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99 Ways to Spread the Word About a Book You Love

24 January 2016

From BookRiot:

You’ve bought a book, and you’ve fallen in love. Or, your best friend’s first novel is coming out. How do you make sure as many people hear about these books you love or these authors you care about? I have a feeling, completely unquantifiable and unprovable but borne out by my own experience, that the more times someone hears about or sees a book, the more likely they are at least to check it out and see if it’s something they would enjoy. So all of the things below matter! They may seem like tiny things, and many of them are, but cumulatively, they make a difference. Many of them take seconds and most of them cost nothing. But if you want to put in serious money, time, creativity and commitment, there are options for those, too.

. . . .

Buy the book. Buy it early. Buy it often.

That first week of sales matters immensely.

1. Pre-order the book.
2. When the online store prompts you to, share that pre-order on social media.
3. Buy the book for other people.

Read (or at least start reading) the book.

This is necessary for many of the other steps, and also so you can make eye contact with your friend. (That said, your friend would probably prefer you buy the book and not read it, rather than not buying it at all.)

4. Read the book in public places.
5. Read other books inside this book so that it always looks as if you’re reading the book even when you’re not.
6. Get your book club to read the book.
7. Invite the author to your book club discussion, then blog or tweet about the experience.

. . . .

Leave the book in strategic places.

Preferably with some kind of sticker or note indicating that it is there to be taken and read. If you want to join something official to help with this, bookcrossing.com is a good place to start.

39. Leave it on public transport.
40. Leave it in one of those airport bookstores where you can leave a book/take a book.
41. Leave it on a bench in the park, if it doesn’t rain much where you live.
42. Leave it in a Little Free Library.
43. Donate a copy to your local library.
44. Donate a copy to the local charity shop/Goodwill store.
45. Lend it to your friends.

Link to the rest at BookRiot

Advertising-Promotion-Marketing

12 Comments to “99 Ways to Spread the Word About a Book You Love”

  1. “1. Pre-order the book.
    2. When the online store prompts you to, share that pre-order on social media.
    3. Buy the book for other people.”

    Gee, sounds like vanity press to me! 😉

    “4. Read the book in public places.”

    Beware of the man who reads his own poetry in public for he may have other bad habits. — Lazarus Long

  2. Thanks for this one, PG.

    I don’t normally reblog commercial posts, but many of these are for writers AND readers.

    Ultimately, it’s the READERS who decide if a book is good.

  3. that the more times someone hears about or sees a book, the more likely they are at least to check it out and see if it’s something they would enjoy

    I use GoodReads to track what I’ve read and sometimes what I’d like to read, but I’ve also pretty much stopped going onto any of the genre discussion boards. They’re either overrun with people pushing their books, or they’ve been turned into ghost towns after the Moderators put their collective feet down about people doing exactly this.

    At this point somebody coming on to me like this is more likely to infuriate me than it is to do anything else. Sorry for going on like this, but this is a bit of sore point with me these days.

    • Agreed. I tried the forums a long time ago and gave up. I found a better community to discuss the books I read on FB. So all I use GR for is to track the books I’ve read. The last giveaway I did – 10 books – netted me no reviews, so I won’t be doing that again.

  4. Those suggestions feel so outdated…

  5. 100. The books I love aren’t necessarily the books the people around me love. How about encouraging them to read by giving something they might actually like?

  6. Go to
    BookRiot, click on store, and that is where I did xmas shopping for my book loving friends. They sell stuff like sox and scarves and book bags with library check out patterns or Poe dots, each dot a little round picture Edgar.
    Don’t take their articles any more seriously than their sox.

  7. Sure, word of mouth will sell your book(s), but you need a lot of mouths, not just yours.
    I’ve done just about all of the above over the past five years. For the few of you who have not try them the reality will be different. Paper books are expensive, and giving them away or buying them from Amazon to climb in rank is not worth the expense. Selling one book at the time is very time consuming too. I have T-shirts with the villain from one of my books, Dracu Mort, and it attracts attention, and when people ask who is the disgusting creature on my shirt (you have to see Dracu Mort to understand) I hand them my business card with my book titles. Did I sell a lot of books that way? Occasionally I do. But not many. Now if I would have a hundred, or a thousand of “me” doing that my books would rank high. But there is only one of me. Selling one book at the time is like trying to move a mountain with a spoon.

  8. 2. When the online store prompts you to, share that pre-order on social media.

    Is it only me that filters out obviously template messages? There’s so much same-same generated content out there that there just isn’t time to read it all – I just don’t even see it any more.

  9. At first I thought this post was a spoof for Writers Who Market Too Much, but it isn’t. I cringe at the thought of how many friends and family are going to receive this link (in a non-spammy way!) asking them to help out.

    And none of it touches the effect a genuine recommendation has, from another reader whose tastes you share. All my recommendations are made in conversations in person, to people who know me at least a little bit, and they can sense my enthusiasm.
    I’m also not invested in whether or not they read what I recommend, and if they read it, that they like it. I want them to find books they enjoy, and if I can help, great. Leaning on an outcome creates a pressure that people resist.

    Implicit in these kind of posts is the idea that if I enjoy a book, or perhaps the friendship of the author, (rather than the book), I owe it to them to shill for it, subtly or not-so-subtly.

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