My thoughts: I do try to encourage readers to leave reviews, although sometimes this feels like asking a lot when people are so busy. Plus, people unfamiliar with the process sometimes aren't sure where to start. But the best reviews are short and to the point, with examples to back up statements. That said, it's best to avoid spoilers, as other consumers DO read reviews--or at least warn of an upcoming spoiler. I absolutely love getting personal emails from readers expressing how much they enjoyed my book, and I always respond quickly with a thanks and save them for days I'm struggling. It means the world to me when someone goes out of their way to connect with me. But the public reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, itunes, etc. are especially important, as they really help other readers choose books they may enjoy--I know when I love a book, I always want to share it with others! Like the article says, your opinion DOES count.
My thoughts: What a great idea! My sister did this on a few occasions, although it wasn't her in the picture...she caught a photo of her 3-year-old "reading" Silver Lake, her auntie's first published book (good thing she can't read, the steamy scenes aren't really meant for kids, lol). My sister put it on Facebook, plus another one later of her cat curled up on the bed with the book!
My thoughts: Combined with the item below, this was a powerful tool for me. I received prime shelf space at a local bookstore for the entire year when a local bookclub chose Silver Lake as their January pick--see my post about the sometimes difficult process of getting shelf space.
My thoughts: Books are great gifts for readers...if you can get a signed or personalized copy, even better! Amazon even allows a person to gift a Kindle version of a book--all you need is their email address and you're done.
My thoughts: I'm truly thrilled when I see my books on lists at Goodreads or Library Thing...some readers will post what they are reading in the groups they belong to, and some readers add a book to popular lists. Silver Lake has been added to 7 different lists on Goodreads, and I'm grateful to each person who took the time to do that.
My thoughts: I have beautiful bookmarks, as well as business cards and postcards featuring my cover art and blurbs. My sister gives them out to her patients. My husband gives them out to his contacts. They are not incredibly expensive, and I gladly mail out plenty to anyone willing to distribute them.
As an avid reader, I can rattle off a list of books I've absolutely loved. No, I never bothered to contact the author before I understood the process...but now I've promised myself that when a book really resonates with me, I will drop the author a quick note or at the very least leave a glowing review. Because now I understand how much it means to have someone enjoy your work. When I began writing Silver Lake, I said it would all be worth it if just one person I didn't know in any way contacted me to say they loved it. Thankfully, that's happened on more than one occasion, and each and every time I find myself floating on air. I'm thrilled when I find a book I can't put down. To hear I've created that experience for someone else is truly one of the best feelings in the world.