#Authors – Why Many Book Promos are like Driving a Car


Chris The Story Reading Ape with some brilliant insight as to Why Many Book Promos are like Driving a Car. (And I’m reblogging this because recently I posted, Here, let me help you with that promotion … explaining how authors can receive promotion for their own books by promoting other authors, and I actually received a comment from a previously unknown-to-me author promoting his book and asking for reviews. I deleted the comment. So this author was definitely guilty of “parking illegally” but I would add to that, he also guilty of neither reading nor obeying the traffic signs.

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog:


Many authors do their book promos as if they’re driving a car.

The most common way is the ‘Drive everywhere at high speed’ author.

(Post everywhere as fast and often as possible)

Another (probably related) seems to be the ‘Jumping the red STOP lights’ type of author.

(Sending friendship / follow automatic greetings of BUY MY / LIKE MY regardless of the other person’s feelings, intentions or the fact that their only crime was to express an interest)

Finally, the latest growing craze is to ‘Park illegally’.

(Posting their book adverts under other people’s posts, especially on Facebook)

The authors who do any, or all, the above just don’t seem to realise that they are nothing short of being STUPID (expletive deleted) PESTS – and more seriously (for them) HAVE LOST MANY MORE SALES THAN THEY GAINED…

They’ve also been driving like maniacs through heavy traffic and left a lot…

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Here, let me help you with that promotion …

This is a rerun of a post from April 19, 2014, because I thought it was time to remind a few of you out there …

“Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.” — Will Rogers

There is nothing worse – and I mean NOTHING!! – than an author who over-self-promotes!

Now I didn’t say just “self-promotes” but qualified it with “over”, because we all need to do a little bit of promoting, within reason, to get the word out about what we’ve written. Even traditionally published authors need to promote themselves, because many publishers just don’t have the financial wherewithall to deal individually with each author on their list. And you authors already know who your personal and professional contacts are, anyway, so you have a better chance of attracting attention by approaching those people personally.

But what happens when you run out of those initial contacts and begin preaching to the converted, so to speak? How do you attract new readers to yourself and your work without becoming the kind of self-promoting author we all love to hate – the one who constantly blows their own horn? Why, you seek out other people in the book business who will toot that horn for you – people like me, fer instance. I publish a promotion blog called Reading Recommendations precisely because I want to offer other authors free promotion and help them get the word out about themselves and their books.

And because I know that by doing so – by promoting my fellow authors – I also promote myself and my own work. That way I don’t run the risk of sounding off about ONLY ME AND ME ALONE. I know I am not the first author to have published and I know I won’t be the last to publish, either. Why not promote as many other authors as I can? That way I provide my audience with different reading choices when they’ve exhausted everything I’ve written – and before they become exhausted with me!


And since I set up this blog and changed my approach to how I promote my own work – guess what? I’ve discovered that I’m finding more readers for my own published novel and novella, as well as for those other authors I promote. I’m receiving more reviews, I’m selling more copies, and I’m being invited to promote myself and my work on other blog sites.

But the best part is – I’m not pissing off my loyal family, friends, and current readers by constantly singing the same tune. I’m offering information about new authors whose work they might like to read. So I’m providing a service to readers as well as to my fellow authors – and I’m not pissing off anyone in the process.

(This “not pissing off anyone” part cannot be stressed enough! I’m sure you are, as am I, tired of authors who tweet and share endlessly about themselves and their latest, but never say a word about anything else. It all seems so desperate, don’t you think? Those who tick me off the most are the authors I’ve followed on Twitter who don’t then give me the courtesy of following me back, but instead send me a direct message telling me where I can buy their books or asking me to like their Facebook page. I unfollow them in a nanosecond! We all want to receive recognition for what we’ve written and published. But we’d be more inclined to become readers and fans ourselves, if those self-promoters just took a wee bit of interest in something other than themselves. Ya know what I’m saying??)

So I challenge all you authors reading this out there who have been guilty of over-self-promoting to change your ways! You don’t have to stop promoting yourself altogether, but figure out ways to promote your fellow authors. Or band together as a group and promote each other. This works very well if you are all writing within the same genre, but I’ve also known it to work for groups of writers who only have writing itself in common. You could begin by tweeting/sharing something about 4 other authors for every 1 tweet/share you post about yourself. That would work! Or you could set up a promotion blog like mine that is dedicated to singing the praises of everyone else in the business. When you do find blogs or sites like mine, share the information with your fellow authors. Here’s another great blog you should be aware of: Chris The Story Reading Ape (If you know of others, please add a link in the comments section.)

Read promotions about other authors on these blogs; share, tweet, like, and reblog your favourites. Discover some new authors, read and review their books, and help them to get ahead. Do all the things listed in the box up above.

I can’t promise you overnight success for your own books, but I do guarantee that – aside from the warm-fuzzies you’ll experience from having done a good deed – you will eventually reach a new group of readers, and your work will be exposed to people you never dreamed might want to read what you write.

So, please, for all our sakes, STOP THAT ENDLESS SELF-PROMOTION!!! Start discovering and promoting other authors. Believe me, your family, friends and fellow-Facebook-and-Twitter users will thank you! And you can stop feeling so desperate and enjoy your writing and publishing, once again.

Sunset, Moonset – Bequia-style


From four years ago, because it’s almost that day, once again …

Originally posted on Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing:

It’s getting to be that time of year – on the 27th of February, the sun sets into the sea again. Or, at least, we can see the sun setting into the sea from our verandah on Bequia. From the time between Oct. 27th (Dennis’ birthday) and Feb. 27th, the sun is still too far south and sets behind the southwestern stretch of the island that ends in Moonhole. So the return of sun-into-sea-sets is a time for celebration! Although, any excuse for a party, really… And, truthfully, when you watch the sun set in the Caribbean, you do want it to drop down into the sea, because of the chance of glimpsing a green flash – the wonderful phenomenon that occurs just at that split second the remaining light drops below the horizon. You can read the technical explanation for it here, and if you still don’t believe…

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Brian Brennan – “Brief Encounters” in Facts & Opinions

BrianB-03E square web Brian Brennan, a journalist and author currently living in Calgary, Alberta, was previously featured on my promotion blog, Reading Recommendations in Nov. 2013. When I read Brian’s memoir, Leaving Dublin, I was fascinated by the numerous stories he told of meeting and interviewing various celebrities of stage and screen for a column he wrote at the time for the Calgary Herald. I thought there could be value in resurrecting these original columns and repurposing them as new pieces, so I made the suggestion to Brian and was delighted when he wrote this blog post explaining the genesis of his new Brief Encounters column in the online journalism magazine, Facts & Opinions. Brian is a founding feature writer with the magazine and his profile of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, the first original feature in the journal’s inaugural issue, won Runner-up, Best Feature Article, in the 2014 Professional Writers Association of Canada Awards. (This is a very interesting magazine, available only online by subscription, that has been able to sustain itself, so far, without advertising revenue. So, if you are interested in reading quality non-fiction journalism, you may want to consider subscribing.)

Now the very good news Brian has permitted me to share with you here is that he will eventually be gathering all of his original interview pieces together and publishing them in book form! Congratulations, Brian!

Indie Diaries

Chris Tucker, who was previously promoted on Reading Recommendations, has created a new website where Indie Authors can promote and sell their books. Here’s Chris with information about Indie Diaries!


Indie Diaries is a new website devoted to promoting and advertising Indie authors. Over 40,000 to 60,000 people each and every month will see ads promoting the site, and hopefully this will help generate sales for all authors involved. I am offering a special pre-launch yearly membership for only $50. After March 1st, the sign-up price will rise to $100 for the annual rate. For this fee all your books will be listed and linked to Amazon, as that is the most popular route for purchasing these days. Authors keep all the profits from any sales they make and there will be a page available for readers to contact authors directly if they wish to purchase autographed copies. Again, all sales go directly to the authors. I keep nothing in terms of sales.

There is an add-on option for the featured home page slot (optional only and on a monthly basis), available for a fee of $25. Readers will see these books as soon as they visit the site and this will hopefully generate more sales for everyone involved. That’s the goal at least. Basically, I am hoping it helps all authors sell more books and helps to spread the word about some new and undiscovered talent.

So, if you are an Indie author who is looking for advertising space on a website where 40,000 to 60,000 people each and every month will see advertisements related to our site then maybe you can benefit with sales of your books, if you have what they are looking for. The special sign up rate is only for pre-launch members – if you act fast. You can contact me on Facebook – Chris Tucker Books or Facebook – Indie Diaries Page.
Thanks for reading!  ~ Chris Tucker

(All prices above in US$)

Rachel Small – Faultless Finish Editing

10404171_10153017417142784_4408865459180847385_n I’ve written about my editor, Rachel Small, before and told you all just how wonderful she is in this blog post I first published in July, 2011: I ♥ My Editor! then reblogged several times. Rachel and I have worked together on my writing for quite some time now and I’ve always been more than happy with our relationship. Rachel makes me look good! I have also referred a number of friends and colleagues to Rachel and they report back that she has been totally professional and fair in everything she does.

So consider this an extra shout-out for a woman who continues to do an ace job and is a good friend, to boot! As well as the usual editing services Rachel offers book authors and publishers, she also edits for columnists, businesses, and bloggers, and will edit your newsletters, too!

From Rachel: I provide blog-editing services to both up-and-coming and established bloggers. The first blog edit (up to 1000 words) is free, so you can get a sense of my style and I can get a sense of yours. I charge a flat fee for a set number of blogs per month. Please contact me if you’re interested in working together.

Now, you may think, “It’s only a blog post. What does it matter if there are a few typos or missed words, or if some punctuation is incorrectly placed? Why hire an editor to edit my blog posts?” Well, it’s true, you don’t require an editor for blogging – if you don’t care what you’re putting out there in the blogoshere. But you should care that anything you write and send out into the world be as perfect as possible. Not all of you have a friend such as I who sends hurried emails pointing out you’ve made an error in your copy. In fact, if you’re not already a personal friend and I find too many typos in your blog posts, I’ll be more likely to stop reading your blog altogether. Now, I’m only one reader (granted, a nit-picky one), but imagine this is the one blog post you’ve written that attracts the attention of an agent, or a publisher, or a customer who is interested in whatever it is you are selling … Wouldn’t you want the assurance that what they read is error-free – that everything you post is error-free? This, my friends, is the reason why we all – every writer out there – need editors!

If you’re interested in speaking with Rachel about her services, please check out her website for more information and a contact link. And tell her that Susan M. Toy sent you!

Ed Quote for Susan 02 Framed

John Bottomley – a listening recommendation



I first met John Bottomley the year we entered Queen’s University at Kingston (a very long time ago!) and joined The Queen’s Bands, me playing clarinet in the marching band and John playing bagpipes in the pipe band. We recently reconnected – as these things seem to go – on Facebook, where I discovered John is still playing the bagpipes, is very accomplished and successful, and also now recording. So here’s John to tell you more …


John Bottomley

What is your latest release and what type of music is it?
An all piobroch (classical bagpiping music with a theme and variation structure) CD based on independent research into one of the earliest manuscripts available, the Campbell Canntaireachd. The manuscript does not indicate note lengths at all – it’s all written out in vocables – so the player has to use his or her musical sense and training to interpret the tunes.


Quick description of the music you perform:
Bagpipes – I have thousands of tunes I can play at this point! I’ve recorded four CDs, all solo piping. I’ve also done some composing, and the pibroch I composed has been posted on the Piobaireachd Society’s website in Scotland.

10998849_10153411650035283_298452665_oYour brief bio:
I have been playing since 1963, before anyone in North America even knew there was a Beatles. I have competed and judged all up and down the United States and Canada, from Nova Scotia to Texas. I’ve been taught by a number of the finest players in the world, and listened to a variety of styles to create my own. I also did the piping part of the soundtrack for the feature film TROOPER, which is now available through iTunes and Google Play, as well as many other outlets. Apparently Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, whose music is also in the film, weren’t good enough to compose and play the pipe tunes.

Links for people to buy your music or hear you perform
On my website there is a shopping link. The release that would probably be most interesting to a non-piper is Bagpipe Classics New and Old. It contains a number of more popular tunes as well as tunes with strong melodic hooks to introduce more of the piping idiom to a casual listener.


Promo links:
My Facebook page often has announcements about what I’m doing.

What are you working on now?
I’m planning two more CDs. The first is going to be called Well Grounded, and it will be a collection of a number of pibroch grounds (the opening variation of the tune) designed for people in the lower competition grades. An educational CD basically. The second will be call My Favorite Things, with seven or eight of my favorite tunes.

Please recommend the name of a musician or band whose work you’ve enjoyed hearing lately.
I loves me some Dave Matthews. And The Cream – Disraeli Gears. Johnny Winter always played like he meant it, and the Tannahill Weavers, a Scottish folk group.

Queen’s Pipe Band playing Scotland the Brave

Oil thigh na Banrighinn a’Banrighinn gu brath!
Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill!

Queen’s Bands playing Oil Thigh

Oh, and, what the heck! I’m feeling incredibly nostalgic after putting together John’s promotion so here’s the

Queen’s Bands with Old Queen’s Sweater/Oil Thigh!

“For it’s not for knowledge that we go to college but to raise hell all the year!”

Follow-up to #Authors #Marketing Yourself and your Work article…


Here’s the wrap-up post about my 5-part series on Marketing that ran on The Story Reading Ape blog. Thanks to Chris Graham for crunching these numbers showing the series to have been a great success!

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog:


As a demonstration of how to put into practice; and get results from, what Susan Toy was telling you in her great 5 day series, we decided that a few statistics, based on the series, would be interesting:


Part ONE has had 351 views, 104 likes, 60 Comments, 54 tweets, 58 uploads to Facebook, 33 uploads to LinkedIn and 13 reblogs

Part TWO has had 232 views, 88 likes, 57 Comments, 34 tweets, 56 uploads to Facebook, 21 uploads to LinkedIn and 11 reblogs

Part THREE has had 186 views, 73 likes, 38 Comments, 23 tweets, 51 uploads to Facebook, 22 uploads to LinkedIn and 9 reblogs

Part FOUR has had 155 views, 66 likes, 36 Comments, 21 Comments, 16 tweets, 31 uploads to Facebook, 26 uploads to LinkedIn and 7 reblogs

Part FIVE has had 172 views, 72 likes, 18 tweets, 47 uploads to Facebook, 25 uploads…

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Five years since … I met my best friend for the first time – Feb. 9, 2010

This is a post I wrote in Feb. 2010. I’m reposting it now, because I’ve noticed that, after “pizza ovens,” “meeting my best friend for the first time” is still the second-most popular phrase entered as a subject into search engines that brings readers to my blog. Curious, I thought. Then I checked the stats and this post has garnered 1982 views since it was first published on Feb. 9, 2010. There must be a lot of other people out there who are meeting their best friends for the first time!

Monday was a very good day – an historic day, I should add. In the same way as the meeting between Livingstone and Stanley, Lennon and McCartney, Lewis and Clark – okay, maybe I’m stretching this a bit here, but bear with me… For me, this was definitely a significant turning point in my life, to finally meet, in person, the person I’ve long considered my best email writing friend, but had never had the opportunity to actually meet.

Darcie Hossack and I “met” online for the first time on the Humber student discussion board. Those early exchanges involved talking about food, specifically white chocolate and berry scones and an exchange of recipes, if I remember correctly, Firefly – oh, yes, and writing, too. We quickly realized that while we come from different backgrounds, are separated in age by a couple of decades and (at that time) several thousand miles physically – not to mention that Darcie’s writing is leaps-and-bounds more accomplished than mine, we definitely clicked, and became fast friends all those years ago. During the past four years (now seven!!), we’ve offered each other advice, editing, encouragement, connections, and confidence that what we write, and the way we’re writing it, is not only good, but will eventually be published. I’m so proud that Darcie is first this fall with a collection of short stories, Mennonites Don’t Dance, to be published by Thistledown. **Update – Here’s Darcie’s book on a playdate with mine, which I have since published, as well!


And read this terrific review by Jim Bartley Of MDD that appeared in The Globe & Mail.

But we’ve also been collaborating all this time on another idea. I don’t think it’s stretching things too much to say that we complement each other. And that’s what best friends should do, right?

So meeting Darcie, finally, yesterday was just a matter of putting a physical presence to someone I felt I have really known all along. And now I have the added bonus of being able to hear her voice when I read emails she writes to me. She’s no longer my imaginary friend. But she is still my best writing friend!

Thanks, Darcie!

(And here’s the addition of a photo essay I posted not long after that day.)

#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work (Final) Part FIVE


Here’s the final part of my series on Marketing that Chris The Story Reading Ape has been running on his blog.

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog:


Cartoon from Toonpool.com

The following is an extract from a talk delivered at the Calgary Public Library in Feb. 2011.

Part 5

Another area of promotion you should consider developing – and only do this if you are comfortable with it – is speaking engagements. Speaking engagements are something your publisher will not arrange for you, unless they are approached directly by a group inviting you to speak. Make sure you are either allowed to sell books or that a bookseller has been asked to look after sales wherever you appear.

Here’s another important statistic I gleaned from reading Get Known Before the Book Deal: Authors who speak at events sell three times as many books. (This book is listed in the bibliography at the end of this post.)

You can give a straight reading from your book, but my preference is to hear an author talk about how…

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