First off, buy it! (I know--pretty obvious, isn't it?) But did you know there are good ways of buying the book and not-as-good ways?
DISCLAIMER: All of this information is just for people who are really interested in this process. If any of you buy the book, I'm very grateful to you--regardless of how you buy it. I appreciate the support. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you.
When to Buy
First off, one of the key indicators of how well the book performs is first week sales. If those first week sales are strong, then bookstores perk up their ears more than if first week sales were average. In other words, if I'm going to sell 1000 copies, it's better to sell 750 the first week, then 250 the second week than it would be to sell 500 the first week and 500 the second. Make sense? (Even though it probably doesn't--ours is not to question why the book business behaves the way it does. Ours is simply to smile, nod, and buy the first week.)
Where to Buy
So getting the book the first week is a very good thing. (I believe Amazon pre-orders are counted toward first week sales, for what it's worth--but I'm not certain of that.) However, the next question is where to buy it. The answer? In person, at your local bookstore. Yes, Amazon is very convenient, and undoubtedly cheap. But they are also doing their darndest to put other bookstores out of business, and I'm not cool with that. Just this week, one of my local bookstores has gone under, and that's a very sad thing. If you love reading, you want more bookstores out in the wild, not the opposite.
Another nice thing about brick and mortar bookstores is that they pay attention to what people are actually buying. So if you go and find the book's not on the shelves there, ask them to order it for you. They might buy a couple, and then other people will see it on the shelves, and they'll buy more, and THEN EVERYONE ON THE ENTIRE PLANET WILL WANT ONE. Okay, maybe not really, but you get the point. People can't buy my books if they don't see them on the shelves, so the more bookstores that order copies, the more books can be sold.
In addition, if you'd like to support a local, independent bookstore--but don't have a favorite one nearby to support--I've worked out an arrangement with my local indie (Devaney Doak & Garrett). You can buy the book online from them (here), and I'll go by and sign your copy before they mail it to you. So if you want an autographed copy, you can get one. Just leave a comment in the comments section of their order page when you buy it--where you want it sent, and how you'd like it personalized (ie just my signature, or a "To ______" or anything else you'd like me to write in it). You'll pay for the shipping, but you'll get the signature. And you'll be support an independent bookstore out in Maine.
(And on a side note, while most author's royalties are based off of the cover price of the book, mine are based off the actual sales price. So if you pay more for the book, you can at least be reassured that I get more for that sale. Doesn't that make you feel better?)
If you absolutely want to buy it on Amazon, then buy it through the many links I have to it on my site. Links like this one. Why? Because it links to my Amazon account, and I get extra money from the sale. Money which then allows me to focus on writing more books. Honest. I swear. Hey--if The Man's going to get your money, why not make sure they get as little of it as possible?
What Else You Can Do
Of course, there's always more you can do (besides buying more books to give to all your many friends and relations). For one thing, you can go to your local public library (you do have a card, right?) and ask them to buy the book. A lot of people don't realize that public libraries pay a lot of attention to what their patrons want to read. If you ask them to buy something (not just my book), they often will. They have budgets set aside for just that purpose. More of my books in libraries mean more of my books read. It's a circle of readers, and anything we can do to help that circle grow is a good thing.
You can also help promote the book. Word of mouth is key. Anything you can do to help other people hear about the book is great. Here are some ideas:
- Write an Amazon review once you've read it. This is huge. Lots of people and libraries use Amazon to do research for which books to buy (even if they end up buying the books somewhere else). We've all been on Amazon and seen a book with one or two reviews and that's it. If you see a book with a lot of (hopefully good) reviews, then you automatically think more of the book. Go figure. It also helps if the reviews are well-thought out and not obvious shills. I don't want you to lie about the book. But if you read it and genuinely like it, please do review it.
- Write a review on the book's Goodreads page. Lots of readers on that site. The more positive buzz there, the better. If you're not a member of Goodreads, sign up--it's quick and easy to do, and it's a great site for people who love reading. Even if all you do is give it a 4 or 5 star rating and don't write an actual review, it still helps. (Though of course you'll give it 5 stars, because it's The Best Book in the History of Mankind. Well--religious holy texts excepted, I suppose.)
- Blog about the book
- Share the book on Facebook or Twitter
- Tell your friends how awesome it is, and how they must buy a copy for them and their dog. (Makes an excellent chew toy!)
- See if your local school wants to have me come visit--or do a Skype visit. I'm happy to do either. (Well, if your local school isn't very . . . local to me, then I think I'd rather do the Skype visit. But still.)
- Like the book's Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/vodnikbook)--and share it on Facebook
- Really--anything you can do to make the book more visible helps.
So there you go--plenty of ways to support the book in the coming months. You can start by sharing this post with others. :-)
Thanks again for all the interest and support, people--I really appreciate it!