How not to sell books and alienate people
Few readers like being actively sold. A hard sell is even worse. Nobody wants an author in their face yelling 'Buy my book! NOW!'. We wouldn't do this in real life, but so many indies do this online, possibly without even realising it.
When a reader connects with you, be that on twitter facebook or one of the many other platforms we listed in an earlier blog post, they're giving you the green light to talk to them - not to spam them.
There are a number of ways that indies spam readers, and these are the most offensive:
· Twitter Direct Messages(DMs) on follow. As soon as they follow you, send them a buy link.
· Twitter @ spam - send them links by via @message so they can't ignore it.
· Robotically tweet the same message dozens of times a day.
· Email spam - They opt in to your blog, and you then try and hard sell them the book(s).
· Goodreads 'events' - which are not events. Usually an 'opportunity' to buy a book.
· Goodreads suggestions - don't spam me suggestions of your book.
· Facebook spam - again, robotically updating the same stuff (or, worse yet, spam updating your spam twitter feed to spam me twice with the same thing!).
· Spam other authors asking them to spam for you. Mention spam is particularly annoying here ( this where you @mention the other person in a message, rather than an @message where the name goes at the start ).
· Mass DMs - similar to on follow direct messaging, but at any time.
· Linking to your own book on a review of someone else's - how rude is that!
· Comment spamming links to your own books on other people's blogs - without giving anything valuable in terms of commentary.
· Liking my facebook page for the sole purpose of adding your own link to the page
· ... so basically spamming your link, robotically or not, on any social media platform.
All this does put readers off. They want to buy into a brand (see our last post). Brand spam does not have many fans. If you try and broadcast buy links at people, they will block you. They want to buy your book, not be sold it. So treat them as people, and think about how your brand is portrayed every time you put yourself out there. You want to be associated with promotion, not spam. It's a fine line, but I think it's crossed when you do something you wouldn't want another author doing to you. It's pretty much that simple.
Do unto other indies as you want them to do unto you. Buy their books, be supportive and exchange friendly tweets... but stay well away from spam. Your ratio of content: advertising, on any platform, should be outrageously high. People listen to you for what you have to say, not what you have to sell.