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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another Kindle best selling author and I, Jennifer Talty, have gotten a bit fed up with the non-stop blog/promo pimping authors throw at each other all over Twitter. A year or so ago, we started a search tag/hash tag called #writegoal, where we'd daily check in with our writing progress. Other enthusiastic authors joined in. But before we knew it, it became a non-stop stream of "Come to my blog. Read my blog. See my book? Buy my book! You're a writer, I'm a writer, let's pimp each other's writing together!!!" As have most of the other writer-related social media streams we see. Not a bad thing. But NOT writers talking about writing and, you know, helping each other write better so we could create better books and have a better shot at selling well... This trend isn't about community and support and getting ahead together. It's another symptom of the "See Me" that drives much of social media.

So, we hatched a plan. We would start another Twitter hashtag (#WEWRITE) and keep it just about writing. Discourage those randome blog/promo links. Engage authors to to talk about their process and others' process, so we could improve our craft and learn from each other. You know, build a writing community, rather than a rolling advertisement for everyone who wants to sell what they're writing.

For now, #WEWRITE is going strong and thriving, but for how long? How long can we keep a lid on the impulse writers have had beaten into them the last couple of years that the ONLY real purpose of social media is to build a platform and sell, sell sell!!!

Can writers using social medial REALLY focus on building community and talking and sharing, and give up the chance to say "Buy me, since you like me so much..."? Can we let our writing and social media presence speak for itself, and trust those who follow/like us to find our blogs and online content and published fiction on their own, once we've made a good connection? Or is it all about hand selling and hard selling and "I can never let you forget I have a book for sale" selling?

Can writers support each other without pimping their blogs and books?
 
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First of all, Twitter is completely saturated with self-promotion. No matter if you're talking about books or anything, the natural inclination for everyone is to try and draw attention to themselves. 140 characters does not facilitate the kind of deeper dialogue you're searching for or the kind of control over conversations or hashtags that you desire.

All of those authors who continuously beg people to come to their blogs will be automatically ignored by everyone else, but if you actually engage in genuine dialogue with people, then it's likely you'll be looking even better by comparison. Even if your twitter philosophy may be superior, the best you can do is hold true to it yourself and reap the benefits while others foolishly spin their wheels.

Also, I find it fascinating that you're making the assumption in your first line that you and Jennifer Talty are "Kindle bestselling authors." Can I ask what kind of Kindle sales credentials that actually entails? It sounds like the newest sleazy buzz moniker after "social media guru" and "SEO specialist." And if that's the case and people are trying to pass themselves off as that because it's the hot thing to be, that's even more reason to avoid Twitter, not to mention how it devalues those of us who actually see good sales.
 

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Twitter is an unmoderated free-for-all.  Therefore, any hashtag you use may be co-opted by other authors for their use.  I will offer my standard advice, which is to remember that you can't control other people and their actions, only yourself and your own actions.  Stressing about what people do with a hashtag you created is just going to make you nuts.

Anyway, foreverjuly is right-- those people who constantly do nothing but promo on Twitter are most likely ignored anyway.  It's just a way to bore your followers into unfollowing you.  I know I've unfollowed one or two folks like that-- if it doesn't interest me, I have to believe it's not going to interest the average reader.  Who wants to read promos all the time?  Not me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
mathewferguson said:
I do get a bit tired of people starting topics that are simply a link to their blog.
It's what we're taught to do by the "experts." But I'm not getting it. How does it help in the long-run. Sure, someone along the way got a great uptick on their blog statistics doing it, but that doesn't mean we all will. Certainly not if we're all doing it at the same time, and the only people listening are other writers.

But can we be ourselves and sell, too? Does social media work if you're not willing to become a used car salesman/woman and keep your book/blog/writing out there in everyone's faces at all costs?

I literally read a blog the other day from someone who says they're on Twitter only to help others. The first three paragraphs of the person's blog, once I linked over... All about them, how their method WORKED, all the people who'd tell me so if I just linked to them from the blog, too, and of course a mention of the book I HAD to buy in order to be just as successful myself ;o) Argh!
 

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I think there are plenty of threads here in the KindleBoards' Writers' Cafe where the authors support each other in their writing and in the business side of writing.

Betsy
 

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it actually happens all the time in the podcast sphere. there's a lot of the "pimp my stuff" that happens, too, but the people who really do the best are the ones that promote other people and not themselves.

My answer is "don't play the game."

I get a lot of requests to promote other people's stuff, like other people's pages, retweet messages, and otherwise be part of the echo chamber.

I don't do it much.

It's not that I'm being selfish as much as working to protect my audience. It's important to me that my audience only gets those messages that I think - honestly - that they'll be interested in. Sometimes those are promotional -- like I read a good book and I think they might enjoy it, or a fellow podiobook author's next release it out, or there's just something cool (like I got included on a national sales campaign or reviewed by one of the founders of the Steampunk movement). There has to be a connection, or I just don't play.

Twitter is a great tool for growing an audience. To me, the key is in having conversations, not in hashtags. @ beats # every single time.
 

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Writers can very easily support other writers without promoting - they can buy each other's books and review them at the point of sale, and hunt out indies with intent.

As to discussing writing, I am not sure I would do that via Twitter. The 160-characters-or-what-have-you isn't really conducive to discussing craft, unless you're just posting your daily word count, and that gets pretty old, as well. Most of my writing discussion occurs via email/PM, IM, forums, etc, and not social media, as such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
foreverjuly said:
Also, I find it fascinating that you're making the assumption in your first line that you and Jennifer Talty are "Kindle bestselling authors." Can I ask what kind of Kindle sales credentials that actually entails? It sounds like the newest sleazy buzz moniker after "social media guru" and "SEO specialist." And if that's the case and people are trying to pass themselves off as that because it's the hot thing to be, that's even more reason to avoid Twitter, not to mention how it devalues those of us who actually see good sales.
Well, I am hot. But that's besides the point. Your point, I believe, is "show you the numbers." Since you asked, in the last month alone, two of my books have hit #1 or in the top 10 on multiple Kindle best selling lists, including Gothic romance, paranormal romance, psychic fantasy, etc. For weeks at a time. No so sleazy, to use your words. I haven't been crowing about it at the top of my lungs. Perhaps that's why you missed the trending. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share here. Jennifer's currently hitting Kindle lists with a just-released nonfiction title with NYT Best Seller Bob Mayer.

I equally find it fascinating how someone can claim themselves as among those who have good sales, and thus is being devalued by sleaze passing themselves off as something they're not, yet I don't see your sales numbers listed in your post. I'm assuming that's becaus you're letting your good writing speak for itself. As am I.
 

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Betsy the Quilter said:
I think there are plenty of threads here in the KindleBoards' Writers' Cafe where the authors support each other in their writing and in the business side of writing.

Betsy
This.

I'm very new to everything having to do with being an author aside from the actual writing itself, and I have read coutless threads on here that have been very helpful. And I go out of my way to look for the threads that AREN'T self-promotion, because, right or wrong, I consider them more heartfelt. There are a BUNCH, and I'm greatful for every one..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Betsy the Quilter said:
I think there are plenty of threads here in the KindleBoards' Writers' Cafe where the authors support each other in their writing and in the business side of writing.
I agree, Betsy. I love Kindleboard's format and the many ways they moderate the conversations to keep them on point, instead of everything becoming a promo free for all. I just wish there was a more natural inclination among writers to do that for themselves when they aren't being monitored.

I actually do like the limited space on Twitter. It's a nice, succinct way to get to the point and share quickly. I've met a lot of new writes and talked craft for entire days using tweets. But, again, there's always the barrage of, "You're not getting anywhere unless your selling yourself," advice flying all over that's muddling the stream. Annoying enough this morning, for me to post over here and get everyone's love input ;o)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
EllenFisher said:
Words of wisdom. I do believe I'm going to print that out and hang it on my wall. :)
LOVE this. Absolutely! It's supposed to be about connecting, right?

Seriously, I'm asking those of you who've been at this as long or longer than I have--Does all the blatant self-promo really work? Or is it more getting out there and getting involved and being interested in others and having a perspective people find interesting and, you know, being a real person, that gets you the attention you're demanding by pushing what you do on others?

I prefer to believe the latter, but there are a lot of gurus who will promise the only way is to tell someone you're an expert at what you want to sell, the go about the business of sounding like you know what you're talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
vrabinec said:
I'm very new to everything having to do with being an author aside from the actual writing itself, and I have read coutless threads on here that have been very helpful. And I go out of my way to look for the threads that AREN'T self-promotion, because, right or wrong, I consider them more heartfelt. There are a BUNCH, and I'm greatful for every one..
Here, here... I come back to Kindleboards regularly, and can breathe more easily every time ;o) If for not other reason than it's a safe place to rant about all the rest!
 

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Anna_DeStefano said:
It's what we're taught to do by the "experts." But I'm not getting it. How does it help in the long-run. Sure, someone along the way got a great uptick on their blog statistics doing it, but that doesn't mean we all will. Certainly not if we're all doing it at the same time, and the only people listening are other writers.

But can we be ourselves and sell, too? Does social media work if you're not willing to become a used car salesman/woman and keep your book/blog/writing out there in everyone's faces at all costs?

I literally read a blog the other day from someone who says they're on Twitter only to help others. The first three paragraphs of the person's blog, once I linked over... All about them, how their method WORKED, all the people who'd tell me so if I just linked to them from the blog, too, and of course a mention of the book I HAD to buy in order to be just as successful myself ;o) Argh!
Ha ha ... you reminded me of a guy I did a bit of work for who ran a program called The Thirty Day Challenge. It was the most awful load of BS I've had the misfortune to come across in a long time. I even got to go to a meeting of people involved in it and they were all these deluded inauthentic people whose interest was only as deep as your benefit to them. They worked tirelessly on SEO spam crap, writing pointless content filler blogs, affiliate marketing, how to "win" twitter/facebook/etc.

It was all noise and no substance.

These little robots are out there with all the other robots being churned out by similar pathetic programs and some percentage eventually clue in to the fact that you can't get rich selling shite but you can get rich selling the idea of how to get rich. They then start their own dumb programs, make themselves pretend gurus and spawn more dullards who pollute our forums, spam our comment sections and attempt to hijack anything worthwhile and good.

I'm not sure if it really is possible to be authentic and engage in SEO stuff to any great degree. It looks like a blog, some guest posting and perhaps the occasional youtube clip interview might be about the limit.
 
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Anna_DeStefano said:
Well, I am hot. But that's besides the point. Your point, I believe, is "show you the numbers." Since you asked, in the last month alone, two of my books have hit #1 or in the top 10 on multiple Kindle best selling lists, including Gothic romance, paranormal romance, psychic fantasy, etc. For weeks at a time. No so sleazy, to use your words. I haven't been crowing about it at the top of my lungs. Perhaps that's why you missed the trending. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share here. Jennifer's currently hitting Kindle lists with a just-released nonfiction title with NYT Best Seller Bob Mayer.

I equally find it fascinating how someone can claim themselves as among those who have good sales, and thus is being devalued by sleaze passing themselves off as something they're not, yet I don't see your sales numbers listed in your post. I'm assuming that's becaus you're letting your good writing speak for itself. As am I.
Are those books hitting the best sellers lists you mentioned not listed in your signature here? Are they under a pen name? I think for a book to get into the top 10 of paranormal romance the book has to be well inside the top 200 in the overall kindle store. It just seems to me like an author claiming bestseller status when his/her book hits #98 in Underwater Basketweaving with a rank of #456,224 is a little disingenuous.

How you made specific mention of your achievements right at the start seemed an incredibly ironic way to start a post about how we shouldn't be trying to draw attention to ourselves when trying to create authentic dialogue.
 

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Since Anna mentioned how much she likes how well moderated KindleBoards is...  ;D

Anna and Jason--we're going to stipulate that you both are doing very well with your sales and move back on topic, thanks!

EDIT:  I've since removed a couple of additional posts that referred to the above threads; additional posts about it WILL be removed, no matter who posts.  Thanks!

Betsy
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Betsy the Quilter said:
Since Anna mentioned how much she likes how well moderated KindleBoards is... ;D

Anna and Jason--we're going to stipulate that you both are doing very well with your sales and move back on topic, thanks!

Betsy
KB Moderator
Heh!
 

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Does all the blatant self-promo really work? Or is it more getting out there and getting involved and being interested in others and having a perspective people find interesting and, you know, being a real person, that gets you the attention you're demanding by pushing what you do on others?
I think being a real person is what works best, personally. But, once again, this comes down to what I do. What others do is not within my control, so I don't worry about them-- I just unfollow them if they bore me.

So in response to that question, I think the answer is clear. In response to your first question about whether authors can support each other without promoting-- no, some of them won't, and there's nothing any of us can do about it except try to avoid doing it ourselves.
 

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mathewferguson said:
I do get a bit tired of people starting topics that are simply a link to their blog.
I thought we agreed awhile back that we would only post our new blog posts on the Have You Posted to Your Blog thread. Every time I see a new thread started just to pimp a blog post I feel like complaining but then I figure why bother? People who do that don't care about others' opinions anyway.
 
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