Recently I read a blog post by culture watcher and writer Mike Duran. In summary he speaks on how there are ways writers turn off their readers by doing such things as “overtweeting”, “Over Facebooking”, mentioning their own books, recommending their own books and doing giveaways…
Of course I plugged in my two cents, but will expand it more. How much is too much shameless promotion and should this bother most writers and readers?
Let’s look at one aspect of marketing: Social Media. Social Media encompasses those communications involving platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Emails, MySpace, and other avenues that allow you to send links, photos, one line comments, feedback and chat. Now Google+ has jumped on the bandwagon with Hangout, chats, free phone calls from emails, hashtagging(such as on Twitter using the # sign).
Remember traditional methods of marketing? Flyers, business cards, newspapers, word of mouth, radio, and other functions that have not died out are still really good to use.
How does the author factor in all of this?As an author(doesn’t matter what kind), you want your book, your baby to be out there, make it known to the world. This is the least you can do for your work and its fun playing promoter-some days I suppose. But it teaches you the business and new ways to bring in readers interested in your genre.
For example, I published Mark of Fortune this Spring and although I would have loved to market it in a huge way using radio promotion, web promotion and videos- I think it would have been too much for just a free short story. My hope is that I can just tweet about it once in a while and perhaps mention it here or on Google+ as way to talk about it. Oftentimes, people crawling the net will eventually find eBooks anyway if its listed on the web. So in this case, my goal is for readers to know what they want and seek it out, I am only to help steer them to my book, not bombard them with it.
Could that be what people mean when they say “Don’t spam others or “Don’t over promote your book”? For my two book of poems also listed on Smashwords, I would like to do heavy promotion for those and even locally just so people can see it and make a choice if that is their thing. Poetry isn’t dead but it’ll be harder to promote than genre fiction like, say, witches, vamps, and wolves, or Steampunk.
So should Tweeting and Facebooking, etc. be a turn off for readers? My answer is no. I think the only ones complaining are those writers who probably have a good, decent following of fans already and are just very picky. I mean, let’s be honest- It’s marketing. Advertising using social media. Why keep it a secret? James Patterson(an awesome writer by the way) had a commercial on every month I think and I think that was great, although he is pretty much known to many as a commercial mystery author.
Is there a well-balanced solution? I am not you and you are not me, so your way of thinking and of promoting your work is a unique adventure, but here is what I am learning as I go about promoting my own works:
- Tweet, Facebook, or +1 your book every so often. This means maybe once or twice a week post your book, share a link, the photos, or other things dealing with your book. However you choose to do this is fine. For those who go about the traditional way, try going to places you haven’t been before to market so you won’t bother the same people/establishments. Try parks, retail stores, carnivals, church. the only time you go to the same places is if you have interested customers.
- There is nothing wrong with giveaways. As a book reviewer, this is the time readers can give a book outside of their liking a chance- for free. Or to win a book in the genre they do like and you as the author/blogger gain a following. For those who have a problem giving away items- don’t do it. I believe in sharing.
- Cheap pricing for books are not turnoffs. They are keen turn ons because no one in this economy wants to spend $25.99 for a hardcover book when they can get it for $9.99 as an eBook or cheaply priced print book found on publishers’ website. Some readers actually would purchase high priced books if they truly are believers in the author and their words and there is nothing wrong with that.
I know that with everything there is a catch, so of course you don’t want to spam folks, over tweet, or do nothing but giveaways. That is why I am offering the well-balanced way to do things that doesn’t “hurt feelings” or cause you to want to go overboard.