A while ago I had an interesting e-mail exchange with someone who also writes books. This happens in writer circles, would you believe it? In one of the mails he wrote, “I’d like to recommend some of my books but since I’m the author…”
This raised the next question with me:
“Is it bad to recommend your own books?”
Self-promotion and self-publishing.
I know, it’s bad to say self-publishing since it’s preferred to say Indie publishing. But that would make the first part “Indie-promotion” and that looks weird, doesn’t it?
So, back to self-promo for self/Indie publishers.
After some thinking of the brainy kind I reached the conclusion that it’s not only a smart thing to do but even a necessary thing to do. It’s not done trying to flog your books to other writers, but there is a difference between “Hey, you, buy my book!” (which feels as if there is an “or else” coming up right after it) and talking about a specific, interesting kind of book and you’ve happened to have written some stuff in that realm.
And why is this a smart and necessary thing to do, you might ask.
Well… self and indie publishing kind of says it all, doesn’t it? You do it yourself. Independently. Which makes it easy in the following way:
If you don’t do it, who will?!
If you don’t open your trap about what you do, no one will do it, except your fans. Don’t just rely on your fans. Some are quiet so there’s not always much to hear from them. Self-promotion is part of marketing and marketing is something most writers aren’t good at. I mean, look at me: I don’t do nearly enough in that field so do as I say, not as I do, okay? (And let me know how you succeeded!)
Recommend. Really. Do it.
Tooting your own horn isn’t considered the nice thing to do but unless you have horn-tooting folk who can, want to and will handle that for you, it all comes down to you. Even if you have horn-tooters who stand up for you, it’s good to stand up and tell the world, “Hey, world. Listen up. Look at me and look at what I did.” It’s part of your branding. (Note to self: read this later. It looks damned helpful.) It’s not the book or books you are selling. You’re selling yourself.
So recommend your own work if and where you can. Do keep an eye on the circumstances. Don’t recommend your book on second degree algebra in a discussion about game consoles. This is highly recommended.