Monday, May 5, 2014

How to Help an Author


Seeing our stories published is the dream most of us writers have. When our comrades realize that dream, we want to see them succeed. Some say such success is in the stars. I say take heart. We can help align those stars. Melissa Maygrove is here to show us how.


How to help an author...
  • If you’re going to buy a book, buy it on release day if at all possible.
  • The second best time to buy is during a 99c or free e-book promotion. A surge of downloads in a single day boosts the book up in the rankings. And be sure to...
  • Buy a new or e-copy. The author gets nothing if the reader buys used.
  • Buy a similar, popular book by a big name author together in the same purchase. Some sites make suggestions based on previous customer purchases (‘Customers who bought this item also bought...’). This kind of purchase pairing gets the lesser-known author’s book and name in front of more potential customers.
  • Consider giving copies as gifts (paper or e-book). You’ll make both the author AND the recipient happy.
  • Don’t return a book unless it was a mistaken purchase or there’s a technical problem. The average author would starve if they had to live off the revenue from their book sales. Reading and returning is not cool.
  • Like it? Leave a positive review on as many retailer sites as you can. (Amazon’s algorithms are based, in part, on the number of reviews; and some promotion options are not available to authors until their books attain a certain number of reviews.) Book reviews aren’t difficult to write, and they don’t have to be long. Just give a summary of your general impression at the beginning, then mention more specifically what you liked and what you felt the author did well (Did they create likeable characters who stuck with you? Did they pace the story in a way that kept you reading? Did they design a clever and / or fresh plot?). Do avoid story spoilers or give a forewarning. When you’re ready to wrap it up, cap it off with a short, enthusiastic recommendation at the very end.
  • Tell your friends about it. Word of mouth sells books.
  • Add it to your Goodreads page.
  • Post about it on your blog and / or share it on social media, such as FB or Twitter.



Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When she's not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities, she's hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers.


Sometimes a single choice
alters the course of a person’s life forever.


Release day: May 12th!


53 comments:

  1. Thank you. As a confirmed bookaholic I need authors to fuel my addiction - so finding ways to help them do so is very welcome.

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    1. LOL
      I'm a bookaholic, too. The backlog of books on my Kindle is embarrassing.

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  2. Buying books as gifts is my number one!

    And I agree, returns are not cool.

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    1. I linked a good, fun article Carrie Butler wrote about that. I would never think to read and return a book, but it's apparently commonplace. *shakes head*

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  3. Excellent post! Getting reviews is one of my biggest challenges!

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    1. Mine, too! LOL Maybe this post will help. :P

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  4. Great tips! I must admit, I tend to slack off when it comes to reviews, but I can never resist tweeting and/or blogging about a book I love. If I have the time, I will make fan art for it, too. (Not sure how well that helps with word-of-mouth, but hey, at least it gives me another excuse to babble about books and such, haha.)

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    1. Tweets and blog mentions are great, too. Most authors are happy for any promo they can get. :)

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  5. Thanks for hosting me, Jeff. You did a great job crafting the post into something presentable. :)

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    1. You're very welcome, Melissa. Always a pleasure.

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  6. Great suggestions. I try to post reviews on Goodreads when I have time to help out. But I need to post my reviews more often.

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    1. I've gotten bad about it, too. Not enough hours in the day! My goal for the summer is to catch up on my writing buddies' books and review as many as I can.

      Thanks for visiting, Natalie. :)

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  7. Reading and returning is NOT cool.
    Never thought about buying a similar book. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  8. I knew most of these, but I did like the "buy a similar product" tip. Never heard of doing that, but it makes sense. Good going Melissa! I'm so happy for you.

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    1. I'm happy, too, Mike. I'm so busy right now, I can't enjoy it, but I will be happy dancing very soon. ;)

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  9. These are fantastic ideas! I want to share this with all my friends. Thanks a lot.

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! I wrote this, hoping people would share. :)

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  10. HI, Jeff, Hi, Melissa,

    Now this say it all! Excellent way to promote our blogger buddies! I think the buying two books idea is BRILLIANT!

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    1. Yes, we should support one another. No doubt!

      LOL - thanks. I've actually allotted a few of my marketing dollars for that very thing. ;)

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  11. This is a great list! You know, before I'd read Carrie's article, I hadn't even known anyone would return an ebook they've read. It seems so..immoral.

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    1. Yes. Dishonest and cheap for sure.

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  12. Word of mouth and reviews are important. Folks expect the author and publisher to promote and say good things. A positive word from someone else without a stake in the venture is far more influential in a reader giving a work a try.

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    1. Very true. Thanks for visiting, Terry. :)

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  13. Great tips, Melissa! I hadn't thought about buying a similar book by a big name author at the same time but what a great idea. Will keep that in mind from now on.

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    1. Thanks, Julie. Glad you found something useful. :)

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  14. Replies
    1. Thanks! Coming from you, that means a lot. :D

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  15. Great list, Melissa! Thanks for sharing:)

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  16. Excellent tips to support authors! I didn't think about buying the book along with another popular book. That would work very well in Amazon.
    I think reading a book and returning it is an abuse. You can't return printed books or cd's or DVD's just because you don't like the content. Don't know why distributors allow that.

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  17. I can't wait to share this list! :)

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  18. Excellent tips. I didn't know about the one of bundling a new author with a big name. I'll definitely use it with my next kindle purchase. My returns are always errors.

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    1. That seems to be the one a lot of people didn't know. ;)

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  19. Hey Melissa! I'm stalking you here, leaping over from FB. :)
    Thanks for the excellent tips. Especially giving eBooks as presents. I routinely give paper and hardcover books, so you'd think I would've thought to include digital ones as well. But, honestly I didn't think of it until you mentioned it. And, I love the idea of bundling.

    Congrats on your upcoming release! I know you are counting the days
    ~k

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    1. Thank you! (I am. LOL)

      Did you know that both Amazon (Kindle) and Nook allow e-bbok gifters to set a future date for delivery? Nook allows the delivery date to be set as far as one year into the future! How's that for easy gifting? :)

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  20. Good tips. Some I didn't know.

    Hi, Jeff!

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    1. Your surf board seems to be working fine. :P
      Thanks for visiting, Carol.

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  21. Useful tips there. I have just reviewed a couple of books on my blog for Tuesday. One from an established author and one from a first timer. The Lascar's Dagger is from the same author as Havenstar Jeff. Glenda Larke. It's a new trilogy, The Forsaken Lands.

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    1. I really did enjoy Havenstar, so I'm going to have to check out Lascar's Dagger. I just started a book a few days back after some intense debate as to which of my ~350 books to hit next.

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    2. Thanks for visting, Jo. :)

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  22. Oh great post. I didn't even know of some of these (buying one book at the same time as another, bestseller book) helped! Good to know. I'll share this, I expect I'm not the only one. :)

    shahwharton.com

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    1. Thanks, Shah.
      And thanks for the heads-up about the Rafflecopter form! It's fixed now.

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  23. There were definitely a few bullets on your list that I never thought of. Thank yo so much for sharing this Jeff and Melissa for the awesome list!

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    1. You're welcome, Anna. Thanks for visiting. :)

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  24. Congratulations on your upcoming release. Will tweet, for now! Thanks for the tips!

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  25. Awesome list! I've been seeing a few more of these similar tips around, and I love it. It's so helpful to both readers and writers to explain all these little things that can be such a huge help for authors. Thanks Jeff!

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  26. Such an awesome post! A must share for sure!

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