Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Break Up Your Soap Box (By Promoting Fellow Authors' Work)

If you've wandered out into the wastes of the social media wilderness, then you already know exactly how tough it can be to actually sell your books. It's as if the moment someone realizes you're talking about your own work, they turn their eyes away and keep on scrolling. What's worse, though, is when moderators get on your case for promoting your own work too much (especially when the definition of "too much" can vary wildly, depending on which group you happen to be in).

Hey, you promoted your blog last month! Banned!
If you've been looking for a way to diversify your posts, endear yourself to your fellow authors, and keep your income going steady, then I have a piece of advice for you. Are you listening? Good, because this is a success secret that can help you out quite a lot.

Every time you promote your own work, make sure you promote someone else's work after it to break up the flow.

Everyone Loves a Team Player

I did this a while back over on my other blog with the post 5 Phenomenal Authors Whose Work You Should Check Out, and every time someone on my friends' list puts out a new book I try to spread the links around in some of my usual groups, subreddits, and feeds.

Speaking of which, if you haven't checked out either The Nine or The Fall by Tracy Townsend, you are doing yourself a disservice. Alchemy, mystery, and all the intrigue you could ask for awaits!

What are you waiting for? Go get one!
Part of the reason I do this is because authors are a small community, and we need to help each other out. Part of it is because I don't want me feeds to get overly predictable or stagnant, so I try to diversify what I link and the offerings I make. And part of it is because whether someone buys a copy of one of my books, or another author's book entirely, at the end of the day I still make money from it.

More on how that works in If You're An Author, You Really Need an Affiliate Marketing Account, for those who are wondering how to make money by selling someone else's books.

One of the major reasons that self-promotion gets shouted down or ignored on social media is that people see it as an invasion of their community. They're all here to talk about the latest sci-fi and fantasy books, but here you are looking to profit off their love of the genre. Even if the book you're offering is great, and members of this group would genuinely enjoy it, they turn a blind eye to you because you're viewed as an outsider just trying to make a buck off of them.

If you diversify your feed, though, you'll notice this problem starts to go away.

When stuff isn't linked directly to you, people see your posts as expressing a genuine love and recommendation for a thing. And if you attach a conversation starter to the link you're sharing, well, that has the potential to get all sorts of people interested in what you're talking about. And the more comments you leave to keep the conversation going, the more the community (moderators and fellow members alike) see it as you joining in the conversation. Even if your motives are really to help boost someone else's signal.

Then, when it's time to talk about something you've been working on, you're likely to get a lot more positive interaction with the community. Even if all you've been doing is drawing attention to stuff you're hoping to sell copies of, this technique still works as long as your name isn't actually on those other books you're low-key hawking.

Also, make sure you check out Use Text Posts and Comments To Avoid Getting Your Self-Promotion Labeled as Spam if you're looking for additional tips.

Whose Signal Are You Going to Boost?

The other lovely thing is that authors pay attention to people who boost their signals. Even if it's just someone you know casually, or whose acquaintance you made at a con one time, they'll take notice if you cause a traffic spike for them. That can earn you a lot of friends in a hurry, which can come in handy if you need folks to help you get the word out about a new project.

Speaking of which, leave a comment if you boost my signal on Crier's Knife!

My thanks in advance!
It's a triple-win strategy. Group moderators are happy that you're contributing to the overall discussion, you'll earn some goodwill from fellow group members, and other authors will feel you've done them a solid. And, best of all, you can keep your traffic going day in and day out, without worrying about whether you're flying too close to the sun.

That's all for this week's Business of Writing! If you'd like to see more of my work, take a look at my Vocal archive, or at My Amazon Author Page where you can find books like my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife!

If you'd like to help support my work, then consider Buying Me A Ko-Fi, or heading over to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page! Lastly, to keep up with my latest, follow me on FacebookTumblrTwitter, and now on Pinterest as well!

1 comment:

  1. Great post!! And readers, don't forget to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads!!