As an independent writer, there are many questions I get asked though surprisingly, a very common one is: how can I help you? It takes me by surprise each time because there is no limit to the generosity of people who want to do their part to genuinely help me out of the kindness of their heart.
So I gave this some thought and I think that during this initial phase as a writer, there are actually several things people can do to help.
- If you like something you read, tell someone about it. That’s the most basic thing I can tell you and though it sounds obvious, it isn’t. Most of the books I have sold have come from me interacting with people and they being kind enough to refer my work to other people. One good review can do endlessly more than one BS ad.
- Reviews. The more reviews a book has, the more serious it’ll be taken by passersby. Out of all the reviews of my books, I’ve asked for NONE of them and I want to keep it that way. If someone has enjoyed reading me and they have a spare couple of minutes, one review makes one hell of a difference. By the way, honesty is always paramount and if you think my book sucks, I may be disappointed I didn’t please, but I’ll be forever grateful for any feedback. It might just be what I need to read to become a better writer.
- Talk about me on social media. Every retweet, every google plus, every share on Facebook helps me reach more people. It’s as simple as that. I am not opulent, I do not have the luxury of a huge advertising budget. I rely on my writing and people being kind enough to refer me to reach people. So a hashtag like #JDEstradawriter, #OnlyHuman or #theHumanCycle goes a long way to help. I have also made a conscious decision to not spam any of my accounts. An occasional post will be shared and lots of other content because coming from a background in advertising, I know how much it sucks for you to be bombarded with ten reasons to buy my book.
- Ask for my book in a bookstore. Although I make FAR less money this way, it puts me on the radar and gives me a chance to participate in more events and to even be called for more books.
- Interact. A like is nice. When you interact and allow us to have a human connection, THAT’S when magic happens.
My thanks for all the people who have asked me how to help. Thank you for your support, your love, your time and for believing in this human’s path.