I finished reading a book on marketing that, while good, worthwhile, and filled with lots of ideas and information (much of which I already use) to get your book out there and selling, it fell short, in my estimation.
Yes, it discussed the importance of building a fan base and giving fans what they want, and it also suggested one way of developing your career as being to call on others more experienced in your field and essentially “use” them and their influence to get ahead (something I didn’t particularly agree with).
But where the book fell short was in not once mentioning the importance of “promoting the writing and books of other authors” or in working with other authors to create a community in which all can thrive. Authors who read and follow the advice in this book will come out looking like lone wolves grasping after sales alone, yet will never know the importance of being part of a group of authors who work together to bring all their books to many readers. Sad, really, because it’s due to books like this that we end up with so many self-centered authors who only think of their own books and writing and fans and look on everyone else as competition. (I’ve felt the need to post a similar message 4 TIMES on this blog, because Authors just aren’t getting the message! Here it is, for a fifth time: Dear Writer … it’s not all about you, ya know! – a reminder)
And that’s why I say, No author is an island … We lose so much by remaining isolated from other authors. We have so much to gain by promoting the books of others rather than just talking about ourselves. I know this is true; I discovered first-hand how great was the community available to me just by reaching out through my promotion blog, Reading Recommendations. I have now promoted well over 250 authors, located worldwide, and while only about 10% of those promoted have actually given back to me and the site, that small group of authors has been sensational in the amount of promotion both I and the site have received in return. I’ve been a guest on their blogs, they’ve reviewed and featured my books, they’ve delivered to me many new fans from among their own fan bases, they’ve reblogged so many of the other authors I’ve featured on the blog, and have been there for me offline whenever I’ve needed help, advice, an emotional boost. I have paid them back by continuing to promote them well past their original post on the blog and have given them the designation of ALL-STAR AUTHORS, as a shout-out to everyone that these authors are the best!
These are the authors who GET IT! They understand none of us can exist as an “island”, only thinking about our own books and writing. We really do all need to be concerned with FINDING NEW READERS for books and reading in general.
It’s so important to drive this point home with new (and, yes, even many experienced and accomplished, or trationally published) authors. Each individual author is not as important as they believe themselves to be. We are part of a community that ultimately serves …
THE READER! Readers reign!
It just makes sense to not treat this writing gig as a competition when we should all be part of a community serving all readers.
After all, do you expect your fans to only read your books then wait patiently until you finish writing the next? I know that, as a reader and fan myself, I appreciate hearing about recommended reading from favourite authors. After all, if I enjoyed reading their books then I’ll likely also enjoy reading what they like to read. Quite often, too, those authors tell me about other authors I might never have discovered on my own.
Now, I’m not suggesting you do as I’ve done and create a promotion blog or a review blog (reading recommendations reviewed) to promote your fellow authors. I’ll be the first to tell you it’s a heck of a lot of work to administer, organize, and write to these blogs all the time. If you are inclined to set up something yourself, Bravo!! And please do send me the link so I may promote the site for you.
But promoting can be as little as reblogging other authors’ promotions, from mine and other sites. I’m amazed at how few of the authors I promote on Reading Recommendations even reblog their own promotions, or link them permanently to their websites and blogs, let alone share those of others!
Share, retweet, reblog, comment on the posts – let us know you’re out there and that you care about the other authors who are writing books and publishing!
Then take it a step further and offer to review books by some of those authors I’ve promoted on Reading Recommendations. Or, if you discover a great book and want to tell other readers, contact me about posting on the Authors Recommending Authors segment of the blog.
There are many more ways you too can become an engaged and engaging member of this community. The sky is the limit. This all comes so naturally to me now, because I’ve been promoting authors and great books throughout most of my adult life. But I haven’t thought of everything yet, so please do tell me if you have other effective ways of getting the word out.
I know there are authors out there gnashing their teeth, wondering how the heck they can also be included on my Reading Recommendations blog when the site is “currently closed to unsolicited submissions”. I am constantly on the look-out for interesting books and authors to promote, and I do know so many personally or have met them online, that there is never a lack in my schedule.
However, if you wish to get my attention so I will consider promoting your books on the site, the best way is to do exactly what I’ve outlined above: Subscribe to and follow the blog; reblog or share promotions; buy, read, and support books and reading in general; comment on the blog (and not just to tell me about your great book!!); offer to review books by authors I have promoted; ASK ME ABOUT MY BOOKS and offer to promote me or give me a guest spot on your blog. Flattery will get you everywhere!! That’s the best way to attract my attention, and then I will ask YOU to be a part of this.
It’s not rocket science, folks! If you want to get, you need to give first.
And, BINGO_BONGO! Here’s how it works … I posted an update this morning on the blog for one of the all-star authors, as it happens, and in less than an hour she has already shared the post. Others who liked it immediately were authors previously promoted on the site. And they have also now “liked” it on Facebook, too. Magically, this post and author promotion has moved beyond my initial reach and been exposed to many more readers. Amazing!!