Here, let me help you with that promotion …

“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.

35 responses


    I blog on three blogs; two are horror-oriented (including mine). If you are interested in a guest post, please get in touch. I can’t do book reviews. No time! I read for my publisher and I just can’t.

    Whatever fiction you write, you are invited to guest post on one of the blogs.

    If you happen to write dark horror or supernatural fiction–I would love to feature you on my own blog:

    There is a contact form right there for you to fill out.

    If you want to just get in touch with me here is my email:

    The welcome mat is out. I think Susan Toy, you are an inspiration! You are lighting the way for the rest of us to get out there and network one another.

    1. Thanks so much for your offer, Carole! And for your kind words!

  2. Susan, this is a really helpful post! I reblogged it here:
    Excellent, post.

    1. Thanks for reblogging, Carole!

  3. Susan, if any authors reading this are looking for interviews, I’ll be happy to help out. My site is as I wouldn’t like anyone to come forward without knowing what to expect. I now add them to the main part of my blog on a Tuesday and no longer add them to the interview pages.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    1. Thank you for posting the link, David!

    1. Thank you for reblogging!

  4. I agree with your idea of paying it forwards, but I’m really uncomfortable with the idea of doing it just because someone /asks/ me to do it. I’m an informal reviewer and make it a rule to only promote those works I’ve bought, read and loved, all by my little self.

    1. I agree with you, and I don’t ask people to read my books just so I can get a review from them. I don’t like it when other authors expect me to review their books, either. This blog post is really meant for those authors who only ever talk about themselves and their own work – and, unfortunately, there are a lot of them! And it’s not meant so much as a pay-it-forward idea as an open-your-eyes to what’s out there besides yourself and your own work, and how, if we all work together to promote each other, it will be good for everyone, including our readers. Thanks for your comment!

      1. Apologies, I didn’t mean to imply that you were being disingenuous about promoting others’ work. I think the ‘look at me, me, me’ type of promotion is counter productive too. True word-of-mouth, however, is immensely powerful. 🙂

      2. No apologies necessary, and it’s good to have a discussion about this topic, especially from a reader’s and reviewer’s point-of-view. You’re correct that word-of-mouth is powerful; in fact, I would say it’s the most powerful tool we have in promoting our books and finding new readers. You just can’t beat it when someone discovers our writing and tells all their friends, either through a written review or their book club or just a suggestion over coffee. What the real problem is for all authors and publishers is “discoverabilty” – how can we bring our writing to the attention of those readers who will then take the next step and recommend our books to other readers. Without the author becoming a look-at-me nuisance. While I would never expect to receive a review from a reader, I would hope that, if they have enjoyed any book enough, they will take that next step and post a review of it. Or tell their friends. The life of the book depends upon that kind of elementary attention.

        So reviewers such as yourself are very valuable, in my mind, because you take your reading seriously enough to not be “bought” or ever feel compelled to review a book when someone has asked you to do so. That’s genuine reviewing and I would be inclined to believe what you tell me about a book than some of the glowing 5-star reviews I often read on Amazon or Goodreads. So much glow from so many stars blurs the vision and make those reviews suspicious

        Thanks for the discussion! Anyone else wish to add something to this?

  5. Reblogged this on Wild and Woolly Wordsmithing and commented:
    Very cool post. Hit it right on the head!

    1. Thank you for reblogging!

      1. You are most welcome! Great post!

  6. Thank you, Susan, for all your support. I reblogged on and shared with all. Did you receive my questions for your interview on my blog? Let me know.
    Best regards!

    1. Thanks, Janice, for reblogging and commenting. Yes, your promotion is scheduled to run in early May. Thanks for participating!

  7. Author Rebecca Heishman

    Reblogged this on Dancing With The MS MonSter and commented:
    Wise words for writers…..

    1. Thanks for reblogging, Becky!

  8. Reblogged this on Reading Recommendations and commented:

    Reblogged from over on my main blog, Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

  9. Reblogged this on christuckerbooks and commented:
    An insightful article from my friend, Susan Toy

    1. Thanks, Chris! And once your blog is up and running, please post the info here so authors may contact you, too.

      1. My blog is already up and running lol

      2. So tell us about the blog then. Will you be promoting authors?

  10. Reblogged this on Seumas Gallacher and commented:
    …Susan M. Toy gets it spot on, m’Lady … re-bloggingthis one too 🙂

  11. …spot on, m’Lady … re-bloggingthis one too 🙂 mwaaah

    1. Thanks for reblogging, Seumas!

  12. I’d like to take this opportunity to tell everyone of the group I’ve joined recently where I’ve become quite active in the support I give. So you’re invited to check it out at;

    If after checking the site out you decide to join; PLEASE mention my name as the person who referred you.

    THANKS for the all support you guys give everyone.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Robin!

      1. You’re quite welcomed. Hope you’re having a GREAT WEEKEND with your family !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  13. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's New (to me) Authors Blog and commented:
    Couldn’t have explained it better myself 😀

    1. Thanks for reblogging, Chris!

      1. Welcome Susan, it’s what I’ve been trying to get across to authors since I stared my blog and why, in my guidelines, I encourage them to introduce and talk about THEMSELVES, with only a mention about their books 😀

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