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Response to the RWR Article on Online Promotion

Dear Authors Who Belong to RWA and Read RWR:

Romance Writer’s Report is the magazine you get as part of the $100 membership to RWA. Various individuals contribute to the magazine and you don’t need any particular expertise, just an idea that editors of the RWR believe will appeal to the RWA membership.

In the August issue, there is an article by an author (primarily YA) on the issue of online promotion. She gives two examples of great online marketing:

1. Get your friends and family members to give positive reviews of your books.

“Got friends? Got an e-mail list from your last high school reunion? Then, ask them to go onto sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads and SHelfari and post reviews of your book. And please reciprocate by doing this for everyone you know who has published a book. It’s a great way to spread the love and promote great writing.”

Can you imagine how you would feel getting a random email from someone you went to high school with suggesting that you take the time to go post reviews of your books. The author’s suggestion here isn’t even based on a book read and enjoyed, just based on bare acquaintance.   Talk about misleading the audience over at Amazon.   This is exactly the reason I don’t get excited about one star reviews that might be totally baseless.   Someone’s got to counteract all the false reviews that authors are drumming out of their friends, family, and old high school classmates.

Of course, this is the worst kept secret in the industry. Agents recommend this practice to authors and authors recommend it to other authors but authors who elicit false positive reviews have no moral ground to complain about those meaningless one star reviews.

2. Suggest your books to everyone on your goodread’s list.

“Want more readers and reader reviews as well? Join sites like Goodreads and Shelfari. Create an author’s account and page, and then find people who listed your title on their reading shelves. Friend them, and send them a personal note with the friend request. You will have loyal fans! Then, go one step further, and find readers of books that are similar to yours. Friend them, and say in your friend note something like, “I see you have TITLE on your shelf. Perhaps you might want to check out my novel TITLE, which is also set in Ireland during this time period.” Always type in the new friend-to-be’s name at the start of the note. You aren’t a spammer, and you want that personal connection to resonate. I’ve gained so many wonderful readers with this approach.”

SpamI don’t think readers enjoy this kind of spam and it is spam. Just because it is personalized doesn’t remove the spam aspect of it.

This isn’t how social networking works. Social networking is all about engagement. If you just want to talk at people, do it from your blog but at places like Goodreads or on Twitter, it’s all about engaging others. Readers who become your friends look at your bookshelves and think, hey, this reader is like me and when they realize you are an author and you have similar tastes, they can try your work.

Remember that Old Spice librarian youtube video? That was all a part of a social media campaign launched by Old Spice. The marketing team for Old Spice posted 30 second videos in which the Old Spice guy, Isaiah Mustafa, RESPONDED to at least a hundred tweets and blog posts.

The result of this campaign has been an doubling of sales of Old Spice.

It was the engagement, the idea that the Old Spice guy might respond directly to you, that created some of the virality of the messaging. I don’t think it would have been half as successful if it had just been one Old Spice youtube video after another promoting the product again and again. Some of the videos (I didn’t watch all of them) didn’t even mention Old Spice in them but Mustafa is instantly recognizable now as the Old Spice guy.

The point is that social media is about engagement and friending someone and then recommending your book after they’ve accepted your friend invitation isn’t the way to promote yourself online unless the concept you are promoting is that you are just another one of those goodread authors who won’t stop spamming people.

Why not recommend someone else’s book instead of your own, a genuine recommendation to build a long term relationship with that reader, that “friend” of yours on goodreads? Online promotion is tough and time consuming but don’t think that by taking shortcuts like the ones recommended in this article is going to work to your advantage.

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

51 Comments

  1. Ridley
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 09:37:40

    You gotta admit, that sort of stuff might work with the middle-aged, middle-America twinset crowd that doesn’t know any better. You know, the e-mail forwarder friends we all have at least one of.

    For the rest of us, though, that sort of shit lands you on Avoid lists.

  2. tricia
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 09:38:31

    I’ve gotten emails on Goodreads from authors–but I think the ones I got were directly from Goodreads, because the author wasn’t a friend of mine. Does anyone know if this kind of thing is paid promotion? It must be, right? Goodreads says You read X, you might like Y, and the author of Y is having a discussion or whatever on Z date and time. (Once, the X in question was a book I gave one star to!)

    I think this is spam, too, but at least someone doesn’t go and try to friend me first. And I don’t think there’s a way to opt out of the emails from Goodreads itself, but at least they don’t come very often. At any rate, there is nothing more pathetic than an author begging for sales–it sends the message to me that the book can’t stand on its own. I’ve had chaptermates ask me to go on Amazon and review their books, and I just won’t do it. It all just makes me want to wash my hands.

  3. Aoife
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 09:39:52

    I don’t use Twitter, but if an author I had friended on FB or anyplace else did that, they would be unfriended in very short order, and their willingness to abuse those social media would leave a very, very bad taste in my mouth. Just saying.

  4. RebeccaJ
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 10:11:09

    I get so turned off by people just asking me to link to them because I happened to mention something on my site in passing that they specialize in, like foot stools.

    I do remember one author emailing all us who conversed on his forum and asking us to give him good reviews on Amazon. I felt so disillusioned, and I wondered if he even had any faith in himself as an author that he felt he needed to go to those lengths.

  5. Shiloh Walker
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 10:18:59

    I haven’t seen the RWR yet and can’t comment on it with any direct insight.

    But I can say I’m leery of any author who pushed her family of friends to falsely pimp her books. IMO, it fosters a dishonest relationship between the author & the reader.

    Speaking with my reader hat on? I don’t buy authors who spam me. Period. I did a mini FB rant on that earlier.

    Authors just need to think about what annoys them as readers. If they would get annoyed? They need to find another idea.

    Some of my best promo tools have been my blog & Twitter and I’m not on there screeching left & right-GO BUY MY BOOK! I just try to talk to people.

  6. Muriel Lede
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 10:28:00

    Actually, using Goodreads is a very good idea, and proposing free review copies to those having shelved it as “to read” or something can work if done parsimoniously. However, what the article suggests explicitly goes against the website’s policy:

    Things not to do (or ways to get blocked from Goodreads quickly):

    * Question or otherwise argue with people who have given your work a bad review or low rating. Use member feedback as a way to learn how to improve your work, not as grounds for expressing your frustration.
    * Engage (via comments/messages/friending) everybody who has read your work or related work. This will result in someone flagging you as a spammer, and your message thresholds will be lowered. If you are flagged enough times (currently 3) your profile will be evaluated for deletion.

    See http://www.goodreads.com/author/guidelines.

  7. tricia
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 10:44:51

    @Muriel Lede:

    This made me laugh because this happened to me! The author created a fake reader username, and has a private account. (First let me say that the author is a literary one and NOT a romance author.) This “Amanda” has a private profile and has only one book on her “read” list. She’s listed as giving the book five stars. And yet she trolls the reviews for this book, writing “great review!” to people who give it four and five stars. There is someone there who marked the book as a DNF, and “Amanda” got in her face, saying it’s not fair to review a book if you didn’t finish it. She’s also commented on other negative reviews, even one with three stars, implying that it wasn’t a good enough review, and insinuated that I hadn’t read the book carefully enough because I gave it low marks. If that’s not the author herself, it’s her mother :)

  8. Susan Reader
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 10:55:17

    Maybe some of those one-star reviews were from people who were spammed like this…

  9. Portia Da Costa
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 11:06:13

    Speaking as both an author and a reader…

    What Shiloh said.

  10. Ros
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 11:06:56

    @Susan Reader: I was going to say that! I’d be tempted to read the book and give the most biting, critical review I possibly could, just to make the point.

    Jane, maybe you could write an article for RWR on how to really use social media effectively for book promotion?

  11. Ridley
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 11:20:27

    @Ros:

    RWA totally broke up with Jane, remember?

  12. DS
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 11:32:00

    I used to get this exact email a couple of times a month when my email address was available on Amazon.

    I see you reviewed X. You would like my book Y which is for sale on Amazon now.

    Yeah, I’m going to rush and buy that right now. Instead I made my email private.

  13. Lynne Connolly
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 11:37:17

    I’ve seen authors get desperate to get noticed. I’ve been desperate myself, sometimes. But after making a couple of mistakes with forums talking about my work “hello, author here, do you want to know anything?” I won’t do it any more unless someone asks me to. Promise, cross my heart.
    Because, as Shiloh said, you have to think of yourself as a reader, and what might annoy you.
    I don’t do many “buy my book” promos any more, either.
    Yahoo groups were killed by constant promos from authors. It used to be a great place to hang out, and there are still some good groups there, but it ain’t what it used to be. There are authors I won’t buy because of that, because I got tired of seeing their names.
    Speaking as an author with relatively small publishers, it has been borne upon me that an author can only do so much, and there’s no way we can compete with the big bucks the big publishers and authors can employ. Which tells me a couple of things. If you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all, and an author can only do so much.
    I have a decent website that I keep up to date where people can visit to find out more about my books and pick up a few extras, and I appear on a few blogs. Not doing the utterly tedious “buy my book” stuff, but joining in with the community, reviewing, writing columns etc. I consider myself privileged to do so.
    The best promo an author can do is write another book as good or better than the last one.
    If you make it, they will come. Perhaps. But they can’t be herded or coralled into it.

  14. Ros
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 11:44:03

    @Ridley: No, I don’t really follow all the ins and outs of these things. What was that about? Just being a mean girl or something more specific?

  15. Nadia Lee
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 11:47:22

    @Ros: RWA said Jane wasn’t good for RWA, so she can’t be a member.

    I doubt they’ll let her write an article for them. IIRC, they pay contributors.

  16. Kerry Allen
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 11:51:25

    Shiloh: “Authors just need to think about what annoys them as readers. If they would get annoyed? They need to find another idea.”

    That’s the entirety of my marketing strategy right there (or lack thereof, given how easily I’m repulsed by pushy sales tactics). A reader who’s unaware of me now may find me later, when I have a backlist to glom. A reader who’s aware of me as an obnoxious promo whore, on the other hand, is never going to be one of my readers. Permanently alienating ten people to bring myself to the attention of the one who’d appreciate what a go-getter I am seems kind of counterproductive.

    I let my RWA membership lapse a couple years ago, but I remember very well that every issue of RWR contained a heaping spoonful of WTF? At least they’re consistent.

  17. Ridley
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 11:57:48

  18. Sunita
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 12:04:36

    Wow, What a severely misguided article. I guess I can understand that an author might think these tactics are a good idea (after all, there are people who give their financial info to Nigerians who want to stash a million dollars). But why on earth would the RWA give credence to this by publishing it?

    Social networking is wonderful. The commodification of every platform is not so wonderful. And I find it especially annoying that a YA author would suggest this. What we really need is for teenagers to become more cynical.

  19. Devon Matthews
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 12:07:04

    If you want to see what kind of response this kind of promo gets from readers, check out the Amazon romance forums for a while. It’s not pretty.

    And about those reviews written by friends and family, readers aren’t stupid. Most can spot these kinds of reviews a mile away and it’s a definite turn-off. This is also discussed by readers quite often over at Amazon.

  20. Jo Ramsey
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 12:12:36

    I write both romance (under a pen name) and YA urban fantasy (under this name). I’ve had much more difficulty finding online promo venues for YA than for romance.

    Despite that, the one YA novel I currently have available is far outselling any of my romances. Possibly because I’m not smacking people over the head to get them to buy it.

    Promoting one’s work is important. It does lead to sales. Given that there seem not to be many online promo venues for YA,I can see why someone might consider, shall we say, unorthodox methods. But bombarding people with requests as the author of this article suggests is more likely to turn people *off* buying your book than getting them to buy it.

  21. Ridley
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 12:16:56

    @Ros:

    Here’s Jane’s post about RWA’s Dear John letter.

    I found it highly amusing that 1. RWA thinks DA is unsupportive of romance and that b. someone got her knickers all up in a bunch and reported her to RWA.

  22. Ros
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 12:25:16

    @Ridley: Thanks for the link to the crazy. I do remember it now, though I tend to skim over the stuff that isn’t really relevant for me.

  23. Sarah
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 12:34:35

    @JoRamsey Speaking as an avid YA reader and online YA participant, I’ve seen NUMEROUS opportunities for authors to engage with readers. There are blog tours, there are twitter parties, there are contests and giveaways galore, endless interviews, book trailers, etc. I’ve been bombarded with promos for certain books so I’m not sure where you’re visiting or not visiting, but as far as I can tell, as a reader anyway, there are numerous ways for authors to get noticed in the YA online world.

  24. Ridley
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 12:58:11

    @Devon Matthews:

    Oh yes, the Amazon romance board </3 author spam. I loved the "What's with the hostility towards authors?" thread wherein a bunch of authors whined that we should want to be sold to and we were being big jerks by rejecting self-promo posting.

    Name me any other business where the seller feels entitled to make demands of the customer. I tell you, that board is pretty much wholly responsible for my broad dislike of self-pubbed authors. They're such whiny bastards there.

  25. Dana
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 13:04:01

    Wow, that’s some horrible advice there. As a reader, I hop around a lot of websites to find new books, and it’s incredibly annoying when authors and/or their friends spam a site with promo.

    It’s one thing if an author is an active member of the community, but most of the time authors seem to pop in just for promo and never talk about anything else.

    I sometimes browse Amazon’s discussion boards, and self-promo/spam there is incredibly blatant and annoying. So many authors just post the same promo message over and over again in different threads, and no matter what the original thread topic was, their book somehow always fits into the topic. I actually have a list of authors to never buy because there actions just piss me off.

  26. Misfit
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 15:38:21

    Authors do themselves a much better turn by joining forums and contributing. I can think of quite a few who are active at Goodreads and it’s a joy to have them on my friends list – and by participating I don’t mean a constant barrage of useless comments like *I can’t wait to read that book*. I receive friend invites all the time at Goodreads from authors and generally ignore them. If they keep sending them I block them to stop it.

    As for asking friends to pump up a book at Amazon by posting bunches of reviews? Most Ammy regulars can spot those a mile away (the good and the bad) and the sight of them gives me a bad first impression of the author. Recently myself and another critical reviewer were attacked with extremely nasty comments on our reviews from *socks* (comments now deleted of course) and immediately after that the book received one after the other of glowing reviews in an attempt to bury the two star ones.

    What sent my eyes rolling though was a blog post from the author shortly after about learning to deal with critical reviews (a good thing). The author continued the post thanking her friends and family who had jumped in to support her after receiving those critical reviews. I certainly didn’t hear any apologies for friends and family snarking critical reviews, nor for padding the book with fake reviews.

  27. May
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 16:01:15

    I had a weird GoodReads “friend” note… it was very spammy.

    “I have this e-book… you should buy & read it and then post about it I know you’d like it.” kind of thing. It was offensive to me that the author would attempt to get me to buy her stuff this way – and I can in no way imagine this is a highly successful ploy. I didn’t feel like she was networking with me, I felt like she was trying to add me to her numbers. EWWW and insta-fail.

    Believe that I understand the difficulty in being noticed, but I think perhaps writing a funny/witty/smart blog and putting your energy there or channeling your energy into something, anything actually productive and not spammy or annoying a much better route. These things take time and it’s hard work. I get that!

  28. orannia
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 17:31:18

    I had something similar happen to me at GoodReads. I read a book by a particular author, liked it, and posted a positive rating. The author then sent me a friend request (which I was very honoured to receive), which I accepted. Then I kept receiving suggestions on books to read…her books. Not one of my GoodReads friends has ever done that. And then I noticed that she had reviewed her own books and given them five stars. At that point I quietly disengaged (I was going to say deleted, but that sounded very wrong) from the friendship. After that I received two author friendship requests, both of which I declined (as they both stated in the email how wonderful their book was).

    I don’t want to be badgered with marketing/advertising. I get enough of that from cold calls, etc. The more you badger me the less interested I am.

  29. Janine
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 17:34:35

    I saw that advice in the RWR and I remember thinking when I read it that those strategies were guaranteed to irritate readers.

  30. Tired of Spam
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 18:01:54

    Good post. This kind of misleading advice in the RWR article about online promotion is the reason I have 200 e-mails a day from authors I’ve never heard of hawking their books through facebook and goodreads.

    And I couldn’t care less. If I don’t know you, or you haven’t taken the time to get to know me, I simply delete. And to show how much I despise this kind of promotion, I often “defriend” authors for spamming me. And I’m not the only one.

    There’s a lot of bad advice going around out there, and this post is a good example of it.

    Be honest, use online networking to have fun and meet nice people, and other authors and readers will respect you for this.

    And, the worst online networking is leaving comments on blog posts with your info. It’s an automatic dismissal to most people.

  31. Jennifer Estep
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 18:58:56

    I like social media. I think FB and Twitter are fun ways to connect with people who love books as much as I do, and I love GR because it’s an easy way for me to keep up with the books that I read. I also follow a lot of other authors/book bloggers so social media is also a good way to keep up with industry news, and the reviews that I read online do impact my book buying decisions.

    But I would never ask my friends/family to post reviews anywhere online. And who has time to go around and ask people for reviews that aren’t necessarily going to be real reviews anyway? I’d rather be writing or reading.

    I do a blog tour for all my books (people are probably going to get sick of seeing my name this fall), and I contact book bloggers who review the genre I write in and offer review copies. After that, it’s up to the bloggers whether they review my books or not. There is a fine line between being professional and being a pain, and I do my best to always be professional.

    Occasionally, I’ll get e-mails from authors/publicists that I have never heard of offering to let me put their books on my blog — and my blog is not super popular by any stretch of the imagination. Sometimes, they’ll even offer a Q&A that’s already done — all I have to do is post it. That really annoys the heck out of me. Most of the time, the book is nonfiction and not something that I would read myself, which the person would know if they spent even five minutes looking at my blog.

  32. Jane
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 22:05:06

    @Ros I have offered articles in the past to RWR. One was my “reclaiming copyright” article which had been originally accepted and then rejected for not being useful. I haven’t subbed anything since my excommunication and I won’t now. But yes, you do get paid per word, if I recall correctly.

  33. Jane
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 22:16:19

    @Ridely I think I resemble this comment. At least the middle -aged, middle – America twinset wearing part (what? twinsets are kind of a no brainer dressing) and even I get irritated with spam.

  34. KristieJ
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 22:42:08

    I would think that kind of “marketing” would have the opposite affect. I know with me, I would surely have second thoughts about reading that author is she asked me to post good reviews at any of the networking sites. I only post reviews to let other readers know what I think of a book – not to promote authors with such a bad idea.

  35. Lorelie Brown
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 09:00:52

    I found it particularly ironic that there’s an article by Jessica Scott about Social Networking 101 in the same issue. She makes the point of saying (a couple times) that it’s about conversation, not just self-promotion.

    Contradictory advice much?

    And for the record, yes, I thought Scott’s article was the good one. ;)

  36. dick
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 09:16:28

    Considering the family-like relationship between readers and authors of romance fiction, is the kind of activity the author of the article suggests really surprising? Even though it may be “tacky,”
    would anyone feel uncomfortable asking family members to lend one a hand? The straightforwardness of it is actually kind of refreshing. Many a top-list author does essentially the same thing but with greater subtlety–all those newsletter offers on author’s websites, for example, are promotional, aren’t they?

  37. tricia
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 09:23:44

    @dick: I feel like a newsletter is at least opt-in. And while the “family-like” relationship in romance is a fact, there still remains something awkward and opinion-coloring about discussing Money (and sales are a part of Money), even when dealing with family. The writers who manage to navigate these waters best are the ones who don’t go out of their way to try to sell things to readers.

    I think there’s something to be said about refreshing straighforwardness, I really do. But not to a person who amounts to a stranger, like a random Goodreads user who’s getting spammed. And yes, I would feel incredibly uncomfortable asking a family member or friend to write a positive review. And I would tell any agent that.

  38. Eve Paludan
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 11:25:43

    I also get very annoyed at the frequent spams requesting me to: “Vote for my book!” at a contest site. I don’t vote for a book unless I’ve read it and liked it.

  39. Joy
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 11:54:20

    Participating in a relevant online community, and offering substantive and thoughtful comments–perhaps occasionally mentioning one’s books when it’s on topic: GOOD. I have found many authors I enjoy that way (I’m talking to you, Jo Beverley and Lynne Connolly).

    Spamming me because I read your book? BAD. Because if I liked one of your books, I’m going to read at least a few others. If I didn’t like them, I won’t. It really is that simple. Spend the time writing better books if you can’t participate and earn the standing to get away with recommending your own books.

    Asking me to review your book? BRING IT ON. I review a lot of books at my online book journal; it has a few followers. I try to crosspost the best reviews to Visual Bookshelf and Amazon. My reviews are always short and honest, and often sarcastic. I’m always looking for new, quality material in the subgenres that interest me (Regencies or Georgians, mostly), but I’m not sure the reviewing always works out for the author even if I like the books (end of my review of one book: “I FEEL DIRTY AND GUILTY FOR LIKING THIS BOOK BUT I DID LIKE IT.”)

  40. Ridley
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 12:11:31

    @Jane:

    Twinsets? Really?

    Aren’t all Asians supposed to be as fashion-forward as they are good at math?

    You’re threatening the stereotypes that help streamline my days.

  41. Jane
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 12:30:05

    @Ridley I like to view my twinset dressing as totally fashion forward. It’s all in the color selection. Maybe your stereotypes need a reboot?

  42. Ridley
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 12:40:00

    @Jane:

    I guess so long as they’re not pastel and paired with pearls and pleated chinos, you’re okay.

    Of course my stereotypes don’t need a reboot. That’s why they’re called stereotypes. They’re a competitive sport around here.

  43. Saranna DeWylde
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 16:01:31

    Yuck. I find that irritating myself. I especially dislike FB invites to “fan” someone. Blech.

  44. Jo
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 17:57:08

    I was a member of RWA on 2 different occasions, but I couldn’t get them to not send me RWR. Always made me a little crazy to read it…so I didn’t. The perk never percolated for me. Your column about the recent article reminded me why. Thanks, I needed that.

  45. Isobel Carr
    Aug 03, 2010 @ 11:21:06

    Seems to me the best way for an author to use stuff like GoodReads is to just PARTICIPATE! I don't read a lot of historicals when I'm writing (gets into my headspace too much; which is super annoying, since I have new books from Balogh and Beverley in my TBR that I'm dying to get to!), but I've been on the Save the Contemparay bandwagon in a big way, and I've been devouring Paranomals (how fantastic are Nalini Singh and Carolyn Jewel?).

    As a reader, I love chatting about books I'm loving, and I guess I kind of hope that if we love the same books, readers might check mine out (that whole shared taste thing working in my favor). No downside (so long as I don't act like an ass), and I get to find new books too.

  46. Carolyn Jewel
    Aug 03, 2010 @ 12:18:08

    Speaking as a reader, I have an email filter called “Annoying People.” This filter sends emails from certain people directly to the Trash folder. Those certain people are all authors who do nothing but send email after email after email flogging themselves. Ugh.

    On Twitter, I unfollow people who do this sort of thing. I’m slowly working out how to stop the emails from people flogging themselves on GoodReads and Facebook.

    What I LOVE from authors is the occasional announcement about what’s coming, or on sale and information about books they loved (not their own books). I also like hearing about non-writing things from authors I love. I’ve found all kinds of new to me authors this way.

  47. Dick
    Aug 04, 2010 @ 08:51:24

    @Tricia:
    I can’t see much difference between what the author of the article suggested and the comments, usually pasted on the cover, by one author on another author’s books. All those “I’ll buy anything with [pick a name] on it” or “A real contribution to romance” or the equally meaningless “Delightful. Simply delightful” are, in essence, self-serving promotions. They may be arranged by the publishers, but they serve both the author of the book they’re on and the author to whom the comment is attributed. And they contribute also to the discussion of money.

  48. MaryK
    Aug 04, 2010 @ 09:44:01

    @Dick: I don’t pay any attention to cover quotes unless they’re by an author who rarely does them.

  49. SB Sarah
    Aug 04, 2010 @ 13:10:39

    I have no idea why RWR takes so much longer to reach me than everyone else, but it arrived today, and it’s SO MUCH WORSE in PERSON. Sweet holy crap.

    Between asking friends and family to make Amazon reviews even more meaningless, and “You will have loyal fans” after you spam the hell out of them, I am ready to go strangle myself with a twinset.

  50. Stumbling Over Chaos :: In which I completely fail to come up with anything remotely clever for a linkity post title
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 06:35:47

    [...] you’re an author who read the article in the August issue of Romance Writer’s Report about online promotion and tho…, Dear Author points out the problems with two of the ideas and suggests [...]

  51. Suzanne Rossi
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 08:06:48

    I am sooo turned off by authors e-mailing me either directly or through the chapter loop to please vote for their book as “best as” for whatever the reason. I ignore the request because it’s not based on how good the book is, but how many friends and family the author can coerce into voting for them. To be honest, I wouldn’t buy most of these author’s books anyway. They don’t write in the categories I enjoy reading.

    I use my Facebook page, my chapter Facebook Fan page, and Twitter to announce new releases, contracts, and any other good news. Period. I wouldn’t dream of clogging other people’s e-mails with what amounts to massive spam.

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