How To Fail At Self-Promotion

This post, from Merrilee Faber, originally appeared on the e-Fiction Book Club site on 8/16/09.

Here’s a tip for the clueless author.   Self promotion does not mean spam.  Word of mouth?  Not YOUR mouth.  Getting noticed?  Not successful if people remember you as an arrogant arse or a nutter.

(Obligatory disclaimer; the opinions expressed in this post are mine and do not represent the views of other members of the e-Fiction Book Club.)

Back to the soapbox.

I know you want the world to hear about your opus.  I get it.  And getting noticed in the vast sea of information that is the internet can be an uphill battle.

But just think for a moment.  Remember those comments you get, the ones trying to sell pharmaceutical products, or encourage you to explore the dubious delights of a XXX site, or the ones that promise to make your sex life better?  How many of those do you read?  How many of those do you post to your site, thinking ‘wow, I’m so glad someone told me about that’?

My blog is not here as a vehicle for your marketing activities.

When you post a long advertisement about your book/site/product whatever, you are spamming me.  Your information is unsolicited, and that means it’s unwelcome.  Yes, even here, on a book review blog.  The rules for submission are posted on the front page and on the submission page.  90% of the authors who find us can figure it out, why can’t you?

Wail, bitch, moan, they say, how am I going to get noticed if I don’t spread the word about my book?  Oh, I noticed you, all right.  But I’m certainly not encouraged to click through and read your book.  I’m going to hit the Spam It button, and say bye-bye.

There are ways to do self promotion right, and the internet is a great vehicle for it.  If you can’t be bothered to Google ‘internet marketing’, I can’t help you.  But I will pass on 3 marketing guidelines for the clueless author (and any authors who might just be uninitiated.  There’s a difference, and mostly it’s to do with attitude.)

1.  Be involved, be interesting, be a person.

People connect with people.  Want to be noticed?  Get out there, on Twitter or Facebook or WordPress or whatever.  Find your community.  Get involved.  Read blogs, post comments, tweet about your day.  Connecting, finding followers and building your audience is primarily about making friends.  You don’t have to be the life of the party; networking is just getting to know people, and letting them get to know you.


Read the rest of the post, including tips #2 and 3, on e-Fiction Book Club.