Happy July, everyone!  It’s Jaycee here, back with another one of my discussion topics, but before I get there, I wanna recap with a few awesome things that have happened in the last week:

First, we’re knee-deep in the NA Crush Tourney, sliding into week two on our bracket starting tomorrow.  Be sure to come back and cast your vote for your favorite crush-worthy hero!

Next, Summer Lane released the next book in her Collapse Series, State of Chaos.  Be sure to go check it out!

And finally, you may or may not have noticed that we’ve had a name switch out on our blog header.  That’s because our own Lynn Rush has just posted some exciting news!  Check it out here:    http://reesemonroe.net/big-news/

Now, onto promotion...


Any author who has done their research or put a book out there knows that publishing a book is only the first of many steps in a book release.  You can’t just hit that publish button and expect a thousand people to flock to Amazon (or what have you) and buy your book.  How would they, if they don’t know it’s there?

Publishers and indies alike know that you’ve got to have a marketing plan and make yourself available on a myriad of platforms and social media networks in order to promote your book. So we have websites or blogs.  Many of us do blog tours.  And we’re all plugged in to places like twitter, facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Goodreads.  But being plugged in is not enough.  You have to network and make connections, and remember there’s a fine line between being part of a group and being someone who just joins a group solely to promote your own book. Because the simple fact is, while it’s left in our hands to promote our own work, being an overt spammer, telling people to buy our books while contributing nothing else will typically garner an adverse reaction than intended = people won’t buy your book because they find you annoying!

I’ll be the first to say that I find nothing more annoying than following someone on twitter and receiving an auto-message that says something like:  Thanks for following.  Buy my book at http://blahblahblah.blah. The same goes for Goodreads, where I’ll accept a person’s friend request, and within minutes, they’re sending me a private message about where I can find their book.

So here are the questions I’m putting out there today about book promotion: 
  • What have you found to be the most effective way to promote your book?
  • What are you major pet peeves when it comes to authors promoting their book?
  • What types of promotions do you, as readers, tend to gravitate toward?
Answer one, two, or all!  I’d love to read your thoughts. 

Have a great week!



Post a Comment

  1. Awesome questions Jacyee -- I'm excited to see everyone's input. I feel like such a newbie at all of this, I'm looking forward to learning promotion tips from some of the more experienced authors.

    And Holy Name Change Batman! Congratulations Reese- what fabulous news!!!

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    1. Thanks, STBende. It's pretty exciting. :)

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    2. Thanks, girly! There was a lot of input and good suggestions. :D

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  2. Congrats, Reese, on your news!!!

    I haven't had experience yet with promoting my books, but from the reader POV, I hate anything that comes off as "buy my book" spam. Once in awhile is okay, because how else am I going to know you have a new book out? But some authors constantly spam, and this is both the newbies and some of the bestseller NA authors. Great reviews (especially from my friends) will sell your book to me. Constantly tweeting about your book won't.

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    1. I agree. Once in a while is okay, but continuous spam about your book and nothing else is really annoying. And I agree about reviews, too. Good ones make me want to see what all the fuss is about. Thanks for replying!

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  3. Great questions! I've found social media a great way to meet other writers and readers and find people to help promote my books, but it hasn't had much impact on sales. Since I published my debut MG/YA fantasy novel in January, the past six months have been a crash course in marketing! I've learnt the hard way what doesn't work (paid promotions that market only to other authors), but I've had some success from participating in as many events as possible, running giveaways (especially my Goodreads giveaway, which ended up getting over 800 entries!) and good old word-of-mouth promotion.

    As for my pet peeves...if I follow an author on Twitter and receive an automatic DM telling me to buy their book, 'like' their FB page, etc, I automatically unfollow. Same with messages on Goodreads. I've grown weary of authors who do nothing but shove their book at me - it's actually more likely to put me off reading it! But I don't mind authors tweeting about their books and linking to reviews, giveaways, blog tours etc - people have to find out about it somehow!

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    1. I agree about the paid media that markets to authors - it's useless. And yes, participating in events and doing giveaways is an awesome way to get more exposure.

      I don't mind tweets about books and reviews, but when it's every hour (as some authors do) it can be really obnoxious.

      Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I'm a reader and an author. I agree with Emma, goodreads giveaway was great exposure. People can get annoying quickly on twitter if they never have any personal replies or connections. I really like blog tours and giveaways and have bought many books from these and the reviews from the bloggers.

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    1. Yeah, I'm planning to do one next time - don't know why I didn't with my first. Well, hey, you live and learn, right? And blog tours really are helpful.

      Thanks for sharing!

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  5. I hope you get some great ideas -- and share them! I, too, am sick of the multiple "buy my book blahblahblah" tweets. I'm ready to unfollow a few folks :(

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    1. I already have done a mass unfollow, because that's not what I want to see repeatedly. Sometimes is okay, but all the time is obnoxious.

      Take care!

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  6. I find the more successful authors rarely 'promote' their books. Instead, they tweet more about what's going on in their lives because their fan base already knows what they're all about.

    Coming from an indie author's perspective, I tend to do the opposite. Maybe I need to change my approach :-)

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    1. I've found that, too, basically because they have enough readers to do it for them and they can interact on a more personal level - because that's what the readers want. Until you built that kind of fan base, though, it's not so easy. :D

      Thanks!

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  7. Great post, Jaycee! :)

    What have you found to be the most effective way to promote your book? Word of mouth (or keyboard).

    What are your major pet peeves when it comes to authors promoting their book? Exactly what you said. Those spammy DMs drive me nuts!

    What types of promotions do you, as readers, tend to gravitate toward? When a book has a 99¢ promotion--and they're not having a sale/release every other month--I usually take that opportunity to check it out.

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    1. Thanks, Carrie! Word of mouth really is one of the best sales tools, for sure. And yes, I tend to buy tons of books when they are on sale - it makes me more willing to take a chance on the reader, and it's really a great way for them to earn more of a readership.

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  8. Awesome post!

    Most effective... Kindle Select Program (hands down), word of mouth, getting a second book out (I've heard/read that the more successful indie authors have 8 or more books out)

    Pet Peeves... Those DM auto-replies. Ugh. And asking me to promote your book on my sites on our first meeting - before we've established any kind of relationship or I've even had a chance to read your work.

    What types of promotions do you, as readers, tend to gravitate toward?...
    I like opportunities to get to know the author - so prefer authors who do the websites but put the personal touch on it.

    If there's a giveaway I like games better than just "enter" - have a little fun with it.

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    1. Thanks! I'm leaning toward going Select on my next book, just to see how effective it is. And if I don't like it - hey, it's only three months.

      And yes, I've had people do that, too. It's annoying and tactless.

      Me, too. I love scavenger hunts, when I have the time. The NAamazing Adventures tour is going to be like that.

      Thanks for contributing!

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  9. I'm another newbie and do not yet have a finished book to promote so no experience from an author standpoint, but from a reader standpoint, there's a good chance I'll read a book based on a review and zero chance I'll read it based on blatant self-promotion tweets.

    Thinking forward to that glorious day when I am ready to publish, I've been wondering what's a good strategy for asking bloggers to review you without just pointlessly annoying people. Anybody got suggestions?

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    1. A lot of book blogs have a process for you to follow in order to get lined up in their reading list. Also, advertising that you're giving away ARCs to book blogs on FB and Twitter seems to work well. That way, those who are interested come to you, instead of the other way around.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. I prefer /really like to be contacted via email when being asked to review a book. That way we can communicate back and forth much easier than any other way, and get to know each other much better. Facebook is not a good way to communicate because it just feels so impersonal. Same for Twitter.
    The other thing that is getting a little irritating is an email message with the book attached and a "Thanks for reviewing my book" to go with it! Hello? I did NOT agree to review your book. Whatever. If that's the way they are going to market their book, 9 times out of 10 I'm NOT going to review it. I feel that is VERY pushy! The worst part is the "follow-up" email! "How did you like my book?" UGH!!!!!!
    I much prefer the 'getting to know the author first'. They can refer me to their blog/website, Goodreads, Amazon Profile, etc. I prefer their blog/website and Goodreads.
    When it comes to being asked on my Facebook Fan Page, being a Blogger, I prefer authors message me first and ask me if they can post their book on my page BEFORE they do so! That is my pet-peeve, when they just post their book and tell people to go buy it! UGH!!!! I end up deleting those. I don't know what kind of book it is, so . . .
    I, as well, would like to get to know the author FIRST and build a relationship with them, as I said above. I want to find out what genre of book(s) they are promoting FIRST. For instance, I do NOT promote Erotica. I would NEVER allow a book in that genre to be posted on my page, as it is my personal preference. My Readers would NEVER expect an Erotica book to be on my page or on my blog! I WANT to be asked first so I can check the book out first. On Facebook, there have been too many times where there has been an 'almost' like that.
    The other thing, DON'T HIDE THE FACT that the book is in a genre I don't review! I just had an author make a FAKE Facebook name (HOW do they do that? I try to click on their name, and it goes nowhere???) so she could promote her Erotica book. How she explained the book to me and what I read about it on Amazon were two completely different things! I went to her blog, and her last post was on Thanksgiving 2012!
    I have ALL the genres I review, (and approve of) on my blog, in my email signature, on Goodreads, everywhere I can I post it.
    I don't like DM auto replies, either. They irritate the heck out of me! Automatic UNFOLLOW!
    What I would like the authors to do is to offer books for giveaways if I am going to review their books. Giveaways bring MORE people to the review than just the review. I try to explain that to the authors, but most of them don't get it. Plus, I HATE asking! I just wish they would offer to do it!
    Also, HELP me to promote the review/Giveaway. I've had it left ALL to myself I can't tell you how many times. They could put it on their blog, Twitter and Facebook, and any other places they have social media accounts at. Instead, it's left up to me to do everything. I'm only 'one' person. The more, the better! They could reach their fan base that way, too! They don't seem to understand that when I try to explain it to them. The authors who DO understand it are generally seasoned authors! They have many books out already. They get it! They understand! They are the FIRST to offer the things I mentioned I would like help with! I guess it's a learning curve for new authors.
    OH! When I do do the review/Giveaway, and the author does NOT COMMENT on my blog! That is embarrassing! It doesn't take much to do that, and it is very courteous to do so! It shows the author IS interested in the blog's readers! It means a LOT to the readers! It shows the author IS interested in THEM! The blogger AND the readers!
    I guess that LONG list is it! Sorry for the length!
    Laurie

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    1. No, this is great because it shows what is wanted on the other side. Authors really should put in the legwork when they're asking others to promote them, and being presumptive and assuming you will read their book because they offered it is just tactless.

      Strange, I thought it was standard that authors would offer a giveaway when asking blogs to promote them. I didn't offer one for each individual blog, but I did a huge giveaway that was promoted on all of the blogs in the tour, so everyone had the opportunity to enter. I think I gave away about 25 books, both in print and e-copy that way.

      And yes, commenting and replying to people is important. With one exception, because I kept having issues getting into the blog to reply, I replied to everyone. That's just good etiquette.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  11. Definitely think "Word of Mouth" is the key. I dislike the "overtweet" - if an author is tweeting strictly their book, I'm less inclined to even want to check it out. I keep it to a minimum. The Kindle Select program has been helpful (I try to promote it there first - especially since this is my first time in NA).

    I will say at the end of the day - as long as your having fun and your readers are asking for more - then you know you've done your promoting properly.

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    1. Absolutely on all points! I'm planning on going Kindle Select next time, just to see what kind of results I have from it.

      Thanks!

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  12. This post is so timely for me! I'm about to do a cover reveal for my first book and release is in August. I have a lot of marketing lessons to learn... Reading these comments has been so useful.
    I agree with the 'buy my book' spam. This does the opposite for me and I definitely won't be spamming your Twitter feed anytime soon!
    I'm taking part in the NAamazing Adventure and my publisher helps out with marketing. But I think that's the tip of the iceberg and the suggestions above are great. Thank you!
    Wish me luck!

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  13. I'm already not good with names, and now this. ;|
    (Kidding)
    Congratulations, Reese. :)

    Re: promoting books...
    I can't comment as a published author, but I can give my perspective as a reader and blogger/writer.

    I dislike promotional DMs. I never click those, and the fact the person sent it kind of turns me off. If I want to check you and your books out, I will.

    I don't mind authors who interact with me on the blogosphere putting out a request for help with cover reveals and book tours, as long as it's done politely. In fact, the old saying 'you don't ask, you don't get' is true. I would help more authors promote if I knew about their plans beforehand.

    I don't mind a flurry of tweets and re-tweets on an author's book launch day, or any other really special day (cover reveal, etc.), but if that's all they tweet all the time, it gets old. I have removed authors from my 'short list' Hootsuite feed for this kind of thing. (My main feed is so huge and speeds by so fast, I barely look at it anymore.)

    For promotions, I like rafflecopter giveaways of gift cards and copies of the book. One thing I've wondered, though, is if offering copies of the book reduces launch day sales because people hold off buying in hopes of winning a copy. Hm... Anyway, I'm not much into Facebook or Twitter parties and the like, but a lot of people are. *shrugs*

    I have had a couple authors send out 'save the date' post cards to members of a voluntary mailing list. I like that a lot, and having the card helps me remember to watch for their book release. If the author keeps emails to a minimum, I like signing up for news and new release type newsletters.

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  15. I'm super choosy about my Goodreads friends now. At first I accepted everyone who friend requested me. Then my inbox was full of "buy my book, it will help support me" crap. I am all about supporting Indie (being a newbie one myself), however, "bothering" me on all the social sites is not the way to go. Posting blurbs and teasers is awesome. It's a great hook to get attention to everyone out there. Getting support from the bloggers, I find, is the best way to go. It's hard to get their attention sometimes, but that is how I choose what to read. I am a word-of-mouth kind of gal and trust my fellow book nerds and writing gurus.
    I have said my peace.
    *sighs and takes a drink of wine*

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