Right in the middle of my morning coffee and Twitter break a few days ago, several totally unrelated tweets left me just shaking my head. As a human being of average intelligence with what I like to think of as above average common sense – these totally serious tweets from people trying to promote their books stirred something up inside me that I couldn't control. Put that together with the irritation that's been growing within me for weeks over rude e-mails, demands and other fun stuff from a few authors and I knew I wanted to write a post…
So, I invited over my good friend Sarcasm to help me out! Together Sarcasm and I thought, if there was ever an infomercial for promoting your book, it might sound something like this... *clears throat and puts on best infomercial voice*
How (Not) To Promote Your Book In 9 Easy Steps
You've written and published a book! A feat that only a few million people before you have accomplished! You're understandably tired, and short on time and you want to see that money start rolling in, like yesterday!
But wait, simply uploading your book to sites with millions of other books doesn't seem to be generating the buzz or profits you initially thought it would. You need some help getting the world out there! But how? *dramatically shrugs* Let's face it, individual e-mails to potential readers take to long and getting to know people on Twitter takes even longer!
You rightly deserve all the benefits of being a popular author, and if people would just read your book they would see how wonderful it is! Here's some
unhelpful tips to help you on your way to becoming a Super Star Author!
1. The Twitter Feed Overflow: I don't think anything makes your followers happier than logging into their account and seeing the exact same tweet, from the same person, covering every inch of their screen. Nothing screams commitment to your novel quite like cramming a weeks worth of promo into 4 minutes. (If only programs like TweetDeck had a way for you to schedule tweets so they could go out when you aren't able to send them manually…)
2. The "Ignore/Never Read The Review Policy" Approach: A blogger, is a blogger, is a blogger. They are all the same, and they all read books. So never mind if their review policy specifically states they do not accept books of your genre, yours is different and they will see that as soon as they read it! Plus, you're totally doing them a favor by offering them a free book! It's also helpful, if they respond to politely decline, or don't respond at all, to send a curtly worded e-mail demanding answers as to why your book wasn't something they wanted to read.
3. The Cut and Paste: Second only to the Twitter Feed Overflow, is the Cut and Paste. Bloggers love that you see them as a heard of sheep, faceless and nameless. Don't bother taking the 8 seconds to add their name to that review request e-mail – just copy and paste using a generic opener like "Hi!" or "I know you don't normally read sci-fi, but…"! For added fun, send one personalized e-mail and when you copy/paste forget to change the name. "Dave" for instance, is a common enough name that you're likely to find several who think that e-mail was just for them!
4. Skip The Cover Designer!: All the beauty of your book is held between it's covers, so don't bother having a professional put that finishing touch on it. Nothing they could do would properly capture the depth and mystery of your alligator porn anyway! Plus, people shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, we've been taught that since childhood! So really, professional cover designs are just useless pieces flair added to books that are clearly not well enough written to stand on their own binding and spine.
However, since you can't publish a book with out a cover (damn it anyway) go ahead and dust off that version of Paint Bucket from 1995, grab an image from the internet and slap the title in Monotype Corsiva on it and you're good to go! If the image is too small for the space you need – just stretch it! The reader will get the idea!
5. Save The Money, Have Mom Edit: Mom's been correcting your grammar since you were able to speak, so who better to edit the complicated structure of a novel, than her! Her job as a nurse surely gives her the know-how to handle it. Plus it's not like editing is anything more than punctuation and spelling! Writing groups and critique partners are overrated and unnecessary, as are professional editors and their years of expertise. Who knows why publishing houses even use them.
7. The 140 Character Conundrum: Have a lot to say, but not enough characters to say it in onTwitter? Never fear, shorthand is here! Nothing screams "Take me seriously as an author" like a tweet filled with 2 and UR and B4 every other word, especially when it's the first impression of you that potential reader is getting. Plus this really brings you to the hard to reach "teen level", and will surely make you look hip, dawg.
8. Linking It Up: Bloggers basically just sit around all day in front of their computers, they clearly have more time than you! When sending a review request, don't bother giving them the information they need, like a synopsis or a book cover, just send them links to locate the info on 3rd party pages – or better yet, just tell them your books title and tell them to find you on Goodreads! They love this, it's like a scavenger hunt for them!
9. The Price Is Wrong: It took you (fill in space with your time frame) to write this novel. Blood, sweat, tears, coffee and likely even whisky…it's all there on the pages. Luckily for you, pricing a book is like pricing a beloved house for sale. Who cares what the market says similar items are selling for – you sell that book for a price that reflects your attachment to it, and forget what everyone else has to say! And you totally have the right to be angry and confused when you don't sell any eBooks for $15.99 or paperbacks for $28.95.
Part of me wants to film this – ugly sweater, obnoxious voice and over exaggerated gestures and all. And maybe I will someday, because honestly…the hilarity would be epic. Or, at least I think so.
Before you dig deep and haul off on me for whatever reason…remember this post is written 100% with sarcasm. And I do apologize if you've written alligator porn, no offense intended…I was going to check to see if this was a "thing" but honestly I was scared to Google it….