First, I’d like to apologize for shirking my blogging responsibilities the past couple months. Health issues and holidays combined to leave me very confused.
And now on to the post.
I was talking on Twitter to a friend of mine the other day, and she mentioned the need for a word for someone who does stupid things, either accidentally or intentionally, on Twitter. I suggested “Twittiot.” She rather like the word, and suggested a definition which included: “Someone who posts incessant, constant promo or only promo.”
I agree with that definition, and I would say that’s the definition of a promo-holic. Someone who joins social networks, forums, and other online venues for the sole purpose of promoting their books.
Now, as authors we all need to promote ourselves and our books. It’s in the job description, whether you’re with a small press or one of those big city publishers. But there is a way to do that without pummeling people over the head with the fact that you have a book out. (Or two, or in my case twenty…and no, I’m not exaggerating, I just counted.)
There are very, very few authors on my “never buy” list. All but one of them made that list because they joined email loops and social networks that I belong to and proceeded to do nothing but promo. No conversation, no discussion with other members. Just promo. Two of them went as far as to add me to their newsletter mailing lists without permission, and another one started sending me daily private messages reminding me to buy her book.
I belong to a few social networking sites, a couple of forums, and a number of email loops. Occasionally, I promote myself and my books in those venues–always being sure to do so where and when allowed. Nothing ticks off loop and forum owners more than people who post promo whenever and in whatever sub-forum they feel like without regard to the rules.
More often, I talk to people. I read what other people are posting on the social networks and reply, or share/retweet/whatever if I think it’s something that should be passed on. I try to participate in conversations on the loops and forums. If someone asks a question that I know the answer to, I answer.
Some people don’t understand how that could be promo. I’m not mentioning my books. But…my email signature contains my name, tagline, and a link to my website. I post to the email loops through my email accounts, so every time I post, people are seeing that information. On the social networks, people at least see my name, and if they check my profile they’ll find my website link again. I’m not whacking them over the head with a sales pitch; I’m letting them get to know who I am, and if they choose to follow my link that’s great. Of course, some people won’t, but that’s fine too. At least they see that I exist.
I am not a promo-holic, and at times I think I should probably be doing more direct promotion. On the other hand, I’m not annoying the heck out of anyone or alienating potential readers because all they hear from me is “Buy, buy, buy,” and I think there’s a lot to be said for that.