In a sea of marketing ideas I thought it was time I told everyone a few things about marketing yourself. There are so many ways these days for authors to reach out to readers and entice them. Twitter, Facebook, review site like this one….and good ole fashion word of mouth. Write a good book and people will talk about it, regardless of the outlet in which they do it.
Like everything else in life, there are people you may run across that simply don’t “get it”. They try but when it comes down to it, they are clueless as to what others may or may not find annoying. As a reviewer and reader I have run across plenty of bad marketing.
1. When I follow you on Twitter do not send me a pre-typed thank you with a handy buy link to your book. It’s annoying and you come across as a spam bot. I may be following you for your witty comments and have no intention of ever reading your book. I may be following you because I saw you were following me. Whatever the reason if I get a pre-typed private message, I will unfollow you.
2. Do not spam Twitter with your buy links. If all I see in your tweet feed is “Buy my book here…” “Hey did you see my book is out?” “If you buy my book a puppy on death row gets a loving home…” “Your dead grandma would want you to buy my book….” I will refuse to buy it. Period. I don’t care if the Pope himself weeps on the damn thing. Not gonna happen.
3. If I hear that your book is “eh” from everyone I know and then I go to Amazon and you have 12 5′s that all suspiciously sound like you, your husband, your best friend and your mom wrote them….I won’t buy your book. Step away from the keyboards and let the readers be honest here. Yeah yeah it’s your baby and it hurts…but whatevs…LEAVE IT ALONE.
4. If I see you lash out and attack a reader or reviewer (who was being honest and NOT attacking you themselves) on any outlet I will not only not ever read your book, but I will tell everyone I know what a douchenugget you are. That is all.
5. Last and certainly my favorite. If I go into a book store and get chased by an author begging me to buy their book, that is NOT good marketing. Especially if the author is one I’ve never heard of, writes a genre I don’t read, was wrote 8 YEARS AGO by a publisher I’ve never heard of, and upon looking it up on Goodreads has exactly ZERO reviews….I will never read it.
This did happen to me BTW. I walked into my local Books-A-Million on Saturday afternoon intent on picking up a romance book I salivated over for months. I dragged one of my kids and husband along for the ride which is always a joy. I hadn’t even made it past the double doors before this author was on me. It was my mistake, I made a fatal flaw in making brief eye contact. Firstly I live in Northeastern Ohio which is never the mecca of well known authors. Shoot they won’t even go to Cleveland, let only my average hell hole sized suburgatory. The author was literally standing 2 feet from the door accosting people as they arrived. It went a little like this:
Me: *Hmmm why is that strange homeless man standing by two very lonely paperbacks on that big table?*
Author: Hey! You there! Come over here and buy this book! I’M THE AUTHOR!!!
Me: *Glances uneasily at hubs who has yet to notice the screaming irate man intent on book raping me in the doorway to Books A Million* “Ummmmmmmmmm” *Looks for a way to escape crazy screaming man, can I start running dragging my kid behind me like cans on a wedding limousine? *
Author: “COME HERE AND BUY MY BOOK! I WILL SIGN IT! I’M THE AUTHOR!!!”
Me: *People are staring……* “Uh, I read romance.” *Start walking away*
Author: *Literally blocks my path and …….insert lame-o story about how he knows nothing about romance but to be honest I had stopped listening and was instead looking for ways to escape*
Me: “Ok, well, ummmm I’m going to go over there *Pointing in the general direction of nowhere*
Author: “WAIT! You forgot your book! I will sign it!”
Me: “No, no I didn’t forget……Look! Someone else coming through the door! *He turns around to look and I run literally for the clearance aisles because they are like a maze and I’m a good hider*
After we had gotten away and hubs finally said something, like he hadn’t secretly been laughing at me the entire exchange….
Hubs: “So are all authors like that?”
Me: “Uh, not the good ones”
Hubs: “That was interesting. I thought he might physically make you buy his book.”
Me: “It’s nice to know that when I get attacked you’ll be right there watching and laughing. If he’d killed me you wouldn’t have found it funny”
Hubs: *Blinks* I don’t think you were in any danger of that plus if you were dead how would you buy his book?”
Me: “Says you. I was afraid for my life”
Authors. Do not take a page from this author. It stinks of a desperation I had not encountered until that moment. When we left I refused to make eye contact because getting tackled in the doorway might have bent the covers of the books by normal authors I had just bought. However I have strong peripheral vision, which I never thought of as an asset till that moment, and I saw the author descend on an older gentleman the way a lion might descend on a weak gazelle. Survival of the fittest bitches because I refused to go help that gentleman and instead saw my opportunity of escape. Which I took. In haste.
Do not be that author. And normal authors? I IMPLORE YOU…come visit Canton, Ohio so I can actually enjoy my rare outing to the local bookstore. PLEASE, I beg you!