Since You Offered…

 

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Okay, I’ve published a book. I’ve chosen “accept” as my One Word for 2017.

1+1=2. I accept that I’ve got to promote my book.

There are quite a few bloggers offering to help authors promote. That is awesome. And I’m hearing this a lot: “Take advantage of this opportunity!”

I know these lovely, generous people are inviting authors to email, to introduce themselves, to promote their work. My painfully introverted nature aside, I do want to promote my writing but it’s awkward.

What is this I’m feeling? Shyness? Uncertainty? Self-consciousness? Or something else entirely? I need to think on it some more. Or you could leave your (PG-rated) suggestion in the comments. Bottom line is: I feel uncomfortable asking for help in this particular area.

Does anyone else feel this way? Is it just me?

And for these bloggers…is it awkward for them? Honestly, it’s like winning the lottery and suddenly getting calls from friends and family you haven’t spoken to in ten years (or ones you didn’t know you had).

This leaves me in a tough spot—a spot of my own making, I understand, but still. I’m not sure how to handle it.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

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How do you handle promotional offers?

Authors: Do you only promote your book if you’re already actively following/commenting on the person’s blog or do you take advantage of the opportunity whether you’re blogging buddies or not?

Bloggers: Do you offer promotions on your blog for authors? How do you feel about people you don’t know (or don’t know well) emailing you to promote their book?

 

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48 thoughts on “Since You Offered…

  1. I think most bloggers, if approached in the right way, would be happy to promote books whether or not they’re following the author. Reviews depend on length backlogs usually. Don’t feel uncomfortable asking, if you don’t ask you don’t get, right 😉 If you’d like to send me the relevant promotional info, I’d be happy to put a post together.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’ve seen bloggers who have offered to promote for authors… But you’ve answered my question regarding whether there’s an issue if they know each other or not. It feels so awkward. I guess I have to get over that. Thank you for the generous offer. 💖 I’m not sure what you’re looking for. I’ll try to come up with something…interesting? Worthwhile?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sarah,
    I have seen people looking for books to promote and authors to interview. They love to do it. When they promote you, they are also promoting themselves. They want to do it. It is a win-win situation. They share your book. You share their posts. The love is spread around. I wish you had a children’s picture book that I could promote and interview you about. But as much as I enjoyed your book (it’s an awesome read! Hint hint, readers!) your genre doesn’t match the intent of my blogs. You should take advantage of all the offers out there – particularly of those whose blogs you don’t already follow. Imagine all the new readers you can take to them, and they can bring to you. Don’t be afraid. Go on. Just do it! I wish you every success. You deserve it, and your book is a great read! Well done!

    Liked by 6 people

    • *blushing* Thank you, Norah. 💖 Yes, I’ve seen the same. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. The bloggers who are looking for books to promote and authors to interview. Some of them I know through others, some I know quite well, others I don’t know. The people I don’t know, I had sort of put aside as a “no” since I felt too awkward saying, “Hey, you don’t know me. Promote me.” Of course it wouldn’t be like that but you really gave me a new perspective here. Connecting.

      (Oh…I have many children’s picture books lying around I wrote years ago. I wish I had pursued that. Perhaps I will someday. They are so fun. And thank you, again. You made me laugh out loud with your polite way of saying my book doesn’t “match the intent of” your blogs. Um…no. No, it really doesn’t.) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m pleased you’ve decided to make those connections. Go for it! What’s the worst that can happen?
        Maybe I need a third blog just to review lovely books like yours? NO WAY!!!! I can’t even keep up now. 🙂 But I can wish.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Eh. It’s still a bit awkward. What’s the worst that can happen? Ack! I don’t want to think about it! *runs away*
        Oh, yes, a third blog. With all your spare time. Sounds like a lovely (healthy) idea. 😉

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  3. Self-promotion is something that eventually becomes easier but only because of practice. I can only speak from my experience and to me, self-promotion feels like you’re whoring yourself out and I feel like I sound like a hole of donkey (see? PG). I am highly active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Google+, and my blog and if you take promotion posts and put it next to random posts, retweets, or shares, it’s about 10-1. I’ve tried taking advantage and staying in touch with people nice enough to either help promote, or interview, but it’s not always easy since I’m always doing many things. Btw, it’s hard for me to stay in touch with people unless it’s a 2-way street because that’s just the nature of me, no matter how thankful I am for having been allowed to be on their blog. I’ve been asked to guest blog post a couple of times and I’m always up for it. That part doesn’t feel awkward but the whole “Are you looking for something to read? Then check out my books” still feels awkward. So I insist on keeping up the writing and hoping people eventually give me a chance. Here’s the kicker, more than once people are surprised when I tell them I have 8 books out. So I’m trying to promote myself more, but I can summarize my sales very simply, I sell books four ways, when I have a new release, when I put a sale (because obviously the effort you put into something is just worth a dollar), when I get a review, and when I interact with people on social media and they see I don’t just hawk my books. Could I sell more if I were more aggressive? Maybe. But to quote a venerable sailor: “I am what I am”, and to paraphrase, I am the way that I am, in hopes that I eventually break through even if just a bit. Here’s to learning the tricks of the trade while maintaining who we are and somehow selling a sheet ton of books (see? Still PG). Cheers

    Liked by 3 people

    • Does it? It becomes easier? Really??? I sincerely hope so. See, I’m only active on one of those (which is probably part of my problem). But, yeah, I’m the same way. I only tweet about myself every so often. I’m not even sure because I don’t have a schedule. But it’s not often. The day I post then…one more time that week. Maybe. As for my book, I rarely (if ever) tweet that. Ugh! 😝

      Yeah, guest blogs are probably the least uncomfortable “promo”. They can be fun. You’re right, it’s not in-your-face promo. But, see, what if I posted the name of someone you had never heard of and said they’d put your books on their site. Would you just email them all your info or would you feel, I don’t know, weird about it in any way?

      Aggressive? Gah! No. I’m the opposite (to a fault). And, honestly, aggressive sales pitches do the opposite for me as a reader. I won’t buy a book from someone who is aggressively pushing their book on me. It’s off-putting, to say the least. Yes, so “sheet ton” is an awesome PG-rated phrase. I like it. And here’s to maintaining who we are while marketing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol eventually it might. I don’t have schedules most times eithers, except for Visual Typos, Teactionary, SkyThoughts, and Sock It To Me. The rest is really going with inspiration. And I rarely post about any of my 8 books lol. It’s just the way we are I guess.

        Guest blogs are fun for me but I see your point. It’s easy to feel apprehensive, but you have to give it a go, or else you will never know.

        I am far from aggressive. I always offer and rarely push for a sale. But that’s worked in person so far. And I know plenty of people who have turned me off them due to aggressive self promotion. And the first time I bit, it was a piece of crap book. I’ll always be me in person, video, or posts, because it’s the easiest option, even if it’s a lot of work lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to find self-promotion difficult but now I do it by sharing things I like, or stuff I think other people will like. Part of that comes from my tendency to get evangelical about books I like. And part of it is the fact I think it’s easier to promote yourself just by putting yourself out there about other things.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I take part in review teams and some blog tours, and help authors I know get visibility with interviews, guest or promotional posts, and if it’s my type of novel, a review. I don’t mind being approached by authors I don’t know, which has happened ocassionally, but I check out their work first. I like to know who I’m promoting, in case there’s anything my readers might find offensive in the novel. I think we should help each other. I don’t feel I’m competing with other writers. I always review and tell everyone about the books I’ve enjoyed reading. We should all be part of a joint effort to persuade people to read and help readers to to find books they will enjoy. PM me on Twitter or email me with your dates and what you’d like. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting. Makes sense, of course, you’d check them out first but nice to know you don’t mind hearing from strangers. Some bloggers I do know but others I may have only seen around the blogosphere a few times.

      I agree. I don’t feel like I’m competing. I feel there’s room for everyone and readers’ tastes differ. I put books on social media often…photos, quotes, etc. It’s fun to share and help readers connect with books they might enjoy. Thank you so much. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  6. we are similar in many ways Brentyn, but this ain’t one of them. When I finally publish, I will bellow from the rooftops, because believe me, I will have sweated blood and tears over it and therefore I am going to make sure I tell EVERYONE about it!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Tricky. But you know, you’ve made this big effort to write your book, it makes sense to put yourself out there. I have every sympathy with the awkwardness you feel, but I suppose the question is, are you happy to only shine your light under a bushel?

    I think what jdestradawritergmail.com, said is sound advice: “…learning the tricks of the trade while maintaining who we are…”

    Finding the balance? But I don’t know, I’m not there yet. I will add that, writing and publishing a book is a huge achievement. Give it the reception it deserves x x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, you always give me a smile. No, I don’t want to only shine my light under a bushel. 😄
      I agree. Get out there, do what’s necessary, and stay true to who we are. Balance. Bleh. But I hear you. I need to give the achievement some light…let it out from under the bushel. Thank you. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  8. People have contacted me to review/promote their book and, if it’s related to Hollywood history, I’m happy to do it.

    If there are bloggers who are soliciting books and author interviews, I would definitely take ’em up on it. They’d be pleased to meet you and promote your book. And I think they’d be even more pleased if they didn’t know you because it proves their blog is reaching a lot of folks.

    Come on, do it. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hmm. I have seen books mentioned/reviewed on your blog. You so seamlessly work them into your posts, I almost forgot you’d done that. (Which is silly because I have one on my TBR list.) So…you’re good with people contacting you. I mean, because it interests you or…? As far as new blogs…I hadn’t thought of it that way. It proves their blog is reaching far and wide. Nice.

      Yes, I’ve seen bloggers soliciting books to promote. Some, it seems, are doing it just because? But I have seen one or two say that they expect authors to in turn offer them one of the following: interview, guest post, and/or buy their book and review it on their blog. Ack! O_o I’m not getting the warm fuzzies from that. I don’t do interviews, don’t have a guest post series (which maybe I will someday), and I’m not a book review blog. I guess I don’t know how these things work or what people expect. I need to do some research upfront to see what they’re expecting in return for the promotion, I suppose.

      Like

  9. I hate self-promotion, and it still feels horribly awkward even after years of doing it. The good news is we’re all in the same situation and the occasional book promotion post is expected. We’re authors; we have to promote!

    I will approach book promotion sites about my book, but I will also attempt to engage with that site on an ongoing basis – supporting the blogger and the other authors that are featured. Building relationships with other bloggers and authors is the best way to get noticed.

    Hope this helps. It’s not easy!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, exactly. I guess that’s what I’m saying. I’d like to introduce myself, follow, comment, interact with the other featured authors, share their interviews/promos… And THEN ask to be part of the promotional offer. Which is backward, I know. 😀 I’m thinking as I’m answering these comments that I have to just get over this…feeling (whatever it is) and ask. But, if you look at my comment above, I feel I should know the expectations of the blogger before I ask anything. I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m obligated to someone to do something like interview them. That’s just not something I do or am comfortable with.

      No, it’s not easy. But this is helpful. Thank you. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Having never published a book I’m no expert, but…I am a book buyer for an indie store, and here’s my two-cents worth.

    Don’t look at it as hawking your book. Look at it as providing something that people want.

    Get yer local paper to run a story about your publishing success (congrats, by the way!).

    If you have hard copies of the book, send them to book buyers at indie stores as a review copy. (We’re book-aholocis, so we like receiving them.) If they like it, they’ll order it, especially if the book is available through the major book distributors. But make sure you’re sending it to appropriate stores. The bookstore I work at stocks metaphysical/spiritual books. I’m often dumbfounded by books I get as review copies (thrillers, for instance). Not our genre.

    Book bloggers are looking for books to review. You’re doing them a service. Send them a complimentary copy. I see book bloggers at the book fairs all the time. They’re gobbling up books to review (not literally–heh heh–but you get my drift).

    Read Amanda Palmer’s book “The Art of Asking.” I get it, fellow introvert. Funny, I have no problem promoting myself as a copywriter, but a fiction writer? Yikes. I guess because fiction is more personal. Whereas writing copy is a business. Maybe that’s the key: treat your book promotion as a business person would. There’s a sub personality in you who digs being businesslike.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love your two cents! Really? I didn’t know you were a buyer for a spiritual book store. What a cool job. Did I miss that in your posts? I’m coming to you for book recommendations now. #sorrynotsorry

      I love your outlook here. Will try these. Isn’t it odd that we’re more self-conscious about our fiction than nonfiction? Wouldn’t it be the other way around? So, yes, I’ll look at this as a business person would. Give myself some distance. Thanks, fellow introvert. 💖 Oh, I wanted to thank you for aiding and abetting my insomnia while I looked up info about and read excerpts from The Art of Asking last night.

      Like

  11. One of the benefits of community of that you meet good people. Think of it less as “promotion” and more like networking. Many help other writers because their own platform is based on community, like Carrot Ranch. So certainly take advantage of the outlets you have for sharing your book! Does that mean you’ll write a Raw Literature essay? 😀 It’s a good opportunity to share your new release!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Networking?! 😳 No! That’s sending me into a panic! I’d rather think of it as promotion which is merely uncomfortable. I do love the community you can find on here. Thank you for the invitation to write an essay. I’ll have to take you up on that (and I don’t need to use it for promotion). 🙂

      Like

  12. Lots of thought here. Doing promotions and interviews takes a lot of time, or at least the way I do them. I don’t promote my author interviews with a new book freely because I do them for people I know only, and I like to personalize my interviews and pose questions about things I know about them as opposed to a generic style. As a writer trying to write books, live life, blog, and keep up with everything publishing I wouldn’t have the time to do conduct promotions all the time. And I don’t think I’d also feel comfortable submitting to someone’s blog I don’t know on an open invitation. I also get so many emails from people I’ve never even heard of with no salutation, ASKING me to have them on my blog. Nervy eh? Just thought I’d share. 🙂 You know I’m about to take my big blogging break, but Lol, love to have you over next spring with your book if you like. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • This. Yes, this is what I’m talking about. For both sides (the blogger and the author) I would think it would be awkward. Or uncomfortable. Or both. And I would not expect you to make time for me what with, you know, life and so forth. It’s that open invitation I was referring to here. It’s so good to know I’m not alone in that!
      Nervy! 😄 Haha! Indeed. Thank you kindly, lovely lady. 💖 We’ll be in touch when you return. Now go have a marguerita!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m a bit of a contradiction. Online, I am self-deprecating and usually try for humility. In person, I totally rock the narcissism, and can pull it of well. That seems to be the same way with marketing. Online, I am terrified of annoying people with promotion. In person, I’ll totally try to get you to buy my book.

    But if you ever want to promote on my blog, I’d love to have you. You can even avoid the awkward, “Is it okay…” and jump to “will this day work?” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • “I totally rock the narcissism, and can pull it of well.” 😂 You’re awesome. Although I’m dying to know why that is. Wouldn’t it seem more likely to be the other way ’round? Anyway, I wouldn’t think you’d be self deprecating in either situation. Just not how I picture you. Thank you so much for the avoidance of awkwardness. Much appreciated. I shall send a carrier pigeon with the message (and some Red Bull if he can carry it…).

      Like

  14. I do both. I promote authors and their books and I take up any offers of promoting my book from other bloggers/authors. I’ve also asked bloggers I don’t know if they’d be interested in interviewing me about my book and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the take-up. It’s a win/win situation for both parties. I get traffic; they get traffic. There are so many people here in the blogging world who want to help. Break through that wall and tell the world that you’ve written a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are an ace at promoting and marketing. 🙂 It’s interesting you’ve approached bloggers you don’t know and received positive responses. There are mixed feelings about that from people who have commented but, mostly, “you’ll never know if you don’t ask”. So true. I’ll get a sledgehammer and try breaking through that wall. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I think you should take every offer you get. Why not? You deserve it. And can you afford not to? This thing you’re feeling, its a hangover from the ‘can’t call myself an author till I actually publish something’ followed by the ‘now I’ve actually published something and I still cant bear to call myself by the A-word’. So now you’ve published, you’ve admitted you’re an Author, and you won’t approach anyone to help promote your fabulous new book? No no no, that just won’t do. Have courage, and ask. No one will mind at all. In fact most will be glad too, and if they’re too busy and can’t, what’s the worst that can happen? Btw, would you like to do a Friday Fiction on my blog sometime?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eek. Why not? I don’t know… *hides in corner* It’s so bloody uncomfortable. I’ve been thinking about your idea about the publishing hangover. It’s possible… I don’t call myself an author. And approaching someone sounds painful. I should have courage. I feel like the lion in Wizard of Oz. Ugh. AH! Friday Fiction? Did you hear me? Did you even read the post? What are you saying? 😉 Okay. I’ll take a look at that and see if I’d have something decent to offer. Either way, I so appreciate it, Ali. ❤

      Like

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