Think for a few minutes about the kinds of things that make you want to pick up a book and read it.
Most of the time we read a book because it's by an author we already know and love.
Sometimes a cover might attract us to take a closer look, particularly if we're browsing in a brick-and-mortar store.
But I'm guessing the large majority of us discover books based on word of mouth. The word-of-mouth process usually goes something like this:
We hear someone mention a book, perhaps in passing. We don't really give it much thought, after all we already have plenty of books clamoring for our over-loaded attention.
But interestingly, the next day while scrolling through our Facebook home page, the book pops up again. Someone else exclaims how much they enjoyed the book, enough to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to finish it.
Even though our interest is definitely perked at this point, it will likely take another time or two of "hearing" someone talk about the book (perhaps on twitter or a blog review or seeing it on a friend's shelf on GoodReads).
Finally, after a handful of times we "hear" about the book, we decide that we need to check it out for ourselves. We head to the online reviews, browse through them, and then decide if it's one we'd like to purchase or one we'd like to try out from the library first.
Does the above scenario ring true for you? It's usually my process for finding a new book to read.
All that to say, WORD OF MOUTH plays a pivotal, powerful, and persuasive role in the life and success of a book.
Of course, when an AUTHOR toots her own horn, the noise usually falls on deaf ears. Most people don't trust what an author (or the author's writer friends) say about a book, because obviously they're going to say super nice things even if the book was just okay.
But when a READER offers genuine praise, then people sit up and take notice, particularly when multiple readers are saying the same thing.
I often don't think readers understand the amount of power they hold over the success or failure of a book. Before I became an author, I didn't realize the difference I could make with my recommendations and praise of books. But now that I do, I embrace the challenge with enthusiasm. And with caution, because I realize the power of my words.
The great thing about WORD OF MOUTH promotion is that it's usually fairly quick and easy to do. It doesn't require a huge time commitment or investment of energy.
In fact, here are five simple things we can do to spread the word about a book we loved:
1. Mention the book on Facebook and/or Twitter. Try to be specific about something you liked about the book. Provide the link to the author's website or to an online bookstore.
2. Pin the book cover on Pinterest. Create a "Favorite Books" or "Books I've Read Recently" board. Again, make sure to link the pin to the author's website or a bookstore.
3. Email friends and/or family about the book. Include what you liked and why you think they might enjoy it.
4. Personally tell friends and/or family about the book. In fact, be willing to pass along your copy and encourage them to do the same when they're done.
5. Leave a review on one of the online review sites, preferably more than one place. Copying and pasting your review from one site to another is perfectly okay!
If you think you'd be willing to spread the word about my next release, A Noble Groom (a Christian historical romance), please let me know. I'm currently collecting a list of Influencers who would be willing to help with promotion in exchange for a free advanced copy of the book. I'll be primarily asking Influencers to commit to sharing about the book through word of mouth.
If you'd like to find out more about the book, please check out my Books Page. And if you'd like more information about being an Influencer or to sign up, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or use the email box on my Contact Page.
So, dear readers, what influences YOU the most in the books you choose to read? Is it word of mouth or something else?