It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
We’re all friends here, right? And a good friend has a responsibility to tell you things that even spouses, lovers, and parents don’t dare. So I’m going to share a bit of advice. It may upset you to hear this, but I intend no malice. As a friend I have to make you aware. Now I’m not saying that you are doing this, but you know, if the shoe fits and all that. So remember no matter how receptive the audience, no matter how many polite smiles or nods of encouragement you encounter, there are four things you just shouldn’t talk about.
1. The latest stupid or unfair thing your ex-anything did.
2. Any details about your personal relationship with God.
3. The ultra-cutsey-whutsey thing your pet did.
4. Anything about the book you wrote.
Now, I know, on the last you disagree. After all marketing is a requirement of self-publishing. I agree, I’ve written a couple myself. Within context and during inquiry it is fine to mention YOUR BOOK. The constant self-promotion, however, is driving all of us a little crazy. Honestly, many of us Indie authors are having some bad thoughts that involve you, a ledge, and a very long drop. We are Indie authors, not Hari Krishnas at the airport.
I know, I know, it’s the “best-est” book in the world and if people just would read it they would most certainly agree. Still, the tiresome self-promotion is not winning you fans. It’s just not polite to jump around Good Reads discussions waiting for a topic that remotely resembles the content of YOUR BOOK so you can jump on and say, “Hey do you like mysteries? Well guess what my BOOK is a mystery. Do you want to read it? Do ya? Do ya? Do ya? In truth your behavior is spoiling it for the rest of us. So much so that I’m afraid of even mentioning that I’m a writer…I write about plagues, but I don’t want to be one.
I’m not suggesting that you can’t take pride in your accomplishment. And it’s okay to broach the topic when it is appropriate. Look below—see I have my book covers there. People who visit my blog, they can figure out that I write books. If they’re interested, they’ll click the link. Or go ahead and do a give away on Good Reads so interested people can get a free copy, but just because I use the word “dark” in a sentence and YOUR BOOK title has the word “dark” in it, is not an invitation to discuss YOUR BOOK.
Here is the way a polite conversation about your book happens:
“Oh you’re an author?” (notice the potential reader asks the first question)
“Yes, I am. I really love writing.”
“What’s the title?”
“The Best Mystery Book Ever Written.”
“Hmm maybe I’ll check it out.”
“If you decide to, let me know, I’d be happy to send you a free copy. I’m always interested in reader feedback.”
END OF THE YOUR BOOK CONVERSATION
See it was simple, unobtrusive and no one got the creepy, “damn I gotta shake this author” feeling. The hard truth is a lot of people have written books and there is a lot of competition. But tenacious and tiresome self-promotion may sell a few books, but mostly it results in people avoiding you. Try something different. Be interactive, be engaging, demonstrate that you are thoughtful and interesting and then…just maybe…people will say, “you know, I like this person. I think I’ll read his book.”
Categories: A to Z Blog Challenge