Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Tis the Season for Sharing and Breaking Through the Clutter

Gearing up for the January 19, 2016 release of my second book — a gripping page-turner called 'The Perfectionist' and with a busy few weeks ahead of me, I'd like to use this opportunity to remind you it is a time to unite.

It is a time to celebrate.
It is a time you must spend in good spirit with others.
I believe that sharing is the heart of the Christmas holiday season.
And as you enjoy the festive period, think about lending a helping hand to others and sharing too.
Simple gestures. Simple thoughts of kindness. Little things that can help.
Believe me, it goes a long way.

Speaking of help, I'd like to add that anyone can support my book release by doing different things to help it get noticed. So, if you're interested, here's what you can do to support your writer friend after the launch:

1. Buy the book. An obvious point, sure, but important nonetheless. Also, consider pre-ordering the book. Apparently publishers pay attention to pre-orders to help get a sense of what titles are getting buzz.

2. Buy the book for others as a gift. Think of which friends and relatives would enjoy the book.

3. When you actually read the book, read it where people can see it. Read it in public. Read it on the bus or in the subway. Make sure your friends and colleagues see you reading it.

4. Leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or Facebook - wherever you can. Reviews are very important. The more reviews and ratings on Amazon for 'The Perfectionist', the better. Those first 10-20 reviews really matter and can set a book on the right path. If you don't like to write reviews, just give a rating.

5. "Like" the book on Amazon, "Share" it on Facebook... The more “Likes” a book has on its Amazon page, the more frequently it turns up in Amazon’s comparable titles elsewhere. This is an easy favour to ask, and it requires no money.

6. Spread news of the book through your friend networks. When 'The Perfectionist' is mentioned on Facebook, share the news with your social circles and, if you can, include a small note about the book. Spreading the word by saying "Simon's book has been published!" or "This new book by my friend is a wonderful read. Highly recommended!" This help requires no money.

7. If you know people of influence, why not arrange a connection? This is one of the best things you can do and probably the biggest way you can influence the life of the book. If your next door neighbour is the friend of a friend who knows a local celebrity - that's exactly the kind of connection that serves as a great introduction between me and even larger social circles. If you happen to know a book reviewer at a newspaper, say so. If a former workmate now runs a reading club in a sleepy village, try and help me by suggesting the book be a future choice in that club. Again, this help requires no money.

I know we live in a world now where we are bombarded with advertisements. But if my book can break through the clutter and get an edge, then it will be in large part through friends and families, and friends and families of those friends and families, etc. All those Likes, Comments and Shares on Facebook Pages are valuable recommendations. It's minimal effort and it helps me a lot. I read somewhere that that 70% of consumers trust social media recommendations, and only 10% trust social media advertisements; so getting people to engage with my book on the social media is another feather in my cap.

I wish you all a happy holiday.