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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I absolutely abhor self-promoting. I've now written 3 books and 1 short story and all of my family/friends/coworkers are always saying, "Mark, you need to promote your books! Get on websites, social media, visit bookstores..etc.."

The problem is, who likes to self-promote? Don't you feel like a total douchebag for telling people (essentially demanding their money) that your book is worth their time? Shouldn't they make that decision on their own without feeling intimidated or begged or pestered? I don't know, maybe it's just me. I definitely know that I can't just sell my books to my family and friends, partially because it feels like you're constantly "hustling" them for their money. Those kinds of dynamics can ruin an otherwise healthy relationship.

For 2013, I've resolved to just write and write write write write until people (or big publishing companies) are pursuing me. I'm done resembling one of those fools out in the parking lot trying to sell CD's out of his trunk to anyone who walks by. Or how about that guy who approached people while they are pumping their gas and asks them for money in exchange for pumping their gas/wiping windshields/airing up their tires.
 

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Yeah, I hate self promotion, too. I keep hearing that the more titles you have available, the better your chances of "making it" become.  Maybe that's the ticket.  And if so, best of luck to you!
 

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Hate self promotion and apparently suck at it. I'm also just planning on writing more stuff, and tweet/fcebook announce it so my dozens of followers and hope for the best.
 

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Same. I find it very difficult to change gears from 'writing mode' into 'sell my titles!' mode.

I mainly just keep on writing and adding to the supply of works I have online, awaiting the glorious day of either being 'discovered' - or until some bright spark gets the idea to offer PR services for those of us who suck at self promoting...
 

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Ian Fraser said:
or until some bright spark gets the idea to offer PR services for those of us who suck at self promoting...
This :)
Of course, it's easier to just whip up an affiliate site and hustle freebies.

However, how many of us would make it worthwhile for such an entrepreneur? We've cut loose from agents and publicists - are we now realizing that we do need to spend money on PR? It may become necessary for some of us who'd rather just write.
 

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I totally agree. I hate self-promotion and I'm very bad at it.  So what's an author to do?  I have two self-published ebooks that were doing OK when I was able to do the shameless thing, posting regularly on amazon discussions. Now that author self-promotion is banned on amazon, I'm selling just a handful a month.  In the meantime, I've written another novel, of which I'm very fond (who of us isn't fond of our progeny?) But I can't muster the energy to put it in ebook form, knowing that if I'm lucky, I'll probably only sell a handful.  I truly admire those who really go to bat for their books.  But for me, it's just very frustrating.
 

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I'm with everybody else on here, I seriously despise self-promotion and have done very little of that.  I've been lucky enough to get to a modest level of sales without feeling like a used car salesman and for that I'm grateful.
 
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THANK YOU.

This has been my plan from the very beginning--and hey, something's working, because I'm selling books.  Not enough to live on (yet), but sales are growing.  In fact, they're up an order of magnitude from this month last year.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow. I'm blown away by these responses. I was expecting a lot of...

"If you wanna make money, you better get some attention!" (My dad's tone)

"Don't be lazy! Marketing is part of being an author! You can't just write and expect to be successful!" (Successful author from 1970's tone)

"You don't even want to be an author" (Successful, shrill female romance author) (No offense ladies, some of you are wonderful authors)

Thanks ya'll for commisserating with me on this one! Hopefully we can all just keep racking up the novels and getting the kind of attention we really want! (monetary) Lol j/k but not really!
 

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I'm another one that hates self-promotion.  I don't mind blogging because it's something I've been doing for years anyway and my writing blog is more a collection of ideas for me as a marketing tool.  

I have the added problem that I feel my writing kind of slips between the cracks - too much sex for family-friendly sites, too little for the pure erotica ones.  

On the other hand, while I think word of mouth is the best form of marketing, even if you write the best book ever... or a whole raft of them, who is going to spread that word of mouth if you are stuck at the back end of the Amazon rankings?  

The group promotion idea sounds awesome.  Definitely easier to push someone else's work plus I think it holds more weight coming from someone else.  Just need to find my group.
 

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kathrynoh said:
The group promotion idea sounds awesome. Definitely easier to push someone else's work plus I think it holds more weight coming from someone else. Just need to find my group.
I found a lot of people through twitter (as a reader first usually) and through going from blog to blog with interesting subjects.
 

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Yep, another loather of self promotion here. Can't do it for the life of me.

I think I have the same plan as you....write, write, write.

I'm bringing out two new stories in different genres so hopefully that will generate some new sales!
 

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I hate promoting my own book, and I'm useless at it anyway. Promotion, in my experience at least, exercises a completely different set of muscles to those you use when you're writing - muscles that, in my case, are very undeveloped!

I think that some kind of group promo or, less formally, authors just helping each other out - not by shilling or spamming on one another's behalf, but just supporting one another - is an attractive alternative. And of course, there's really no substitute for just keeping on writing to the highest of your ability and hoping for the best. Perhaps I'm being unduly optimistic, but I like to think that if your books are good then there's a fair chance that they'll get noticed anyway, sooner or later.
 

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I don't write for a mass market, so the kind of promotion that's supposed to be so necessary just wouldn't work for me -- even if I were inclined that way. To Donna Callea, I have to say, just keep going. December was a "good" month for me, with 22 sales between two novels and two stories. I've had worse months and better months, but I'm commited to writing, and improving my writing, whether it sells or doesn't.

My main "self-promotion" is my writing blog. I think that brings me a new reader every now and then, but mostly, it's valuable for the opportunity it gives me to think out loud and for the discussions with other writers that help me keep going, even through difficult times. I comment on blogs, when it makes sense. And that's pretty much it. I do keep looking for ways to promote that will fit my reclusive temperament, and new opportunities are always appearing. The most important thing is the writing. The second is being alert for new ways to engage with potential readers. Experiment. Try out new sites. Discard what doesn't work or isn't worth your time. Keep writing.
 

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Catana said:
I don't write for a mass market, so the kind of promotion that's supposed to be so necessary just wouldn't work for me -- even if I were inclined that way. To Donna Callea, I have to say, just keep going. December was a "good" month for me, with 22 sales between two novels and two stories. I've had worse months and better months, but I'm commited to writing, and improving my writing, whether it sells or doesn't.

My main "self-promotion" is my writing blog. I think that brings me a new reader every now and then, but mostly, it's valuable for the opportunity it gives me to think out loud and for the discussions with other writers that help me keep going, even through difficult times. I comment on blogs, when it makes sense. And that's pretty much it. I do keep looking for ways to promote that will fit my reclusive temperament, and new opportunities are always appearing. The most important thing is the writing. The second is being alert for new ways to engage with potential readers. Experiment. Try out new sites. Discard what doesn't work or isn't worth your time. Keep writing.
Great advice. Thanks.
 

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As much as I hate self-promotion, it's a necessary evil.  Whenever I take a time-out from it, I find myself worrying...  I'm really not sure how effective it is, though, but I know that NOT doing any of it will mean less awareness, so I chug along.

As someone else mentioned above, group promotions are a great idea (as long as you have a good team).
 

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It seems that the prevailing paradigm for a successful indie writer is to write a whole lot of books (shorts, novellas) in a popular genre (romance, erotica, YA, sci-fi, horror). Then self-promote like crazy in all types of ways (Facebook, blogs, mailing lists, GoodReads, Library Thing, etc.) that build "relationships" with readers.

I'm afraid I have a problem with making a goal of churning out product. I just can't see how there can be real quality at such huge rates of production. (Of course I could be wrong; I often am.) I think the indie ebook market has the reputation of being glutted with books (shorts, novellas) of rather low quality. On the other hand, it seems, there are a lot of indie authors who are successful with following the paradigm. And more power to them. People are buying and reading their work.

A person can only do what he or she is comfortable with. I'm hopelessly old-fashioned. I'm going to turn out a book a year, the best one I can do. I'll probably continue with doing a blog to help with promotion because I enjoy it. It gives me a chance to put up some of the pictures I've taken at remote locations in the British isles and to link to small regional Brit papers that I enjoy reading.

And I would like to point out that my own personal paradigm of writing and promoting has not exactly been what a reasonable person would call "successful" in terms of selling books. (So far.)

(I would also like to point out that Sir Richard Branson began his Virgin empire by selling used vinyl out of the trunk of his car. ;))
 

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Maybe the problem is how you're looking at it. Self-promo sounds conceited, but it's true that if you don't tell people about your books, no one can buy them. In my mind, marketing is about matching consumers with what they want. If you know your market, hang out where it hangs out and have what it wants, then marketing isn't so bad. Also, instead of you tooting your horn, you can find others to toot for you. Referrals carry much more weight than just about any other type of marketing. My beta readers are a big help in this area.

I'm still new at the whole thing, but my focus has been on cultivating "fans" through social networking, blogging and a newsletter. Plus with KDP Selects free days, you can get your book in front of a lot of people. Once that happens, my goal is to encourage them to connect with me, give feedback etc. It's a slow process, but readers do like to feel accessible to authors. I've asked my followers (and I don't have many yet, but they are engaging) about story ideas, cover feedback, and more. I've also given them free stuff.



 

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While everyone here is looking, I'd like to point out that every one of my books is worth your time and money. Especially the most expensive one. I'd check them all out if I were you.
 
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