Make some noise!
While we bear the primary responsibility for promoting our books, without your voices, we're often whispering into the darkness. Tell your friends, share your books, suggest an Indie work to your book club. Don't just close up your ereader and forget that book you enjoyed. Your recommendation matters, to the author and to future readers.
"Friend" an author on Facebook. "Like" their fan page. "Share" their posts. Follow their blog. Numbers speak louder than words in many cases. They speak of quality and popularity, and encourage others to join the crowd.
Write a review and leave a rating wherever possible, please!
Most purchase points like Amazon and Smashwords make it easy to leave a review in a matter of minutes. Goodreads has a simple rating system which only takes a few seconds. Not only does your opinion count, but this is another place where numbers matter. Reviews and ratings are necessary for authors to promote on Internet sites like Kindleboards and ENT, which require certain numbers even for purchased ads. Keep in mind that a review is not intended so much for the author as for potential readers, who will take your word with regard to the content and quality of a book. It doesn't need to be a five-star review, it just needs to be honest and fair.
Join the conversation!
When I first published on Kindle, I wasn't setting out to sell books. What I wanted most was to start a conversation, to generate a discussion with those who read my work. Admittedly, I had no idea how to go about that, and after a little over a year, I'm still learning. To date, the greatest rewards that have come from this venture have been the messages and emails I've received. From that first email, thanking me for writing "such a beautiful book" to the moving message just yesterday from a lady in New Zealand, every word from a reader is a gift I will cherish forever. I get chills when I open a new message and I've shed more than a few grateful tears over my computer.
I'm sure every writer loves those moments when they connect with their audience, but for the Indie, that connection is essential to survival. Why keep writing if no one is reading? Selling a book may be a momentary thrill, but the subsequent silence is terrifying. Perhaps not everyone is comfortable reaching out to a stranger, but if they have touched you, taught you or made you laugh, are they really strangers anymore?
Somewhere in most Indie publications, you'll find a way to contact the author via FB, email, websites or blogs. Believe me, the few minutes you take to join the conversation will be well spent.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to get emails and I'll be sure to write back!
And of course, please comment on any post here on the blog. I look forward to hearing from you!