As you know by now, I’m celebrating the release of my first historical, Luther and Katharina, the true love story of the heretic monk and great reformer, Martin Luther, and the little known woman he married, Katharina von Bora.
Last week I had a week-long Facebook party to celebrate the release, and I gave away a copy of the book each day. This week I’m giving away 2 books over on my website (so don’t miss this last chance to WIN the book!).
In all of the hoopla and celebrating, readers were so incredibly sweet and supportive. In addition to writing reviews and adding the book to their Goodreads shelves, they shared about the giveaways with their followers, pinned inspiring quotes onto Pinterest, and took pictures of themselves (or their pets) with the book.
I was deeply grateful for all of the many and various ways readers supported the book! Every little bit of sharing helps spread the buzz which is so important at release time.
But as I thought about all those ways that readers help authors, I realized that some readers might feel left out. Many readers aren’t on Goodreads or don’t have the capability to make graphics or easily upload pictures of themselves.
Or maybe they just don’t have the money or the room to support an author by buying each new release. And so as much as they want to join in celebrating a release and supporting the author, they don’t really know how.
One of the simplest and easiest ways for ANY reader to support an author is to do this: Request that your local library purchase the author’s new book. It’s as simple as going to the help desk and suggesting that they order it. (Or some libraries have request forms that patrons can fill out either online or at the library.)
I’ve never had a reader tell me the library denied her request. Libraries are usually very accommodating to patron book suggestions.
But you might be silently asking: Yes, but if readers are constantly getting an author’s books at the library (rather than purchasing them), wouldn’t that take away from sales and hurt the author?
The answer is, no, not really. Obviously an author only makes a financial profit when money is exchanged for one of her books. If the library purchases the book (or multiple libraries), that definitely counts as one of those monetary exchanges.
However, beyond a direct sale, having books in libraries helps indirectly too. When our books are on the shelves, we have the potential to gain new readers who otherwise might not ever see our books, but who are now exposed to our stories, pick them up and read them. If they like an author well enough, they become fans. Fans will then recommend the book/author to others and may even make a purchase of another book at some future point.
This has happens to me personally. I “try” a new-to-me author’s book at the library. And if I like her book, I go on to read the rest, rave about her, and then wait with bated breath for the next release which I usually purchase because I’m now a fan and love her books.
Without the library and the freedom to read without “risk,” I likely wouldn’t try quite as many new authors as I do.
So there you have it! One VERY easy thing all readers can do (and that includes authors who can support one another!). So next time you’re at the library, make a point of asking your library to order one of your favorite author’s books! The author will be forever grateful if you do!
How about YOU? How often do you use the library to try out new-to-you authors? Have you ever requested the library order a book of a favorite author?
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