8 Easy Ways to Support Your Favorite Author

There are many ways to support your favorite author, and one of the most important ways (that you can do right now while you’re thinking about it!) is to preorder their new book. Here are more simple ideas to help get the word out about a book or author you enjoy!

Linda Ly
Author Linda Ly with her new book The National Parks Cookbook

Perhaps the sweetest moment of an author’s life (aside from the second we hit “send” upon completion of our manuscript) is the day the very first copy of our book arrives. And that day, my friends, has come.

Disclosure: If you shop from my article or make a purchase through one of my links, I may receive commissions on some of the products I recommend.

Though The National Parks Cookbook officially releases on November 22, 2022, we (the publisher and I) have received our initial copies to read through, hold tight, and celebrate over.

It’s surreal to see a project of this magnitude come to life in the form of a neatly bound hardcover, and while I had visions of how the book might turn out, I’m blown away by how utterly good it is now that I have it in my hands!

The printer, editors, and design team did a fabulous job, and the images that Will captured in our kitchen last summer are incredible. The bold, wanderlust-inspiring cover gives the book a modern, artistic feel that I’m really loving.

The National Parks Cookbook

I am so excited for you to see it, and I hope you’ll preorder a copy via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Indigo, Book Depository (free shipping worldwide), or your local independent bookseller so you’ll have it in time for your spring picnics!

I’m often asked by my readers, “Are preorders really that important?” or “Doesn’t your publisher do all the work of promoting the book?” And my responses to those questions are, “Yes! Yes!” and “To a certain extent.”

You see, publishers use preorders to measure how much buzz a new title is getting and determine whether the author is deserving of another book deal.

If a book has strong preorder sales before it’s even out, the media is more inclined to hype it up, and retailers are more willing to carry the title or give it premium placement.

Not to mention, preordering the book means you reserve your copy ahead of time and are guaranteed delivery as soon as the books reach our vendors’ warehouses—sometimes even before the official release date.

As far as publishers’ involvement with promoting their books, they have in-house sales and marketing teams that handle all aspects of distribution across the normal sales channels.

But when it comes to non-traditional outlets, like farmers’ markets, festivals, or that eclectic online boutique with a massive Instagram following, it’s usually up to the author to seek out, initiate, and/or coordinate the relationship.

A large part of the success of my previous books, The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook and The Backyard Fire Cookbook, was the overwhelming support they received from all of my blog readers and social contacts. It’s tricky to market niche titles such as those, and I couldn’t have done it without the wonderful community behind Garden Betty.

That’s why, as we approach the release of my newest book, The National Parks Cookbook, I hope you’ll rally with me and make it one of this year’s must-cook cookbooks.

To that end, here are a few easy ways you can support the book (or any book from an author you enjoy) with little effort, but big impact.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for helping us get the word out!

All of Linda Ly's cookbooks

1. Buy the author’s book.

An obvious point, of course, but one still worth mentioning. If you have the means, buying a brand-new copy of the book (instead of a used copy) makes the sale “count” in the publisher’s eyes and contributes to the author’s royalties.

Preordering the book is even better, as the number of sales leading up to, and including, the first week of release is a big indicator of how well the book will do in the long run.

Preordering means you can just “set it and forget it,” as your credit card won’t be charged until the book ships, you’ll get the best and lowest price available, and it frees you from remembering to buy the book later (when your favorite retailer might sell out just when you need it for a special occasion).

2. Buy the author’s book as a gift for others.

If there’s a birthday, holiday, graduation, or other important event coming up and you think a friend, family member, or colleague would enjoy the book, purchase it as a gift.

Better yet, purchase a signed copy if possible, and never fret about finding a cool gift again. Even that one person who “already has everything” will take note when gifted with a book that’s been signed and personalized.

3. Ask a bookstore employee where the title is located.

Even if you know exactly where the book is, do not go and get it yourself. Walk up to a customer service desk or bookstore employee and ask him about the book. He’ll then look it up in the system and lead you to it.

Or, if the store doesn’t already stock the title, he can place an order for it (adding yet another retailer to the book’s sales channels).

Bookstores tend to curate their inventory based on their customers’ interests. A bookstore employee once told me that if enough people ask about a book, the store begins to take notice and places more orders (as well as orders on the author’s previous titles).

If the title catches an employee’s eye, he may even put it in the “Employee Picks” section of the store, website, or newsletter, or recommend it to other customers who come in and ask, “What’s new on the shelf this month?” or “What’s a good book to give someone who likes X, Y, and Z?”

Bookstore employees can be an author’s biggest advocates, so bring the book to their attention and help them help us, the authors, sell more books!

(Bonus points if you snap a photo of a book sighting in-store and share it on your social feeds. I love seeing where my books end up in the world!)

4. Turn the book face out at your local bookstore.

This is my personal favorite trick when visiting a new bookstore. If I see my book on the shelves but it’s sitting between other books with only the spine showing, I’ll face the cover out to gain more visibility.

Rearranging even just one book to face out can catch potential customers’ eyes as they wander up and down the aisles.

The Backyard Fire Cookbook on display
Premium placement of The New Camp Cookbook on store shelves
Place the book face out to gain more visibility

5. Reserve a copy of the book at the library.

If you’re not able to buy a copy of the book, this is the next best thing you can do. Place a hold on the title or ask a librarian about it, just to draw attention to it. If every copy in the library system is reserved before the book is released, it’s often marked for more orders.

Many libraries also have links on their sites for people to suggest the purchase of new books (usually in the “Contact” section).

With smaller libraries that lack the funds to buy books, consider donating a copy to help other readers discover the title.

6. Suggest the book to your favorite specialty retailer.

If you frequent a cafe, market, gift shop, or other retailer whose clientele may like the book, mention it to the clerk, manager, or owner, or pass the name of the retailer along to the author.

My sales team loves learning about small shops, museums, local or regional clubs and associations, and other outlets that aren’t a traditional bookstore, and we follow up with every suggestion sent to us.

No suggestion is too “weird” for a cookbook. My books have been sold in all kinds of venues from hardware stores to the gift shops of our US National Parks, so you just never know who might be interested!

7. Leave a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads.

I wrote a while back that reader reviews (particularly for cookbooks) are more important than one might think.

After all, would you be more inclined to buy a book that has zero reviews, or one with several reviews from people who have actually read the book and tried a few recipes?

I personally rely on reviews to help me decide whether a book is worth clicking the “Add to Cart” button, and I especially like honest reviews from paying customers that aren’t merely a regurgitation of the press release or book synopsis.

If you enjoy an author’s work and want to share it with the world, please try to leave a review on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads.

As trivial as this may sound, the first 10 to 20 reviews submitted during the week of the book’s release really do matter, and they go a long way toward future book sales and publicity.

8. Connect the author or the book with your personal circle of contacts.

There’s a saying, “It takes a village”… and that rings truest for authors who aren’t restaurant chefs and who don’t have the cachet of famous food personalities like Ina Garten or Guy Fieri.

If you’re able to leverage your network to propel an author, this is one of the biggest ways you can contribute to the success of the book.

If you’re part of a book club that would consider the book as their next selection, mention it.

If your cousin is a book reviewer at a major media outlet, or you’re married to the brother of an assistant for a TV host, or your old college roommate runs an event that books authors for panels and signings, these are the types of connections that pave the way for an author to promote her book in venues she otherwise might not know about.

Make an introduction, suggest the book to your contact, and tout its accolades or points of interest to show why it’s worth the person’s time.

In short, help the book get noticed, which helps the author sell more books. When it comes down to it, word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to set a book on the right path.

Just tell people about it. Tell your friends, your family, your neighbors, your hairstylist. Share the book on your social networks and hashtag the book in any recipes you try (#thenationalparkscookbook).

Bring it along on your road trips and put it on the dashboard of your car or RV. Leave it out at your workplace where other people are likely to see it.

And come this fall, I hope you’ll share the recipes and memories you’ve made, sharing hot meals and cold drinks with family and friends around your table, by tagging @gardenbetty in your social feeds!

Preorder The National Parks Cookbook: The Best Recipes from (and Inspired by) America’s National Parks before it arrives in stores on November 22, 2022.

You can buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Indigo, Book Depository (free shipping worldwide), or your local independent bookseller. (Tip: You can ask any bookseller to place a preorder for you. Support local!)

A stack of all of Linda Ly's cookbooks

Learn more about my books

The Backyard Fire Cookbook

The New Camp Cookbook

The CSA Cookbook


  1. Every trip to my public library, I check out a few gardening books (even if I’ve read them before and don’t intend to read them again). The more they see activity in a genre (gardening), they are more likely to expand their garden book selection. It also helps keep a title on the shelf if they are paring down books. It may even encourage them to buy extra copies if they find a lot of activity for a particular book/author.

    BTW The CSA Cookbook is at my local library and I’ve checked it out twice already! I’ll ask for the No-Waste book to be added. The next time you’re at your library, ask for How to Garden Indoors & Grow Your Own Food Year Round. 🙂

  2. Suggested to my library that they pre-order the book as soon as I got your newsletter this morning. They’re ordering copies and I can’t wait to be the first on the waiting list for it!

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