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Five Easy ways to Help a First-Time Author

June 16th, 2011 | 1 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

It's book release week here at Mere-O, which means I'm holding off offering substantive thoughts about anything and devoting the blog to shamelessly touting my own work.

The reality is that writing a book is a communal project, but selling it is even moreso.  Especially in a world dominated by the networks, social or otherwise.  Mere-O has a relatively small audience, which means I'm leaning on the eager and energetic activity of a small handful of people to help me spread the word about the book.

Efforts, of course, which are predicated on people actually finding value in the thing.  And that is the weighty question which I cannot escape, and on which the hammer of judgment is about to fall.

But if you want to know how to help a first-time author, here are a few ideas.

1.    Share something about it with your friends through Facebook, Twitter, and email.  If you leave a comment (and only if you leave a comment), this may actually win you a signed copy.

2.    Write an honest review at about it.

3.    Introduce the book along to "gatekeepers," people who have audiences.  Pastors, radio hosts, bloggers, small group leaders, etc.  Think through who you know that helps people make decisions that might be interested in a copy.

4.    Organize a speaking engagement for me at your church, school, or university.  I'm cheap.  Really cheap.

5.  If you have a blog, write something about it or do an interview with me.

Those are the low hanging fruit of book promotion.  But again, all this is predicated on having discovered a modicum of what the economists call "value" that would prompt an act of kindness on my behalf.  I don't presume, but I'm not too proud to ask.


Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.