3 Ways to Help Your Favorite New Author
I’ve never been very good at self-promotion. I’m a shy person, and half of the time, I write stuff and sort of hope nobody reads it. But I’m learning that if I want people to read my book – and I do! – then I actually do need to tell people about it. I also need to ask for help spreading the word.
I poured myself into this book for 18 months. I read thousands of studies and talked to scientists, doctors, and parents. I thought carefully and worked hard to write in a way that is informative, accessible, and helpful to parents. I tackled tough topics – like SIDS and bedsharing, breastfeeding and formula-feeding, sleep training, and vaccines (plus lots of less sensational but equally important ones) – because I think parents deserve to have science-based information on these topics. I DO want people to read this book, because it’s the book that I wish that I had nearly 5 years ago when I first became a parent. I do this work because I’m dismayed at the amount of parenting misinformation in the world, and I feel an obligation to put my scientific training to work to tip the scales back towards accurate information.
I don’t have grand illusions of this book becoming a best-seller, and I’ve never expected to earn much money from it. I’ll be glad if I can earn back what we spent on childcare so that I could write it. My professional goal is for this book to do well enough that I can publish another book when I’m ready. I expect that sales of this book will grow organically, as people find my blog on a late-night Google search and as they recommend my book to others.
If you appreciate the work I do and think it would be valuable to other parents, I would be so grateful if you would help me spread the word about my book.
- Write a review on Amazon or GoodReads. Like it or not, Amazon makes it easy for busy parents to buy stuff, and I know that we all use Amazon ratings to make buying decisions. If you like my book and can take just a few minutes to review it on Amazon, it means that more people will find it when they search for parenting books, and more people will have the confidence to buy it because it comes recommended. This is a HUGE help, and every review counts. GoodReads is also a great place to share your opinion, and you can enter my giveaway while you’re there. I’m also learning that some people will leave negative reviews without even reading the book. This is mean-spirited and disheartening to me, but I’m hoping that more readers will leave honest reviews so that others know what the book is really about.
- Suggest that your local public library buy my book. A reader recently let me know that, at her suggestion, her local library has ordered two copies of my book! As I told her, this makes my heart sing. When I peruse the parenting shelves of my local public library, I see a lot of misinformation, including books with inaccurate information on vaccines and infant feeding. If you value evidence-based parenting information, you can do your part to help other parents find it too. This is also a great option if you like my blog and want to support the book but don’t want to spend $10-20 for your own copy. If you request it from your library and they decide to buy it, then you get to be first in line to check it out! Most public libraries let you request new books through their website, and it only takes a few minutes.
- Share the book with your friends and social networks. My publisher is an academic press without a huge marketing machine. There isn’t a big book launch or tour for me, and I never expected that. Instead, I know that most of my sales will come from my blog and word of mouth, both online and in person. If you want to help with that, simply recommending my book to friends that are pregnant or have new babies, giving it as a shower gift, or making a brief mention of it on Facebook or Twitter can help spread the word.
I’m full of gratitude for the opportunity to write this book, and I thank you for however you are able to share it with other parents!
If you haven’t yet bought my book, you can buy it through Johns Hopkins Press (use discount code HNAF for 30% off), Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s, Indigo, Kobo, and Indiebound – or order it through your local independent bookseller.
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