Writing is a solitary job by nature, but for many authors it has felt especially isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic, which removed pivotal avenues for book promotion (and mingling with readers and fellow authors) by reducing bookstore foot traffic and eliminating in-person events.
Amidst these taxing circumstances, we’ve been inspired by how authors have stepped up to build community and spotlight their fellow writers’ work. With the ever-growing relevance of the digital landscape in the book world, we’ve seen authors flock to social media to connect with and support each other. From recommending books to providing industry advice to hosting book clubs featuring others’ titles, online author-to-author support comes in many forms. In this post, we’ll highlight various ways authors are uplifting their peers through their social media platforms.
1. Host book clubs featuring other authors’ titles
Pamela Skjolsvik formed The Quarantine Book Club at the beginning of the pandemic to support debut authors who had to cancel their in-person promotion. She’s continuing to run the book club and assist more debut authors in 2021!
Eric Cervini runs the Deviant’s Book Club, which focuses particularly on LGBTQ+ topics.
He’s set up a dedicated Bookshop.org page with links to purchase all the chosen titles from independent bookstores.
2. Share previews of fellow writers’ books
Twice a week, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Hannah McKinnon read the opening pages of different books on Facebook and Instagram. Leading up to the readings, they tweet out sneak peeks of the chosen titles!
In advance of Christina Lauren’s new release, Sally Thorne posted a vibrant graphic for the title to her Instagram account. In the post’s caption, she gave a detailed description of the book’s plot to draw readers in.
Ibram X. Kendi gave a shout-out to two new releases on his Instagram account, sharing concise overviews of the books’ material in his caption.
3. Congratulate each other on exciting news and milestones
Susan Lee reposted Gloria Chao’s fantastic book deal news on her Instagram Story, adding in effusive praise to promote Gloria’s writing to her own audience.
Kellye Garrett tweeted an enthusiastic message to congratulate Alyssa Cole for winning an Edgar Award, a prestigious accolade given to mystery writers.
Mariah Stewart gave her friend and fellow author Robyn Carr a warm Facebook congratulations for making the New York Times bestseller list.
4. Join cover reveal teams
On the same day as Nova McBee’s cover reveal and giveaway through YA Books Central, a large group of book bloggers and authors shared their own creative photos featuring Nova’s gorgeous cover. Each post highlighted the book’s release date and provided a short description. Many involved in the cover reveal campaign, like Gillian Bronte Adams, gave a shout-out to the first book in the series so people could read it before the sequel came out.
The day after the cover reveal, Nova posted a message of appreciation for everyone’s help getting the word out about her new release.
Kate White tweeted a suspenseful cover reveal video as a member of Hank Phillippi Ryan’s promotion squad.
5. Give valuable writing and book marketing advice
To kick off National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Brandon Sanderson uploaded a video to his YouTube channel with five valuable tips for writing one’s first novel. Brandon’s channel is chock-full of fantastic advice for aspiring authors on how to construct a compelling narrative.
It’s clear from the video’s comments section that aspiring authors deeply appreciated Brandon’s help!
Christina Baker Kline took to Instagram to provide some insightful advice about the drafting and editing process. She began her caption with an amusing and relevant Ernest Hemingway quote to add some humor to the post.
6. Recommend books on BookBub
Bianca Sloane actively supports other authors on BookBub, and her followers can see all the books she’s recommended on the “Reviews” section of her Author Profile. This way, followers can discover new books directly from an author they already trust.
Followers can read individual recommendations by clicking the book covers displayed on Bianca’s review page.
Brad Thor left a glowing BookBub review of one of Erik Larson’s books. He used the “Reasons I enjoyed this book” feature to share some buzzy keywords describing the title’s appeal. These recommendations can also be interactive — readers commented on Brad’s review sharing their own thoughts on Erik’s book.
7. Signal boost debut authors and encourage others to do the same
Nalini Singh offered to signal boost debut authors with books releasing during the tough conditions of the pandemic. She urged her followers to check out the Twitter thread of responses and support new authors.
Dahlia Adler took to Twitter to implore established authors to “adopt” a few debut books to consistently support.
8. Show love to the writing community
In honor of National Author Day, Shanjida Nusrath Ali expressed her gratitude for the support she’s received from fellow authors. She tagged authors who have helped and inspired her during her writing career in her touching Instagram caption.
Sophie Brookes tweeted a sincere message of author unity, thanking her peers for their consistent support.
9. Bring attention to books with upcoming adaptations
Kami Garcia encouraged her audience to read Jeff Lemire’s comic series before the release of the Netflix show based on Jeff’s books.
Stephanie Garber posted a gorgeous Instagram picture of Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone series in anticipation of the books’ Netflix adaptation premiere.
10. Run giveaways of fellow authors’ books
To spread holiday cheer while supporting fellow authors, Christina McDonald ran Facebook giveaways of different books each day of what she called the “12 Days of Bookmas.” On the second day of this fun event, Christina selected one lucky reader to win an ebook of Samantha M. Bailey’s psychological thriller debut.
Sylvia Liu ran a giveaway of Julie Abe’s new middle grade title. Inspired by the magical theme of Julie’s book, giveaway participants could post a GIF or picture of their favorite witch as an extra entry in the contest.
CJ Redwine gave away a set of Evelyn Skye’s books on Instagram to celebrate Evelyn’s birthday. As part of their entry, CJ asked giveaway hopefuls to share what they’d like to receive for their own birthdays in the comments section.
11. Promote each other’s BookBub deals
Meredith Schorr blasted the news of Samantha M. Bailey’s BookBub deal out to her Instagram followers. Meredith included the time range in her caption, making sure her audience knew to act soon to snag this discount!
Jennifer Bardsley posted an aesthetically pleasing Instagram photo of Claire Matturro’s ebook to promote the title’s BookBub deal. She gave a detailed description of the book’s material in the post’s caption so readers could learn more about the discounted title
12. Host author Twitter chats
Toward the beginning of the pandemic, Amie Kaufman hosted a weekly #KidLitGoesViral Twitter chat on Monday evenings for young adult and middle grade authors launching new books the following day. Each week, she posed questions to the authors using the hashtag, and anyone else could jump in with questions, too — in fact, participants were entered to win a copy of one of the books.
Janella Angeles hosted a Halloween-inspired Twitter chat for BIPOC debut authors, posing six questions for fellow writers to answer about their books. This was a great chance for authors to interact with each other and spread the word about their new releases in a fun way.
13. Co-run virtual events
Alexis Daria, Mia Sosa, Sabrina Sol, and Priscilla Oliveras hosted an event together to celebrate the release of Priscilla’s new romance title. The four authors gathered virtually for a fun night of games and drinks!
Brittainy Cherry and Colleen Hoover co-ran an event as part of Colleen’s virtual book tour. Colleen excitedly shared on Instagram that Publishers Weekly had chosen a screenshot from the interview as their “Picture of the Day.
A couple weeks later, Colleen and Brittainy teamed up again, this time to discuss Brittainy’s new release!
14. Plug peers’ newsletters
Wanda Morris encouraged her Twitter followers to subscribe to Lori Rader-Day’s newsletter to gain access to an exclusive sneak peek of Lori’s new book.
Ruth Ware spread the word about Erin Kelly’s new release through a giveaway announced in her newsletter. She encouraged her audience to subscribe to Erin’s newsletter as well to learn more about the title.
15. Celebrate each other’s release days (aka book birthdays!)
Jennifer L. Armentrout posted a stunning Instagram picture wishing Tish Thawer a happy release day. Jennifer had her own book come out the same day as Tish’s, but still took the time to spotlight another author’s big moment.
Chloe Gong communicated her enthusiasm for her friend Tashie Bhuiyan’s release day by posting a creative stop-motion TikTok video of the new book. At the end of the video, Chloe included some fun footage of Tashie celebrating the exciting occasion!
We’re so inspired by the support we’re seeing in the writing community. How else are you seeing authors uplifting fellow authors during this time? Share in the comments below.
Want to share this post? Here are ready-made tweets!
Click to tweet: This is such a helpful post on how authors can support their peers! Authors, take a look. #WritingCommunity https://bit.ly/2Pr9E1T
Click to tweet: Authors, show your support to your fellow writers! Here are some ideas:
👍 Recommend their titles
📅 Run events together
🎁 Give away their books
🗣️ Provide writing and marketing advice
Check out more here! https://bit.ly/2Pr9E1T