Dear Indie writer. Yes, I am specifically looking at Indie writers now, although of course everyone is welcome to read this article.
I do not claim to be a professional in marketing and promoting books. In fact, I don’t do a lot of that. For that reason, this post is not meant to be a lesson in promoting, marketing and all that, as there are many posts, articles, guides and how-to’s available online already. The fun thing is that often these writings, though well-meant, have contradicting contents at times.
I would simply like to point out how I think that Indie authors should not promote their books.
1. Don’t use Twitter/Facebook/Google+/other social media as an automated machine-gun to fire off the same text every so often.
Why not? Most people know how to use a search engine or search option. When I search for an author or a kind of book and I see the exact same tweet/post appear 25 times on the first page of hits, that strikes me as overdoing it. Instead of spending time to flood the internet with the same thing over and over again, post teasers of the book. Lure people in. Show them in more ways than one that this book is what they want to read. Tweet/FB/G+ your book a few times, but please don’t make yourself ‘sound’ like a broken copying-machine.
2. Do not approach fellow Indie authors in order to sell your book to them, especially the writers/authors that you interact with a lot (facebook groups, forums, Google+ communities etc.)
Why not? These people already know you. You probably talk to them about your books, your writing, your style and what not. If they don’t know you, then you either do something wrong, or they are the wrong crowd. (Perhaps they only want you to buy their books?) If you need to shove your book into people’s virtual faces, then you have probably failed to use the forum the wrong way. Instead, talk about the progress of your work, and when it’s out just say “whew, it’s published”. When someone’s interested in it, they’ll find it.
3. Don’t talk down the quality of another writer’s book to make your own look better.
Why not? If you have to tell people about it, then your own book is clearly not good enough. Put more work into it, find a reliable and honest editor, get some more honest beta-readers. Make it good. And respect the hard work of fellow authors, they are in this game as well as they can. Like you.
4. Don’t keep pounding the drum on this one marvellous book you wrote.
Why not? People will eventually get tired of that. Oh, that book again? Got it, enjoyed it, enjoyed a dozen others since then. Instead, write more and better. Word of mouth is the best way to promote your books, and the more books you have written, the more words there will be in mouths. No other way of advertising will be better than this one.
And if you made it this far, please understand that these are my views. You can agree, you can disagree. It’s up to you. And yes, feel free to tell me that I need to buy your book. Although you may be able to guess what will happen to that comment, after reading this piece.