Opting to be self, or indie, published means the author has to wear many hats, and promoting your work is one of those areas you can’t skimp on. As I’m getting closer to my tentative publication date I’m trying to get the word out and garner interest for Near Death. The problem being, how much is too much? I want people to check it out. I want people to be interested and put it on their to-read lists, but I don’t want them to feel spammed and annoyed that I’m mentioning it so often.
Goodreads has a option to let you recommend books (yours or someone else’s) to your friends. Sounds like an awesome way to get the word out right? I have a couple hundred friends on Goodreads. I can hit them all up in one blow! Problem? I’ve been hearing some horror stories about how some Goodreads members react to such a thing: nasty response emails, unfriending, bad mouthing to their other friends. Really people? I could understand if you were constantly getting spammed by the same person with such recommendations, but just sending one out is a bad thing? I thought helping new authors get exposure is something Goodreads is known for. I thought half the reason for having an account and friends there is to find new things to read. Once my cover art is ready, I still plan on taking advantage of the option so I’ll apologize in advance, but if any of my “friends” on Goodreads think one email is spamming, then perhaps they shouldn’t have authors as friends.
When it comes to Twitter, I think, depending on how many followers you have, you need to repeat the message several times. People are on at different times of the day and if they follow a lot of people, it’s easy for your messages to get lost in the stream. Does that mean you should post “BUY MY BOOK!” 50 times a day, everyday? HELL NO. If all you post is messages asking people to buy your stuff, you’re going to bore people and loose followers. Make yourself a schedule and if you use a Twitter client like Hootsuite, you can set up Tweets to post at specific times, so maybe you plan to tweet about it a couple days a week at different times of the day. Done that way, you’re hopefully mostly hitting a different group of followers each time.
Another thing to try and keep in mind is cross networking. It’s very likely that you have several of the same people on more than one social networking site. Maybe they follow you on Twitter and have liked your Facebook author/book page. Maybe they are in your G+ circle and on your Goodreads friend list. Be cautious not to accidentally spam your friends by re-posting everything on all your networks at the same time. Again, spread things out and pay attention to your timing.
You need to get the word out and promote your work, but there needs to be a happy medium. Every post you make shouldn’t be badgering your friends and followers to buy your wares. Continue to be your quirky selves and make comments and ask questions. On occasion, peddle your product. Also, remember everything doesn’t have to be a request for people to buy. You can gain interest by doing blog tours, holding contests, having trivia questions, making promotional posters and bookmarks, posting snippets of the novel, etc. Remember, if people like you, if you make them laugh or think, they are apt to be interested in your work without you shoving it in their face. They just need to be aware that it’s out there. Happy medium. You can do it.