SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Registered Members => Book Talk => Topic started by: dewsanddamps on June 08, 2015, 04:11 PM

Title: How to help a book
Post by: dewsanddamps on June 08, 2015, 04:11 PM
Can anyone give an overview of how best to help a friend/fellow Blueboarder's book? Pre-ordering is more helpful than buying later, right? But why? And does it matter where you place the pre-order?

How useful is tweeting about the release?

Any other tips on how to help us help each other?  :thankyou
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: Vijaya on June 08, 2015, 04:25 PM
Make a request at the library. But the best thing? I try to get it in the hands of kids and teachers. Kids will share the books with other kids and word of mouth works wonders.

Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: H. Pinski on June 08, 2015, 05:08 PM
Such a good question!

1. If you're a good enough friend to get an ARC, post reviews. Everywhere.
2. Pre-order or buy on the day it comes out (if people buy it on mass that day, it can be very helpful) or soon after it's release. Then post reviews. Everywhere.
3. Why does when you buy matter? Imho, it matters less these days than it did before, but many publishing houses still make a lot of future decisions based on early sales. Most titles don't hit right out of the gate though, so it's important to think long-term if you really want a book to succeed
3. Where you pre-order doesn't matter, unless there's a promo attached to it
4. Like, share and RTing the author's social media posts about the release helps to spread the word further but may not necessarily translate to sales. RTing, sharing posts about an ebook special does help drive sales though
5. If you blog regularly, invite the author to do a guest post or blog about the book yourself

Also, everything Vijaya said!

This is just off the top of my head. I'll keep thinking and I'll be so curious to hear what others have done and what's worked!
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: Betsy on June 08, 2015, 05:31 PM
Have your local library order the book. Post detailed reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and any other place you can think of. I assume you like the book, but be honest and fair. Interview the author on your blog (if you have a blog). Does she have postcard and/or bookmarks? Offer to distribute these for her in your town.

Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: mrh on June 08, 2015, 05:57 PM
I learned this one from personal experience. Make friends with your local bookseller, especially someone who can sell in volume, such as the person who takes care of the children's section at your B&N. Talk about children's books you both like. If this person comes to trust your judgment, they will start hand selling the books you recommend.
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: Barbara Etlin on June 08, 2015, 06:02 PM
I think it's helpful to post reviews, and that Amazon is preferable to Goodreads.
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: Vonna on June 08, 2015, 06:10 PM
I don't know if it helps at all, but I try to feature as many BBer's current books as possible on my website. On my weekly local author events post, I link the book title and cover image to a page where readers can buy the book from the bookstore that is sponsoring the event. Tomorrow, I'll be featuring three upcoming books (including Ena's) so I'll add Pre-Order links to my local bookstore, Indiebound, B&N, and Amazon.

Also, if you haven't got time to write a review, it might help to Like good reviews for that book. It helps the positive reviews outnumber the negatives. The reviews with the most likes move closer to the top where more people will see them.
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: Marissa Doyle on June 08, 2015, 06:46 PM
A bit of a note of caution concerning posting reviews on Amazon: if there's any link between you and the author (i.e., if the author has gifted you a review copy, for example), Amazon is quite likely to remove the review in their effort to crack down on "biased" reviews. Tread carefully.
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: Mrs. Jones on June 09, 2015, 08:03 AM
Wow! Vonna! I'm on your blog!!!  :yay I'm so thrilled! Thank you!! (And can I say, it feels really weird to see my name, and my book cover out in the wild? Weird and  :running , of course!)

I just received an email from my marketing department saying that I should "add" my book to my Goodreads account, and encourage my friends/colleagues to do so as well. Apparently, the more ratings and adds a book has, the higher visibility it will get on the site, specifically in the search engine.

So, that's a great piece of marketing advice for all of us! 
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: RebeccaL-G on June 09, 2015, 08:15 AM
Great question, Katie!  I'm enjoying reading everyone's answers. 
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: 217mom on June 09, 2015, 10:19 AM
What everyone said^.
 If family & real friends understood that BUYING your book rather than expecting it to be gifted was helpful, it would be a start. But in the end this sort of boost is small and temporary, (unless you have a ginormous familial clan clicking away) and selling to other writers is not the end point. However, as writers some of us already have platforms that can help promote. If you do, help in that way. But remember no one will re-visit your blog if this is all that is on it.

P.S. I wanted to add that I make it a sacred duty to buy BBs books. When they are  not for me, I know who to gift them to.
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: Tammi on June 10, 2015, 09:21 AM
One of my writer friends sent a no-pressure email asking me to share a post about her latest book on Facebook and/or Twitter on the day of its release. She even included some sample posts so I could just copy and paste them. I'm totally stealing that idea!  ::-)

I have 3 books coming out this summer. EEP! If anyone wants to post about them on Facebook and/or Twitter, please do so! Also, if you happen to read any of them, please consider adding a rating and/or review of the book on Amazon and/or GoodReads. Thank you! Any help means so much!

Ginny Louise and the School Showdown
, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger (Disney*Hyperion, June 16)
Your Alien, illustrated by Goro Fujita (Sterling, August 4)
Roar!, illustrated by Liz Starin (Paula Wiseman/S&S, September 29)
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: Christine B. on June 10, 2015, 12:11 PM
I have actually hand sold my critique partners' books to kids at Barnes and Noble! In all cases, I felt the book would actually fit what the kid was looking for (usually because I overheard them asking a bookseller).

Love the idea of sharing books on social media. I do that a lot. I wish there was a list of BB-ers books. (Is there?) I always buy books as gifts and sometimes do not know which books are by BB-ers or not. I just gifted some of Salina Yoon's books to a 2-year-old. I have more gifts coming up so send me your titles and I'll gift your book!

One of my friend's books was recently out of stock at our local indie and not sold at all at Barnes and Noble. Every time I am at either store, I ask a bookseller if they carry her title.
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: dewsanddamps on June 10, 2015, 12:48 PM
I've heard that it's useful to order from a brick-and-mortar, because they'll order more than one copy, figuring that if one person is looking for it others will be, too. That way you get an extra copy or two on the shelf of a store that wasn't carrying it.

Only thing is, our (tiny) bookstore doesn't do that.  :green
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: Barbara Etlin on June 10, 2015, 03:12 PM
Pre-ordering from a bookstore doesn't do any good if the book isn't listed on its computer, which often doesn't happen until maybe a month or less before the pub date. And sometimes it doesn't get listed on the computer at all; they decided not to order it. You can special order it, which means it doesn't land on the bookshelves for others to discover.

Just my experience, with three books published by major publishers (which later went on to sell well, and were carried in the store eventually.) YMMV
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: Kell on June 10, 2015, 03:52 PM
Great ideas! Any way you can legally read, buy, or borrow a book is fine with me. Any way you can talk or post or tweet about a book helps.

I love, love gifting friends' books. Every book is not for every kid, but among all the birthdays and holidays, every book is for SOME kid I know.
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: dewsanddamps on June 10, 2015, 03:58 PM
Good point, Kell.

We always give some books to the Salvation Army at Christmas, too. Charities--including women's shelters, hospital peds units, etc.--would surely take books we've bought to help writer friends, but for which we can't find a recipient of the right age among our IRL friends' kids.
Title: Re: How to help a book
Post by: Mercedes Ortiz on August 06, 2015, 01:38 PM
Debbie Ridpath Ohi published some excellent tips on her website: