Selling Books the Write Way

Authors and bloggers both hate promotion, but at the same time they need it to gain visibility. Unless you are fortunate enough to have thousands of people reading your words daily and that are willing to spread the word like wildfire about your new release, you have to do much of that promoting yourself.

I am a blogger. I have done some book promotions, but really all I have done is present books by writers to those that frequent my blog. That is all I have done and it is the same thing I’ll do when I publish my own book. There is a fine line between promotion and spamming people. I’ll explain how I view that line.

People that get annoyed or upset by promotion are the same people that will get annoyed and upset over my posting habits. They are the same bloggers and writers that feel everyone should view social media the same way they do and they are the ones that will unfollow and unsubscribe from you as soon as you promote something other than your blog posts.

Here is the thing about those people. They don’t matter. They were never going to buy your book, they were never going to help spread the word about your writing, and they aren’t worth limiting yourself in hopes of appeasing their sensibilities.

As a social media networker and a blogger, I understand that many bloggers don’t share my views on blogging. I understand that the tricks, tips, and practices I employee aren’t for everyone and probably aren’t for most people out there. That isn’t going to stop me from doing things the way I know how to do. I adopted an attitude a long time ago that I will blog in the way I want. Promotion and networking are all part of blogging to me and those techniques I have learned will be used when promoting any book I write.

I have a blogger friend who has written a book. She has also created and carved out a nice niche for herself in the blogging world. I received an email from her asking the best way to promote a book and I gave her my honest answer. My answer was this, “learn the balance between spamming and promotion.” There  is a line between the two and you can obtain a balance that will help to not irritate all your blog readers.

The problem is that self-promotion itself is irritating to many people. The bloggers that haven’t written a book will think you are bragging or “forcing” your novel on them, the other authors will suddenly see another author in the mix that may steal their limelight, and new readers will begin to label your website as things it is not. This is all due to the post they happen to see that day or a post that led them to your website.

What does the opinion of other people matter to you? For many it matters a ton. For bloggers that have worked tirelessly to gain regular readers, there is a real fear that you will turn off those same readers because of your new pride and joy. Honestly if they are true readers they will not care how you promote your book or even how you blog, they will simply be happy for you. They’ll support you even if you publish a post a day about your release because that is what true support is.

Writers and authors must decide what is their best method of getting their title out there without turning off potential readers and buyers. Much of that has to do with how you advertise and promote yourself. There are tricks and methods to do this that MANY book bloggers can share with you. The only thing that will keep your book from getting bought is lack of awareness. Luckily you control that as the author, the blogger, and the promoter.

How badly do you want your book read?

-Opinionated Man

Jason C. Cushman

@smokendust

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37 thoughts on “Selling Books the Write Way

  1. Pingback: Selling Books the Write Way — HarsH ReaLiTy – dreamtimestarmanjones

  2. Building my blog into a viable platform for my as-yet-unfinished Christian book is hard enough without thinking about the milestone you just described. But it is unavoidable, and eventually the stream will have to be crossed. Thank you for the bracing words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for posting this. It is very helpful as I do want to promote my book when I finish it. It is not my intention to turn away potential readers, but I also will not sell myself short nor neglect my bloggers or those who follow my blogs that are outside of my novel writing. I appreciate all that you do here, O.M.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You know there is a whole nother level that the whole thing can go through to some time with a group of like-minded people there already were following each other like we’re mentioning ended up developing communities of several thousand or more of groups that agreed to support one another as the books got published and in that case it would be kind of a guarantee that everybody will get a promotion I’m not talking about a groups that Loosely put together and we all come tentatively agreed to help each other once in awhile that can happen to but also that probably would be the opportunity to form a formal agreement will be signed a contract that they would do a certain amount of work and promote a certain amount of each other books as it came around so we all benefited equally

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I enjoyed this OM – and as noted before – you have helped me move into a nice groove with my own posting – like not being timid about posting a few times in a day – if that is what I want.
    And I also enjoyed reading this because I saw firsthand two bloggers promote books last month. Well there were many many more – as you mention here – because bloggers like you and smorgasbord and k’s train of thoughts blog promo so many authors –
    And so of course I see the many wonderful books that come out each month!
    Such a joy too because we need variety and we need books coming (and best wishes on yours by the way – )
    Anyhow – I am getting ready to launch a book that has contributing authors – and I have just started thinking about the promo part – I even considered setting up a blog just for that book.
    Anyhow
    Back to the two bloggers who promoted last month (the ones I observed closely)
    Both were so opposite –
    One was so much that I did feel “spammed”
    The second was “smart” – and maybe very “safe” but likely matched all she could do for what she had to give – and it was way milder than the other author – and she combined a short blog challenge and connected it with her book each day.
    So it was nice to see the two side by side.
    My favorite ever book promoter was Christy Birmingham from poetic parfait as she launched her poetry book “versions of self” – I think became way burned out doing it – took a hiatus and all afterwards- but she mentioned her book on and off for months – but in the meantime got to know bloggers – she brought her sweet energy to the blogs she visited and damn did it seem ambitious and nice.
    However – when I thought about borrowing from her and maybe doing the same – I realized it is not my style –
    Her approach would not work for me….

    But OM, it was a good approach.

    Anyhow – you are right about the visibility and the tough things that authors face when it comes to promo and all.
    I have been wanting to make a post about it and still might.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I think the blogoshere is the perfect place for authors to promote their work. As are other social media sites. Why not. Authors don’t publish to have their novel or other works sit somewhere, unread. I applaud each and every author willing to put in the time and effort to self-promote. It can’t always be easy. I love hearing the writing success stories of other bloggers. I’d buy every book, if I had the time. I most likely will buy at least a few for my summer reading list. I believe in bloggers/writers supporting each other. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I’m not going to say that opinions don’t matter to me, I do wish they didn’t matter to me. I don’t like to have to go through the promotion process, which I really don’t understand how it works, but I know it’s important in order to gain exposure.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I should have qualifed that statement with the idea that I believe people who do enjoy writing will tell their friends would probably enjoy the same things they do and that’s how I believe you get better and more appropriate type of readers. In general I do it means that we plan to hang around people that have similar interests as we do for the most part

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Pretty bad. But I’ve learned what you are saying. I can’t shove it down throats. All I can do is offer a few enticing excerpts now and again. Regardless, I’ve made many great “friends” who are supportive and encouraging. I cherish them! Oh, also, when sending out your book to agents, they always want to know about your social media connections. YOU, Jason, have quite and “in” when you send out your memoir! 🙂
    Thanks for this!

    Liked by 5 people

  10. What a great and timely article. I am currently in the process of deciding three different avenues different ventures and include a book and some other things. One of the commitments I made a year-and-a-half ago it’s just scrap all the followers I had in all my other social media and not even connect to any internet other than WordPress on my blog and let the people who enjoyed my writing come to me. The connections and people that I’ve met that way are much and far more valuable as far as the promotion of anything with my life then it would be if I had triple the number followers but none of them cared about what I wrote so you’re right on with that good job!

    Liked by 4 people

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