Promoting a Book via Social Media (Or Don’t be a Commercial)

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So you got the word that your book is gonna be a reality. You’ve signed away most of your soul on that nifty contract. Now, comes the time to start generating some buzz, getting some folks on board with the idea of purchasing your magnum opus. This means you’ve got to promote it and get it out to the unsuspecting masses. Now, since we’re all children of the internet age that means that social media is going to be our first outlet.

 I’m under the mindset there are two types of people when it comes to promoting a book online. The first are the people who have a tendency to just throw up a blurb about a book, it’s cover, and say go buy it. They’re the folks that when they follow you on twitter, they feel obliged to send you the link to their amazon page, they’re the ones that hit every Facebook group they can find that has a modicum of anything to do with writing or books and slam it with said link and blurb. To me, this is the total wrong way to go about it. Here’s why: When you watch a show you recorded on your DVR for example, what’s that one thing you fast forward through? The commercials. When you check your email, where do all the advertisements for porn and penis enlargement pills go? The Spam folder. The point is, no one wants commercials or advertisements. I see them all the time and I ignore them. That’s not taking away anything from anyone’s blurb, or cover, or anything of that nature. It’s simply the fact that when you post something like that, it is in essence, a commercial and most people are gonna fast forward right on by it. Reason being, we’re not getting anything out of it. Sure, we get a link to your book, we can buy it, and all that. However, we’re not getting anything for taking the time to go there except the option of spending our money on your book. It is, in my humble opinion, the same as treating the people you’re promoting too, as a potential royalty payment and not a fan.

Now, the second type of people, well, they look at things a bit different. They look at it like this: They don’t care about the money, they want the fans. They want the people who will appreciate what they’ve done, and if they’re going to take the time to click that nifty little link they should get something for it be it a blog post, a little conversation, something, hell anything. They’re the folks that spend their time going to book blogs and offer to post guest blogs, trying to arrange interviews with book sites, writing their own blogs, interacting with people via their author page and on twitter, instead of spamming folks with their blurbs. The point is, these folks aren’t reaching for your wallet, they are reaching for you. They want the people who might enjoy their book to enjoy talking and interacting with the guy (or gal) who put those words on paper.

I’ll admit, when I first started my author page on Facebook, I spammed it a bit. Even then, I tried to keep things conversational. I told people what it was and tried to make a joke out of it. Now, since I first did an initial round of posts, I’ve pretty much left alone unless a thread specifically asked for it. My book, which is still undetermined in regards to the actual release date, when it comes out, yeah, I’ll announce it. I’m not, however, gonna go throw it up every where I possibly can, free or not. Instead, I’m going to give people something. I’ll throw up the first chapter, at the end of said chapter, there will be a link to buy it. At least then, people will have gotten something for their time. If they dig it, they have the option, if they don’t, well that’s cool too. Different strokes for different folks and all.

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2 Responses to “Promoting a Book via Social Media (Or Don’t be a Commercial)”

  1. Sounds like you have the write attitude. I can’t tell you how many people I ignore on Twitter b/c they are constantly going on and on about their book, rather than being an actual person. Looking forward to seeing some of your “socially responsible” promotions when your done with the book.

  2. Crap! I didn’t proofread. That should be *right* not write attitude. Pun was not intended…

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