This blog post is in direct response to Please Shut Up: Why Self-Promotion As An Author Doesn't Work. GO read it. It's pretty short.
You'll probably come back here and nod your head a bit because on the surface you agree with a lot of these points. I certainly did. Because the sentiment is there, but the real message was lost in that post.
Here's the real message I have for authors…
Don't Shut Up. Stop being a robot and start being you!
Writing more books doesn't sell more books. You can have thirty to fifty books on Amazon, but if you never tell anybody about them, no one will ever buy them! The old adage that you have to “write more books to sell more books” doesn't work if the books are not promoted. The trick is to stop being a robot! Stop the constant “BUY MY BOOK” tweets or the promotion-only FB posts or the BUY BUY BUY newsletters.
Instead, find your audience and start being more personal to them. Social media can work for you, if your audience is there, but they are going to hate you if you schedule a post every 4 hours with links to buy your book. THAT is being a robot, not being you.
Here are some self-promotion tips that I feel work and will work for every author!
1) Determine where your audience is on social media.
Some authors have a huge following on Twitter. Some do really well with their author page on Facebook. Some have a bunch of readers following them on G+. Some even have popular blogs where people come to read about them several times per week. EVERY AUTHOR IS DIFFERENT because every audience is different. If you don't know where your audience is, try a few social networks until you see which is working.
2) Spend your time on social media being YOU.
If an author has a following on Twitter, they spend their time there, following conversations, talking about their life or their work, posting photos or updates, and being genuine. This is BEING YOU! This is not being a robot. See the difference here? Promoting is being yourself. If you think that your life is boring, then try talking about your favorite hobbies, post photos, share articles and have an opinion on them. DO SOMETHING THAT IS GENUINE. Readers want to know about you, not how to buy your book every other minute.
3) Be balanced.
There are definitely times when you can sell your work to your readers! Don't let anyone tell you you can't. When you have a new release, chances are your fans want to hear about it. So talk about it! Put some links on Twitter, put some posts on your Facebook page, and be excited! Show some emotion (remember, you're not a robot). These times when we authors finish a great big work are the most fun for everyone, both authors and fans. But it's a balancing act. You have to walk that tight rope and keep being you while still selling your work. This is where newsletters come in handy. All your biggest fans should be signed up because they want the news straight to their inbox.
Look at that article I linked to right at the top of this post again. I have news for you. Every one of her points is wrong if you can be you and not be an emotionless automaton.
You CAN solicit reviews of your books if you're personal and research your potential readers.
You CAN send out newsletters if you can give back to your audience and not just take, take, take from them.
You CAN promote on Twitter, Facebook, etc. if you are being you and not a BUY MY BOOK machine.
The only thing I agree with in the entire piece now is “Let's write better books” because all the “being YOU” in the world is not going to get you anywhere if your books are crap. Lol.
So give this the one-two punch. Write awesome books and be an awesome human being online. Robots are better left to selling you coffee at the cafe.