Thursday, January 29, 2009

10 things you can do to help a local author

This is something I copied off the Internet a few years ago. Unfortunately, I didn't copy the author's name, so it will have to go as Anonymous. The writer was self-published, but the advice would go well with most any non-bestselling author these days. I have shortened the opening paragraph and made a few editorial changes.

SURE, I'd love for my book to be a bestseller, but for that to happen not only does it have to be a good book which, of course, I think it is, but it has to have fantastic support from the buying public--that's you. Please, after reading it, if you like what you've read, won't you help make it a bestseller for this local author by doing one or more of the following?

1. Books make great gifts. Buy another copy as a gift and help spread the word about it by sharing it with new readers and tell your friends they've just got to read it, too!

2. Drop a line or email to your local newspaper. Tell them and their readers that you've discovered a great new writer that they don't dare to miss.

3. Go to and give a review of the book. And, yes, be honest. If there's something you don't like about it, feel free to say so. I think I'm a good writer but I'm smart enough to know I'm not perfect and I can't please everyone all the time.

4. And while you're online, go to your address book and tell everyone you know that they've just got to read this great new book by a great new author! Tell them they can go to or any of the other book sites to order the book.

5. Host your very own Book Reading/Signing Party. That's right. Invite 10 or more of your good friends for an evening of fun. I'll bring the books. You provide the wine and cheese or whatever you'd like. Oh heck, maybe I'll even bring a bottle of wine. Then you pick the section of the book you'd like for me to read. Afterwards, I'll be happy to answer questions about the book and the research I've done or even about writing in general. And, of course, I'll sign books.

6. My daughter tells me everyone has to write Oprah about how good the book is and how hard it is for good writers without celebrity status or connections to get noticed by the big publishing houses. Well, why not? If anyone can give a book bestseller status, it's Oprah. And I'm not the least bit snooty--I'd be thrilled if Oprah liked my book.

7. I'll be very happy to do a Reading & Book Signing at your club or organization.

8. Buy an additional copy of the book and donate it to your public library. You'll be providing the library with a great book and introducing new readers to a great new local author. Donations of new books to the library are even tax deductible.

9. Are you a blogger? Heck, I didn't even know what that was until recently. But if you have your own blog or visit other blogs on a regular basis, add your thoughts about the great new writer you've discovered. And let people know how they can get their hands on a terrific new book.

10. And if you have connections to the entertainment world, please pass the word about this great new author and book you've discovered.

Thank you so much! Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts or suggestions.

End of story. Come to think of it, this could very well be Support an Author Week. Feel free to pick a few of those ten and...uh, the name is Chester Campbell and the new book is The Surest Poison. No obligation, of course.


Anonymous said...

What a great article,"10 Ways to Help a Local Author". Thanks very much for posting this on your blog.

Chester Campbell said...

Thanks, Zhana. I hope it will help some deserving authors get a break.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is wonderful! Wish everyone in the world could see it.

How about 'Offer to hand out bookmarks to family & friends?' That certainly helps spread the word!

L. Diane Wolfe

Anonymous said...

These are good tips! Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful suggestions!!

Don't forget to ask book bloggers to announce events on their blogs. You may have fans in your local area that you didn't know about.

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...


You have some good ideas there. Thanks for sharing.
I once heard that it was good to have postcards made of your book and send a few to each of your friends asking them to pass them on to their friends.


Chester Campbell said...

Brooke, Shari, thanks for adding some kgood ideas to the list.

Chester Campbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

These are great ideas! Thanks.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Katie Hines said...

Chester, what a great post! I loved the ideas, and will try to put them into effect immediately!