Friday, June 24, 2011

Promotion vs Scaring People off

Promoting yourself is a necessity, something that every good little writer must do whether they want to or not. Some use Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, a blog, a website or a variety of other social media sites that they can put their name and their book beside it. But that is not what this blog is about.

When is too much promoting doing more harm than good? As in, you’re tweeting about your new book, blog or contest every hour for the entire time you’re awake and you wonder why you don’t sell more, get more followers or get more entrants. I think the reason is simple, when we over promote ourselves, we start to sound . . um . . desperate. Last I checked, desperation never sold a single book.

What to do though when you need to get the word out, but are afraid to turn people off? Well, first off, interact with people, don’t just pitch them. There are people I follow on Twitter that I never see any tweets EXCEPT those aimed at me buying their book. Guess what, I’ve never gone to any of those sites. I go to buy the books of those authors who take a little time to talk, share and interact. Those who've taken the time to promote not just their book(s), but who they are as well. Secondly, it’s okay to promote yourself, we all expect it, but try to keep tweets like, “Hey! Check out my new thriller/YA/fantasy/erotica for a limited time!” to a minimum.

Here is what a few of my Twitter friends had to say on the subject.

@Tanisharule Several times a day is okay as long as every tweet is not a shameless plug.

@jaimecallahan When it's the only thing you tweet about or if you mention the same thing (like a blog entry) more than 2-3 times a day.

@lisajanicecohen Too often is when most your tweets are about yourself, or RTs of what someone says about you, or links to your own content.

Siri_Paulson Oh, and too often = more than a couple times a day. Maybe a bit more leeway if you tweet a lot.

So there you have it. Promote yourself, absolutely. Every freaking post, tweet or status? Not unless you want to scare your potential audience away.


CharmedLassie said...

Haven't got a book to plug (yet!) but as far as linking to my latest blog post is concerned, I do it a maximum of three times for the post in question and at different times in the day. That's just to get my message across.

At the moment I'm considering unfollowing some people who promote themselves more than 50% of the time. Those promotional tweets aren't the reason I followed them. By all means link to a new good review of your work or highlight new things on your website or whatever, but if you're repeating the same thing over and over...well, I switch off.

Tanisha Rule said...

You've hit the nail on the head with this post. Twitter has been defined as a social networking site. That's a different animal than a promotion site. We're all going to promote our work if we have something to show, and I plan on it myself once I get a few things straightened out. However, treat "tweeps" as more than just buyers & readers. Twitter is no one's showroom.