4:00 AM

How much is too much?

Opting to be self, or indie, published means the author has to wear many hats, and promoting your work is one of those areas you can't skimp on. As I'm getting closer to my tentative publication date I'm trying to get the word out and garner interest for Near Death.  The problem being, how much is too much? I want people to check it out. I want people to be interested and put it on their to-read lists, but I don't want them to feel spammed and annoyed that I'm mentioning it so often.

Goodreads has a option to let you recommend books (yours or someone else's) to your friends. Sounds like an awesome way to get the word out right? I have a couple hundred friends on Goodreads. I can hit them all up in one blow! Problem? I've been hearing some horror stories about how some Goodreads members react to such a thing: nasty response emails, unfriending, bad mouthing to their other friends.  Really people?  I could understand if you were constantly getting spammed by the same person with such recommendations, but just sending one out is a bad thing? I thought helping new authors get exposure is something Goodreads is known for. I thought half the reason for having an account and friends there is to find new things to read. Once my cover art is ready, I still plan on taking advantage of the option so I'll apologize in advance, but if any of my  "friends" on Goodreads think one email is spamming, then perhaps they shouldn't have authors as friends.

When it comes to Twitter, I think, depending on how many followers you have, you need to repeat the message several times. People are on at different times of the day and if they follow a lot of people, it's easy for your messages to get lost in the stream.  Does that mean you should post "BUY MY BOOK!" 50 times a day, everyday? HELL NO. If all you post is messages asking people to buy your stuff, you're going to bore people and loose followers. Make yourself a schedule and if you use a Twitter client like Hootsuite, you can set up Tweets to post at specific times, so maybe you plan to tweet about it a couple days a week at different times of the day. Done that way, you're hopefully mostly hitting a different group of followers each time.

Another thing to try and keep in mind is cross networking. It's very likely that you have several of the same people on more than one social networking site. Maybe they follow you on Twitter and have liked your Facebook author/book page. Maybe they are in your G+ circle and on your Goodreads friend list. Be cautious not to accidentally spam your friends by re-posting everything on all your networks at the same time. Again, spread things out and pay attention to your timing.

You need to get the word out and promote your work, but there needs to be a happy medium. Every post you make shouldn't be badgering your friends and followers to buy your wares. Continue to be your quirky selves and make comments and ask questions. On occasion, peddle your product. Also, remember everything doesn't have to be a request for people to buy. You can gain interest by doing blog tours, holding contests, having trivia questions, making promotional posters and bookmarks, posting snippets of the novel, etc. Remember, if people like you, if you make them laugh or think, they are apt to be interested in your work without you shoving it in their face. They just need to be aware that it's out there. Happy medium. You can do it.


Pippa Jay said...

I think I pretty much agree with every point you made there. And I'm facing the same dilemma - it's a very delicate balancing act all round.

MBee said...

It is...also, as I've said about many things, you're not going to make everyone happy all of the time so sometimes you just have to ignore those who are easily annoyed :P

Patricia Lynne said...

Agreed with what you said. What's funny, is I just wrote blog post talking about some of the same things (but focusing more on twitter) This is like 2 for 2 our thoughts have aligned. Are you stalking me MB? Cuz I promise I'm not stalking you. >.>

Joe Delgado said...

Nice article. No sense badgering friends to buy stuff. Haven't seen that work, yet.

People don't buy because we ask them to, they buy because they want to. I haven't even come close to that conversion.

MBee said...

You can stalk me anytime you want Patty ;) As far as if I'm stalking you...well..were you missing a piece of that yummy looking cake? if so..umm it wasn't me :P

Thanks Joe and it's true, most won't buy because you want them to, but you still have to get the word out there. They won't know they want to buy it if they don't know it's out there! :)

SB said...

It's hard. As an self-published author you will have to market your books on your own. I don't think it's right for people to tell other people how to get the word out about their projects. I send out tweets to my fan base. I have fans in the UK, so I tweet to people in the UK. I also have fans in the US, and my blog has fans from all over. So, I might have to tweet updates three times a day.I might send out 20 tweets on my books, and maybe ten on my blog a day. However I'm talking to people all around the world. I'm in Texas and people buy my books in the UK because I got the word out. So stay true to yourself..

MBee said...

You do what works for you. I'm certainly no expert and things I write here are my opinions or what I have found works for me, you know?

I think so long as you tweet other things and people chat with you, etc. promoting often isn't that big of a deal (on twitter anyhow). Like I said, if people get to know you, they are probably more likely to want to buy your stuff than some random stranger promoting. Know what I mean?

SB said...

I agree.