My 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!