For Readers

Ten Tips to Support Authors You Love

I’ve got lots of friends with books coming out soon. Some of them are well established writers who already have a following but some of them are debut writers, who might struggle to get their books noticed amid all the noise and excitement that surrounds big name books. So what can we readers do to help?

  1. Pre-order the book. Pre-orders help nudge a book up the charts in the early days of sales, that helps the book bob to the top and be a little bit more visible.
  2. Order from your local book shop – I’ve just popped in to my Waterstone’s in Chichester to pre-order Kate Mallinder’s Summer of No Regrets and  Thomas Taylor’s  Summer of No Regrets (Paperback)Malamander - The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea (Paperback)Malamander. This ensures the books pass through a book seller’s hands and hopefully, once seen, they’ll order more in.
  3. Be excited about the books to other people, share on social media, tell people about it. I’m super excited to see Marie Basting’s first book, Princess BMX – what a great premise for a story! And when Candy Gourlay’s new book, Bone Talk, was shortlisted for the Costa, I made this video and shared it without shame!
  4. Leave good reviews. You don’t have to buy a book from Amazon to leave a review there and they really make a difference – if a book gets over 50 reviews, Amazon will start to promote it. And a lot of readers use Goodreads – I used to love it until I was published but now it is a very scary place – someone I know gave me 1 star (the worst you can get) for More of Me when it first came out – I think it was a mistake but I couldn’t tell them because I didn’t want to upset them. That 1 star dragged down the average for ages. And before any copies of Beauty Sleep were available, some one gave it 3 stars out of 5 – they couldn’t possibly have read it but again, that score will effect the average rating. So be kind, if you love a book, go give it  4 or 5 stars and help counter any of those kind of blips!
  5. Send a message to the writer or illustrator about how much you liked the book and why – they really will be touched. It can be a lonely old business and one fraught with self doubt.
  6. Share their posts on social media to boost their own efforts to shout about there books – it all helps. Apparently you need to see something seven times before it even makes an impression. Be part of their seven.
  7. Go and see them if they put on an event near you. Take pictures, tweet about it. Let your local paper know what a great time you had – kind readers have done this for me and it’s very wonderful.
  8. Vote for them. Competitions crop up for all sorts of things, if you see one and get the chance to vote, do.
  9. Join in if they’re running a competition – or get your children to join in. Huge thanks to Cathy Cassidy who is running a competition for me on her Dreamcatcher’s blog.
  10. Follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress – where ever – let them feel the love!

Now following my own advice, here are a couple more books I can not wait to get my paws on. Click the books for a sales link.

Patrice Lawrence

Voices: Diver's Daughter: A Tudor Story by [Lawrence, Patrice]

Karen Ball


Books, For Readers, More of Me, The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

How Facebook Brings You Readers.


Want to know my  action plan on how to be media savvy? How to strategise promotions on social media?

Well, sorry, but you’re in the wrong place. Having people try and sell me stuff makes me want to scream. This is more a  reminder  to be a human. Most humans are great. Let me introduce you to Grace and Erin.

Two Lovely Readers in One Lovely Bookshop.


Grace is the very first reader to email me through my website.    Grace and Erin are best friends and they are both  writers as well as readers.  I think Grace has a lovely, fresh tone to her voice.

This is her email:


I am writing to praise you about your book ‘More Of Me’. I found it through Cathy Cassidy’s blog post, as Cathy is one of my favourite authors and has been for years. Just by reading the synopsis I knew it was something I’d fall in love with, and the idea was so inviting I had to buy it! I visited a local store to buy with my best friend, and we even had a picture posted on Twitter of us holding the book!
The people at my local bookshop (Write Blend in Liverpool) had said you were wondering what people would think of the idea, and I felt I had to write to reassure you that your book is a masterpiece! I write myself all of the time, and I want to be an author, and More Of Me wowed me. It’s amazing how you could come up with an idea so out of the ordinary. More Of Me was actually the best written book I think I have ever read, and I mean that. And please bear in mind that I’ve read hundreds of books, ha ha!
I loved the way that throughout the book you tamed the crazy thing that was taking over Teva and managed to make her and her life very relatable, despite her condition. The book was just so beautifully written, the story line was inviting and it had a way of taking me  on the journey Teva was experiencing- I cried and laughed hysterically along with her.
My friend is currently reading the book, as I recommended it to her, and within reading two chapters she’s already vowing that it’s her favourite book!
I just thought I’d write to tell you how amazing I found More Of Me, and that i really hope you continue writing books!

Aside from being touched that Grace had taken the time to write, I was  completely thrilled to hear that she’d enjoyed my book. So much so that she’d passed it on to Erin, who then emailed me too!

I’m Erin – Graces best friend, we bought your book together at write blend. I’m writing to tell you that I’m reading the book at the minute and I’m really really enjoying it ! Me and Grace LOVE Cathy Cassidy and she’d recommended it on her website ! Grace told me about it and I said we’ll have to buy it. So, Me and Grace then planned a trip to write blend to buy your book and ended up on Twitter !!

Grace and I want to be writers when we’re older and you and Cathy Cassidy have certainly inspired us ! Thanks so much Kathryn, I’m excited to see what happens in the end of “more of me” the only bad thing will be finishing it !

Erin’s voice sings with excitement , don’t you think? Definitely two young women with the gift of immediacy in their writing style.  As I was reading their emails, I was  struck by the journey it had taken to get into their hands. From Cathy Cassidy to Write Blend to Grace to Erin…a word of mouth journey that started on…


For that’s where I met Cathy Cassidy who I later met  in real life when she was one of our keynote SCBWI conference speakers.

It’s also where I met Bob Stone, owner of Write Blend, and where Bob and I discovered we went to the same University in North Wales and (obviously ) share a passion for books.

write blend

I didn’t bombard Cathy and Bob with messages requesting they sell my book for me. They’re just nice humans.  We got on. Had nice chats. Shared values. They wanted to help me.

So here’s the best bit of advice I can give you about promoting your book on any social media.


Here’s what you do:

  1. Write the best book you can.

  2. Be visible but not demanding.

  3. Give more than you take.

  4. Be a good human.

That’s it.

That last one  works for other stuff too.

Like  life.

Thank you Grace and Erin and Bob and Cathy and all of you who’ve been so brill along the way.

You’re top humans and I’m proud to be the same species.