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The Best Marketing Strategy for Writers: Create a Giving Circle

Doing good things for others does marvels for the self as well. Not only do you derive physical benefit, you also create a kindness loop or “giving circle” such that the recipients of your benevolence will want to do the same for you. Extending yourself to fellow writers with small gestures that help them with their marketing will invariably come back to help you as well. When you’re publishing your work, the best strategy is sometimes the nicest one: do for others and know that others will do for you.

Science has noted that when we do things for others, our brains become flooded with dopamine, a chemical that fills us with a feeling of warmth and well-being. Even something as small as smiling at a stranger can trigger the effect.

Naturally the person receiving the gesture also feels nice, making them emotionally fuller and more inclined to pass the kindness and generosity on, thereby creating a giving circle.

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When it comes to our writing and books, you are well-aware of how difficult it is to get our work in front of readers. By taking only a few moments each day to help other writers with their marketing efforts (such as building it in as a cap to your writing sessions), you can counteract the writer’s job hazard of extreme belly button gazing and:

–> lift your spirits

–> make a measurable dent in fellow writers’ visibility and reputation, which makes them feel wonderful

–> and create a giving circle that will come around to help everyone.

Here are some excellent ways you can support other writers’ marketing strategies and foster a healthy and generous giving circle. All of them except for #1 are free to do and take only a few minutes to make a positive and lasting impact:

1) Buy books.

This one is a no-brainer, but it does have its limitations given the cost of books and limited space on your shelf.

In addition to buying hard copy and trade paperback books, however, you can buy e-books if you have an e-reader, purchase physical copies directly from the writer at a lower cost or at least to ensure all profit goes directly to the writer, or go in on a book with a friend and have shared custody.

2) Check books out from the library.

Yet another reason to love the public library! In both the U.S. and Canada, authors can sign up to be part of the Public Lending Right Program that pays them every time their book is checked out in physical or digital format.

3) Request books from the library or bookstore.

If your library doesn’t carry the book, you can formally request that they buy it. If the library gets enough requests and/or has the budget, they will purchase a few copies of the book. If you call your local bookstore and request it, and they don’t have it, they will calculate the number of people requesting the book and after enough inquiries, likely purchase a few copies to put on the shelf.

4) Leave the writer 5-star reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, other bookseller platforms, and on the author’s website or blog posts.

Public reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, Indigo, and even on an author’s blogs on their website go a very long way toward helping the writer gain visibility and traction with wider audiences.

How, you ask?

For bookseller sites, their algorithms record the number of page views, clicks, purchases, and positive reviews. The more action a book gets on these sites, the more the site puts the books in front of other site visitors, even if those people are shopping for something else.

Amazon, for example, will feature or recommend books that get a lot of traffic to other site visitors. On any given Amazon page, you will see a variety of sub-sections that showcase alternative products:

recommended books from Amazon
  • Customers who bought this item also bought
  • Based on your recent views
  • Related products with free delivery
  • Digital items inspired by your shopping trends

A word of caution on leaving a review on Amazon:

If you leave a review and are a close friend, family member, or in the same household as the author and have a traceable public relationship Amazon can track, Amazon may either remove the review or in some instances remove the author’s account entirely. 

Goodreads is another highly valuable website book authors leverage for marketing. Serious readers take into account their peers’ reviews posted on the site before making purchases, so positive reviews there can directly impact sales. Plus, again the algorithm will reward a book with positive reviews by offering it to other site visitors.

 

Writer Blog Comments: If the writer posts blogs (like this one you’re reading right now), read the blog to the bottom and leave a comment in the comment field. Bonus points if you reference the main words used in the article in your comment, which are great for the blog’s SEO.

*For practice, feel free to leave one on this blog!

Blog comments are excellent for a website’s health because Google tracks all behavior relating to visitor activity on website pages and blogs. It records how many views, how long people read and scroll to the end, clicks, and comments the blogs get (comments carrying greater weight than everything else). 

In this case, it’s truly a question of the more the merrier, which means your comment will help that blog be shown to other people who happen to be searching for similar articles.

 

Writer Website Reviews: Some authors also have a comments section on their website where you can review their book, again, which will indicate to Google that the website is valuable and should be shown to more people on the web.

5) Engage with the writer on their social media accounts.

Scroll through your preferred social media feed(s) and “like” or, better, leave a comment on an author’s posts. Not only will it let the writer know that they are posting to people who are appreciating their content, but again, the more you engage with them on that platform, the more that platform will “reward” them by showing their content to more accounts who don’t already follow them, increasing their visibility and chance at further book sales.

A good rule of thumb is to give yourself parameters; for example, leave 5 comments per day on Instagram. It can be a quick positive comment, a question, you name it.

This rule of 5 will prevent you from spending too much time scrolling but enable you to make a positive dent in 5 people’s lives in a short span of time.

Naturally you wouldn’t do all of these strategies in a single day, but by choosing even one way to help fellow writers market their work, you are engendering a tremendous amount of goodwill both for yourself and for your fellow authors. And what a gift it is to be in such a position.

One of the greatest gifts for us at One Lit Place is being in a position to create meaningful partnerships with our writers. Helping you succeed from start to publish is everything.

Please reach out if you’d like to chat about your work, whether you’re mid-process, wish to get started, or are looking at getting your work published. 

We’re here for you.

One Response

  1. After writing steamy romance under a pen name, I am now writing anew novel in a new genre under my name. The novel fictionalizes me and some of my girlfriends, all women of a certain age, who grew up together, and went their separate ways. They gather each year where they grew up to reunite. One is an accomplished local artist, one is a highly successful caterer, cookbook author and local tv personality, one is a psychologist, and one is a journalist. They all wonder if what life holds for them, if they can change, or are they stuck in place. The story takes them on an adventure where they will find answers to their questions.

    My plot, subplots, arcs and book bible are done. Now I must finish the novel, find an agent and/or publisher. Some of my friends self-publish, but at my stage in life, my time is better spent writing than figuring out the ins and outs of self-publishing.

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