Support Your Local Author
By Scot R. Stone
Monday, August 30, 2004

Colorado fantasy author encourages readers to support their local authors more than by just reading their books.
Take a moment to consider how much work goes into marketing a single novel. How many people would an
author have to contact for people to learn about their new book? What audiences would they target? Where would
he or she have to start to even make a small impact in the market, locally or nationally?

If a person actually sat down and considered these questions, they would begin to realize the work that is invested
in making a product successful. It is an ongoing process that does not end with one simple method. There are
many avenues an author, publisher and agent must explore to gain the author and the book the exposure it needs to
be remembered.

At least three months before a novel is even released the promotion campaign for it is already beginning. Website
advertisements, direct mail notifications, newspaper articles, radio interviews and television spots are a handful of
the many mediums an author chooses to spread the word about their books.

But the biggest, most influential way to spread the word about a book is by word-of-mouth. As an author, I
humbly ask my readers to consider leaving a review on a bookseller's website about my book, such as Barnes and
Noble or Amazon, no matter if their opinion about my work is positive or negative. It generates thought and helps
keep readers talking about the book well beyond its initial printing run. And for those of you who don't believe
people read the reviews of books, think again. Most people do. Why? When it comes to spending money in an
economy where many have tight budgets, a reader, movie goer or music lover will want a second opinion about
the product they are examining before shelling out $20-30 for an item.

If you like a book, don't keep it bottled up inside! Talk about it to others. I learned about Harry Potter way before
I even saw one of J.K. Rowling's books on a shelf - why? - word-of-mouth! Tell your friends and family what it's
about and let them make the decision if they are interested in it or not. It not only is a great way to start a
conversation, but it eventually will help the author become a household name. One of every four authors can
actually retire from traditional lines of work to pursue writing full-time. In most cases it is rare an author will
become a national bestseller overnight. It takes time for most authors to get their name into the marketplace and
gain a large enough following to have their dream become a reality.

Even if a reader doesn't particularly care for my genre, fantasy, I ask them to consider buying the book as gift for
those who they know do (and get it signed!) I know if someone gave me a signed book by an author, I would
consider it unique and thoughtful gift, something that is not done as often as one thinks. When was the last time
you received one?

So the next time you are buying a book on a website, talking to a friend or family member or looking for a special
gift for someone, help your local author to reach his or her dream. You just never know who the next Rowling will