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Blatant Self Promotion Syndrome

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Twitter this. Tweet that. Twitter, twitter, tweet, tweet. Tweety Bird wants a cracker.

No?

Okay, then: like my Facebook page; like my most recent review about my most recent book release. Like me; like me; like me. Rah, rah, rah. Sis, boom, bah. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Meow.

Don’t get me wrong. As an independent novelist myself, I fully understand the need for authors to do their own marketing with the traditional publishing world being in total disarray these days. But as the old adage goes: people like to buy but not be sold.

Recently, I interviewed Italian scholar and writer, Leila Tavi, on my podcast blog at 2012writersALIVE. Google her name. You won’t find much information about her. Yet despite this, our conversation netted a record two hundred page loads within days. How is it that someone who has virtually no web presence attracted so much attention? Doesn’t she know that you’ve got to be out there in cyberspace constantly promoting how great your book is ad nauseum? Disgusting! She doesn’t even write in English!

This leads me to the conclusion that she is immune to BS (short for BSP, or Blatant Self Promotion Syndrome. Let’s examine this counter productive malady briefly.

It starts with a tweet. And then another. And another and another. Commonly, the illness corresponds with another condition which I call FU, or Facebook Undermining.

Get somebody to like your page and the Mother of All Social Networking sites starts tracking you whether you know it or not. Sure. You can waste an hour fiddling with privacy controls to stop the bleeding but, like me, you just eventually give up and surrender to the inevitable.

Stage Two of BS starts when authors start emailing everybody in their contact list promoting their work just in case you haven’t seen anyone of their zillion tweets. Nothing makes my day more than opening an email from someone who I thought was a friend only to be faced with a generic greeting (if there is one at all), followed by information about them and their book that I already knew. Now I’m convinced that the last thing I want to do is to buy their book.

What is the terminal stage of BS? The sad fact is that there isn’t one. It’s a chronic condition that only the author’s death, defeat or computer breakdown can put to a graceful end.

Here’s my advice. First of all, bring something to the table. Start your own blog supporting indie authors. Unless it’s not true what the bible says about giving is better than receiving. Secondly, rent a cheerleader. You invested all that time in writing and rewriting your manuscript, so why not back up your words with dollars? There are many affordable promotional and professional marketing companies for aspiring authors who truly plan on making a living from writing.

Finally, realize that most people do other things beside buy and read books. Find some blogs or other Internet venues that deal with issues more important than the novel you wrote and post to them, providing links to your website if possible. Don’t be one dimensional in your marketing efforts. Get the green out of your eyes and remember what Ben Franklin once said, “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.”

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About John H. Byk

  • http://www.lizcrowe.com Liz Crowe

    wow. so true, but yet, so flipping ….. true. well said. (go blue) I own a brewery in Ann Arbor AND write and I think we should get together……….