Self-promotion: like most things, it’s who you know that counts.

A week ago I listed Particular Stupidities (R&M File #5) as available for pre-order from Amazon. For the first time in my self-publishing career (better late than never) I then went on to make a bit of a nuisance of myself on social-media. My aim was to raise awareness in the hope that readers would pre-order the book and in turn get it up the Amazon charts and noticed, maybe even attract the interest of Amazon’s recommended reading list that it emails out to readers. When one is releasing a new book, it’s definitely a list you want to get on.

As well as putting out a blog-post and linking it to my Facebook and Twitter accounts I sent a lot of tweets to a lot of Twitter accounts that I’d chosen because I hoped they might be suggestible. (For fun, I even tweeted a couple of best-selling authors whose names popped up on the screen as I was networking away.) I learned something from the exercise that is worth sharing with others who might be seeking self-promotion ideas.

The response from readers who follow the blog and are Facebook and Twitter friends of mine was very encouraging. Once again, a massive and heartfelt thank you to everyone who not only pre-ordered a copy of the book but who then went on to share my links with their own lists of friends on social media sites. As I’ve already blogged since listing the book it briefly broke into Amazon’s top 1000 list (I’m pretty sure that was a first for one of my books.) It’s drifted out now, currently @ #1825, which is still good. I’m certainly not complaining.

The dozens and dozens of hopeful tweets to unknowns (ebook promoters, readers I don’t know, the famous authors and just about every news media outlet involved in the south-east where the R&M Files are set) only achieved one retweet (thanks to Whitstable Live), which makes the effort seem generally wasted. I tweeted all the newspapers local to the R&M Files and didn’t get one retweet or reply. Total waste of time #justsaying. 

I admit to having been a poor self-promoter. I still am – it’s an energy thing. Going on the evidence, such as it is, I would have done well to have taken a leaf out of the books of other successful self-promoting authors and organised a mailing list that readers could subscribe to. I could then have emailed directly all those readers who would have signed up to being notified of my forthcoming releases. I’m sure it would have been a smart move for me the self-publishing author. Will I do it now?

All that said, it’s my understanding that there is no greater boost for an author’s chance of downloads than to get onto Amazon’s radar. If a title comes to Amazon’s notice as something people are downloading in significant numbers then Amazon get behind you and make you more visible – the more you sell the more they make. Why am I now thinking about Joseph Heller?

6 thoughts on “Self-promotion: like most things, it’s who you know that counts.

  1. Funny that you should mention Joseph Heller, my 30 year old son had never read Catch 22, so of course, I told him that he must. On his way here to stay with me and whilst at Gatwick airport last week, he purchased a copy, then every morning, during his hour or so of reading, he sat here laughing out loud. Very funny indeed. I read it nearly 40 years ago and I will have to read it again now.
    I’m not one for social networking, but I do talk to my wife now and then, so I told her about your new book (she’s read all of your others) and now she’ll order R&M#5 and then she’ll tell her father, who is also now a fan. Keep the ball rolling and good luck with it.

    • Hi Russell,
      I must read it again, too. I remember it made me laugh but I think I’d get a lot more out of it these days.
      Please pass my thanks on to your wife and your father-in-law. All much appreciated. And it goes to show that family networking trumps social networking. Word of mouth is more effective than shouting in the cyber-darkness, just hoping that someone’s listening.
      Best wishes.

  2. Hi Oliver, I am not a great one for social media, etc, and would not have a clue how to tweet!!
    However, I am a great believer in the power of recommendation. and several of my friends are now ‘into’ R & M.
    I have pre-ordered Particular Stupidities and have let all my friends know it is available.
    On a local note, you may be interested to know that the demolition of Burlington House in Dover commences in July, so we will soon be rid of that particular eye sore for good.
    Hope all is well with you.

    • Hi Andy
      I have long been a believer in the power of word of mouth. And I see it said a lot by influential writers. Thanks very much for your efforts on my behalf. Sincerely appreciated.
      And thanks for your support of R&M #5. I’m looking forward to getting it out there.
      Burlington House is coming down? That will be something to witness. It really is a sore thumb. How did something so at odds with its surroundings ever get planning approval? I just Googled the story. Interesting stuff. Retail and leisure park to replace it all. Could be worse, I suppose.
      Best wishes and thanks again.

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