(Boring Bots and other promo-goblins)
I have a peer (just for the record, not a Brigader or SFR author) who's had a rather meteoric rise on the publishing front. This author has also been so obnoxious with her promo that I now ignore all her posts and tweets and don't pay any attention to her new releases. This is someone I know and respect who has made such an ass of herself online that she's completely soured me on her work.
Not that her work isn't brilliant.
Not that her books aren't worthy, engaging reads.
But because her constant, hammering ad nauseum messages for the past two years have been "Buy my book! Look at my great review! Look what my book has done now!" These posts have been plastered absolutely everywhere. On private loops, in closed Facebook groups, in a constant stream of Tweets, absolutely everywhere...until I just want to scream: "OMG, make it stop. Make it stop!" (Who am I kidding. I have screamed it. But on the internet, no one can hear you scream.)
And the lesson for me has been How NOT to Promote My Book (as taught by someone who knows better but does it anyway) when I become a published author.
And the scary thing? She's not alone. I can probably name a half dozen Promo Machines right off the top of my head. Many of the Facebook groups and Yahoo loops I'm a member of are inundated by these BUY MY BOOK! posts, to the point there's little of value left in the feed.
So here's the question: If you're turning off your fellow peers who respect and look up to you, not to mention a potential audience who is studying everything you say and how you say it to see if your writing appeals to them, do you think maybe you're not doing it right?
I think Captain Picard knew the secret. Engage!
Engaging your audience makes the difference between the endless dull drone of a Promo Machine and someone who is truly invested in what their readership is interested in. It's been a valuable lesson that makes me stop and think every time I post anything anywhere: Am I falling into the trap of a Dreaded Promo Machine?
Now, let me contrast this with Jeffe Kennedy, who always gives the reader something of value on her blog and has appealing things to say in her Tweets, Facebook and Yahoo loop posts while introducing readers to her work. And to Heather Massey of The Galaxy Express who themes on the literary universe of Science Fiction Romance, having scored an avid following. Check out their blogs and scroll through the recent posts. These are shining examples of what effective promotion is all about. It's promotion where something is given back, and the audience learns things while getting a taste of the author's voice. This, IMHO, is how it's done.
So please, think before you post another in a long list of BUY MY BOOK! promos.
And remember, Friends Don't Let Friends Become Promo Machines.
A Pseudonym Goes Supernova
Trending on Twitter: Oh my, my. Is the timing perfect for this big reveal or what?
It seems the ex-military male author Robert Galbraith, writer of the critically acclaimed detective novel "The Cuckoo's Calling" is...are you ready for this?...none other than JK Rowling.
What a development on the Misogyny in the Publishing World front. Those reviewers who ONLY review male authors are so very red-faced and sputtering: "But, but...she used a pseudonym and pretended to be a male!" Deal with it guys. It's been done for decades. The real issue is that a female writer dazzled you.
Here's one article that was trending on Sunday. (Check the current trend feed on Twitter. It's probably had many updates since this writing).
And here's an article from USA Today.
One quote by a reviewer is getting a lot of attention via this Tweet, which is a snapshot of his utterly anti-female author commentary.
This is the novel in question: The Cuckoos Calling (on Amazon).
By the way, this book has been out since April and this 'controversy' has just surfaced. Along with this media explosion, there's also rumblings there are two more Harry Potter books in the works. If this was some sort of major publicity stunt, JK Rowling should be declared a genius. And even if it's a happy accident, these misogynists are playing right into her hands in terms of promoting her book. There's nothing like a little bad-mouthing (by those who are eating their own review words) to shoot a book into the stratosphere. Godspeed, JK.
(Promotion as a Fun Event)
How do you get the word out about a free anthology of eight engaging Science Fiction Romance stories written by eight brilliant writers who run the gamut from debut author to best-selling, RWA RITA winner?
How about organizing a #GlobalWave?
It's like a stadium wave, except it's an assortment of Tweets from dozens of participants around the globe (in place of raised hands)--culminating in a joint shout out for the anthology that begins in Australia/New Zealand and ripples across each time zone to reach the entire planet over the course of 24 hours. The #GlobalWave was organized by members of the SFR Brigade.
Introducing The Tales from the SFR Brigade free anthology to Twitterers who may be interested in reading it.
The target zone?
The tweets are linked to Anthology Central, aka The Tales from the SFR Brigade Anthology web site with links to sales venues, reviews, author bios, Goodreads listopias and other fun stuff. It's an "Everything You Want to Know About the Anthology" clearing house, and the side benefit is we can measure activity from the #GlobalWave event in terms of hits.
Actively engaging potential readers by sweeping them up (assimilating them heh heh) via the Global Wave.
So far, a big spike in visitors to the Anthology web site (which is hopefully prompting interested parties to download the anthology and be introduced to the big, brave universe of Science Fiction Romance).
...is forthcoming. We'll know more when we get a count of the number of additional downloads since the #GlobalWave began at 5PM on 7/14/13, eastern Australia time.
@PippaJay A big thank-you for your very active participation in the #GlobalWave event. (Also, Pippa Jay and Laurel Kriegler went above and beyond by carrying the wave across the dark ocean of time zones between Australia and the UK by ensuring round-the-clock Tweet coverage of the event.) We couldn't have done it without ya! Thanks also for your contributions to our new Research Lounge, which has enjoyed many visitors since being "opened" last week.
@Donna Great points on WHOSE CHARACTER IS IT, ANYWAY? As authors, we write our stories for the world of readers, and not all may view our characters' physical attributes as they manifested in our own minds. To be an author is to share your universe. Oh a different topic, I'm sulking a bit as you head off to RWA Nationals in Atlanta this week. I will so miss the experience but I know you'll have a fantastic time and hope to see photos and hear all about it very soon.
@Sharon Congrats to you on a series of successes in the past week, both professional and personal. You're definitely on a roll! I'm sure you'll be on pins and needles awaiting the big announcement next weekend. You know we're all rooting for you!