An Open Letter to #Indie #Authors regards Marketing Yourselves…

You KNOW I love you ALL to PIECES and I try to help you any way I can – BUT…I’m not an ape who beats around the bush (except to find food of course) so I’ll say it straight…

You’re driving me spare with frustration…

How?

By your apparent lack of imagination!

I DO NOT mean when it comes to your storytelling talents.

I mean, when it comes to Promoting / Marketing yourself and your book(s).

Take the following common methods for example:

BOOK BLOG TOURS

The same promotional wording, layout and general pitch on several host blogs, sometimes interlinked with schedules of where and when (often up to a three week period) the beleaguered follower of many of these blogs is forced to either, click on the Like Button to show the blog host that they support them, or, stay away rather than to read the same promo post for the umpteenth time…

It’s akin to blanket bombing using cluster bombs to disperse as much shrapnel as possible over as wide an area as possible – WITH THE MINIMUM OF THOUGHT, STRATEGY OR EFFORT…

GUEST AUTHOR POSTS

The same wording, layout and general pitch on several host blogs, forcing the beleaguered follower of many of these blog to either, click on the Like Button to show the blog host that they support them, or, stay away rather than to read the same Guest Author post for the umpteenth time…

See the blanket bombing analogy above…

MARKETING / PROMOTING ON TWITTER

Seems to be mainly restricted to waiting for the unwary to come along and click the Follow Button, thus unleashing the (barely) chained hounds of ‘BUY MY BOOK AT, LIKE MY FACEBOOK PAGE AT, SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG / WEBSITE SO YOU NEVER MISS ONE WORD OF MY INCESSANT PLEAS FOR BUY MY BOOK AT’ messages that suddenly greet the hapless victim, when all they wanted to do was follow you and maybe say “Hello” to an author sometime…

MARKETING / PROMOTING ON FACEBOOK

Seems to be mainly restricted to a very familiar sounding BUY MY BOOK(S), GET THEM AT, HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT MY LATEST BLAH, BLAH, BLAH…..BOOK?

There are exceptions to this of course – thankfully – where authors greet people by name, introduce them to everyone else and make serious efforts to get to know their fans and followers.

Making the whole experience feel like a chance meeting in a Cafe, Garden Party or similar pleasant event.

But sadly – they are in the minority…

MARKETING / PROMOTING ON THE AUTHORS OWN BLOG / WEBSITE

Seems to be mainly restricted to:

Yep, you’ve guessed it…

BUY MY BOOK(S), GET THEM AT, HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT MY LATEST BLAH, BLAH, BLAH…..BOOK? SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG / WEBSITE SO YOU NEVER MISS ONE WORD OF MY INCESSANT PLEAS FOR BUY MY BOOK AT posts.

CAN YOU SPOT ANY DIFFERENCES?

WELL MR. SMARTYPANTS APE – If YOU’RE so CLEVER – Tell us what we SHOULD be doing – Nyuh, Nyuh, Nyuh…

I’ll do BETTER than offer you MY limited knowledge.

I’ll let PROFESSIONALS tell you in a short series of articles I’ll be linking to, but I have to advise that it’s NOT ENOUGH to JUST READ them.

YOU NEED TO TRY THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS.

Meanwhile, for anyone who may have missed Susan Toy’s excellent series Authors Marketing Yourself and Your Work, click HERE

69 thoughts on “An Open Letter to #Indie #Authors regards Marketing Yourselves…

  1. Please rate me (using your bananas scale) on your Indie Author marketing scale, Ape, when you have a chance.
    FYI: I do not copy/paste my own “interviews,” I do not duplicate/re-use my own guest blog posts, I host an almost-weekly, on-air, online talk show (NOT INTERVIEWS), *CHANGES* conversations with authors, including writers of many genres and stripes, I invite guest bloggers to post and reblog great posts as well as create content for my blog, and I’m all-around unique.

    Yes or no? 10 Bananas is : COME SWING WITH ME!; 1 Banana is : GET OUT OF MY TREE!

    Best to you,

    Sally

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Exactly why I vary my own interviews, don’t do them all at once and add in something new. People like it when they learn something a little new about you or your book. It gets their attention, makes things interesting and inspires them want to read another post to see if there is something else they don’t know about you or your book. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As a new author I have found your article to be true. Everything looks the same. I am trying to think of new ways to get my book out there and need all the help I can get. I look forward to this series.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Thank you thank you thank you ! As a book tour host I like working with authors who come up with original content for each stop. Some tour companies are better than others for this. I still use some of the genetic material but I tend to get in early on tours, plus I try to work with tour companies who allow a little creativity with the content. Otherwise it all gets very dull. Same for the endless stream of “buy my book” broadcasting by authors, particularly on Twiitter. I’m not perfect though – I’ve fallen foul of that trap before now and against my better judgment, Any author, service provider or business need to engage with their audience and not just broadcast information. That’s not to say I don’t see social media as a marketing platform, I’ll update when a new book of mine is out and have buy links on my blog. I’ll even share the occasional review, but experience and metrics tell me that the endless stream of “buy my book” material wastes more energy and time than it’s worth. Smart promotion or none at all. Write more books instead.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’ve been doing the blog rounds to promote my newest book this spring, but I’ve done different posts for each person lovely enough to host me – the only thing the same across the posts is my bio. It’s been mentally taxing, but hopefully the results are worth it. I hate the idea of being spammy, so I almost never post anything about buying my books – I don’t want to be that author. But it’s hard to promote without coming across as spammy. *sigh*

    I’m looking forward to your marketing articles. Every little bit of inspiration in that area helps.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Thanks for your comments about book blog tours – overload! Gets dull very fast. Writers do need to spread the word and widen their audience, but please, please use a different picture for each blog post. Come up with a creative opening – you’re a writer for goodness sakes, think of an intriguing hook! Give the reader some reason to read the post besides the ditto ditto sales promotion blah blah blah….talk about the book’s setting, era (why drawn to it, how different from now, the problems created writing with that era/setting, slang/vocabulary differences, and why a setting was chosen – related pictures? Talk about where you write and why – anything that is different and “new” information. Try a different angle for each blog tour post or people do just start sliding past quickly “Oh, again? Been there read that.”
    Well written post. (And Susan always has good ideas!)

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I cant do it all Chris. Cant write books, short stories, poems, enter writing prompts, submit to competitions, write blog posts, write magazine articles. But if I want to grow as a writer, I must. I cant do all that and look after my kids, do all Carys’s physio and the rest, walk my dog, clean the house, cook and shop. On top of that I have to market my book, engage with 20 social media sites, court my customer, review books and try and get reviews of mine, support and promote other authors, read all their blog posts and comment, design covers, make trailers…. in no other job is so much expected from one person, and for what? Less than the price of a cup of coffee, or free preferably! I’m doing my best, as most of us Indies are, but we’re writers, we need to be best at writing, not all this other stuff. I will market when my 3rd book is finished. That probably isnt good enough, but it will have to do. All this other stuff has quite sapped my will to continue with book 3.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Bless you Ali – you are already doing things in a way that attracts, enthralls and entices fans and readers – your blog is one of the best examples of how authors and their books can be promoted without spamming, screaming ‘Buy My Book’ and all the other things that turn people off…which is what I’m really on about.
      Just keep doing that and whatever else you’ve been doing 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks Chris! I think I’ve just run out of steam lately! You know this marketing thing about being where your target audience is… I tried joining groups on Good Reads for teens/ YA lovers but it was all young girls fantasising about the latest hot vampire lover! I had nothing to contribute! So I asked my teen son where kids hang out online… its all sports, gaming or Snapchat and Instagram. Not only are none of those things ‘me’, but I felt like some pervy ‘groomer’… I SHOULDNT be there, as a parent I wouldnt like random adults hanging out on teen sites and groups! Ive decided the only route is through libraries and schools, but I have to have my series written first. I’d also like to enroll in Celtic Studies, to back up what I’m trying to achieve, but that would be something I’m not sure I could commit to. So sometimes it looks like us Indies are sitting on our laurels, but actually we might be working on a more long term plan. I often feel frustrated by myself too lol! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m certainly not saying Indies are being lazy Ali – It’s more how they are actually wasting their time in promoting ineffectively – Hopefully the 5 articles I’ve linked to will help you and all of you.
          Sometimes Less IS more 😀

          Liked by 2 people

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