by Jill Williamson
I’ve met hundreds of authors who are on the journey toward publication. I’m always surprised to learn how many have never read Christian fiction. And I wonder how one can hope to get published in the CBA market without studying and supporting it.
No one expects you to read every book out there. But if you’re looking to get published in middle grade fiction, read some middle grade fiction. And if you enjoy a particular author’s books, support them. Purchase at least one new print book a month, if you can. That helps the author, their publisher, and the industry as a whole. Buy more if you can afford to. Whenever Stephanie Morrill or I host an author at www.GoTeenWriters.com, we take turns buying a book by that author to give to our readers.
But supporting the publishing industry doesn’t have to cost you a dime. Brandilyn Collins sends out a monthly Sneak Pique newsletter in which she lists new releases in the industry. And Nicole O’Dell always jumps at the chance to interview someone with a new book for teens for her Teen Talk radio show.
• “Like” Facebook author pages, book pages, or character pages.
• “Like” Amazon.com author pages.
• “Like” book pages on Amazon.com, B&N, CBD, etc.
• Rate and/or review books on Goodreads and/or become a fan of authors.
• Start a books board on Pinterest and pin books you love from stores or book sites.
• Write book reviews for online stores or book sites.
• Start discussions about books or authors on your blog, Facebook page, or e-mail loops.
• Tag books on Amazon.com with search tags.
• Create Listmania lists on Amazon.com that include books you like.
• Nominate books for contests.
• Feature authors on your blog.
• Follow author’s blogs, Twitter, or subscribe to their ezines.
• Send emails to authors telling them how much you like their books.
How to help in your community:
• Word of mouth is still the number one way books hit bestseller lists. Tell people what books you like and why.
• Loan books to friends and family; give copies as gifts.
• Recommend a book to a book club.
• Read books in public where people can ask, “What are you reading?”
• Ask librarians about books, reserve copies, or check them out. Traffic and questions help library books.
• If your library doesn’t have the book, request that they order it.
• Ask bookstore employees where a book is located. If they don’t find it, suggest they order it.
• If you see a book you love at your bookstore, turn the book face out.
• If you have connections, use them! Help authors set up book signings, school or library visits, and get newspaper, magazine, radio or TV interviews.
Supporting other authors is supporting the industry you hope to be a part of. What are some ways you support the Christian publishing industry?
Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. Growing up in Alaska led to a love of books, and in 2010 her first novel, By Darkness Hid, won a Christy Award. She loves to encourage teen writers. Visit Jill online at www.jillwilliamson.com.