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brainstorm77
07-23-2016, 05:01 PM
This morning I spent some time promoting various books on social media and my blog/website. I can't help but think that none of it actually works in terms of sales. I've done Goodreads giveaways too, and I have had some reviews come with that.


My questions are:

Do you promote your work?
How do you promote?
Do you think it actually works?
What are your views on promotion and social media?

Personally I feel most of it is futile and useless. But I am interesting in hearing the opinions of others.

PeteMC
07-23-2016, 05:27 PM
I do, but probably not as much as I should. I go to cons when I can, I'm active on Twitter, and have a Facebook author page that gets a bit of traffic and a website that gets a very small amount (I'm hopeless at blogging, and only post when I actually have something to say), but I generally leave that sort of thing to my publisher.

Does what I do work? I have no idea. I suppose it's better that *not* doing it, but I'm not one of those people who's constantly hustling on social media or whatever. To my mind that's time that would be better spent writing more books.

slhuang
07-23-2016, 05:32 PM
I promote. It helps drastically. I self-publish, and I would not be selling books without promotion.

The best promotional tools for me are: Twitter, well-vetted paid advertising, my mailing list, and doing guest posts on blogs more popular than my own. (Blogging on my own platform has attracted me some attention, but mostly from reviewers, not as much from readers.)

I have a thread over in the self-publishing forum detailing a lot of the different promotional things I've done, if you want more detail. Of note: I do not believe in being an ass on social media while promoting one's work. ;) I pretty much only promote heavily around releases, and I try not to be a dick about it.

Of course, the single best thing to do is write another book. But my releases would not be nearly as successful as they have been sans promotion.

Jamesaritchie
07-23-2016, 10:52 PM
No, I don't promote my work. I stopped doing that long, long ago. Assuming you're commercially published, I've seen no evidence that any promotion beyond what naturally occurs, beyond what the publisher gives you, helps. A good, well-written book is its own promotion.

Filigree
07-23-2016, 11:20 PM
There's the big difference between commercially published (where responsible, effective publishers do the heavy lifting), and self-publishing, where it's on the author. For the gray areas of small-press in between, there are ranges of author-necessary promotion. I don't think promo can hurt, if done well.

Curlz
07-23-2016, 11:51 PM
A good, well-written book is its own promotion.
Still needs visibility. Bookstores (online ones as well) are choke-full of good books, but a visitor would first go for the ones that sound familiar. If nothing else, it would be the curiosity ( "I've heard that author's name,let's see what the book is actually about"). Once the book is in the readers' hand (or once he's clicked on the title online in order to read the description), only then you can rely on the quality of the content. First, you need to put the book in the reader's hand (and that's where visibility helps).

So, yes, putting your name out there by any means/media is good. Just so next time the reader comes upon that name, there would be a much bigger chance they will show some interest to your book and not to the one sitting beside it on the shelf (or online list).

Old Hack
07-24-2016, 12:23 AM
We have a whole room in which to discuss book promotion:

Book Promotion Ideas and Advice (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?48-Book-Promotion-Ideas-and-Advice)
And in that room we have a very useful thread which discusses the main bones of effective self-promotion, and the things not to do:

How to promote your book like an intelligent human being and not an SEO Dweeb (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?241431-How-to-promote-your-book-like-an-intelligent-human-being-and-not-an-SEO-Dweeb)
Promotion is effective when done well, because if it weren't, publishers wouldn't waste their money on it. But it's important to do the right things, at the right time, and in the right order.