Should I Self Promote?
When it comes to promotion, indie authors often find themselves tense and uncomfortable.
Should I self-promote? How much promotion is too much before it’s considered spam? Some authors look at their friends published with a publisher and hear all sorts of differing opinions.
Some publishers do, in fact, take care of all the promoting for their authors. Some of these writers will then stop, sit back, and expect sales to come in without doing anything. Others with this type of publisher will still want to go out and do something for themselves. So, should they? YES! There is no pain in going out, interacting with potential readers, and making a few extra sales. In fact, you’re more likely to make more sales by connecting with the reader, instead of having the publisher do it. Self-promotion doesn’t make you look bad — unless, of course, you’re just spamming.
What’s the difference between spamming and self-promoting?
Spamming is always there. You log into Twitter or Facebook and see the same post, from the same writer, over and over again. Spamming will lose you some followers.
In other cases, there are publishers that say, “hey, we got you published — now you deal with marketing.” That can be stressful in itself because then the writer is wondering why the heck they bothered with signing a contract. Why are sales going to the publisher if nothing is being done to help make sales?
In the end, it doesn’t matter what publishers say — as an indie author, you’re not working with them. You need to consider the readers.
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Think about it. Everything you post is likely being seen by all your friends that are in the literary world with you. They get annoyed because you’re doing something they might feel they don’t need to do themselves because they’re with a publisher. So they write stuff up about how annoying or pitiful you are for self promoting.
Now, let’s say you’re doing this the useful way, via media — using hashtags to reach readers. Readers don’t know the publishing process. They don’t know the writing process. They can care less. They just want to read, or they have family/friends that love to read. So, they see a promotional tweet or ad and they go, “hey! That sounds interesting.” Yay, a sale.
Another thing to consider is that indie authors have an audience different than those published by the big houses. This is the hipster age, guys, and there are tons who purposely avoid the big published authors. They want to see the unknowns and search for them specifically through social media and indie hashtags.
In the end, in my experience, the best way to make the most sales is by being interactive and talkative. Post a promotional thing maybe two or three times a day — spaced out. When your new followers or friends (the ones you made just by being cool and friendly) find out you’re a writer, they’ll be more excited about checking you out. And stay positive. That seems to draw more attention than some of my writing peers.
I wish you all the greatest of success in your work and promoting!