People like other people who are genuine. People like being told a story. People like to feel part of something and be wow’ed. You know what they don’t like? They don’t like it when they follow someone on Twitter and then instantly get an auto direct message telling them to visit the person’s website and/or buy their product. *clicks unfollow*
Self-promotion, marketing, it’s a tricky business. You want to get coverage for your book, you want more people to come to your site, but you’re just not sure how to break through the noise.
I kind of dislike the indie author community sometimes. Here’s why: A lot of people don’t know the intricate and diverse nature of marketing and promotion and since they don’t, they start to result to spammy tactics in hopes of selling their book.
Here’s some things that have been irking me as well as other writers and readers:
1. Auto DM’s on Twitter
I’m on Twitter posting something or commenting on something and then start to interact with some other authors. They post an interesting tweet, link to a great article, talk with me and may follow me. So I follow back. Almost instantly I get a buzz notification to my phone. Direct Message. I open it.
Hey! Do you like #paranormal #romance with a twist of #suspense! My new #novel out now on Amazon! $2.99 or free with #kindleunlimited!
I don’t buy the book, click unfollow, and go about my day. The direct message was impersonal and I barely even know you, so why the heck would I #buyyourbook? Auto-DM’s need to stop.
2. Giveaways usually don’t work
I see so many people do giveaways. To be honest, I’m not really sure on the effectiveness of them. Yeah you get a lot of exposure and people to sign up but many only sign up cause they want a free book. I get tired of constantly seeing authors tweet out multiple times a day saying Have you entered my giveaway for my #newbook about #scifi #romance?
3. Cool it with the #hashtags
Let me ask you something. Have you ever actually looked up a #romance #bookboost #thriller #indieauthor #whatever hashtag, looked at the tweet and bought the book? I haven’t and I don’t know anyone that has.
Look below at this image from a Buffer article detailing the scientific guide to hashtags. Two hashtags, that’s the most you should use. Incorporating the hashtags into the tweet (rather than having them at the end) is also better in boosting engagement. Lesson: Use hashtags sparingly and effectively. Narrow it down and use more niche hashtags. Rather than saying #writer, try putting #fantasywriter and so on. Use your best judgment.
4. Spamming on Instagram
Don’t be that person that comments on someone’s photo saying #buymybook my new #contemporary #newadult #novel is now on sale for only $0.99 cents.
Do you ever go to a site and before you can even read much, a pop-up comes up asking you to enter your name and email and subscribe. Pushy much? It doesn’t even let a reader see your site and find out more about you. It also is really hard for a reader to close out of when they are on mobile.
Aggresive opt-in’s: don’t do them. Have one on the sidebar or on the top of the page and leave it at that.
A few things to add to Delilah’s posts. First and foremost, make it easy for people to discover who you are, what you write and how you are as a person. Spruce up your website’s about page, make it more than just a stale block of text. Put images of places you’ve travelled, fill out and have a consistent bio across all social media platforms. Know how to introduce yourself in a tweet, 70 words, 150 words, and so forth.
Interact with other writers and readers and ask about what they’re working on, how they’re doing, and so forth. Give, give, give. Once you do that, people will start to give back and be more open to helping promote you and buy your stuff.
Be a human, be personal, doing that is what leads to better engagement