How NOT to Promote Your Book

I love writing, even the publishing myself part. Yes, yes…I admit it’s hard to get your name out there and to share your stories with the world. But there’s a right and wrong way to promote, and guess what, I have a stellar example of what I consider one of many ‘wrong ways’ below.

But first, a quick explanation (and disclaimer), though this did just REALLY happen to me, I don’t want to list the name of the other person involved or the represented author’s book title, because that would be well…it would just be mean. And I don’t like to see myself as a mean person. So, as you read the exchange below, maybe you’ll laugh. I mean, shoot, I did.

The following messages took place on Facebook. The dates and exact words have not been changed, only the original sender’s name and one book title ‘she’ mentions.  I’ll just call her ‘S’. This ‘conversation’ started December 15 of 2014, and sadly ended today, March 5. S’s posts are in red, mine are in blue. Just to make it easy for you. *wink*

Conversation started December 15, 2014

S

12/15, 4:46am

I would love to share your book with my FB friends. PM if interested

December 15, 2014

 
Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

Hi S – you are welcome to use whatever link I’ve put up. *grin emoticon* IHYFM and DtF are free so I love getting it out there. *smile emoticon*

S

12/15, 10:00am

My author has an ebook called BEEP. Would you be interested in providing a review on amazon in exchange for me sharing your book with my 3000 FB friends? I can send you the ebook if you can provide your email. If interested, let me know

December 26, 2014

I would still love to share your book with my FB friends

December 26, 2014

 
Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

You are welcome to, but I don’t do review exchanges like that. I leave honest reviews on books when I can, but that isn’t very often because I’m spending most of my time writing books.

January 29

S

I would love to share your latest release with my Facebook friends.

Wednesday

S

I would still love to share your latest release with my Facebook friends.

Today

Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

You keep sending the same message to me. 😐

S

Except Im not looking for a review

For a short time I’m offering indefinite shout-outs in front of my 4700 Fb fans to help promote YOUR book, when you purchase a small ebook (or free w/audible.com) for less than the price of a Starbucks coffee. All proceeds support our charity.

Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

So you are selling an eBook in exchange for promoting one of mine to your FB followers?

S

The ebook is called BEEP and is only $5.99. You’ll get the book and an indefinite shout-out! Upon request I’ll even give you proof of our shout-outs giving publicity to YOUR book and I’ll even leave the shout-out up indefinitely. Proceeds go to support the Adrenal Foundation. Click the link to purchase and get your promotional shout-out now! BLEEP REALLY LONG LINK BLEEP

9:21am

Trish Marie Dawson

Mine

 

Is called I Hope You Find Me. Have you read it?

 

It’s follow up is called Lost and Found.

 

Then there is my Station series, with six books so far. Heard of them?

 

I also have a sci-fi fantasy.

 

Do you read those genres?

S

All my friends love that genre

Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

Well, that book is for sale on Amazon and B&N. Would you like to buy it? It is cheaper than your author’s book. By a dollar it two.

S

Sorry, Im doing this to support my charity

Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

Actually, you could download ALL of my eBooks for under $20. Would you like the links?

 

Oh! Charity! Yes! I have two stories in two important charities.

S

I’m offering indefinite shout-outs in front of my 4700 Fb fans for only $5.99

Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

One is for an author friend with cancer. The other is for no kill shelters. Which would you like to purchase to support?

 

Both are awesome books, I promise.

S

Have a great day

Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

And cheaper than $5.99.

 

You aren’t interested?

S

I would love to share your latest release with my Facebook friends.

Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

I love charity’s! I fully support them!

 

I’m a Vegetarian and did you know that you can buy a thing of hay for The Gentle Barn as a donation?

S

Are all the profits of your books going to charity?

Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

Or you can donate to Esther the Wonder Pig. Both do wonderful things for animals. Great organizations.

S

Good luck with your book

Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

My books mostly pay my bills, like my 2014 Escape payment. Did you know that new cars are expensive as hell?! But we need two vehicles in my family because I have to take my daughter to classes and my son to therapies. He has APD. He doesn’t process what we say to him very well, which makes him seem to others like he’s very misbehaved. But he’s a sweet boy. But yeah, we need to drive around town a lot. So my writing pays for our second car. And his gluten free foods. It’s an expensive diet. Oh! We have three rescue dogs so we also have a lot of dog food to buy every month, so I pay for that too. And we live in San Diego, where you basically pay for the weather, the views and the warm air you breathe. So I guess that not ALL of my work goes to charity. But two of my stories do.

Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

Thank you for the well wishes! I truly appreciate it!

 

I work very hard on my writing, publishing and marketing. It’s not easy, as you probably know.


At this point, the text becomes grey, which made me think that I was ‘blocked’. But I kept writing on my phone. Unfortunately, she really HAD blocked me, which meant that my messages only show on my phone screen where I wrote them, not on FB. But I’ll still share them here…


My continuation:

But it’s the best job in the world! I get to meet awesome people every day! Like you! Thank you for sharing your author’s $5.99 story for charity. I wish you the best with promoting. But do you mind me offering you a promotional tip?

Oh shoot. Did you block me? That’s a bummer. I was going to tell you that spamming inboxes is probably not the wisest way to share.

Yes. Yes you did block me. So unfortunate. We were just getting to know each other!


So. There you have it. This is how NOT to promote your book (or another’s book), because it’s spammy. Very, very spammy. It’s one thing to share your stuff on your social media sites, chat in PM’s with readers when they seek you out, and offer up sales and freebies when they come around via word of mouth, newsletters, etc… but to repeatedly hit someone up you don’t know (nope, don’t know this S girl aside from these messages) that’s just not professional. And it gives the awesome people out there, sharing the right way, a bad name. It only takes one bad apple…right?

I hope she learned a few things today: I don’t like getting ‘BUY THIS BOOK!’ messages in my inbox from strangers, and that despite what she might think, I have a sense of humor. *wink*

Promote smarter, my friends. Happy Thursday!

42 thoughts on “How NOT to Promote Your Book

  1. K. S. Haigwood says:

    Hi Trish! It’s so lovely to meet you! I’m an author of 8 books on Amazon, B&N and Kobo. One of them is free and the others range between $0.99 and $3.99! I would so love it if YOU would buy them ALL and leave 5 star reviews. I mean, I would do it for YOU if you do it for ME, but YOU go first. All proceeds go to a charity called The Broke-ass Writer and gets deposited into MY bank account each month! I will also promote all of YOUR books to my 10,000 Facebook, Twitter, Tsu, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Goodreads and Pinterest friends if you do this. Imagine that 20,000 new people would see my 1 post of YOURS! I’m just so excited to promote YOU, but I need you to buy my books before I can promote YOU to my 30,000 followers!

    Lmao!

    I sooooo look forward to working with you in promoting OUR work!

    Love you, chica! My 40,000 followers are waiting to see the post about YOUR book.

    This offer will expire soon, but after it does I’ll just write you back and tell you I have 50,000 followers. So, you know, just wait for it. *smile emoticon*

    Like

  2. Nicole says:

    People, huh?! Amazing… So I have a somewhat personal question… My son has sensory processing (SPD), you mentioned your son has (APD)… I’d love to know more. My son has such a hard time with communication and input, its like we’re on one frequenvy, and he’s on a different frequency. Nothing we say clicks… Is this familiar? He looks normal, so people think he’s just being naughty…soooo tough….

    Like

    • trishmarie says:

      Hi Nicole! Auditory Processing Disorder is not as common as SPD, from what we were told. But they have some similarities. Our son is social, but has a hard time with some forms of language and communication and listening. For him, they explained it to me like this: imagine being in a room with a TV on playing static, others running around screaming or yelling and someone else trying to talk to you. That’s what it could be like for my son, when someone is talking to him. He is overstimulated by sounds very easily so just shuts down and stops listening, or can’t. He’s also VERY hyper (APD and other processing issues can cause ADHD and Autistic like symptoms because of the gap in learning and frustration for the child – all according to what we’ve been told now). But I’m sure that our son has other things going on as well, that we’ve yet to properly diagnose or identify. It’s VERY hard. We can’t teach our son how to read phonetically, so we’ll have to use special flashcards and pictures. We’ve been working on things since he was 1.5/2yrs old, so some of it has helped but now with his IEP, we’ll get the help we need through the public state homeschooling charter we use. 😀 I wish you best of luck! Feel free to message me any time if you want to chat about it – I know it’s tough. HUGS

      Like

  3. carolannnewsome says:

    Reblogged this on Barking and commented:
    With limited avenues for exposure, indie authors must be creative if they want their book to gain traction. Unfortunately, not all creative ideas are good ones. Good friend and great author, Trish Marie Dawson shares a cautionary tale.

    Like

  4. Tima Maria Lacoba says:

    OMG, this same “author” contacted me with exactly the same crap.I asked her if this type of aggressive marketing worked for her. She said, all the time. I got sucked in and bought her book. Never again! I need to learn to say no.

    Like

  5. Nicole says:

    Thank you sooo much, Trish!!! My son sounds a lot like this. Its tough huh, our kiddos are our lives, it has gotten easier over time…. We’ve been going to therapy since he was 2, and is now almost 8. With his sensory, though any input would throw him for a loop. Especially when it came to food. He wouldn’t touch anything with weird textures, had a hard time with speech, and his motor planning skills are delayed. He’s extremely smart, though, and has almost an eidetic memory. Thank you for filling me in on your lil blessing, its so great to meet new momma’s with special kiddos… I appreciate your taking the time…

    Like

    • trishmarie says:

      You are most welcome! I don’t mind talking about these things because I know there are other parents out there experiencing similar stories and it does help us all to chat about it. I hope you have a wonderful week with the family!! 😀

      Like

  6. Debi says:

    Loved your story… And I try to write some sort of review…whether an author sends me a book for free or not. It’s the only way you get your name out there and if we might like the story.

    Like

  7. Alexandrina Brant says:

    Haha, I love your responses. I can just imagine their expression when they realised you were just getting them back. Amusingly enough, I’m now going to check out your charity books, as that’s something I personally care about. 😀

    Like

    • trishmarie says:

      Thank you so much, Alexandria! I’d give books away to everyone if this wasn’t also how I make my living. 🙂 If you read the charity books – please let me know what you thought! I think they are awesome, but I’m biased of course. lol

      Like

  8. cpbialois says:

    Wow. You’re a lot better person than I am. I’ve had people email or message me through Twitter for things like this. I usually ignore them unless they send a follow up. It’s amazing the lengths some will go to. lol

    Like

  9. edmondmanning says:

    That. Was. Brilliant. Sooooo much fun to read your witty replies! Loved ’em! Oh man…here’s my question to you. So many of her red statements appeared to be just copied and pasted into the conversation…do you think you were corresponding with a real person? It felt like an ‘ad-bot,’ or a completely fake account. I know you blocked the name and do not expect you to share it, but have you verified this is a REAL author? Just curious.

    Thanks for the great story.

    Edmond

    Like

    • trishmarie says:

      LOL Edmond – happy to entertain!

      The author’s book link, which I didn’t post because I didn’t want to start an online war lol, did indeed lead to a real book with an interesting amount of 5 star reviews. Like…99.9999% of the reviews were 5 stars. Not completely impossible, of course, but a bit fishy if you consider how the ‘street team’ or ‘personal assistant’ this particular person acts as, gets others to review the book. I mean, if this person does in fact get people to leave favorable reviews in exchange for other things, then the reviews under that book are not valid, and definitely not honest reviews, IMO. The person who is doing this is still doing it. I’ve had people here on the site but also on Twitter and FB tell me that they have gotten the SAME messages. It’s unfortunate, because I find it not only spammy, but scammy. If that makes sense. :-/ I REALLY want to believe the author has no clue this is happening behind the scenes, but I find that extremely doubtful.

      Like

    • trishmarie says:

      Rumor has it on FB that she’s actually not the PA but the author. This makes me more upset and I definitely see the whole situation as less of a joke now. And she is STILL sending out these messages. I read a comment on a post just today that they got the same copy and pasted crap yesterday. Some people, eh? lol

      Like

  10. Christine M. Butler says:

    I just dealt with the same woman, same spiel, only RUDE when I told her no. I took screenshots of the conversation and posted them to my Facebook wall. The moment I did, I received 10 private messages plus public comments about this woman. There were also warnings that she trashes authors who refuse her with 1-star reviews of their books everywhere. So, if you dealt with her, and then had a bunch of 1-stars pop up, have them investigated. I am on the lookout for that, and reported her page to Facebook for spamming. I hear she changes her profiles up, including names, every once in a while too though, so I’m not sure the reporting will make any difference.

    Like

  11. Susan Holmes says:

    Received this via PM on Wednesday–sound familiar?

    Awesome! For a short time I’m offering indefinite shout-outs in front of my 4800 FB friends to help promote YOUR website, when you purchase a small ebook for less than the price of a Starbucks coffee (or free on audible) The proceeds go to support our charity.

    Like

  12. redgirl876 says:

    I have received a request for friendship on FB from a MAN who is giving the exact same spiel as this uincluding the *free promo*
    He dose have over 4000 friends and they are virtually ALL authors, once again the claim that the monies for the books go to charity too. Not ver y open or transparent is it!

    Like

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