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Slap An Indie

Slap an IndieMy post title may sound like a bit of self-flagellation but a recent post by Stella Deleuze titled ‘Indies, sometimes I just want to slap them!’ caught my immediate attention. It’s of course no secret that self-publishing has been a fantastic development for Indie Authors, but unfortunately there are many writers (I do however use this term loosely for some of them) now coming to self-publishing who have no idea about how to conduct themselves when promoting their book or books.

Everyday without fail I receive emails, Twitter messages, Facebook messages and Goodreads messages from authors I do not know and have never heard of, who want me to promote their new books. I usually just hit the delete or unfollow button, but on some days when the tide becomes a tsunami of requests I sometimes respond with a friendly message. ‘Grab a brain idiot. I’m a bit busy promoting my own thank you very much!’

As many of you may know, I do run a book promotion site, Whizbuzz, which is a paid service, so I am certainly not against promoting authors and their books. But as it takes me a good hour to prepare a listing and circulate it on my social media platforms, I think a small fee is justifiable. Then there are times I do mention certain authors freely on my blog or other platforms because I choose to. Usually because I have read their books or have developed some kind of rapport with them and believe they have something of value to say.

So for those new to self-publishing here are a few ‘Do’s and Don’t’s’ that will keep you away from needing a slap from Stella or myself.

DO invest the time in building your own social networks.
DO have a blog and post regularly.
DON’T expect those who have worked hard to build their own social networks to let you use theirs for free.
DON’T set up ‘Auto Welcome DMs’ on Twitter. They are just plain annoying.
DO converse and interact. Yes this takes time but hey, so does writing a book.
DO contact book bloggers and ask them if they would like a review copy of your book. That’s what they do.
DON’T expect all your promotion can be done for free. Self-publishing is a business, not a charity.
DO unto others etc. If you hate jerks, why become one yourself?
DO think about separating your personal social media accounts by creating promotional accounts. Eg: Facebook Pages or second Twitter accounts.
DON’T ever think self-publishing will make you rich.
DO be patient and be prepared for a long haul and forget about becoming an overnight success.

Now lastly I’d like to say that you should all race over to check out author and ‘famous bitch editor’ Stella Deleuze, as we have made a pact to cross promote each other for free and sell one million books each this week!

Wish us success and get your ‘Amazon Kindle One Click’ finger at the ready!

 

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21 comments

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  1. Claude Bouchard

    Excellent post, Derek, as is the norm. I understand exactly what you mean and zero in on “DON’T expect those who have worked hard to build their own social networks to let you use theirs for free.” Since I have ended up with a respectable number of followers on Twitter over time, I regularly receive “RT this!” tweets, most often from people concentrating 100% of their time and effort on themselves. What am I, an effing community billboard? Give and you will receive or pay for your promotion. It’s not complicated.

    1. Derek Haines

      Agree Claude. Amazing how ‘basic rocket science’ is beyond some people.

  2. Johanna

    Great advice Derek. I read Stella’s post too. It caught my attention because I get so annoyed at all the DM’s I receive asking me to buy a book two seconds after I’ve followed the person.

  3. Elizabeth Lang

    Excellent article.

    With the glut of amateurs out there who think that just because they can string two sentences together and upload a file, that it makes them authors.

    Has professionalism gone out the window? Can we get it back? I learned mine by attending writer cons and talking to professional writers and attending panels.

    It is very irksome to have people think that I have copious amounts of time to read their, usually badly written books, or that I have even more time to read their manuscripts! And they make it sound like a privilege that they’ve chosen me to read their masterpieces. Sigh.

    1. Derek Haines

      Thank you Elisabeth. Glad you enjoyed my venomous viewpoint. lol But it’s a new battleground now, so the rules have been thrown out the window. I think we are in the ‘dog eat dog’ phase right now, but hopefully sense will return.

  4. Brent "BFry" Frysinger

    I do not wanna be those guys lol. I already made the mistakes with impatience. I never stop learning though.

    1. Derek Haines

      It’s a learning curve Brent. :)

  5. Stella Deleuze

    Who you calling a bitch, eh? You want a slap, too?

    Love that picture, by the way. Exactly how I felt when I got that particular message.

    1. Derek Haines

      Yeah, I know Stella. But I did add ‘famous’ to your title as promised! :)

  6. Daniel Astro Day

    I totally agree with you. Only I let people advertise on my wall on f/b and encourage it but If it’s shitty… I just delete it an them. I don’t have much experience of Twitter but have been doing all these things already but thank you, for saying this. I hope it helps some of the folk, I constantly encounter, rethink their Stratergies & instead of aiming to get up my noise they might earn some of my respect in making me believe they have common sense. They would also start to convince me that the world is becoming a better place & the lazy & sometimes thoughtless bastards are finally getting it into their heads that they’re only defecating on any what could have been a beautiful friendship, which is more valuable to me than any product…

  7. Catana

    Another “do.” DO try to act like a human being and not a door to door salesman.

  8. Steven O'Connor

    Yes, I agree! Hard sell is such a turn off. I write because I love writing. I don’t write simply so I can bash people over the head with my writing.

  9. Wesley Dylan Gray

    Great advice, Derek! I’ll be sure to remember these helpful do’s and dont’s if I ever have my own book to promote. I’ve been out of touch with your blog for a bit, but I see it’s business as usual. Cheers!

  10. Suzan Tisdale

    Great article and good advice! This IS work, it isn’t easy and it isn’t for the weak of heart. It takes time and energy. Like you say, you can’t just string together a few sentences, upload to KDP and sit back and wait for the royalty checks to come in.

    The most painful thing to see is when someone posts at KDP community boards, “Why isn’t my book selling?” Then see the ‘writer’ whine about poor sales. Could it be that they’ve slapped a $24.99 price tag on an ebook? Could it be that it is so poorly written that you can’t get passed the first paragraph?

    Thanks for letting me vent too! Keep up the most excellent work!

    1. Derek Haines

      I get the same question Suzan, and have to admit I even ask myself that question!

      In the end books sell because people enjoy reading them, and that is a formula all writers and publishers grapple with everyday. There’s no secret formula. Sure genre and price play a part, but very often it is really the luck of the draw. The only answer to a book that doesn’t sell is write another, and better one. :)

  11. Isabella King

    No-one ever asks me to promote their book.
    It’s either because of my ‘I suck at social networking blog post’ or the fact that nobody wants to associate with a smutty writer – or should that be writer of smut? :D

    1. Derek Haines

      Would you like to promote my book Isabella? So now you can’t say no one has ever asked you! :)

      But I don’t think it’s about your genre at all. Those impolite Indies I pointed to in this post usually look to those with a large following to do their work for them. So both lazy and impolite in my mind.

  12. Gerald Joa

    Good post and good advice that should be useful to many.

    Cheers,

  13. Ileana

    The most painful thing to see is when someone posts at KDP community boards, “Why isn’t my book selling?” Then see the ‘writer’ whine about poor sales. They would also start to convince me that the world is becoming a better place & the lazy & sometimes thoughtless bastards are finally getting it into their heads that they’re only defecating on any what could have been a beautiful friendship..

  14. Laura

    Everyday without fail I receive emails, Twitter messages, Facebook messages and Goodreads messages from authors I do not know and have never heard of, who want me to promote their new books.

  15. Rick Carufel

    The current glut of indies publishers will not last. This is like the gold rush or the dot com rush. Soon as all these third rate writers who envision hammering out some drivel and making a million realize it won’t be happening they will go away and the serious writers who are taking advantage of self-publishing will have far fewer ebooks to contend with for reads and reviews. This is also, to some extent, a backlash from the thousands of pay -to-publish schemes run on writers. I hate those companies that think of having the writers pay in every way possible but promise nothing in return except an empty bank account. Once it is realized that self-publishing is not a get rich quick scheme, as touted in hundreds of books, again preying on the would be writer, these people will go away and the lemmings will thin dramatically.

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