to specify what kind of post you’re offering: an interview, an article spot, etc. Authors know they have a small window in which to generate interest in their books, so they like to plan interviews for that time well in advance. While their schedules may already be full when you approach them, they’ll be grateful you did even if they haven’t any openings left.

12. Offer to serve as an influencer. It can be daunting for authors to ask people to read their books, especially a debut novel. It’s a bit like saying, “Will you agree to read my story and say nice things about it?” Receiving a request to fill an influencer spot can help take some of the pressure off. However, bear in mind that authors receive a limited number of author copies and may not be able to honor all the requests they receive.

These are some ways we can help authors with their promotion efforts as they await the release of their books, although the list is far from complete. Can you think of other ways?

image from iStockphoto

About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curvesβ„’ and reading.
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22 Responses to 12 Ways to Help Your Friends’ Pre-Release Promotion Efforts

  1. Katie Ganshert says:

    Keli!! You are AWESOME!

    Thank you so much for using my book for this amazing post. I didn’t know a lot of these things! Super informative.

  2. Wendy says:

    I got a little emotional in this post. I’m telling you it is so beautiful to see women support one another in this way. It’s good good stuff and I love that you’ve chosen to uplift Katie, a stellar author and trusted friend, in this way. Rock on, Keli and thanks for all these tips I can put to use!
    ~ Wendy

  3. Wendy says:

    Technically I got emotional reading this post, not in it. You know what I meant. πŸ˜‰

  4. Great post, Keli. Your encourager’s heart shines through! These are great tips. I think also it would be good to tweet about the book, especially after you pre-order it!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      LIndsay, tweeting about the book is great. The three booksellers mentioned make that super easy to do with their clickable Twitter buttons. (See #4-6.)

  5. I’m printing and bookmarking this. I had no idea about 98% of these things! I’m excited about Katie’s book too, and now I can help her out as well. Thanks, Keli. You always blow me away with the things you know!

  6. LOVE This!!! Thank you so much for all you did in helping promote my latest baby, and I know a lot of gals will be eager to do the same for you. I know I am! πŸ™‚

  7. Keli, I met you because you were supporting a good writer/friend, I continue to read you because you are a most generous soul and give support to so many. In my two writer’s groups (on-line and local) I have done some of this and you can be certain I will cherish and use this list. It comes in handy knowing that you, my dear kind friend, will be released soon πŸ™‚

  8. Donna Pyle says:

    Keli, WOW! I didn’t know most of those. Thanks so much for lining out concrete ways we can support our fellow writers. Awesome!

  9. Susan Mason says:

    Great ideas, Keli! I didn’t realize that pre-ordering a book helped give an initial boost in sales, but when I think about it, it makes a lot of sense!

    I love spreading the word about a good author! It’s so much fun to discover new people to read! Can’t wait for Katie’s book!


  10. Casey says:

    I love this!! Especially because I’m one of those readers who wants to help promote and spread the word, so having some concrete ideas to add another rock to the pond of ripples is awesome. πŸ™‚

  11. Loree Huebner says:

    I’m keeping this post too. It’s so wonderful how authors and friends promote one another.

    Thanks for laying it all out, Keli!

  12. Liz Selvig says:

    Hi Keli!
    This is a great post and, like everyone else here, your support and enthusiasm are as inspirational as the books you write! I’d like to share this column with all my writer loops — this is really great info.

  13. Lynn says:

    Amazing how much you can do on Amazon and Goodreads to help promote books! Thanks for the list! I didn’t know about many of these and anytime I can serve another author, I’m a happy girl.

  14. Thank you for the helpful information, Keli! I’m bookmarking your blog post and sharing on facebook and twitter πŸ˜‰

  15. Julie Nilson says:

    Huh–I never knew what the “Like” button on Amazon was really for. But I already “liked” the page for your book, Keli! πŸ™‚

  16. Printed this one up and saving it, Keli! Thanks so much for sharing the info!

  17. this is an amazing list! that ol’ gray matter comes in handy from time to time, doesn’t it? seriously….i didn’t think about most any of the things you mentioned, so i’m doing those now. and can’t wait to do this for you for your book too! you need to provide us all the links like you did for katie’s book….that’ll make it super easy. πŸ™‚ very awesome.

  18. bethkvogt says:

    Great post, Keli.
    And once again, your encouraging heart shines through.

  19. Charise says:

    Keli; I’m bookmarking this for future reference. So wonderful to see authors supporting authors this way. And (hopefully) I’ll need this info to share with others who don’t want to “nibble” their nails! Thanks!

  20. Anne Payne says:

    Thanks so much for all the tips. They are great and came at just the right time as I am an influencer for an author’s new release coming out in March πŸ™‚

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