NCWA blog welcomes Terry Whalin! See end of post for links to Terry’s blog.
Whether you have never published a book or have written many books, how do you support good books? We have a wealth of reading material. Pick your type of reading and it is certainly being produced in large numbers. The “catch” for these new books is getting any attention or reviews. Newspapers and magazines are constantly cutting back on the amount of review space they will allow in their publications. The majority of magazines only want to give the space to positive reviews.
Maybe you’ve written some book reviews. It’s a great place to break into the market, get in print and learn about books in the process. Through the years, I’ve written hundreds and maybe thousands of book reviews. I began much of my freelance writing with book reviews and it is something that I continue today. In recent years, I have not written many reviews for printed magazines but many times I will support a good book with my online resources.
If you love good books, in this entry, I want to suggest some ways you can support those titles.
First, buy the books. Whether you get them in your local bookstore or online, purchase the books.
Then when you find a good title which helped you or you found a page-turning novel, make a commitment to tell others about it. It’s this aspect of telling others that I want to focus for this entry. One of the easiest ways to tell others is through a customer review on Amazon or Books-a-Million or Barnes and Noble. Your words don’t have to be lengthy or profound. A couple of sentences will suffice for your review along with a five star rating. It is surprising the number of books which have no reviews or only a few customer reviews.
It’s only during the last few years that I have been actively writing these customer reviews. If you look at my own Amazon profile (this link), you can scan down the list of books on Amazon and notice some of my books have a number of reviews like Book Proposals That Sell yet other books have no reviews. At the moment, I’ve written almost 400 customer reviews on Amazon. It’s one of the ways I support good books and tell others about it.
Also I recommend you blog about good books. Readers will follow your recommendations.
Another way is to use Twitter to tell people about good books. For example, Amazon has a permanent link for each review. You can paste that permanent link on Twitter along with some words. Some of the people who follow you on Twitter will go over to read your review and then purchase the book or at least put it on their Amazon wish list for the next time they are buying books.
I participate in several online forums and often in my posts to these forums, I will mention a resource and provide the link to take people right to the page where my review is located. For example, here’s a review I wrote for Samuel Greengard’s AARP Crash Course in Finding the Work You Love: The Essential Guide to Reinventing Your Life. If you are thinking about changing careers or reinventing yourself, this book is excellent and something I recommend. Notice I have a short link in my post to take you right to the Amazon page. I used a tool like snipurl or tinyurl to make this link. Why? Because often in emails and other formats, the long Amazon link will be broken. If it is broken, it’s not easy for someone to use it and go to the page where you direct them.
I encourage you to do more than just read good books. Take the proactive step to tell other people about them. You will be glad you did.
W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Irvine, California. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com.