Self-Promo for authors – are we stuck on repeat?

I recently came across this article about how Indie authors promote to each other and how it needs to stop.  I agree with it.  Marketing isn’t about posting to the people in the same boat as you.  It’s about connecting with your readers.

Sometimes, I feel like marketing is the worst thing in the world because I’m a shy and reserved person.  I cannot sell ANYTHING.  I even tried selling makeup once… Yeah, that wasn’t a good idea.  It’s certainly the hardest thing to me about being an author.  I can give you a story any day, but when it comes to finding people to buy my books, I feel alone, lost and completely idiotic.  But, I can connect with people given the chance.

Isn’t that what writing is about?  Connecting with people.  The way I see it, people want to know more about you as a person.  If they’re interested in you, they will want to check out your books.

I’m no marketing guru.  Seriously.  But I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.  Well, I like to think I have anyway.

Here are some things I’ve learning.

1. Stop slamming people with the same description of your book, and stop posting it ALL DAY LONG!  Use Twitter and Facebook to your advantage, yes, but use it to ENGAGE with your followers and friends.

Sure, I advertise my own books, my interviews, etc, but I also use it to help people with their books, interviews, and all as well.  I’m usually pressed for time, but when people talk to me, I try to talk back to them.  It may not be an instant reply, but it’s a reply nonetheless.  Take time to thank others for helping you, help them get their books out (if they’re authors), and if they’re readers, reviewers, or just plain followers, try to talk to them and know their likes.

And try to join groups that has something to do with you novel.  Maybe setting or a certain reading group.  It can’t hurt to try, right?

2. Use cross promotional efforts.  Help others and others will help you.  Find groups that actually want to HELP and CONVERSE instead of those groups where it’s all promotion.  9 out of 10 times, I hide those posts from my view because I get sick of them.   Find friends.  If you become friends with someone, they’re going to want to help you out.  If you spam them, they’ll just walk away from you.  I know this because I do.  I know it’s important to get the word out about your books.  How else are people going to know about you unless you’re socially active?

3. Remember that writers are readers too.  Sure, we know how important advertisements are to us when it comes to picking out books, but what do we listen to most in search of new books to read?  Others’ opinions.  I’d much rather read a review or hear from someone about how great a book is.  This goes back to readers.

But how do you find readers?  Good question.

4. Find people who have the same likes as you but aren’t exactly writers.  I have a lot of author friends that I love!  But, I can’t just promote my books to them.  I have to gain a readership by friending or following other people as well.  But most importantly, you have to ENGAGE in some type of conversation with these people.  Make sure that they know you’re a person instead of someone simply searching for sales.  Build friendships.  Those are priceless anyway.

Again, I’m no expert, but I like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.  This is what I’ve learn.  What have you learned about marketing and self-promotion?  Any bloopers to avoid?


19 thoughts on “Self-Promo for authors – are we stuck on repeat?

  1. Dear Emerald,

    I found your article to be very helpful and insightful! As you know I am still in the beginning stages and I am learning alot from you, Melissa Foster, The WLC Community Melissa’s Awesome Support Team and My linked in Writer’s group and I also agree that I would love to also connect with my readers as you mentioned! thanks for the tips! xoxoxo



    1. Well, Syl, we’re here to help in anyway possible! You know that I would do anything to help you out, and if you still have questions about marketing, I’ll be more than happy to discuss this with you over email, Facebook, wherever. I’m also glad to know this article was helpful!


    1. It’s definitely not instantaneous, but it is absolutely worth the effort! In doing this, I’ve gained readers for all of my books! I love it! And not to mention, we talk on a daily basis. It’s amazing!


  2. I enjoyed your article, Emerald, but I’m still in the supporting authors and receiving generous support from fellow authors category. I wish I could connect to readers, but I feel like a very small needle in a very large haystack. I shall have to work on your suggestions–find a group who share my interests but aren’t writers…


    1. I’m a huge supporter of authors supporting and helping authors. I call that cross promotion. When I mentioned that we should quick advertising to other authors, I meant those groups where it’s all authors just posting and no one helping each other. Team PIF is definitely not one of those groups I was discussing. We help each other out A LOT and I am truly grateful for all the help you guys give me. I am thinking that we do need to branch out some though. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!


  3. Excellent, Emerald! And so true. Even as writers who spend much of our time alone (and happy about that), we need to interact with people. Our Lord is all about relationships, so shouldn’t we be, too? If we develop relationships with people, the rest will follow in time.


    1. I definitely agree, Dawn! I don’t want to seem like a loner. Although, most of the time, I’d be very content to ignore my social media sites for a while, I feel like that would be a mistake. Especially since I have built valuable friendships and continue so each day. I may not sell just a whole lot, but the feeling of making friends has been so great! Thanks for commenting! 🙂


  4. Insightful blog post, Emerald! I agree, I sometimes get weary seeing the constant stream of promotion some authors do on the various pages and groups I’m a part of. I try and keep my promotion to a reasonable level, and to keep it interesting (visual ads, free offers, etc). And I always try and like and share other authors posts, because I totally believe in the pay it forward mentality. And hey, it led to you and I conversing and building a friendship, so it is definitely worth it! 🙂 Thanks for the great post!


    1. Exactly. Promotion doesn’t need to be stopped, but we sometimes need to sit back and think if it is productive. I know that authors are readers too. I am reading books by the author friends I have. And, I enjoy them. But, when I see the same thing over and over and over again, I’m just not sure what to think.

      Now, with your promotions, I love the visual aids and all that you post. And like you, I try to share what I can from my author friends. It doesn’t hurt to cross promote. 🙂

      And yes, it did lead to you and I building a friendship, a friendship I value! 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!


  5. Emerald, Great article full of practical advice. Promotion is hard and it’s easy to get caught up in the vicious cycle of social media reaching the same people. But after all is read and done, the reason we write is to connect with readers. Hoping to find new and exciting ways to do that.


    1. Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I’m working on finding new ways to do connect to readers as well. It’s difficult, but it’s something that we need to figure out I believe. As soon as I figure out new ways, I’m going to do another post on that! If you find a way, please, let me know! I’m anxious to know more. 🙂


      1. Ah. Well, I’m not going to lie. It can be difficult, but there are some great tools that will help you it. If you need to know more about this, please feel free to email me at emerald_barnes (at) yahoo (dot) com and I’ll help in anyway possible!


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