How To Support a Friend With a Book
It’s been almost a year since In This House, We Will Giggle launched! You did SO much to help me, so now I am sharing a few ways to support your other author friends out there.
Many of you have friends that are launching books or know of a blogger or writer with one coming out soon. I want to be super honest and give you the inside scoop. THIS IS NOT FOR ME. I am good. So covered.
Buy the Book
This seems so simple, but MOST authors have a ton of friends and feel like they need to give them away. If you buy it – it helps them tremendously. Especially those couple weeks leading up to the launch and especially the opening week. Amazon is watching those numbers – but you can ask your friend if they prefer a certain place. One of my friends bought a HUGE box of my books to give to all of her friends and neighbors at Christmas and sent me a photo. It blew me away. What a gift.
Read the Book
This seems silly, but I KNOW so many people didn’t read my book and that’s OK – life is crazy. But holy cow I pained over every word. When I had friends that DID read the entire thing cover to cover and then would email or comment or share a certain highlighted part – my heart would explode. It mattered to me what part resonated or was helpful to them and their family. We do it for God’s glory for sure – but there’s a little girl or boy inside every author always wondering if it’s worth $1.
Review the Book
The reviews actually do matter so get on every site you can think of – it’s a pain but it helps. Amazon to Christian Book to Good Reads to B&N – leave an honest review of their work and you get major friend points.
Share the Book
Writing a book is a calling – typically not a way to make a living so marketing dollars are slim. Unless you are major and hit the big NY Times list. Your word of mouth is the best tool out there. If you share the photo of the book and tell your friends on ANY and ALL social media why you like it – from a heartfelt point of view. THAT will sell more books for your friend than any ad or blog giveaway, ever. Your opinion matters. Be sure to always include a link to where people can learn more about the book or purchase it.
Give the Book
If you have great connections to either Laura Bush or a PTO President or someone at a media station or anyone with influence to your friend’s key audience – give that book away. Ask for a copy from your friend or just buy one and give it with a little note – “I thought you’d love this new book my friend wrote because… Let me know if you want me to connect you. ..”
Talk about the Book
Mention it to friends or pastors or anyone as the topic of the book comes up in conversation. Again, word of mouth is the best kind of marketing out there. I would’ve sold 4 books without you all.
Sell the Book
Church bookstores, school auction, friends bookstores – there are so many places that can sell books – not all are the right fit – but you might know just the right one. Mention it to your friend or those places. Just simply connecting them is so helpful. I am in the Billy Graham library with ABC Scripture Cards and I KNOW one of you did it – fess up.
Host the Book
You can host a launch party, a book club, a prayer night for the author, a speaking gig at your church, etc. Just the offer will touch her heart in many ways. Your friend would feel honored to share her message with your MOPs group but cannot invite herself. My friends held a party the weekend before mine launched and prayed over me. It was just what I needed. Many of you have hosted me in your towns. It has meant so much. Thank you.
If you picked just one of these – I cannot tell you what that would mean to your friend. And above all else – just a phone call or email to ask HOW you can best support. Or, to offer a prayer. I can guarantee a few things. Your friend feels like a loser. Like she shouldn’t have done this. She feels vulnerable. She feels like possibly her mom and 2 other people might buy it. She feels like it’s the worst thing she ever read. Remind her the truth.
Why does it matter?
I wondered this before myself. For many authors, it doesn’t matter how many they sell. They do it for audience of One. If I’m honest – I was changed so much through writing it and I know I obeyed God – so my job is done. However, it’s also a stewardship thing. The publisher paid me an advance to write it so I’d feel awesome if they made their money back. I’m not in it to make a killing. Most authors aren’t. They are truly in it to follow a calling and obey. They have a message burning to share. And they want that message to connect with as many people as possible. But, this is the real world too. The more books sold – and the better it does – that obviously leads to more. A chance for another book deal, etc. I told you I’d be honest. And this is just one girl’s opinion.
And this kind of “support” goes for so many other professions and dreams and projects – this is just the one I know very well in this season. And this is NOT a secret code for how to support me – I am COVERED. Thank you. Well, unless Jesus tells you to call Jenna Bush or Carrie Underwood because I think the’d love it too
Much love. Thanks for being a great great friend.
The GIVEAWAY originally for this post has ended.
Thanks Courtney. Great article. Most people never understand the process & what goes into writing.
I certainly didn’t. Sort of glad I didn’t know. 🙂 Hope you are well Todd!
This is so helpful! Now that I have been through this process, I know I will help others who are going through the same. I loved your thought that most authors are not going to make a lot of money (usually no money), but they have a message they think is important they that want people to hear. My own book is an act of obedience and I came to the same place you mention — self promoting a book is not my favorite thing — crafting the words was what I loved. However, I had to be a steward of the investment of others and most importantly as steward of the gift God gave to me. Loved your book! So glad I read it from cover to cover!
Absolutely Dee Ann – you are in for a roller coaster – but keep clinging to WHY you did this. He will carry you through it. Please call on me friend. I’d be honored to support you in any way.
What a wonderful article…so glad I ‘clicked’ on this one for sure!
Thank you Barb!
Great post! Friend support goes so far in EVERY arena!
Love encouraging books!
This is such a sweet post!!! But I enjoy reading them all
Love this! The idea of supporting and encouraging each other and building up friends has been on my heart a lot recently. Thanks Courtney!
Melanie Shankle reminded me last night how vital it is. Friends are the best!
Hi! And, thanks. This IS the journey. No doubt about it. I love that your heart is CONSTANTLY looking to serve others in both practical and fun ways. You model what you want to teach the kids. It’s the very best way. I agree with all of the above. Reviews are fantastic in any way shape or form — on Amazon or via hand-written letter. Just to know my words are making a difference in someone’s life, somewhere in the world is — in a word — AWESOME.
Amen sister. I need to take my own advice and get on your reviews!
Hi!! You continue to be an encouragement to authors and each of us!! Have a BLESSED day!!
Love it! Friends who support and encourage are just the best. I’ve been wanting to read Melanie’s book, too!
I love this book and you were an amazing speaker at our mops group in Kissimmee
Awesome! Hey there!
Friend~You know I’m a super fan & honored to be in a fun pic from a night that was super fun!! Even though Ella & I got lost on the way to your gig once we got there we were so blessed & excited to get lots of books (signed by you)as gifts…In such agreement with us girls being diligent with constant encouragement to each other as moms, friends, & individuals…I have been meaning to read the book your giving away
You have been just awesome. Thank you so much! Can’t wait to meet your sweet group.
Although my calling is NOT to be an author, your article is an inspiration for pursuing God in His calling for our OWN lives! Your heartfelt message to us Moms is pulsing through my own heart, soul, and mind. THANK YOU for your encouragement for God’s work!!! This is from a reader who appreciates you sharing your inspiring walk with Jesus! God bless you and yours. 🙂
Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement!
Hi! Will have to get your book! Please tell me where you got the dress your wearing with the blonde lady holding 3 of your books…and I think in front of the girls. Love it!
Hey Ashley. I got it at Anthropologie – but it was last year. I’m not sure they will still have it. It’s super comfy.
And also, you always have the cutest dresses. I think maybe a fashion Friday segment would be a huge hit 🙂
This is a timely post for me. Thank you!
I like to support authors in many of those ways as often as I can!
This is so so good!! Thank you for sharing! I’m going to share this with my friends and make them all support me next year- ha! 😉 I would love to win a copy of this book too! (Also, can I just say I definitely read your book cover to cover because it’s AWESOME!)
you are such an encourager! Thankful you make yourself an example to us!
Friendship can be such a struggle, but is also so rewarding. Thank you for the encouragement with your writing!
This is so helpful!! I have a best friend who is a very talented writer. I know one day she will publish a (many!) book and I can’t wait to share her work!