How To Ask (Bribe) Friends And Family To Promote Your Self-Published Book | Self-Publishing Relief

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What can friends, family, and coworkers do to help market your self-published book? More than you think!

Is there a photographer in the family who can take your author publicity photo? Do your friends know other authors who may want to cross-promote? Or perhaps Aunt Frieda’s best friend is the local librarian. Whether it’s your grandmother talking up your book at the senior center or a golf buddy who wrote a nice review on Amazon, there are many ways the people in your life can help promote your book. But if you plan to ask your loved ones for a little help, Writer’s Relief knows it’s important to do so the right way.

How to ask (even bribe!) friends and family to help promote your self-published book:

  • Ask one-on-one. Rather than sending out a group email begging for help, politely reach out individually to each person with your requests.
  • Be specific. Outline exactly what you need so there’s less room for misunderstanding—and to make it easier for your loved ones. Don’t make them guess what you want.
  • Provide any needed information. Even though your friends may have read your book, it might be hard for them to summarize it for others. Give them the words they need in the form of a two- to three-sentence synopsis. And make sure they have links to your author website and other important information to share—like where people can buy your book! (Here are 9 tips to sell more books via word-of-mouth sales.)
  • Offer a bribe. If you’re asking a friend to do something time-consuming or otherwise difficult, offer an incentive for the favor: proofreading help, babysitting, mowing the lawn, etc.
  • Be realistic…and grateful. You don’t want to overwhelm your family with tasks—and don’t forget that all-important “thank you.” An attitude of gratitude will go a long way!

Here are a few ways friends and family can help market your self-published book:

  • The average Internet user accesses five different social media platforms. If your friends, family, and coworkers each use up to five social media accounts, with dozens to thousands of friends and followers each, imagine the power of that reach! Ask them to share links on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to your author website and/or the sales site (like Amazon) where people can buy your book.
  • Friends and family members who purchased your book can publish an honest review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.
  • Read reviews of your book on Amazon and mark which are helpful and which are not. (This keeps the more positive reviews higher on the list.)
  • Visit local bookstores, libraries, and other outlets that might be willing to carry your book.
  • Help plan and execute a book launch party or a book tour.
  • Videotape an interview with you to post on your author website.

Most of your friends and family will enjoy supporting you and being a part of the publishing process. Others may require a modest bribe, which could be as simple as a free book or a gift card for a coffee shop.

You can also organize a “thank-you” pizza party or dinner to show your gratitude for their efforts. And be sure to return the favor when the opportunity arises to support other writers!

Question: Have you helped someone promote his or her self-published book? What exactly did you do?


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