3 Benefits to Reading (and Recommending) Other Books in Your Genre

If you’ve written a  science fiction book … or a military history book … or a chick-lit book (you get the point), then this is obviously a genre that you enjoy and that you’re familiar with. In this post, I will explain why and how you should utilize that knowledge and interest to help promote your own book.

Image courtesy of Evan Animals/Flickr
Image courtesy of Evan Animals/Flickr

Strategy #1: Review Other Books in Your Genre
People love reading book reviews. After all, they want to know that other people have enjoyed a book before they invest the time and money to read it themselves. So build a blog in which you review other mystery novels … or self-help books … or whatever genre you’d categorize your writing as. Once you start building a following, people will start valuing what you have to say. And if they agree with you about various books, they’re much more likely to take the plunge and read your book as well.

Strategy #2: Offer to Cross-Reference Other Books in Your Genre
At the end of the day, other writers in your genre aren’t really your competition. They’re a potential source for finding new readership. So reach out to other writers who talk to the same audience. See if they’re interested in sharing blog posts with you (and vice versa) or reviewing/recommending each others books (and vice versa). Remember: authors aren’t like accountants. Most people have more than one that they are loyal to at a time. So take advantage of the following that another author has, and offer the same in response.

Strategy #3: Write Round-Up Articles
This idea comes courtesy of one of my favorite people in the field, Sandra Beckwith of Build Book Buzz.com. She recently wrote an interesting post about how authors can get their books out there through round-up articles. Here’s a summary of her recommendations.

Step 1: Define your roundup
A “roundup” article usually gathers up the best, worst, most, least, newest, top, funniest, etc.

Step 2: Figure out your roundup topic
For example, “Best business books of 2013” or “Best beach reading for the summer”

Step 3: Create your list
Your list doesn’t have to just include books, either. Think outside the box. For example, your book could be part of a “best Father’s Day gifts” list or a “Fun things to do while your spouse plays golf.” Then figure out what — besides your book, of course — will comprise the list itself.

Step 4: Pitch your list to the press
Write a press release announcing your list. Make sure to present it as identifying a problem that your list can solve.

Voila! Three reasons you should seriously consider reviewing and recommending other books in your genre. As always, think outside the box, and feel free to share any good ideas with the rest of us!