Okay, I’ve held this in as long as I can. Please note this NettaRant ™ is not directed to anyone in particular — but if you’re uncomfortable reading it or if it pisses you off on some level, chances are this rant applies to you.
*Sigh* I really hate having this conversation, and I’ll admit I’m overworked and a bit crabby. I blame the Ring of Fire and the triple digit temperatures. And the fact I may have a normally crabby type of temperament. Plus the fact I just can’t keep a good rant to myself. It makes me feel bloated, like after you eat a large meal including cruciferous vegetables like cabbage or broccoli.
OR! Like you’ve been force-fed something you wouldn’t ordinarily eat!
What am I talking about? Marketing. Specifically, marketing a book.
My social networks are full of people who both read and write books, novels, short stories, etc. I understand the need to promote yourself — I’m a novelist, too, and I’ve self-published. Even those who have a legacy publishing contract have to do the majority of their own promotion. It’s a necessary evil of the job. I get it.
But look. If all I ever hear out of you are promotional efforts about your book/interview/blog post, I’m going to unfollow your ass, capish? I appreciate the fact you’re trying to sell your book, but what I don’t appreciate is the constant fucking infomercial about where to find your book, how great people think your book is, the fact your book is now for sale, and the constant begging to “like” pages, reviews, visit here, look at this, SEE ME AND SEE MY BOOK. I get it already!
Posting the same thing forty-seven times a day on every conceivable social networking site is not going to entice me to buy your book. As a matter of fact, it’s going to piss me off. Can you not talk about anything else? Is there no other social engagement of any kind?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about people who promote their book and socially engage. I’m talking about the irritating, annoying, constant barrage of SEEMYBOOKTHISISMYBOOKBUYMYBOOKPASSITALONG
Come on. You know it pisses you off too. From people who never comment on anything you post, never offer a personal word, never engage in conversation unless it has something to do with THEIR BOOK.
Honestly, I do understand how difficult it is to promote your book, how necessary and I support the indie movement. But please, take one minute and think this over, okay?
You’re on Facebook and you have friends/family. You also have a fan page. This is great, and I would expect you to inform both groups updates about your book and maybe teasers, glimpses into artwork, how the whole process is coming along. What you don’t need to do is post every damned hour about where your book can be purchased. Once you post a couple of times, your people are going to know where to find you. Why are you beating that poor, dead horse?
But NETTA! How am I supposed to sell my book if I don’t continuously bang people over the head with a hammer? Isn’t that how sales work?
Well, that’s how *hard* sales work, but it’s not really all that effective when it comes to the internet crowd. Internet peeps are on to that hard-sell advertising crap, and what you should probably do is understand using social networking to promote your product is a tricky business. I’ve had people tell me promoting via Twitter is totally unproductive — then I look at their Twitter stream only to see nothing but promotion of their work, a few re-Tweets, and no engagement of any kind. They’re called SOCIAL NETWORKS for a reason, people!
If all you do is post stuff about your book and don’t ever have a conversation about something else, you’re doing it wrong. Social networking is about building relationships with people, and believe it or not, the sales follow. Radical idea, isn’t it?
So, yeah. Tweet me once in a while. Comment now and then on a post. Promote other people you believe in. Don’t just toot your own horn exclusively, because trust me, it gets old FAST.
Now you kids git offa my lawn!
All I’m saying is think about what you’re doing before you alienate people with your Magic Bullet bullshit. Yes, promote your book and be proud! You should be. But step away from the Hammer lest it be wrenched from your grasp and used to whip your ass.