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Aggressive Indie Promotion

Book Magic Fantasy—–

Goodreads, Twitter, book forums… They’re everywhere.

I’m talking about the thousands of indie authors attempting to promote their books. And not the ones that send the occasional tweet advertising their books or the ones who have a book cover in their forum signature.

I’m talking about those that try to force their book down your throat at any given moment and have absolutely no interest in anything besides getting you to buy their work.

I’m absolutely sick of them.

It’s no wonder independent writers have such a bad reputation, because many of them are just damn annoying and downright shameless.

Understand me right, I’m an indie author myself and of course I promote my books. I have to, or no one would ever know about them. But I consider myself above practically begging for others to read my books.

I’m sure everyone who uses book discussion forums have seen the indie authors who pretends to have something to say in a thread, but it turns out they just want to advertise their book.

Yeah, I totally agree!

By the way, I written a book on “almost” the same thing: *Insert link*

And that would be one of the less shameless examples…

Everyday I encounter more and more writers who seem to have nothing else in mind. I can’t count the times I have had someone say that my book seems “really interesting, and by the way, could I read theirs?”. Really, it’s actually more pathetic than it is annoying most of the time.

Many people also uses my Twitter feed, because they see I’m a writer and I have a pretty big following. They merely write @mlouring before their tweets to show up on my Twitter stream. If they’re going to violate my personal space, they should at least buy me a cup of coffee first…

Another example is one time I started a thread on a book forum asking for fantasy book suggestions. The thing about that forum is that it forbids self-promotion in there. What did this desperate author do? Go to my website to throw their book in my face, of course! Because I wanted to read some fantasy recommended by others, so of course I would want to read their book, right? Forum rules shouldn’t hinder me in discovering this wonderful new book they had written,  should it?

I realize I’m ranting… It just makes me wince every time I see another author demean themselves to this desperate behavior. It’s also clear that many readers are getting annoyed by this. For example, despite not using Goodreads to promote my work, many will keep their distance from me when they see I’m a writer. Many refuse to ‘friend’ authors on there, because they know they might be force-fed self-promotion from them. And I completely understand them.

Aggressitivity hurts not only the author in question, but all indie writers. Then so many will do everything to promote their book, the indie community as a whole appears desperate to sell their books and no one have respect for that.

So to all of you who succumbs to this behavior, I can only say: Have some respect for yourself. If your books seem interesting, when you don’t have to force them upon others! And for the love of God, stop trying to promote to other authors. They are trying to sell books as well, they don’t have time to ‘help you out’, if you don’t have time to even say “hi” before you start telling them to read your book.

And if I see anyone start promoting their books in the comments on this post, God have mercy, I will hurt you. I will hunt you down, find out where you live and hurt you.

13 thoughts on “Aggressive Indie Promotion

  1. Here’s Part Three (:O)

    You know how many folks there out of the hundreds even gave me one response? Oh-oh. Zero. Zip. Nada! Even I couldn’t believe it. It’s a logical way of going about things where everyone theoretically benefits (since everyone there believes they’re talented). It lays out a clear maxim – we’re all in this together and if we don’t hang together, we shall surely hang separately. It’s hard to argue with. But I received no responses whatsoever.

    Now, saying this, and reading your blog post, I kind of have the germ of an idea. What if you and I other talented writers, who are all in this earlier stage of our writing careers, started our own website, which would be by invitation only and, of course separate from our own individual websites. I still have to ponder how this might work, but we could not only promote and offer our own works, but we could have other features as well which could bring people to the site – I’m open to suggestions. We could have a name for ourselves as a group, do Readings, Tours, whatever. I think it has possibilities. After reading your blog, I’m just trying to think of a way for us as genuine writers – Word Craftsmen or women – to stand out and let our work shine forth. I know I sound arrogant, but the Kindlboards are really beginning to annoy me with their endless rabble, and I don’t want to be associated with that anymore. If this sounds like a possibility, maybe we could look through the promotions and not only pick out some true talents, but try to pick people with integrity as well who are just trying to make their way through the morass of the ebook world. Anyway, just my 25 cents, not a big deal if you can’t. But a Great blog post.

    1. Oh, there’s a part 3 as well!

      You are hereby my favorite commenter 🙂 I love your responses and great insight!

      And that’s a marvelous idea! It would be fantastic to have a community free of the ones who are not willing to help anyone but themselves, and still have the great support of fellow writers! Definitely something I would be willing to help you work on, if you decide to elaborate on the idea.

      For now, may I suggest MYO ( if you’re not already a member? It’s actually a alternative ebook store, but it’s got a great community that has not (yet) been corrupted by self-promoters. It would also be a great place to pitch this idea, to see if there’s interest for it. MYO is a very new site itself, and the members are all great to help out the developers with improving the site.

      1. Ah, yes, MYO is on my list, but I made the mistake of choosing KDP Select when I enrolled (10 buys, 0 borrows), so I have to wait my 90 day period before I can do that.

        1. Actually, the MYO system allows you to put your books up even though they are in KDP Select. It will just be marked as such and will not be available for purchase before the period runs out, but still be visible.

          1. Ah, good to know. I’ll check it out.

  2. I’m doing it in parts. Hopefully, this will work better.

  3. (Part Two) At any rate, a perfect case in point – earlier yesterday I started a thread on the Kindleboards titled “Now, here’s an idea”. I wanted to try and get us all to support each other in a democratic, fair way, where the cream will be allowed to rise to the top, i.e. those with true talent and great stories will finally see their work get some attention. Here is what I said:

    “It’s occurred to me, since I published my first novel on 4/17 and have been looking at these boards and posting my book where allowed, that many of us as new authors seem to be spinning our wheels and not getting anywhere. We scratch and claw to be noticed and to have our creations purchased and appreciated, but most of us don’t reach that threshold level of good Reviews and Minimum # of Books Sold (which translates into a higher Ranking) to see our books take off. But now, I have an idea.

    If we promote our books here and expect folks to buy them, we should make more of an effort to buy ourselves. Get it? If we all expect others to buy our books but we don’t buy any of theirs, their ain’t a whole lot of buying going on. So I’m proposing that we all support each other. This doesn’t mean purchasing or reviewing books without reading them; most of us are on a tight budget. No, what I am proposing, and what I will begin doing tonight, is look through book promotions on these boards. If I see a book that really grabs me; if I am intrigued by the synopsis, wowed by the writing in the Sample, and if it is something I really think has promise, I will buy the book or “borrow” it. I will then take it a step further and, only if I think the book is really good, Review it. Since many of us are fragile egos who are here to support each other, my motto is if you don’t have something good to say, don’t say it. That’s not what this is about. But I will only Review if I think the novel has merit, and it has to be something I personally enjoy.

    My proposal is not that we all go crazy spending money; I am thinking I might be able to manage 1-2 purchases a week at the most, but if you can only do 1 or 2 a month, go for it. The thing is, we still have the numbers. If everyone does this even once a month, it will make a huge difference in a fairly short time. This will allow the cream to rise to the top, and maybe, just maybe, we will begin to start that snowball rolling downhill. Remember, word of mouth is still the most powerful form of advertising there is.

    For me, my limit for spending is about $3.99 to $4.99 ($5.99 if it’s a life-changing read). The reason for this is I’m here to support those in the same boat as myself; those who have talent but need a leg up. We charge lower prices to try and lure Readers. I will initiate this new enterprise tonight and I ask others here to do the same. Yes, give my book a look, too. You’ve seen it on the boards. I hope that others will take up this challenge. We may feel powerless right now, but we AREN’T powerless. We do have the power to make a difference IF WE WORK TOGETHER. That’s what this is all about. Let’s use what we have, and begin using it NOW.”

    1. I think we have been the same person in an earlier life! I couldn’t agree more and I have had the same idea(Not as nicely worded though) over and over again. The only way to properly promote is to support each other, but unfortunately everyone only look out for themselves.
      That’s also why I made a post featuring different indie books, because I refuse to be part of this egocentric circus. I’m not a saint, I always look out for myself, but I also take joy in helping out others and I get happy every time I hear that my efforts have worked. Yesterday I checked my Amazon affliate account, because I used affliate links in my feature post so I could track if it actually helped anything, and saw that there had actually been a sale by someone directed by me! I think too few people realize the nice feeling you get when you make something happen for someone else…

      I’m also planning in the future to read fantasy books by indie authors and review them on this site, hoping that it will help both readers to discover great new books, but also authors to get out there and be seen. Unfortunately it’s a little time off, as I’m crazily busy and have no time to read anything beside Hemingway and Fitzgerald(I’m majoring in English and the final exams are just around the corner)!

      I believe everything you do comes back at you, so maybe I’m just selfishly waiting for my good karma 🙂

  4. Oh my God, Michelle! (I refuse to use OMG) You have just given voice to everything I’ve been feeling the last few days! It makes me feel dirty, hanging out on the Kindle Boards – Voice of the Author. It’s like a sleazy meat market bar. No one has any interest in anybody else’s work, only their own selfish interests. So why bother posting? It is a site for authors, and if nobody looks at anybody else’s posts, most people’s posts are never even looked at. The only value is in those posts offering to promote other writers’ work on a blog or website (such as yours), and that is fine. But then it is like a feeding frenzy around the piranha tank. (I’m posting this in parts).

    1. Sometimes, an Oh my God-moment is just inevitable!
      And feeding frenzy in a piranha tank? That’s the best description of this behavior pattern I have heard!

  5. I posted a comment here, but it never showed up. Was it too long?

    1. I looked at my website dashboard, and there’s no notifications about comments, failed or otherwise. Maybe it was a connection problem?

    2. Oh, just got a notification! I guess the server was just busy 🙂

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