No matter where you are in the world, this is the season for giving.
This year, instead of promoting your own books as holiday gifts, give back to your author community by working to promote your friends’ books.
Your author friends will appreciate the support while you enjoy the good feeling that comes with helping them reach new readers.
Here are five ideas to get you started.
1. Write a blog post listing your favorite books for 2016.
Since most authors are also big readers, this shouldn’t be too hard.
Be honest with your list. Maybe it includes a mix of new books and books written decades ago that you read for the first time this year. Perhaps all of the books on your list were released this year. What counts is that you enjoyed reading them.
You can approach this in any way you want — but do a friend a favor by including his or her book on your favorites list.
2. Write a newsletter article about books you’re giving as gifts this year.
Many authors support the profession by giving books as gifts — why not make your gift list public? Share it with your email subscribers, and be certain to explain why each book is on your gift list.
3. Do a Facebook Live interview with an author friend.
This works when your author friend is local and you can get together in person for the broadcast.
If your author friends aren’t local, use Facebook Live to offer several holiday gift book reviews and recommendations over the next few weeks — and make sure at least one of the recommended books was written by a friend.
4. Create a “Books I Love” Pinterest board.
Pin book covers with links to their Amazon sales pages. In the “description” section for each image, tell people why you love the book.
5. Host a Twitter chat with an author friend.
Make sure you promote the chat in advance so people know when it will happen. Share your Twitter handle and your guest’s so people can search and find the conversation. Give the event a hashtag and share that with you networks, too.
It truly is better to give than to receive. This year, make your author friends the beneficiaries of your generosity.
Please add to this list. What else can you do in the next few weeks to help boost your friends’ book sales during the holiday season?
Tip of the Month
If you have a smartphone, you probably use apps. One of my favorites is “Agent Obvious,” a collection of more than 500 tips and words of wisdom from literary agent Laurie Abkemeier.
Here’s just one example: “Don’t trash talk the competition in a proposal. Inevitably, people who worked on those books will read it.”
Download Agent Obvious for iPhones in the Apple app store.
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