Author Tips Sheet
Help us help you.
After a decade of helping authors reach readers, we've assembled a list of tips and tricks that make it easier for us to get your books into readers' hands. Many of these are minor tweaks that can help indie bookstores across the country promote your work simultaneously.
On your social media platforms:
- Tag bookstores: It's a challenge for us to keep up with everything happening on every platform all the time. When you tag us, you help us find and share your posts faster and more effectively.
- Don't include "buy links": If you tweet or post about your new book and include a link to Amazon, no independent bookstore can share that content, no matter how much we love your book. Instead, link to your own website, or don't link at all. We'll take it from there!
- Share your handles with bookstores: When you're planning an event or have an existing relationship with a bookstore, make sure they have all the applicable handles and hashtags so they can tag and promote both your posts and their own.
On your website:
- Promote events: If you're going to be at a bookstore, let your fans know! An updated calendar, blog post, or even a blurb, will go a long way.
- Include indie "buy links": Many authors only link to Amazon on their own websites because they have confidence that Amazon can fulfill readers' orders. It's true that not every indie bookstore can manage fulfillment on a large scale. Brilliant Books certainly can. We even offer an affiliate program for authors to earn a commission on sales from the customers they direct to our website.
- Speak up: If you have a local indie bookstore that's your favorite, or if you happen across one in your travels, don't hesitate to share! Your readers are listening, and helping to boost the profile of indie bookstores only helps us do the same for you.
- Give us a heads up: We always love when authors drop by, but keep in mind that if you're planning on signing books or making it a public occasion, we'll need a heads up. We want to be sure we've got someone on hand who can snap a photo to share on our social media, and we'll make sure we've got some extra copies of your book on hand for you to sign and share. Of course, if you're dropping by as a reader, no appointment is needed. You can sign books if you wish, or browse incognito, as you prefer.
- Talk to the right people: Our booksellers are amazing, but they're not always the right people to talk to when it comes to setting up events or getting your book on our shelves. Since you're reading this, we can assume you're already on the right track, but it's always a good idea to try to find your best point of contact before trying to make your arrangments. At Brilliant Books, the first step is to email us at Life@Brilliant-Books.net.
- Plan ahead: Bookstores are busy places, and our event schedules are filled with book groups, launch events, readings, and more. Don't assume a bookstore will be able to accomodate you on short notice. That being said, don't be afraid to reach out! It never hurts to ask, but be aware the answer may be no.
- Do your research: Not every bookstore is right for every book. Before reaching out to set up an event, or ask that a store carry your book, do your best to make sure your work is something that would be of interest.
- Don't overlook indies: So often, indie bookstores are considered too small to have an impact. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here at Brilliant Books, we have an international audience, a regular mailing list of 20,000 contacts, and we ship thousands of books every month. When it comes to getting books in readers' hands, indie bookstores are experts.
- Partner with bookstores for events: If you're planning an event for your book, always partner with a bookstore no matter where you're holding your event. There are plenty of logistical reasons for this--who wants to be selling books while you're supposed to be mingling with readers?--but there are also economic reasons why this is important.
If you host a large event and sell your book directly to all your guests without involving a bookstore, those stores won't be able to promote you or your event. Your audience will have already gotten their copies; we can't afford to promote a book we can't sell. Remember, booksellers are the ones who will continue to promote your book long after your event is over. By helping support the bookstores, you've ensured their ongoing support.
- Share your resources: Did your publisher create handy graphics, flyers, swag, or other promotional materials for your book? Did you make some for yourself? Sharing these with your local bookstore not only makes their lives easier, but also helps make sure that your book is being promoted in the same way everywhere.
Still have questions? Are you an indie bookstore with tips to add? Send us an email at Life@Brilliant-Books!