Open Book

4 Free Ways to Get Your Friends to Help Promote Your Book

Open BookPublishers are increasingly relying on their authors to promote their own books and generate book publicity. As marketing budgets shrink, it’s important for authors to get the word out — and to do it on the cheap. For most authors, the people most excited about their work are friends and family in the beginning, so why not recruit them to help you out? Remember, however, that they are unlikely to know what they can do to help, so you need to give them specific suggestions and ideas. Here are four free ways to get your crew involved in helping you sell your book:
1. Give them the talking points
You’ve lived inside your book for months or even years. You know every line of it forwards and backwards, and can summarize it in a few sentences. Your friends may not know how to talk about your book with others, so give them the words. Give them links to your book’s website (What? Your book doesn’t have one? Get one!) and to any excerpts posted on the Internet.
2. Enlist their social media accounts
Ask your friends to share links to your book sales site (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc) on their social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Your friends likely have a broad reach to get your book in front of thousands of eyeballs, and this is a powerful book publicity tool. Provide your friends with links that go directly to the sales page, and provide them with any introductory blurb you would like them to use.
3. Ask them to review the book on sites like Amazon
Solid book reviews are one of the most important components in a reader’s decision to buy your book. If your friends have read your book (hopefully, they will have all purchased a copy), ask them to post honest reviews on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Good Reads. Their reviews should not be over-the-top ads for the book, but a clear list of what they liked about it, and things they would have liked to see.
4. Bump up helpful reviews and bump down not-so-helpful ones
Book sites like Amazon display their reviews in the order of how many customers found the review helpful or not helpful. Reviews (both good and bad) that are marked consistently helpful in the book purchasing decision appear higher in the list. Your friends can read all of the reviews and mark both helpful and not helpful ones. This keeps positive detailed reviews high up on the list and more likely to be seen by potential readers.
Having friends help you in your book publicity efforts is a valuable tool in your public relations campaign. Don’t forget to someday return the favor.
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