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Abe F. March
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10758
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 81
Location : Germany

Self-Promotion Empty
PostSubject: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyWed Nov 04, 2009 11:54 am

I hate it. It is contrary to everything I was taught and smells of boasting.

Writers who are promoted by their publishers make themselves available for book-signings and appearances that are organized by someone else. If one is financially capable of employing a PR firm to do the promotional work, self-promotion is not seen as self-adulation or aggrandizement.

To promote ones books without paying for these outside services, it becomes necessary to promote oneself. How that is done can be the difference in acceptance or rejection.

Friends are the worst. They won’t say it to your face but will make snide remarks to mutual friends. “He thinks he something great just because he wrote a book.” “He really thinks he’s special the way he talks about himself.” “He thinks he’s better than the rest of us.” Etc.

Promoting oneself at the expense of others is always bad. Promoting something that will benefit others is always good. How to self promote and not appear obnoxious or superior is not easy. The book seldom sells itself. Sometimes the credibility of the author makes the difference and his/her credentials (Bio) are important.

An all-purpose resume doesn’t work when seeking a job and I’m thinking that an all-purpose Bio doesn’t work when promoting a book. What has already been published can’t be changed. Looking forward it may help to re-think the Bio to support the book.

I don’t have many answers but lots of questions about self-promotion. I intend to rethink how I am portrayed. If it detracts from the book, it is wrong. If it accentuates the book, it must be right.

What do you think?
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dkchristi
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyWed Nov 04, 2009 3:44 pm

This promotion stuff has been a major challenge for me. Friends are, indeed, the most difficult - some of them. I have a few who help me a lot. I lost a great friend because of a newspaper article shared by her and my former boss - I didn't control the reporter who also knew me quite well and told more than should have been written.

Alas, it is complicated.
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http://www.dkchristi.webs.com
Malcolm
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Malcolm

Number of posts : 1504
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : Georgia

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyThu Nov 05, 2009 8:00 am

I don't like self-promotion at all, mainly because I think it's absurd for a publisher with a lot of contacts and a big PR staff to push this job off on the author who has no budget and no staff.

I don't like the bitterness I feel creeping into my thoughts when I see how much popularity and buzz play in to selling fiction and wonder why author A got an advance that made everyone notice him and I didn't.

I don't like feeling like walking SPAM, or the anger that creeps into my personality when local friends who expect me to patronize their stores don't buy my books, or the exasperation I have to keep under wraps when a person who drops $50 for dinner at Outback Steak House says he can't afford $13.95 for my book.

This part of the business keeps threatening to change me in a lot of bad ways.

Malcolm
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http://www.conjurewomanscat.com
alice
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
alice

Number of posts : 15672
Registration date : 2008-10-22
Age : 73
Location : Redmond, WA

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyThu Nov 05, 2009 11:42 am

I hate it. I have decided no more of it.

If someone wants my book, fine.
I wrote it to help people--not bankrupt them.

I don't think I am any better than anyone else because I wrote a book.

I am probably just stupider--to think I would make any money for charity.

What a sick, sick joke.
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http://www.freewebs.com/acrooker/
Shelagh
Admin
Admin
Shelagh

Number of posts : 12656
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyThu Nov 05, 2009 2:43 pm

I have to agree with you again, Alice. This is becoming a habit! Still, it gives me a chance to explain to Abe about an email I sent with an audio attachment. Sorry, Abe, it was sent by accident. I meant to avoid sending to friends who already knew about the book and didn't realise that I had sent out the email until it had been sent.

This having to market or disappear without trace is a real pain. I try to imagine that I am marketing someone else's work but I don't fool myself.

I do feel better when I see super stars on television chat shows promoting their books/TV shows/films. The only difference between me and them is the fact that I earn less than they do. Apart from that, we are the same.

_________________
Self-Promotion 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Self-Promotion 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Self-Promotion 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Self-Promotion 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Self-Promotion 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Self-Promotion 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©Shelagh Watkins
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Sue
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Sue

Number of posts : 1216
Registration date : 2008-01-15

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Nov 06, 2009 7:55 am

I never did really market or promote my book the way most other authors have done. I really don't know the reason why.

Now I am doing more for the authors that I am publishing than I ever did for myself. I agree that the publishers should help with the marketing and not leave it up to the authors. But...helping with the marketing takes the publisher away from actually doing the work that publishes the book and makes money for all involved. So I guess I can see why they don't do it. I am finding it difficult, but I consider it part of the package I provide for my authors. I don't do it all, but I do help.

Marketing is the bane of any writer in any genre or area. It's the bad that comes with the good.
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Don Stephens
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Don Stephens

Number of posts : 1355
Registration date : 2008-01-25
Age : 82
Location : Wherever my hat's hanging today!

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Nov 06, 2009 12:10 pm

jocolor


Last edited by D. J. (Don) Stephens on Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Carol Troestler
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Carol Troestler

Number of posts : 3827
Registration date : 2008-06-07
Age : 82
Location : Wisconsin

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Nov 06, 2009 3:36 pm

Solo promotion can be difficult, but doing it with a publisher's help and planning would be a lot easier. I'd feel I was also helping that publisher, not just me.

I made up a marketing plan for Flow On Sweet Missouri, making up a list of activities, which was not difficult, as was checking them off as I did them. I believe the list made a difference. It went from taking books to the local library to contacting the newspaper.

Carol
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http://www.authorsden.com/ctroestler
Sue
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Sue

Number of posts : 1216
Registration date : 2008-01-15

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Nov 06, 2009 4:45 pm

I found that making lists and setting them to time-lines helps a lot. I also have a huge, spiral bound yearly calendar lying flat open on my desk. Everything, and I do mean everything goes on it, from things I receive, to things I need to send, phone calls, etc. You name it, it is there.
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dkchristi
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Nov 06, 2009 8:48 pm

I have stuck to a plan since I published Arirang: The Bamboo Connection in 2006 that minimally, I had to have one major promotional item per month (more the better, but minimal one). At least I feel I'm doing something to move in the right direction. For October, it was B&N; for December it's North Shore Books; for November, it may be an independent book store on the east coast of Florida, etc. etc. I don't count the daily Internet items; though on a slow month, a friendly review counts if I exploit it some.
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http://www.dkchristi.webs.com
Abe F. March
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10758
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 81
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Nov 06, 2009 11:09 pm

It’s comforting to know that I am not alone in my feelings about self-promotion. I read all the comments. I especially identified with Don with his approach and how his background assists him. My situation is a bit different in that I can’t walk into a German bookstore with an English book under my arm and set up a book signing or expect them to carry my book. I tried that with my first book and was told that when/if it were available in German, they would be willing to carry it, however with most stores, it must be available from a book distributor. The book signings I did have was when I visited the States for a one book-signing event.

Selling was always a problem for me and yet I excelled at it. In the early days I had to do “cold calling” and even some “door-to-door” work. Fear of rejection was the culprit. Being mentally prepared to look at rejection as one step closer to the sale, helped to overcome that fear. Doing the things you fear the most until you no longer fear it takes courage and determination. When I taught sales, I often used my personal experience to assist new recruits. Even though I could do it and succeed at it, I never really enjoyed it and had empathy with those struggling to make it in sales. Keeping the mind focused on the successes helps to overcome the failures and rejections.

My book promotion is limited to the Internet. Unfortunately I haven’t seen much result from that but assume that with every attempt I will be one step closer to success. If something doesn’t work, try another way. If that doesn’t work, try another way. If that doesn’t work, try another way. ..
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dkchristi
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptySat Nov 07, 2009 3:25 am

I think an author with only the Internet needs to find an Internet publicist with savvy and some sort of guarantee. I don't have the financial resources to pay someone to advertise for me; but I think that is the only way unless you are almost 24 hours a day in the promotion mode and learn all the little tricks of optimizing web sites, joining the right social media, being reviewed on the popular sites, etc. Every day I find new places on the Internet I didn't realize were there. Every year I become more savvy. Yet, I don't see an impact on sales from my Internet efforts. My best promo has been book signings and the press that accompanies them (radio, tv, newspaper, etc. associated with the event).
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http://www.dkchristi.webs.com
jjbreunig3
Four Star Member
Four Star Member
jjbreunig3

Number of posts : 233
Registration date : 2009-03-01
Age : 62
Location : Lyman, Maine, USA

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Nov 20, 2009 4:28 am

I can understand and appreciate how you feel; for the most part, I've had this disdain for sales positions and now I'm in the role of self-promotion as well.

The reaction of some people towards me, now that I've self-published my first book, was similar to your experience. Part of my approach is to encourage other people how to write one for themselves. Since there is a variety on the types of books one can create, people should be able to identify a genre that is suitable for them.

I've experienced some things that I did not expect. For starters, a few poets are upset that I published a book, as though they are entitled to read everything I've written for free. After all, if one gives away all of one's writing, then it is highly unlikely that anyone is willing to pay afterwards. Also I have an increasing number of poets telling me to review and comment on their poetry - people who don't comment on my work nor purchase my book.

I went the self-publishing route for the few publishers I approached for two reasons: they wouldn't touch my book of poetry (because of the unpredability of sales); the one publisher wanted me to shell out $13,500 (which I could not afford).

There are a number of social websites that I use to market my book; they are free to join and enable you to reach different people within your marketing demographic. Be sure to check out: Vox, Bebo, MySpace, RedRoom, Gaia and NING.

--Joe
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http://www.squidoo.com/book-isbn-1419650513
albrechtcm

albrechtcm

Number of posts : 9
Registration date : 2011-01-12

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Dec 07, 2012 9:27 am

I agree with Mr. March. Whether from birth or education, I've always believed self-promotion to be in very poor taste and can't bring myself to do it. I never even go so far as to pass out cards or bookmarks or mention to people that I'm a writer. I just can't and that's it.
If someone happens by some extraordinary accident to be digging through thousands of books at Amazon or B&N and should run across one of my books and actually buy it, I'll be elated, not because of the money, but because someone actually looked down through some half a million books to get to one of mine. As my wife points out, originally I only wanted to sit down and actually write a book. Once I actually did that, I moved on to saying I'd be satisfied if I could just find a publisher. I did all that. I have a good relationship with my publisher, but she doesn't have much more money than I and that means the advertising budget can't even buy Top Ramen for two. I guess I'll have to remain satisfied with actually getting my stuff published. At least publishers like mine put books on the Internet where they'll remain so long as the author and publisher don't get into a fight. I know a person who had a very nice book published in hard cover by a major publisher. It even won a prize. The publisher offered absolutely nothing in the way of promotion and after only three (3) lousy months, the publisher pulled the book from stores and it lies dead today. I have one of the few copies extant. All the ideas I grew up with concerning publishing were either mistaken or the industry has changed dramatically. I always thought writers sat home alone and wrote books which they duly sent to a publisher who duly printed the books and shipped them out to bookstores where an eager public snapped them up to add to their libraries. What was I thinking?
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http://www.cm-albrecht.webs.com
alj
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 77
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Dec 07, 2012 10:03 am

First of all -- the industry has changed dramatically.

Because of that, if we want to have our books read, we have to adjust our perspectives, because with the new rules, if we don't promote ourselves, we likely won't get promoted.

It seems to me that before we can effectively promote our own work, we have to re-adjust our thinking.

One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves at this point is, "Does my work present a concept or example of an idea that can change the world, or, at least, promote a positive change? Is my work a unique means of helping those who read it?"

If the answer is yes, then self-promotion is not about the ego. It is about the idea that the self supports and believes in.

Are you willing to promote that idea? especially if there are no other sources?

And if the idea is truly new, then established sources, who are going to support the status quo, are not going to be of that much help, even if you can afford them.

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http://www.annjoiner.com
albrechtcm

albrechtcm

Number of posts : 9
Registration date : 2011-01-12

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Dec 07, 2012 10:16 am

My ambitions aren't so lofty as to hope to offer life-changing advice or commentary. I just hope through the means of a book to offer a couple or three hours' entertainment. If a reader should pick up something useful along the way, then all the better for all of us. But Lord protect me from ever using a novel to preach or further my little agenda.
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http://www.cm-albrecht.webs.com
alj
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 77
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Dec 07, 2012 10:55 am

Is that what I sounded like? If so, I hear you.

The point is, does your work have a purpose? Entertainment, enlightenment, practical advice, or simply the satisfaction of self-expression, if you look at it as self-promotion, then you will see things from a different perspective than you will if you feel you have something positive to offer.

In today's world, if you cannot find a way to justify your work, you will be hard-pressed to find any support, or, for that matter, an audience that is willing to pay to read it.

There are many free books out there today. Offer them that way, or give readers a reason to be willing to pay for them.

It isn't about vanity these days.

If you believe that what you write is of value to your potential readers, it will be a lot easier to find those readers.
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albrechtcm

albrechtcm

Number of posts : 9
Registration date : 2011-01-12

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Dec 07, 2012 4:58 pm

I'll tell my readers the reason they need to pay for my books is because I want to spend a year in Europe.
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http://www.cm-albrecht.webs.com
alj
Five Star Member
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 77
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Dec 07, 2012 5:11 pm

Good luck with that. Very Happy
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http://www.annjoiner.com
tensejim
One Star Member
One Star Member
tensejim

Number of posts : 39
Registration date : 2012-12-13
Age : 57
Location : Pigeon Forge, TN

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyFri Dec 14, 2012 7:17 am

I was reading an article before I published my book by an author I never heard of. She had two books already published and wrote her first YA novel. Her agent was unable to get any publisher to take the book so she published on Amazon and said she was selling an average of 3500 per month and on the promotion days sold 45k and 11k. Now that I have published and sold only one book so far in 4 days, I am having my doubts about believing her story lol.

The bottom line for me here is that I wrote the book so I could say I did it. Yes, I have hopes of it doing well but I need to stay focused on the original whys in the process. Maybe I will see my book take off some day, maybe I wont. I will do the legwork necessary to promote it but in the meantime it is life as usual for me.

I am always up for some constructive critisism and advise. If anyone of you happens to get my book, I would love a personal review from you. I have my book on Amazon and if you are a prime member you can get it free for five days I believe...soooo...go get it and let me know what you think!! = )
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http://giftedbook.blogspot.com/
Richard Bowers
One Star Member
One Star Member


Number of posts : 26
Registration date : 2012-11-26
Location : Sanger, CA

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyMon Dec 31, 2012 8:22 am

I seem to be the only one who has noticed the elelphant in the room (on the PA site.) Has anyone tried "Door to Door?" I've tried it some years back for a company hawking world knowledge, but all my education from high school kept up the arithmetic - too much expence and not enough sales equals a negative cash flow.
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http://lulu.com
Paul Stewart



Number of posts : 9
Registration date : 2013-02-18

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyTue Feb 19, 2013 12:05 am

In my photography career I was forced to learn how to market online or get people who could market online. Photography went digital and online 12 years ago and by 2003 we had no options. Book writing has gone the same way. Shops are closing, people read on screens and getting lazier expecting everything to be a click away.

The present is online, this is an online board we meet at, the future will be more so. Get with it or get left behind. Even J.K.Rowling will be finding it hard to sell paper books soon. Because there will be so few others. In fact all that has to be in book form for the time being, is a book in a toilet or on a coffee table A3 size with high quality hi res photographs.
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Paul Stewart



Number of posts : 9
Registration date : 2013-02-18

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyTue Feb 19, 2013 2:27 am

dkchristi wrote:
I think an author with only the Internet needs to find an Internet publicist with savvy and some sort of guarantee. I don't have the financial resources to pay someone to advertise for me; but I think that is the only way unless you are almost 24 hours a day in the promotion mode and learn all the little tricks of optimizing web sites, joining the right social media, being reviewed on the popular sites, etc. Every day I find new places on the Internet I didn't realize were there. Every year I become more savvy. Yet, I don't see an impact on sales from my Internet efforts. My best promo has been book signings and the press that accompanies them (radio, tv, newspaper, etc. associated with the event).

Few online will give anyone a guaranty unless you're very good. I come from the days when people would pay on publication and sometime pay in advance. Now many pay after a sale is made and expect the writer to do the advertising for themselves, which benefits them. As I said, unless you're very good.

The problem isn't finding new places to tell you're there. It's getting them to notices that you're there amongst the 100s of others.
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dkchristi
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyTue Feb 19, 2013 7:31 am

I listened to Bill O'Reilly of the O'Reilly Factor tell how difficult it was for him to get a publisher for his "Killing Lincoln" book that has sold millions. Finally, he got what he called a "back end" deal - a small advance and then a "piece of the profits." The publishers who turned him down are probably kicking themselves - but even he had trouble with his widespread recognition. He wanted to write history books; they wanted him to write expose sorts of things.

He also told how with his deal he promoted where his publisher told him to go. As a staunch Republican, he did not want to go to The View with Whoopi Goldberg, etc. He went anyway.

Most of us believe we have something to say, that our writing is good. We are probably correct. However, everyone has something to say and they can all publish it without a publisher. How does the public find your little piece? Or even think it's special? Only by constant promotion or by getting someone famous to touch it, talk about it and push it.

I have actually interviewed many celebrities and handed them my book in person. Nada. Obviously they did not think my story was great - not even enough for a thank you though Marlo Thomas' secretary asked me for my business card to send a thank you and a copy of Marlo's book. Neither happened. Perhaps I just don't follow up enough.

However, following up is difficult without good contact information. I have an acquaintance in the PR business who has running conversations with Donald Trump and his ilk, but never helps me with my book promotion - actually teases me about "How are the ghost orchids these days?"

This world of writing is a strange world. I think a requirement is to also be a little strange.
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http://www.dkchristi.webs.com
Paul Stewart



Number of posts : 9
Registration date : 2013-02-18

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PostSubject: Re: Self-Promotion   Self-Promotion EmptyTue Feb 19, 2013 10:51 am

@ DK Christi
Apparently JK Rowling got many rejections, even the Beatles got turned down. That's life.

I will PM you.
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