Awhile back, the super-terrific Steve Weddle invited me to do a guest post on the Do Some Damage blog, wherein I wrote:

Joining Twitter was the best thing I’ve done for my writing career.

About this, I do not joke. Virtually every opportunity I’ve had with regard to writing has come about due to Twitter, or more accurately, people I’ve met on Twitter.

For example, I’ve had four agents contact me via Twitter asking me to submit my manuscript after seeing my profile (which is essentially just a link to my query letter).

At first, my only goal was to learn about the publishing industry and I followed every writer/publisher/agent/editor I could find. I did a lot of listening and a little interacting. It didn’t take long to become a part of the community, but the key here is creating relationships—not just promoting your latest book.

The whole subject of promotion on social media has been on my mind for awhile. Obviously, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with promoting oneself on Twitter or elsewhere online–I promote myself, my own work, and the work of others regularly. I’m tempted to say I’ve earned the right to this since I’ve taken the time to create relationships, as I mention above. But that’s ridiculous. There’s nothing to earn or not earn (well, there is, but I’ll cover that later).

So what the hell is the problem?

Well, I’m not 100% sure there is one. I only know that Twitter is a lot less interesting/valuable for me than it used to be. Let me explain.

There is a certain type of book promotion going on that I find really annoying. It goes something like this:

Pls RT- NEW #REVIEW of THE DIARY OF A FRUSTRATED WRITER by H.M.F. West http://xxxxx #books#reading#readers#Prime#kindle


Great #vacationreading ROUND ‘EM ALL UP: A Larry Miller Hog-Tying Mystery: http://xxxxxx #books#reading#readers#Prime#kindle


What happens when chocolate cake just isn’t enough? GET IN MY BELLY by Tessie McMahon http://xxxxx #Kindle#Books#AmReading#GoodReads

And on and on. Sometimes nearly every other tweet in my feed looks like this. I pretty much follow every writer type who follows me, but it’s led to an influx of these type of tweets and it makes me sad. Then it makes me feel like unfollowing a crap load of tweeters.

It seems to be a result of the self-publishing revolution, which I am, in general, a big fan of. I might very well become a self-published author myself soon. This means I’m paying close attention to what other self-published authors do to promote themselves. Could somebody please tell me what marketing/PR book everyone read that led to the spred of the kind of promotion I’ve indicated above? I want to stay as far away from it as possible.

As judgmental as this all sounds, I am in no way disparaging how people choose to market themselves. I’m only questioning if these particular techniques are effective, because honestly, I can’t see how they could be. The multiple hashtag approach leaves me cold. The cutsie blurbs followed by a link and yes, more hashtags that tempt me to unfollow you, not read your book.

Tell me, people, am I missing something here? Is it that I’m just not the right audience and therefore this type of promotion rankles instead of enticing me to buy?

Let me quickly get back to what I said earlier about “earning” the right to promote. What I really meant was YOU earning the right to promote to ME, not the other way around (although it definitely goes both ways). There are people I wouldn’t unfollow if they tried to sell me swamp land in Florida multiple times every day. Why? Because they’re my homies. We’ve been tweeting back and forth for months now, sometimes years. I don’t hesitate to promote their work and they don’t (seem to) hesitate to promote mine. But I like to think we’re all engaging in “thoughtful promotion” and in between all the “buy my book” tweets there is some actual conversation going on. We support each other, not just on Twitter, but across the Internet and sometimes, even in person.

That doesn’t mean you have to be my homie to promote your stuff to me. It just means that if your tweets annoy me, the decision to unfollow is a whole lot easier to make.

That sounds mean, doesn’t it? I don’t mean it to be. I’m actually a pretty nice person. I still love Twitter. I guess all I really wanted to say is that it’s a little less fun for me than it used to be.

33 Replies to “Oh Twitter, How I Loved Thee”

  1. Thomas Pluck says: June 19, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I came late to this party, but thank you Holly, for expressing my feelings about this growing problem. I just had two s/p writers friend me on Facebook so they could share their Amazon book link on my wall. No hello, just here, buy my shit. I unfriended them.

    Matt hit it on the head. It’s ok to announce a release, you need to make people aware. But the best advertisement for a new book is your last book. Write. Make buddies. They’ll find out about your book. Blog often, but don’t remind people about your book all day on social media. I’ve had to clean the clutter so many times. I block spammers, I unfollow people who do nothing but promote. And I do my best to share interesting links and make poop jokes all day, which is what twitter is meant for.

    The circle jerk is in full effect. When you can’t leave less than a 5 star review without getting your colon seared, it’s become a joke. I don’t review books anymore unless I genuinely loved it, because of that. Unless I can leave an honest 4/5 I’m not touching it. I’m not a book reviewer, I’m a writer. I cheer for stuff that I honestly like. When people approach me for reviews, I have to turn them away.

    This goes beyond s/p and trad, too. I’m tired of seeing traditionally published authors post bad reviews on Facebook with shit like “well, it was bound to happen” or “it doesn’t really bother me, but…” so their readers pat them on the back or go comment-storm the infidel who dared criticize them. Just get the hell over it. When you get a 1 star review (and your reviews aren’t all by your friends and family) it’s a rite of passage. You wrote something that made someone angry. Go find your favorite book and read its 1, 2, 3 star reviews. “I don’t see what the big deal is about” “didn’t like it” “My piles itched and I used the book to scratch my butt, and had to discard it.” That’s a dose of reality, right there.

    And they mean nothing. Really. A good review in a newspaper can drive sales, sure. A bad one does, too. It’s publicity, that’s what it does. Word of mouth is king and queen. And you get that by engaging your audience and communicating with them, so they want to tell friends about you. Be funny, be crabby, be sarcastic…. be yourself, and keep writing.

  2. Matthew McBride says: June 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I have thought about writing this same blog post many times. Because I used to love twitter — because it was interesting. And a few years ago it was a lot more interesting than it is now. I don’t follow many people and I never have. For me, twitter is my (cough) professional realm — assuming you can call a guy who types outrageous tweets about chainsaws and prescription medication a professional — but I was never on here to make friends. I was here to meet other writers and agents and editors and publishers; anyone involved in the business of publishing. I wanted to learn as much about that world as I possibly could. I wanted to make connections and (this is important) I wanted to develop an audience BEFORE I had something to sell them.

    Having said that, I have met the most incredible and generous people — and the most amazing relationships have developed as a direct result of twitter. And, low and behold, I now have an agent and a book deal. I’m followed by writers and actors and artists. I’ve interacted with countless celebrities. Needless to say, twitter has been good to me. Because I’ve worked it, and I’ve been interesting. I’ve been myself. 

    And I hardly ever promote my own book.

    I feel like there is a right way and a wrong way to utilize the social networks and I feel like I am a good example of a writer who has done it right. But hang on, allow me to explain myself before you get the wrong idea.

    With the ease that anyone can publish on amazon, it has completely changed the entire landscape of twitter. Suddenly, you have the ability to write a manuscript and call it a book, then slap on the first cover that catches your attention and place it on amazon. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. 

    But HERE’S the problem: now that you’ve written a book, who do you sell it to? So you think about Facebook. Okay, you have 67 friends, about 25 are relatives, another 15 people are co-workers that you see everyday, the other few are just people you don’t really know but have accumulated over time. So you say, “I know, I’ll sell it to them.” And then you remember twitter. Sure, you have a twitter account with 18 followers, although you seldom tweet because it seems pointless because nobody talks to you. Of course, you hardly talk to then either .. (INTERACTION IS KEY) So you just beat this handful of people over the head continually. Saying, “Buy my book, buy my book, buy my fucking book!!!”

    Guess what? Not only does that *not* work, but now people hate you. Some have unfriended you, unfollowed you, some even think you’re an asshole. WHY? Because you’ve pretty much done everything wrong. I built up an audience of over a thousand followers before I ever had anything to sell them. And I rarely mention my book. Other people mention it for me. There nothing wrong with promoting yourself, in fact, that’s part of the game, but to do this successfully, promotion will always be about striking the right balance. There is a fine line between self-promotion and SPAM. Some people walk that line on their tiptoes but other writers stomp that line with a steel-toed boot. 

    The best way to promote your work is to write the best book you can. Then you focus on the next one. And the people who love your work will spread the word for you.

    1. Holly West says: June 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      Matt, you totally nailed this. And with the exception of getting a book deal and interacting with celebrities, my experience on Twitter has been pretty much the same as yours. Invaluable, but slowly changing into something I don’t like as much as I once did, and wonder if it will continue to be a useful tool (dare I say now that the tools have taken over)? Oooh, that was mean.

      I’ve fallen into some pretty bad social media habits myself so I should definitely shut my mouth.

      I’m glad I wrote this post, if only because all of these comments have been a helpful reminder of my social media manners. AKA don’t be an asshole.

  3. Erin says: June 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    First of all, y’all are brilliant. This discussion is what gives me hope for the future of marketing, which has changed just a teeny bit since I jumped into the PR fray in, um, 1986. While I understand why it happens, I do get frustrated too with the hashtag-laden BUY MY BOOK tweets. Likewise, I’m frustrated by authors who disappear completely save for during that 6 week window surrounding publication. I would love to see authors devoting the hashtag energy to findin their readers and giving them books so those readers can write reviews, tweets, posts…the energy would be better spent that way. I’m also seeing a huge difference between publishers…some are mega-smart about marketing while others are still stuck in 1992.

    If I could be granted 3 wishes for self-pubbed authors (or any author, really) it would be these:

    1. Have a Twitter account. Use it to talk to people. Never–EVER–tweet an amazon link because we all know how to search Amazon our own damn selves, thanks.
    2. Have a Facebook page. I know many disagree with me about this, but readers use Facebook. Every week I get messages from people who discover and buy books through the FridayReads page.
    3. Understand that today, while numbers still matter in marketing, influence is calculated with far more than *just* numbers. It’s as much art as science.

    Thank you, Holly, for being as thoughtful as ever. And for absolving me of the guilt I’ve been feeling for un-following folks who tweet nothing but amazon links and hashtags 🙂

    1. Holly West says: June 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Erin! I’m happy to assuage any guilt you might have. 🙂

      I think it’s interesting that one of your “wishes” is that authors never tweet an Amazon link. It’s probably a level of self-restraint that most of us don’t have, but illustrates the point very well–if readers learn about you on twitter from your genuine interactions, they will happy search Amazon (or better yet they’re local independent book seller) for your books.

      I like to think of it it as “value-added marketing”–the goal is to engage people on a “deeper” level than just bombarding them with BUY WHAT I’M SELLING messages. Some people (Nathan Bransford and Ben LeRoy come to mind, but there are others) do this extraordinarily well, but it takes time, sincerity, and yes, thoughtfulness. Like you said, take the time spent on coming up with hashtags and have an actual conversation. You might only have time to reach a quarter of the potential audience, but those people will come away from it with an idea of who you are and what you’re selling that will stick with much longer than your scheduled, generic tweets.

  4. Barbara Thomas says: June 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I am that rare creature around here, a reader not a writer. I came across this interesting thread via the ever-witty @Josh_Stallings’ twitter feed.

    I think twitter is difficult, but all the advice seems to be to forget about promotion (so it becomes a by-product not the major purpose) and use it to give value to your followers (who should be both audience *and* conversationalist). From my (albeit limited) observation there definitely does seem to be a crime/noir writers circle-jerk on twitter, which by its nature (ahem) excludes the reader.

    I don’t follow many authors (not my core constituency), but a couple who I think are using twitter well are William Gibson (@greatdismal) and Hugh Howey (@hughhowey). The former is of course very well known, and tweets about somewhat quirky things that are within the realm of his fictional universe but which are also of interest to the kind of people who read his books (that’s where the value is for me). Hugh Howey is an indie author who is very reader-centric and therefore very approachable. In addition to twitter he does lots of lo-fi You Tube stuff, joins book club meetings via Skype, has reader meet-ups both F2F and on G+ hangouts. Must be a lot of work, but I think it has paid off for him as an indie. He seems to go where the readers are, not just where other authors congregate.

    Incidentally, I found Hugh Howey via recommendations on Amazon (then read all his stellar reviews). Bezos says Amazon “helps products find people” not the other way around. I think that’s what modern marketing is all about. WoM is great, but it depends on our friends/acquaintances liking the same stuff as we do, and that isn’t always the case is it? That is Facebook’s weakness (well, one of them…)

    So….please don’t abandon twitter. In my view it is *the* most important and interesting of all the social media platforms.

    1. Holly West says: June 12, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Barbara, I’m laughing at your “crime/noir writers circle-jerk” comment. It’s so true (and I’m a participant)! It starts to feel very cliquish at times.

      Your observations as a reader are important to me. When I first started w/ Twitter I was primarily a reader, but used it to learn about the publishing industry because I’d just started working on my novel. Aside from a few short stories, I really don’t have any readers yet, so being part of the circle-jerk was (and is) important because I’m making contacts and learning.

      But I’m nearly ready to take the next step, which will hopefully be to publish (whether traditionally or self remains to be seen). That means I’ll be preaching (again hopefully) to a wider audience of readers. The way I interact on twitter and elsewhere will no doubt change, at least a little, to accomodate this new role.

    2. Neliza Drew says: June 19, 2012 at 10:13 am

      I think the cool thing about Twitter is that anytime you want to try to join the “circle jerk” you just butt in. (And if you find that person or group to be less than receptive or to take that as an invitation to spam you or you just find they jerk the wrong way for your tastes, you can always wander off and try another.)

  5. Josh Stallings says: June 12, 2012 at 11:13 am

    TWEET – “There is a brown and white sheep which has gone missing with a nylon rope around its neck and it belongs to Mwangi’s father,” – tweeted recently in the Swahili language. The sheep was soon recovered.

    This seems like a real useful way to use twitter.

    LANET UMOJA, Kenya — When the administrative chief of this western Kenyan village received an urgent 4 a.m. call that thieves were invading a school teacher’s home, he sent a message on Twitter. Within minutes residents in this village of stone houses gathered outside the home, and the thugs fled.

    Whats this to do with book promotion? Nuthin, just a cool story.

    1. Holly West says: June 12, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Josh, there is a twitter feed called Venice311 that has been both a curse and a blessing. Venice has a higher crime rate than Santa Monica and when we first moved in I was always a bit freaked out by all the police helicopters buzzing around every day. Venice311 uses a police scanner to report what’s going on crime-wise in the area and every time I’d hear one of those airships I’d get on Twitter (still do). So in the beginning Venice311 just scared me (what, a shooting around the corner?) but now it’s a valuable neighborhood resource and a great use of Twitter, IMO.

  6. Libby Hellmann says: June 12, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Hi, Holly. I feel the shame, because I am one of those tweeters you probably love to hate. I’ve tweeted friends’ and my books shamelessly over the past 18 months, and I too am getting frustrated by the constant barrage of “look at my stuff” or “look at her/his” tweets.

    At the same time, though, I have to remember why I put myself on Twitter. Honestly, Holly, it WASN’T to interact with other writers, trade witty quips, or keep up with everyone. I already do that on FB (my personal page). I view Twitter as a marketing tool… plain and simple. Yes, I understand I need to “share” and “give back” and I do, but my objective with Twitter, and Linked In, and my FB author page, is — well — to let people know about my books and audios so that they’ll BUY them. There I’ve said it. Crass, isn’t it? But it’s the truth. Sometimes I do it myself, sometimes I’m part of groups who promote each other, sometimes I’m just blown away by a book and have to mention it.

    Having stated a mea culpa, though, I find that Twitter has lost much of its allure… mostly because there are lots of people like me doing the same thing. Right now the bright new shiny thing is Pinterest… and already I’m seeing webinars on “how to use Pinterest to boost your sales” Wonder how long it will be before it too loses its charm?

    At any rate, I made a promise to myself to actually get a life this summer. Not a virtual one. Which would mean making my social media footprint smaller. I wonder if I can actually do it.

    Great post. Thanks for letting me ramble.

    1. Holly West says: June 12, 2012 at 8:36 am

      That’s funny, Libby because you’re one of the authors I followed early on and made a point to meet at the first Bouchercon I attended in Indianapolis. I don’t know if you’d remember that but it was at your table when they were giving away the free books.

      Anyway, I’ve never once considered you an “offender,” and I promote myself and others like crazy too, so there’s no shame. Something’s changed though–it’s as though the promotion has collectively become more mindless, more automatic, and ultimately, less impactful (heh heh spell check is implying “impactful” is not a word–did I just make one up?)

      Here’s to having a smaller social media imprint this summer. I’m not sure if I’ll make mine smaller, but I’d somehow like to make it more meaningful, maybe by writing more blog posts. I don’t know.

  7. Tanis Mallow says: June 12, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Totally agree!
    So here’s what I do: If I follow a particular tweeter they automatically get put on my “must read list” which I check with religious regularity. If someone over-BSPs and auto posts with no other original content they get knocked off that list (and I rarely read tweets that aren’t on my must-reads). Some people fall off the list within a couple of days. Sometimes a couple of hours.
    Also, you can usually tell if someone is a BSP-only tweeter by checking out their profile prior to following. I no longer feel guilty about not following back (let’s face it, if someone is following 20k people they are not reading all those tweets).
    Take note Tweeters – some of you are spending a great deal of time pissing people off rather than promoting yourselves.
    On the other hand, some of you are a pleasure to follow.
    I’m trying to be one the latter.

    1. Holly West says: June 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

      I like this “must-read” list idea (although truth-be-told I’d probably use it for a couple of days and then forget to check it). And yeah, I’m a lot more hesitant about following back these days, although I’ll usually give most writers a chance.

  8. Steve Weddle says: June 12, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I think what you want to do is sell your book to OTHER people.

    When the publishing world gets DIARY OF BEDLAM out on the streets, I’ll get a copy because I’m a fan of Holly West. (Also, the book is fantastic.) When Josh Stallings puts out a new book, I’m going to buy it. Same with Eric Beetner. And I already know about this, because I follow them and I read Elizabeth White’s site and PCN’s and Sabrina Ogden’s. I’m not the audience you’re trying to reach. I’m already a fan. YOU’VE ALREADY GOT ME.

    What you’ve got to do is hit other people, show the outside world how awesome the book is.

    Joelle Charbonneau had a skate party/book launch because her book touches on the roller skating world. I imagine that went great. (Joelle is under contract for another 28 books by 2014, so she’s stopped returning my calls.)

    Other folks have taken ads in tattoo magazine and biker newsletters and all sorts of places.

    You need to target your reader. Find out what type of person will want to read your book. Then go where they are.

    Stop sitting in front of your computer and telling your same 271 followers that your book is good. WE KNOW THAT. We love you.

    Go tell other people about it. After all, I’m telling other people how awesome your book is.

    1. Holly West says: June 12, 2012 at 8:13 am

      You are absolutely right about this, Steve. And this reminds me I’ve got to start getting more involved in the historical fiction community. That’s where a huge portion of my audience is, and I’ve largely ignored it–not purposely, but there are only so many hours in the day.

      Oh how’d I’d love to host a book launch party at the Tower of London.

      1. Neliza Drew says: June 12, 2012 at 8:38 am

        It’s there a London Bridge across a few fewer borders from you in AZ? Perhaps a party there would be cheaper?

        1. Holly West says: June 12, 2012 at 8:40 am

          Ha ha, there is! But that would mean having to go to Arizona, so… no. 😉

          1. Neliza Drew says: June 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

            British pub with masquerade theme night?

  9. Neliza Drew says: June 12, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I’m late to the table with this comment because yoga and my stool killed my back yesterday. Sorry.

    I get what you’re saying and I’ve found myself unfollowing people lately, too. For the same reason. (<– I also have a thing about fragments suddenly.) One in particular comes to mind but I won't mention her by name. She followed me — though I can't figure out why — and her bio was okay so I gave her a shot. A week later, I unfollowed her. Here's why: It wasn't just her book she did nothing but promote. All her posts, save maybe one or two a day, were the "What happens when you blah blah" #hashtag #overdoseofhashtag #MOARhastag http://buythisnowfromhere http://buyfromheretoo http://ihaveafewcharactersleft&quot; They were about her book, and every other book with similar hashtags. Like some sort of team of people drunk on bad promotion.
    I never clicked one link. Not one. Why? Because my TBR pile is measure in miles. Because I've got books by people I actually want to read waiting on my phone (as Kindle files and Nook files and PDFs). Because I still haven't gotten around to catching up with ANTE MORTEM on Sabrina's blog. Because I have my own crap to do.
    And no one ever mentioned if the books were good. No one I trusted said, "This was awesome." Which is one of the ways you get me to give it a shot. TOBACCO-STAINED MOUNTAIN GOAT? Read it because Josh said he enjoyed it. I like Josh and I like other stuff he's liked. It's a fun book. I gave the Jim Butcher books a shot because Sabrina mentioned them. They aren't my favorite, but they're, honestly, good beachy/airport reads. I'll also read longer work by people who's shorter work I've enjoyed.
    Also, "what if' statements don't even intrigue me on back covers. I'm one of them. I'm too sarcastic to ask me a "what if" question.
    And I wish I could, when I RT promos of things I've read or things in my TBR pile that I have a strong feeling I'll like, or because I like you and want to support you…, always add something personal. But, frankly, I'm usually doing five other things and don't have time. Which makes me as bad, I guess.
    Mea culpa.

    1. Holly West says: June 12, 2012 at 8:11 am

      Yes to all of this, Neliza. Especially the last part about adding something personal to my RTs of other people’s work.

  10. Holly West says: June 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks for the thoughtful conversation, everyone! 😉

  11. Eric Beetner says: June 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I struggle with this all the time. I try to do a one for me, one for them approach where I mention someone else if I mention my own product.
    Trouble is, when you start to get a lot of stuff out there from books to buy and blog posts, etc. it feels like an endless string of links.
    I love little conversations via Twitter, but I’m not on it enough to have them regularly.
    We’ll see, Holly, when you have a book to push:) I agree it doesn’t do much for sales. I can provide direct evidence. But sometimes it is my only outlet and I don’t have to runaround to ten different people and ask for favors and to squat on their blogs.
    The goal is to get to the level os Mr. stallings where others become your biggest champions. I envy that to no end.
    I’m so grateful for every retweet and mention. When it works, it is like having your own little PR firm.
    It is a toug balance though, and it makes me feel dirty all the time.

    P.s. I did go check to make sure you hadn’t unfollowed me before I wrote this.

    1. Holly West says: June 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      I feel like I should clarify–I wasn’t talking about promotion itself so much as I was talking about the specific methods I illustrated in the post. I know I’ll be promoting like a mother fucker when I have my own book out, I’m just wondering aloud what the best ways are. And of course complaining, because that’s what I do.

      Did you seriously think I’d ever unfollow you Eric? That’s just crazy talk.

  12. Josh Stallings says: June 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    All good thoughts. I was speaking with professor of internet marketing. Turns out very quirky we stopped seeing banner ads, not that they bug us, no we really stopped seeing them. The speed at which marketing is moving is scary. I market movies, and there we have a built in audience, people seeing trailers are sitting in a theater, proving they are already our target market. There are also a hell of a lot less films competing for eyes than book. Authors have many more tittles out, and less eyes looking for them. In the long run I am starting to believe it will come down to readers telling other readers about our work. I know for me, I only have time to read books my trusted friends tell me they think I will like, (Ms White being a huge source), all the tweets in the world won’t do as much as a nudge from a friend. I guess we have to keep putting out good product, telling our friends about it, and hope they tell their friends about it etc,,,

  13. Elizabeth A. White says: June 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    ‎”But I like to think we’re all engaging in “thoughtful promotion” and in between all the “buy my book” tweets there is some actual conversation going on.”

    And that is the key. One has to GIVE, not just take. There has to be a dialog, not just one-sided promotional screaming into a bullhorn.

  14. Josh Stallings says: June 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Holly, good food for thought. I have been thinking of late, do we reach a larger readership with twitter or face book. I mean, purely as a marketing tool, is it any good. It is wonderful way to meet fellow writers and make friends, like you, who I value deeply. I have noticed I follow and am followed by mostly other writers. They are also readers, we writers read tons I know, but are we reaching beyond the choir? For now I’ll use you as my mineshaft canary, if I promote too much and find you have unfollowed me, I will know I am over the edge, and maybe beyond twitter redemption. Until then… Have I told you my book is on spe…..

    1. Holly West says: June 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Reaching beyond the choir… this is why I’m wondering if perhaps, as a writer who follows other writers, I’m not the right audience for some of this self-promotion. Obviously, I *want* to know what you’re putting out there, and I can say that for a whole lot of other authors as well. Promotion of some sort, and probably more of it than any of us are comfortable with, is essential. I think, as Stephen Blackmoore put it, it’s a balance.

  15. Pop Culture Nerd says: June 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    You’re not missing anything, Holly. I can say without a doubt that type of tweet does NOT work for me, and sometimes even makes me do the opposite–put the author on my “no buy” list. They may not stay there permanently, but they will until they stop annoying me. I don’t care how many five-star reviews their books get. I’d rather give my money to authors who manage to write great books AND not be obnoxious on Twitter.

    As to why people do this, I think it’s because self-publishing has been new territory for many, and there aren’t a lot of definitive how-to guides for doing it effectively.

    1. Holly West says: June 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      Good point about self-publishing is new territory. One thing is certain, traditionally pubbed authors definitely promote their work, but they seem to do it differently, less obtrusively (for lack of a better word). Is it because they feel less pressure to get their name out there? It seems like these days *all* authors are under pressure to do the PR work themselves.

      1. Pop Culture Nerd says: June 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm

        Trad-pubbed authors have help from their in-house PR reps, so they’re expected to augment those efforts, but they don’t have to do everything themselves. Unless self-pubbed authors hire an independent rep, they HAVE to do it all, but they’re not trained in PR and marketing. (Except for James Patterson, who comes from advertising.)

  16. Holly West says: June 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Keep you around, are you kidding me? You’re tops in my book. Definitely my homie. 🙂

  17. sabrina ogden says: June 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I’m starting to become more personal with the people I choose to follow. In fact, I’m only returning follows if people engage with me on twitter… and not with promoting their book off the start. I’m slowly going through my list and eliminating people that I don’t know. But, yeah, all the noise is making my twitter time frustrating. Hope you keep me around. I’m selling a mountain with a first class gold mine… for a dozen cupcakes! 😉

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