Calling New Authors …
It is incredibly hard for new authors to build sales momentum.
One critical step in creating organic sales is getting at least 50 to 100 positive reviews of your book on Amazon. The reviews establish social proof that your book is worth reading and will help you convert more browsers to buyers.
How do you do that?
How do you connect with readers willing to give your untested book a chance?
1) Message people on Reddit who like similar books
There are so many Reddit groups about books. You can easily find people who like similar books and send them a customised message to see if they would be interested in your book. If you do it right, you can both flatter them and get a new
So write something along the lines of:
“Hi! I am a new author and saw your post about how much you loved [similar-book-to-mine]. I wrote a book about robot chickens trying to take over the galaxy, and you might like it since they are similar. Can I send you a free copy and get feedback on what you like and don’t like? I hope you don’t mind me bugging you, it is hard to get feedback as a new author, and I’d love to see what you think :)!”
If you get a response, send them a free copy of the book, get their thoughts, and you will likely get a positive review. I recommend sending ten messages each day, as you might only get a few responses for every hundred messages. This process will also help you learn who your target audience is as you get their feedback.
PRO TIP: Try two different messages and see which gets more responses. MORE: How To Write A Great Cover Letter That Gets Results
2) Tap your network — but do it smartly
One of the best things you can do is to tap your friend, family, and work networks. You want to ensure you are pulling in readers who are interested in your book.
How do you do that?
Ask your networks to post something like this on their social media:
“My friend Sarah has written a science fiction book about super-smart kittens exploring the galaxy. She really needs feedback from readers. If you are interested, let me know, and I will put you in touch with her. Please help a new author out :)!”
Make sure to include an image of the book’s cover in the post!
Using this method, you will get interested readers who want to help a new author and who want to read your book. Send them a free copy of the book, get their thoughts, and you will likely get a positive review.
PRO TIP: You can do this a few times since social media only shows posts to a small percentage of each person’s audience.
3) Meet the readers who would be the most interested in your book
I am the creator of Shepherd.com, and the goal of this website is to help readers find books like wandering the aisles of their favourite bookstore.
It is designed to also help authors by helping them meet the readers most likely to be interested in their book.
How does it work?
I ask authors to recommend five books they love around a topic, theme, or mood. This topic, theme, or mood should be close to your book so that the readers visiting your book recommendation page are also going to be interested in your book. Then I feature you and your book at the top of the page.
It is a really fun format, entirely free, and here are some examples:
- Brit Bennett: The best novels about the complexities of being Black in America
- S.B. Divya: The best books for realistic near-future science fiction
- Marc Morris: The best books on medieval Britain
- Brian Hall: The best books about exploring the galaxy
The goal is to share your love of books with readers while also meeting readers who would be most likely to be interested in your book.
You can learn more and take part at forauthors.shepherd.com.
I wish it were easier for new authors, but getting your first 100 reviews and starting a book’s organic growth is hard work. And unless you have a pre-existing audience or lots of money for ads, it is not an easy process.