When you’re just starting out, there are probably just two “for sure” people that will be in your corner, rooting for your success: friends and family members. However, that doesn’t mean that your friends are going to rush out and buy your book. They may not be interested in your story (which is perfectly fine), or they might feel too close to the author to properly enjoy the story.
While they may not be willing to buy your book, they can still help you in other ways. In fact, your friends might be your best asset when you’re just starting out, especially if they have some good connections.
Write a Review
Simply ask your friends to buy and read your book and then ask them to leave a review. Even if you give them the book for free, they can still leave a review on Amazon (and it’s very easy to create an account if they don’t have one yet).
There are millions of books to choose from on Amazon, and most people don’t want to dig through the thousands and thousands of books that are currently unrated – it’s too “risky”. They can only make a buying decision based on a few key factors, and reviews are one of the major factors that potential buyers consider.
At the same time, don’t ask your friends to leave a five-star review if they really hated the book. Ask them to leave an honest review, or to talk to you beforehand if they really didn’t like it. This can mitigate any problems, and it will ensure that you get good and honest reviews on your page.
However, there are some sites that frown on friends writing reviews, such as Amazon. This is not to say that you can never ask your friends and family for a review – this just means that you shouldn’t overuse or abuse this. So, if you have 10 books and the same people review those 10 books that’s going to be a problem as you probably could tell.
What you can also do is have your friends share good reviews on their social media pages or blogs. If there’s a good review about your book (either from an Amazon reviewer or a professional reviewer), then have them share that so that people see how good your book is.
You can actually have them write you a review and you can then stick that review inside of your book in a chapter called “More Reviews”. You can even put that chapter in the beginning of your book so that people see it in the “Look Inside” feature.
Most of your friends are going to admire you because you have a written book. Most people are going to tell their friends in “everyday conversation” about your book because it is a really cool thing to be self published! Most people will naturally share the word but it doesn’t hurt to ask them to help you do that as well. Obviously, don’t beg your friends to tell everyone they know about your book. It makes you seem desperate, and it might put a ding in your friendship. But, ask them to talk about the book on social media if it’s relevant. This will expose others to your book, and it might start a conversation that can improve your rankings and overall popularity. While telling other friends can be great, it’s even better if your friends are willing to use their professional connections. This is harder for both you and the friend, but if your book is relevant, then you should be able to pull this off.
For example, let’s say that one friend works for a marketing company that’s trying to get clients signed on to their social media service. If you just wrote a book about social media marketing and its effectiveness, then you might be able to help yourself and your friend’s business. The business might set up a seminar where you talk about the advantages of social media while also sliding in that you wrote a book on the matter.
The majority of new authors aren’t interviewed by magazines or on TV unless they suddenly hit it big. At the same time, a good interview can increase your popularity and exposure on the Internet. If your friend owns a relevant blog, then ask him or her to interview you. For example, if the friend owns a blog about sci-fi books and movies and you just wrote a sci-fi book, then it should be easy to convince the friend to interview you.
While it’s OK to tell readers that you are friends, you shouldn’t compromise the interview due to your relationship. Allow your friend to ask hard questions, and be ready to give good answers. Readers will judge your answers, and they won’t care about how well you and your friend get along, so be prepared to put on a professional face when doing the interview.
Did you know that most bookstores will order a book if they hear about it enough? They’re great at stocking up on the huge hits, but they rarely order books from new authors. However, if a group of your friends come in and they all ask for your book, then they will consider ordering it. This is typically more effective with smaller bookstores, but it can also work with the bigger ones.
While you shouldn’t come off as desperate or risk hurting your friendship, you can use your friends to help market your book. Ask them to talk about it, and convince them to ask for the book at bookstores. If they have professional contacts or a blog, then they can help you look even more professional while increasing your exposure. Friends are often your best allies when it comes to marketing your book, but only if you treat them right.
Have your friends be your cheerleaders – most of them naturally will!
Filed under: kindle publishing
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