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Marketing and Promotion > My List Of Things Not To Do When Promoting Your Book

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message 1: by A.F. (last edited Apr 24, 2012 03:43PM) (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1680 comments Mod
The following list are things I've learned by doing my own marketing and by listening to others around the internet:

Do not say “buy my book” or something similar. The first question that pops in my head when I read that is, “Why should I?” In my opinion saying “buy my book” is presumptuous.

Do not just say “here’s my book” and leave a link. Um, yeah, it’s nice you have a book, but what’s the title, the genre, the synopsis? Give people a reason to click the link.

Don’t post an advertisement. If you are on a social network, do just that: be social and network. Posting a big splashy picture, with bold, underlined text and exclamation marks screams spam, not new book. A good catchy hook, reels in far more people than fancy fonts. Ads are for the side of the page not comments or forums.

Beware the hyperbole. If your book has won awards, made a top ten list or some other accolade, that’s great. Just don’t lead your promo with it. That might sound odd but if you flaunt too much, readers get suspicious of veracity. So downplay the accolades a bit, put them at the end of the promo. Or even in a separate news announcement; readers do like it when good things happen to authors.

Do not post sloppy grammar. A lower case “i”, “U” instead of “you”, “r” instead of “are” might be fine in a text or chatting with your friends, but if you are presenting yourself as an author it screams “bad writer”.

Beware the bad promo synopsis. When describing your book online, do not ramble. You want a short, snappy synopsis to create interest; you do not have to include every detail. You want an opening hook, a brief outline of the plot and a closing ender. A couple of paragraphs are usually good for most online promos. (Just a note: you may need longer descriptions for book pages, such as on Smashwords or a Facebook Page; in that case simply expand on your shorter synopsis.)

Do not leave a promo “linkless”. If you are going to tell the world about your book, please tell them where to find it. And remember that Amazon is not the only place to buy books; if your book is listed in multiple stores tell people.

Do not “link spam” a blog or article. This means if you leave a comment on someone’s blog or website post, leave a comment about the post, not just your link. I know you may be seeking readers for your own blog or whatever, but you are not going to get them by being rude. That said, you can leave links, just be sociable about it; work the fact you have a blog (or whatever) into your comment.

Quick example of what not to do: I need more followers. Can you follow my blog: http://afstewartblog.blogspot.ca/

Quick example of what to do: Love the post and your blog. I do the whole writing thing too, come visit me sometime at http://afstewartblog.blogspot.ca/


Do not email unprepared or disregard guidelines. This tip is for when you are requesting reviews, interviews or something similar. Most reviewers/interviewers have preferences, so do your homework, before sending an email. And don’t think their rules are arbitrary; we have reasons for these guidelines and we don’t enjoy being annoyed any more than you do. For more tips on review requests go here: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/5...


message 2: by David (last edited Apr 25, 2012 03:28AM) (new)

David Robinson (dwrob) | 8 comments This is absolutely solid advice. It's so irritating when I choose to follow someone on, say, Twitter and two minutes later I get a DM asking me to buy, read or check out the book.

My policy is often to quote a few words from a review, or pose a little question from the book. For instance:

Why does a toasted teacake always taste better when someone serves you?

Its actually a light-hearted, throwaway line from a cosy murder mystery, but it's so much better than saying, buy my book


message 3: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Kristufek | 15 comments This is great advice! Thanks for putting it together.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Excellent advice AF. I am on the authonomy site and it's so annoying when someone says, 'Read my book - it's great.' It's also offputting when someone in their synopsis boasts that their book is great.

If an author has received a review saying their books is great, then post that, so readers can make up their own minds. It's also useful to say how many chapters of your book are free.

http://www.amazon.com/Vissi-darte-ebo...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vissi-darte-e...


message 5: by Danella (new)

Danella Faye (Danella_Faye) | 2 comments Wonderful Advice and added on my "not to do" list.


message 6: by Jason (new)

Jason Baldwin-Stephens | 69 comments As always A. F., thank you for sharing.

I've learned at least one item on your list the hard way. : )

- Jason


message 7: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Thanks, A. F. Great advice. I'm making notes for when I need them later.


message 8: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1680 comments Mod
Glad the post was helpful to everyone.


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert (RobertDownsBooks) | 36 comments Great post, A.F. I find the soft-sell suits my personality much better than the hard-one. For me, marketing a novel is all about creating awareness, and about treating other people the way you want to be treated.


message 10: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1680 comments Mod
Robert wrote: "Great post, A.F. I find the soft-sell suits my personality much better than the hard-one. For me, marketing a novel is all about creating awareness, and about treating other people the way you want..."

Well said, Robert.


message 11: by Elryxe (new)

Elryxe Detristeange | 2 comments I love this so much!


message 12: by Amber (new)

Amber Carter (AmberLCarter) A.F. wrote: "The following list are things I've learned by doing my own marketing and by listening to others around the internet:

Do not say “buy my book” or something similar. The first question that pops ..."


Ugh - if I could give one gift to the world, it would be to teach everyone to not auto-DM after someone follows you. It's tacky, annoying, and it can get you immediately unfollowed (by me).


message 13: by Amber (new)

Amber Carter (AmberLCarter) Sorry David - I meant my previous comment as a "reply" to you! Maybe I should teach myself how to use a Goodreads Group forum first... ;)

My one big tip that I would add to this list is to make your social network promos *actually* interesting. Daily tweets of "I wrote a book! You should buy it!" not only are inherently annoying because of their repetition, but if you can't be creative with your blurbs, why would your audience think that you'd be more creative with your book? Make it funny. Unexpectedly connect it to a related topic or comment. Make your tweets and Facebook updates about your book just as entertaining as any other updates. I feel like a lot of writers take the marketing thing sooo seriously...why not *try* to at least have fun with it? The more you do, the more your readers will, as well.


message 14: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1680 comments Mod
Amber wrote: "Sorry David - I meant my previous comment as a "reply" to you! Maybe I should teach myself how to use a Goodreads Group forum first... ;)

My one big tip that I would add to this list is to make y..."


Good tips, Amber.


message 15: by M T (new)

M T McGuire (MTMcGuire) | 47 comments Nice post.

A big one for me is aggression; the hard sell is what turns me off. A lot of the dodgy pitches start with something like, "gritty, uncompromising, action packed roller coaster ride of a book" and go on to quote reviews and tell me what I will think when actually, I'd like to decide for myself!

I think I have it a little easier in that, as a humour author, I get to write the blurb in a way that demonstrates my style of wit - hopefully - as well as summing up the book which is, sort of, easier.

Cheers

MTM


message 16: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1680 comments Mod
M wrote: "Nice post.

A big one for me is aggression; the hard sell is what turns me off. A lot of the dodgy pitches start with something like, "gritty, uncompromising, action packed roller coaster ride of ..."


I hear that a lot on forums, that the hard sell turns readers off.


message 17: by Dale (new)

Dale Ibitz (goodreadscomdale_ibitz) | 26 comments I agree about the hard sell. It gets to the point when I see the author's name, I ignore or delete without reading on.


message 18: by J.C. (new)

J.C. (CaptKidd) | 3 comments I'm taking notes for future reference! thanks a million. :-)


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