How To Share Your Favorite Books and Authors

Intriguing book-related trivia at the cafe.
One of, if not the, best ways for a book to build buzz and gain new readers is by word of mouth. Readers have a great deal of power deciding what to buy which leads to what bookstores buy which leads to what publishers buy. When you discover a new favorite author or book, spreading the news helps ensure that a writer can continue to produce material for you to fall in love with. What are some ways to tell others about favorite reads?

Quick and Easy Ways:

1. Social Media. Use your twitter, facebook, Goodreads, or other social media account to mention the books you love. The mention could be as simple as saying you finished a book and it made you swoon/cry/smile/angry, or you could use twitter to post an opinion question or poll about some aspect of the book to create a more interactive sharing experience. Particularly hot button topics include siding with one or the other love interest in a love triangle, book vs. movie, or comparing two similar books in the same genre.

2. Books as Gifts. 'Tis the season, and giving books is a great way to appreciate a favorite author, as well as get everyone crossed off your gift-list quickly. It seems there are two ways to go when purchasing books for others: buy what you think they would like, or introduce them to your favorite authors. I have given books under both conditions. Only you will know how receptive a friend or family member might be to receive your most favorite contemporary or dystopian YA; don't forget to consider that giving your favorite books can be a way for you and your adult family members to connect over a common interest. Adults love that stuff.

3. Leave the Book Places. Have an extra copy of your favorite book? Write a note in the front cover about why it's your favorite. Mention whether you want the next person to take the book with them to read, or whether you'd prefer they leave the book in your chosen location. A train station, for example, is a good place to leave books you'd expect someone to take. Your doctor's office, in contrast, is a great place to leave a book for people to start, hopefully getting sucked into the first few chapters as they wait for their appointment.

4. Actual Word of Mouth. Tell people about your favorite authors. As a writer and as a reader, I am often asked for book recommendations. Become that person that others come to for recommendations by offering your opinions freely, reading in public and joining (respectfully) in conversations where others are giving their own recommendations.

More Involved Ways:

1. Get it in the Classroom. Ask your teacher to stock a copy of your favorite book in her or his classroom. As a student, prepare a few ideas to tell your teacher about why the book should be available for in-class reading or checking out to take home. At this time of year, teachers sometimes get bookstore gift cards from students and may consider using that, or school funds, to stock the book. If you can supply a copy, even better. Parents can also get involved by emailing book recommendations to teachers or bringing favorite books to parent-teacher conferences.

2. Start a Reading Group. Perhaps your school has a book club or you meet with a group of reader-friends regularly, already. Expand your reach by contacting your local library or book store to ask if you can assist in forming a reading group. Create a "Suggested Reads" newsletter for your group and feature your favorite books as reads of the month. An added bonus is that, with the bookstore's or library's backing, you might be able to help arrange a visit by a favorite author going on tour, or one who is local to your area. Another option is to ask your library or bookstore if you can write a brief review or recommendation on a sticky-note-sized-paper to post on your favorite book's display or shelf space.

3. Fanfic. Some authors read it, some don't. Some authors hate it, others are flattered by it. Regardless how the author feels about fanfiction, it spreads the word about a book. Join a fanfic website (and follow its rules, or find a different site to join) and start posting stories about your favorite book characters and setting.

4. Contact Your Favorite Author. Check to see if your favorite author has a website with contact information. Sometimes, this will be a direct email, while other times it will be the email to a publicity rep or the publisher. Send a thoughtful, well-composed email with your thoughts on the book. Request a few postcards or bookmarks, then share those with reader friends. It's no guarantee that you'll be sent anything, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Popular authors, especially, likely don't have time to respond to every message, even if they wish they did, or may leave the promotional materials to others. 

What are your favorite ways to spread word about your favorite books or authors?

Have a super week!
Kristin Halbrook




7 comments:

  1. Another great idea is to request a copy of a favorite book at your library. Oftentimes if they don't have it in the system, they'll get it for an interested reader!

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  2. Since so many authors are on twitter now, if I like a book I tag the author in a tweet, even if I don't follow them, so they can see feedback and share it with their followers. I've had some fun conversations because of it. The reading community is so great on twitter, I find a lot of readers supporting the writers they like.

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  3. Thanks, Cynthia!

    Great ideas, Caroline and Stephsco. Librarians, in my experience, love getting book recs from readers, too! And twitter is such a fabulous place to get conversations started.

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  4. I knew someone who also went to a few bookstores and made requests for certain books. When book chains, like B&N, have multiple requests for a book, they can take notice. Not sure how much it would take but...could be interesting

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  5. I love leaving books places! It feels like a little random act of literary kindness.

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  6. LOVE this post! So many great ideas. Every cousin in my family is getting books for Christmas. And they're all by authors I've either met in person or on Twitter, so the purchases were extra special to me.

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