Self-Publisher’s Letter to Friends & Family

27 Dec

Previously, on Indie Year One (totally pretend I said that in announcer guy voice) I gave you a list of 22 things to do if you wanted your self-published book to be a success.

I got some notes about the list, but I actually got more than one about #21:

Send an email to friends saying how excited you are about this. Share that you’re nervous about doing it without the assistance of a publisher and that their support has been invaluable. I gave my Invisible Posse each a copy. I know what you’re saying, this costs me money and gets me nothing – Dude, say thank you. Always say thank you.

I’m a big believer in saying thank you obviously. If someone works on the book, they get a copy.

But, beyond your writing circle is another circle of supporters: Your friends and family. Those people who have a vague idea that you sit around writing stories, but don’t know much beyond that.

How do you kindly let them know how they can help? I thought I’d give you a little something to work with.

Dear FRIENDLY FRIEND,

I wanted to thank you for all the support you’ve given me while I wrote and published The Last Single Girl. It meant a lot. Knowing that people believed in me enough to be curious — or nosy in our friends’ cases 😉 — kept me going when the writing got hard.

Several people have asked how they can help me get started on my way to success. Well, a housekeeper and personal chef would be nice, but I’m thinking that’s not what any of you had in mind. Instead, I put together a crash course in Help An Author Friend Out. Anything you feel like doing is appreciated times ten… but, like everything in our friendship… there’s no pressure.

So, here it is:

Obviously people know buying the book helps, but gifting it does too if you know someone who would like it.

And, telling one person about The Last Single Girl grows my circle by a huge percentage. Plus, you won’t believe how many people will buy a book because they “know one of the author’s friends.”

If you’re more into clicking on things to help, check out the amazon page. There’s several ways you can click my page to make me more searchable:

  • You can “Like” the book at the top.
  • If you scroll to the bottom, you can select tags. I’ve already set up tags for:  Contemporary Romance, Humorous Romance, Online Dating, Chick Lit, & Romantic Comedy. Readers have added ones they think are accurate too. Clicking each of those will help strangers find me!
  • At the top of the page you can click on my name. It brings you to my author page on Amazon. On the top, right-hand corner you can hit the “Like” button. You like me, right? 😉

While I don’t suggest friends and family giving me a review (I know you’ll be tainted by your undying love and devotion) if one of your friends lets you know she loved it, suggest she review the book or at least click the star rating she thinks it deserves on Amazon or Goodreads. People really do check those out.

Obviously since I’m entering Struggling Artist World, I’ll be doing all my marketing on the cheap. Helping me out by RTing tweets or linking to contests I throw is great. I always appreciate someone hitting that RT button.

As to the matter of defending my honor: It’s coming. That dreaded bad review is bound to happen. I know what it’s like to watch other writer friends get undeserved bad reviews… Here’s hoping mine is undeserved too! But please, don’t defend my honor. We’ll all rise above and if it deflates me to tears, well that’s just one more reason for us to get together for brownies and margaritas. Every reader has the right to like or dislike every book. My wallet has been saved by more reader reviews than I can say, so I know it goes both ways.

Review sites are a writers best friend online. If you have a favorite site and I didn’t stalk… I mean beg… I mean ask them if they’d like to review SINGLE GIRL, let me know. If you know them, feel free to suggest me. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that but think I really need to get my (spreading from all that time writing) bottom over there, let me know! My writer and reader friends often know wayyyyy more about their favorite sites than I could.

And, just like those darn SAT questions, this paragraph is the None Of The Above answer. While all of those things will help to move me forward, you already helped to get me here. There’s not enough thanks in the world for all of my friends and family for that.

I attached my cover so you don’t have to head over to amazon to check it out, but here’s the link if that’s easier: The Last Single Girl.

Now, about those brownies and margaritas…..

Luuuuuuvvvveeee Caitie

Remember, these are your friends and family. They are not your professional network. Anything they do for you is a favor of love and should be appreciated. Yes! We all have folks we thought would help us out more — or in different ways — but that’s out of your control. You need to just be thankful for everything you’re given and turn that thankfulness into Thank Yous.

We often forget to let everyone know that we appreciate them and that they don’t need to become a marketing fiend for us to know they’re supporting us. Keep it light. Keep it friendly. Let them know nothing is expected.

I highly recommend NOT spamming your entire email box. Send this to only the people who support your writing life or asked. This is true for a couple reasons.

  1. Don’t be that guy – No one loves a spammer.
  2. Don’t write a letter telling people how much you appreciate them if you don’t. False feelings doesn’t make a good friend…or a book sale.
  3. It. Looks. Bad. People talk. Don’t steal the special friendness of the email by letting a friend hear through the grapevine how much you “appreciate the support” of that chick you haven’t seen in three years

So, there it is. A way to get started with your friends and family letter. That wasn’t so painful, was it?

Now, go forth and publish!

~Caitie~

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