Author Jody Hedlund recently did a post discussing the difference between Influencers and Reviewers and their role in book promotion.
Here is a brief recap from Jody’s post:
An Influencer is someone who wants to help in the promotion of a book. They’re a fan of the author and desire to assist them in getting the word out to others. We all know how powerful word-of-mouth can be in marketing a book. So, Influencers are strategic in getting the “talk” going and can help the beginning marketing efforts.
A reviewer, on the other hand, can also help in the promotion—if they like the book, write a stellar review, and recommend the book to others. But a reviewer also has the option of sharing what they didn’t like. Generally, if an influencer doesn’t like a book after reading it, they should opt not to say anything at all rather than hurt the author’s marketing efforts.
After looking at these definitions I realize that I fall more into the Influencer category than the Reviewer. When I read an story that I do not like, I hear my mother’s voice reminding me:
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
When my Super Blog Buddy Sarah and I started this blog we were both in agreement that we would use this page to talk about things we liked and not to trash someone else’s work. It’s a tough job being a writer and there are many elements involved in getting your work published, we chose (without knowing it) to be Influencers.
I want to clarify that I don’t begrudge those who are Reviewers because we need them in this world. If we didn’t have someone to honestly tell us when our work needs improving we would produce sludgy mediocre work and we would have no incentive make ourselves better, and we would be surrounded by sludgy mediocre work.
So what can an Influencer do to help an author?
Jody Hedlund recommends the following list:
- Write a review for an online site: a bookstore (like Amazon), a reader hang-out (like Goodreads).
- Write a review for a print newspaper, magazine, or newsletter.
- Talk to your local bookstores or public libraries. If they don’t carry the book, give them your copy to review and encourage them to order it.
- Offer to host an interview or review on your blog; use your influencer copy as a book giveaway.
- Post tweets or facebook comments about the book.
- Donate a copy of the book to your church or school library.
- Offer to distribute bookmarks, postcards, or other promotional items.
- Start discussions about the book in groups/organizations you’re apart of (either online or in real life).
What do you think? Are you an Influencer or Reviewer? I would love to hear what you think.
Writing on the Sidewalk