Thursday, June 3, 2010

Promo Dont's!

One question I see a lot of is how to promo. There are many ways, but there are some things you shouldn't do. I'm a contracted author here at MuseItHot, but I'm also a multi-published author already with another house. I belong to both houses author and reader loops. The author loops are just for the authors and staff of the publishing house. The readers loops are for authors, and everyone else.

The readers loop is one of the many tools we writers use to communicate with the public and let you know what we are up to. It's a great tool....most of the time. If you belong to a loop you get emails for every post done on the loop. And let me tell you, it can be way overdone.

There is an author with my other house, whom I will not name, who drives me insane. This author will over promo. Yes, it's possible to over do it. For one book, this author will run 20 different promo ads all at once. And this author does an individual post for each promo all at the same time. So I get 20 emails in my inbox all at once.

It's gotten to the point I won't read any email from this author anymore. I just automatically hit delete now. So this author's whole reason for doing promos is not working because I just get rid of the emails. So while promoing your stuff is important, it's also vital not to drown your readers in basically what you'd call junk mail.

I'm an author, but I'm also a reader and I view the promos as a reader. I can honestly say I won't read this author because the mass promos, which I get from them every single day, annoy me to the point that it colors my view of the author.

So go ahead and promo, even on the readers loop, just keep it simple. A single, well written ad can, and often does, more good than a truckload of ads all bunched together. Happy promoing folks!


Lin said...

As the one who has to listen to Kat when that author dumps on her I can affirm her negative response to that author's approach. Kat loves the written word. It takes a lot to get her to arbitrarily refuse to consider reading anything a writer puts out there.

One of the things I love about our loops is we talk about our stories but we talk about them from many unique angles that I have not seen before. For that I credit Lea and her amazing scope and vision. Having character blogs is one such idea. Outstanding and fun. Thanks Lea for thinking beyond anyone else's box, and also thanks Kat for sharing your pet peeve here.

Lea said...

Kat, you are so right. There is marketing and promo and then there's over kill.

When a reader begins to get annoyed with an author they completed overlook their posts, you are right.

No one wants to read: buy, Buy, BUy, BUY!!!

Remember that a reader wants to know the answer to 'Why should I buy your book?' There are ways to use your book and compare it with perhaps other books, certain time issues, places, etc.

Great post, Kat.

Katie Hines said...

I had not even thought of promos this way before. I do do promos when I spotlight an author on my blog, but only to certain groups and only one day. And yes, sometimes I worry that I'm being too much of a pest. BUT, I have such wonderful authors that I'm promoting, I feel everyone could benefit from their wisdom.

Anny Cook said...

AMEN! Geez, aim that ammo some other direction... I know new authors in particular are sooooo excited. Curb that enthusiasm, folks. Sincerely.

Rebecca Ryals Russell said...

Excellent advice, Kat. Nothing is more annoying than a pushy sales person -- whatever is being sold.

Ginger Simpson said...

Good advice, Kat. "Drive by" postings have become all the rage because of all the time requirements an author must meet. I detest getting the same excerpt and blurb over and over, but I'm as guilty as the next person...or I was until I realized how annoying it is.

I think the lack of interaction on the loops has driven authors to try hitting as many places as possible with promotions. No one likes playing to an empty room, and sadly, that's what most loops have become. It's so easy to make a promo mailing address and send out the same information to several sites at once, but it's a waste of time, in my opinion...because like you, I hit the trash button as soon as I see certain names. I prefer promotional posts that I identify with...sort of like a person-to-person phone call. Promotions, like a good book, need a good hook to reel in readers, and the same thing over and over again is definitely not going to do it.

Kat said...

Thanks everyone. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.:-)

Cheryl said...

Excellent information, Kat. When I received the cover art for "The Little Shepherd Boy", which is due out this fall, I sent several people on my contact list an email, but I also promised not to overwhelm them with future emails either.

As a first time author this is very exciting to me, but I feel others can only share my joy to a certain extent and I don't want to turn them off.

Katie, I never think of you being a pest. Different authors will attract different readers. Now, if every day you were posting something about Guardian, that might annoy people. I really think you're fine.

Thanks for the great article!


Viviane Brentanos said...

Good post and I do agree with what you say. I fear I may one of the guilty ones but please go easy on the newbies. There is a wealth of conflicting opinion out there. When I pubbed with another house, I received different view points from two in-house authors. One, basically agreeing with you - quality over quantity - while the other pushed, pushed, pushed. Promo as much and often as you can, was her battle cry.
You are so right abut the promo loops. I belong to several.[too many} ad it does tend to be the same folk out there. My question to all is, is it necessery to post excerpts every day? how much is over-kill? How to choose where to post? How many excerpts to post? If we post too often, we could be in danger of giving out the whole book and yet, as stated, who wants to read the same piece over and over again.
I am beginning to think it is more beneficial to direct potential readers to blogs and websites. Excerpts can be posted there - not only for current releases but past and up and coming. On the subject of blogs, again, how often does one post without boring the public half to death? We don't want to end up posting trivia a la Facebook.
On the other hand, some folk are naturally private people and while they may be a literary genius, they may find it hard to open up the more personal aspect of their lives. I can't imagine MJ blogging or twittering, while Gaga and my own dear Darren both do profusely. I leave you with an intriguing thought. How great it would have been if Shakespeare had blogged. As Spock would say, fascinating!


Kat said...

Blogs for the same story, I do several poatings. But each is different. One will include that I got my contract. One will be my release date as soon as I know it. One will be my cover as soon as I get it. One will include the blurb and one will include an excerpt. And then I give a cheer out on my release day. But each is different.

Anny Cook said...

Once a month I have a two hour reservation at one of the chat loops. Due to illness I have not had a new release for a few months. However, I have books that have been out a while. Each month during my "chat" I showcase different series.

I've been watching the sales figures for those books/months and there is a distinct correlation between the two.

On my blog, I have an "excerpt" page where I post a new excerpt once a week. Other than that, I'm pretty low key.

John B. Rosenman said...

I'm pretty low key too, and when I receive a loop that contains dozens of PROMOS, I usually tend to ignore them. Kat, you're right. Overkill is a counterproductive practice, especially when it involves promos on AUTHORS LOOPS. - John

Marsha A. Moore said...

I'm surprised anyone has time to overdo it that way. I sure don't. I kind of like to save time for writing.

Kat said...

I know what you are talking abut Anny. Since December I have had some pretty rough health issues and it gets in the way of writing. But, having said that I still have a lot of projects recently completed. LOL.

Christine London said...

I have to go along with Viv here. Seems most of the reader's loops are in fact writer's loops as there is nearly never any interaction with readers. Seems to me if readers were really reading and engaging the myriad of excerpts their, there would be some questions forthcoming or at least comments. Much of this is our fault as authors because we do bombard the loops with "buy, buy, buy' messages.
Two exceptions that come to mind off the top of my head are 'the romance room', 'the publishing trove' and (for writers)"avoid writer's hell'. These loops have involved hostesses that jump in often with questions, comments and suggestions. Yet even with the responses such interactive approach engenders, most are from authors. Perhaps we as authors are intimidating? Perhaps any reader that stumbles onto these loops uses them more like a newpaper where information goes one way? Maybe readers fear being eaten alive if they were to stick their toe into the lake of pirrahnea?

The most intelligent responses I have recieved have been on my own blog where I seldom talk specifically about my book(s). I provide quality content that either uplifts, entertains, educates or inspires. My readers get to know that they can expect to be satisfied by a Christine London blog in one of these ways. When I do mention my book(s) it is generally in the form of an event announcement or something like a character interview or free read. Content, content, content is the key IMHO. Provide some value for the reader's time. Be informative and personable. They will grow to like you just as readers of ongoing newpaper columnists do. Have fun and that enjoyment will come through.
Thanks for bringing up such a great subject for thought, Kat.
Christine London