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Advertising of own books

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Showing 26-50 of 171 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 18 May 2010 15:20:54 BDT
Clare Gee says:
I'm a published author too and what is the big deal with saomeone trying to get their work sold? It shows initiative and passion, I say.

Posted on 18 May 2010 18:21:57 BDT
Alwyne Chappell says:
Thank you Mr Walthew, I've just read what you have to say, not only did I find it informative but it made me feel better as well. I particularly approved of the way you thumbed your nose at those detractors of self advertising simply by, well, self advertising.
If, as you suggest, everyone reading these threads are probably authors, then may be I'm a tad presumptuous, in that I have only written one book and it is extremely unlikely that I will write another.
However Mr Walthew, this next bit is for your eyes only and should not be read by others.
My book is a the story of my wife and I selling up our home and sailing off to the Mediterranean. The publisher's blurb says that it's hilarious; well it would wouldn't it. The title, Drink,Dear Boy? is the question put to me by the multimillionaire owner of the Motor Yacht I skippered for him.
You may think my approach lacks subtlety Mr Walthew but as I said earlier, it's eyes only. (Including you Travelman, you seem to be an all round good egg)

Posted on 18 May 2010 18:32:36 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 14 Jul 2010 17:14:38 BDT]

Posted on 18 May 2010 18:38:31 BDT
Alwyne Chappell says:

Posted on 25 May 2010 11:00:26 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 May 2010 11:02:24 BDT
I have no hestitation about pushing my own book. That's why I wrote the thing in the first place, so that others could read my story. I wouldn't have written it if I didn't think that others might actually enjoy it. There are millions of good, bad and indifferent books out there and if you actually get into print (not self published) then that is an achievement in itself but only the beginning of the long haul. You have got to take every opportunity to let people know about it, and that includes using blogs like this. No one is forcing you to buy or borrow the book, so what's the problem.
Now the important bit. My book can be found on my Amazon page on: .Fighting for the French Foreign Legion: Memoirs of a Scottish Legionnaire
It is about my life from my early days suffering from Dyslexia, to becomming advertising manager of a large national chain of department stores, to becomming a police officer where I specialized in scene of crime examination. At 38 I had what can only be called a middle age crisis and ended up joing The French Foreign Legion where I served for 11 years in thier parachute regiment. You can find more at
Now that is what I call self promotion but whether you want to find out more is your choice. That is what the internet is about.

Posted on 25 May 2010 15:35:44 BDT
DodgyPoet says:
To Say Goodbye

My friends tell me to blow my own trumpet. This is, they say, because no-one will ever do it for me. Not with this face.

I've found so far that authors have two choices - either self promote in an area where the readers could be, causing comments such as 'why is this author self promoting?', or self promote in an area where self promotion is allowed and/or expected, thus pushing your book to an audience of writers who are also pushing their book.

This could be a hideous generalisation, but it's certainly what I've found up to now. Still, on I go as I wrote the book to be read and no-one's going to come to me for a copy until they know it's here.

Terry Lander, Lyvit Publishing,

Posted on 2 Jun 2010 20:41:45 BDT
Cormac Mac says:
Don't promote your work on Amazon? How crazy would a writer be not to? I'm not a writer (perhaps in my dreams) but if I were, I certainly would be promoting my work as much a possible - everywhere! Fair play to writers who try and get their work noticed, is what I say.

Posted on 4 Jun 2010 07:51:08 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
I've no objection to writers promoting their own work but there are appropriate (and effective) ways of doing this and inappropriate ways. It is irritating when - like one of those popup adverts that interferes with your research when using the web - a writer inserts a plug in these forums which has absolutely no bearing on the subject being discussed. (There is a classic case of this in the discussion on "books & places" in the fiction section). If writers really must use these forums as adverts for their own work it is probably best to create a separate discussion for such posts. And if you are going to promote your own work, at least take some care over the posting; some of the plugs I've seen have been very badly/carelessly written, which hardly makes a good advert for your book!

Posted on 4 Jun 2010 09:48:32 BDT
D. Yarnell says:
bloody hell people, get a life, have we forgotten that we can scroll down if we don't want to read these self promotion posts, it's very simple, your right hand can be used for more than measuring your hat size!

Posted on 4 Jun 2010 12:29:18 BDT
lms says:
This subject has come up so many times and I think that the "ignore this customer" button is one of the most useful tools I have come across!! I totally agree with SWR - a badly/carelessly written plug for a book inserted in a discussion that the book bears no relation to is just irritating! It's like someone constantly interrupting you with random comments if you're having a face to face discussion with another person. How can this sell anything?? Self promotion is neccessary, but imaginative, creative and relevant self promotion surely is better than lazily posting plugs anywhere and everywhere. How can you sell your book if other people are ignoring your comments? Please, put a little of the effort that you put into writing your book, into promoting it. Then others are more likely to take it seriously. I know this because I have bought books publicised by the authors in these forums. Why? Because the links were relevant, well written and informative, which made me want to find out more.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jul 2010 22:22:34 BDT
El Inglés says:
Quite right Travelman! Mr. Cottswold Ommney should remember that one man's fish is another man's poisson! By the way who is this gentleman?

Regards, Chris Wright

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jul 2010 21:05:37 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 13 Jul 2010 21:14:48 BDT]

Posted on 13 Jul 2010 21:06:23 BDT
how can you tell?

Posted on 13 Jul 2010 21:12:25 BDT
Mr Bullen,

I am shy to market, but learning.

Have you written or published yourself?

Posted on 14 Jul 2010 13:53:02 BDT
Ian Walthew says:
I came across this thread in May, 2010. Can't believe it's still going on. For those who don't like scrolling, I'll repeat what I said 2 months ago:

Actually Alwyne, it is quite 'easy to put yourself about a bit' on Amazon. What you do is post under your own name and then add a product link to your own book. Like this: A Place In My Country: In Search Of A Rural Dream

Secondly, probably the only people reading this thread are authors, and my money would be on the originator of this thread being a first time author him or herself, testing the water (apologies if I'm mistaken), so in this context, do what you like Mr. Chappell.

What 'mere mortals' (how someone in this thread referred to non-author readers) may not understand about the publishing industry is that the quality of any given book has very little to do with how one comes to know about it.
Publishers pay large sums of money to recoup their investments on the books they have paid the most to acquire in the first place, irrespective of any review from man or beast the book may eventually get. Books they've spent the most acquiring get the lion's share of the annual marketing budget (which includes the discounts offered to the likes of Amazon and Waterstone's - you don't get on the 3 for 2 pile by having a pretty cover). These are the books that go in the front of their seasonal sales' material for book buyers; the books that the publishers' sales people have the highest targets for, the books that get advertised in the book trade publications etc. etc.

Other industries do strange things like running focus groups on new products and market testing, before fully allocating marketing budgets. Not publishers - who prefer to make massive punts in speculative auctions and then, if they 'win', open the marketing taps. If it turns out to be widely disliked by reviewers, professional or amateur, they'll go and spend even more, so desperate will they be to recoup something from their £800,000 purchase of a first novel by a school teacher in Leeds.

Meanwhile they spend as little money as possible on acquiring some smaller books which they simply throw at the wall and see if they stick. Rather like £1 bets on half a dozen Grand National outsiders.

If you're in the latter category, and you would like your book read, then it will be 100% down to you to promote your book - whatever you're told. I remain convinced that the general book buying public in the U.K and the U.S.A - the VAST majority of whom never post a review on Amazon - have next to no idea how they are being led by the nose to specific titles. They may have a sense that it's because of word of mouth, but rarely does word of mouth start without heavy initial marketing.

An example of this is the often quoted 'word of mouth sensation', A Year in Provence by P. Mayle and godfather of the godforsaken settlement non-fiction genre. In fact Peter Mayle was already one of Penguin's biggest selling worldwide authors (he wrote a couple of series of cartoon sex education books, followed by the 'Wicked Willie' series, both translated into a million languages) and when Mr. Mayle wanted to have his book about Provence published, Penguin naturally jumped to. It was their lead title, with a themed French lunch at their annual worldwide sales conference, in Torquay I think it was, with P. Mayle giving a speech to the sales force etc. etc. I think it is a book that says absolutely nothing about France, the French, downsizing - which he hardly was, he was a millionaire already - or anything else apart from revealing how few friends you have if you live in France and don't speak French (none in his case except people he'd employed to put in his new kitchen/pool/whatever). I digress: in short a heavily promoted book of unalloyed cynical artifice from the mind of an ex-advertising copywriter, which somehow became known as a 'word of mouth' sensation.

So 'mere mortals', please cut some slack for self-promoting authors. It won't change their sales figures and their efforts, probably, are down to realising that their publisher is going to do NOTHING to promote their little baby. It's a first-time author malady and it bites many of us.

As to Amazon? I live in France, I'm a heavy user as a customer and I find the reader reviews useful when buying or searching. I normally have a look at the discussion thread titles and see what catches my eye. Sometimes, like now, I might read, even participate.

I did have a run at using Amazon to promote my book but my strong sense was that Amazon users don't like it. And I can understand why, especially if the author is totally off-topic (easily avoidable on this particular thread).

I think what's needed is a system whereby Amazon presents books to its users - and I would appreciate this as a customer and as an author - based on the average star rankings proportional to the number of people who have written a review, and based on what professional reviewers have written. The current interface is based on sorting books on numbers sold, which isn't very useful for me as a book buyer. I have no interest in knowing what the 100 best selling books are on Amazon - if in doubt about my view on that, go and check out that list.

Amazon does let you list books in a given genre by average customer ranking, so the option is there, but I doubt many people are aware of it or use it.

I'd like Amazon to get their programmers to develop a way of ranking books in a qualitative manner and presenting them to me in that way - some formula that factors in a whole host of variables from their data that doesn't include sales volume. Because the volume figures are driven by marketing, and naturally the marketing of any product is no determinant of quality.

P.S Alwyne, one final point: you can always add your web address too. Like this:

Posted on 28 May 2012 16:41:45 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 28 May 2012 16:43:20 BDT]

Posted on 29 May 2012 11:56:10 BDT
D. Redshaw says:
Unfortunatly self published also requires self promotion. In marketing books outside of kindle and amazon with a publisher, there is a lot of work behind the scenes and pushing of a product to get it noticed. Without having the ability to promote it's like setting a ship out to sea with no one behind the wheel or to guide the sails. It just becomes driftwood.

Also there's no right or wrong way to do this - some people are hungry for fame and credit, others have extremly great work that would otherwise go unnoticed and just want to be read. I find from personal experience trying to promote your own work is not easy - not from exposure, but I find it awkward to sell myself to others.

Through kindle and finding these promtions I have read (and selected carefully) some really great work (mostly poetry) that I otherwise would not have. The Meet The Authors area seperates this so general chatting can resume. There's no easy or predetermind way you can get a book to sell, or be noticed, as some people just want their work to be read and appreciate or identified with.

At the end of the day a writer needs to be read, just as a musician needs to be heard, and an actor needs to be seen. It is a part of the function of creative drive and output, and while it may seem to get cluttered and a trend, the positives that come from this far outweigh the negatives. Embrace the digital age, it is going to be around quite some time.

Posted on 29 May 2012 12:04:26 BDT
D. Redshaw says:
Also, to conclude more, I find it very hard to find things such as open mic night to read aloud poetry or exerpts, I could find in America and other countries things like this a great idea and way of getting out there and meeting like minded people, but for some reason it seems such a rare thing to find here - even with the internet to try and find them.

Posted on 1 Jun 2012 00:32:48 BDT
The Forgotten Boy An Autobiography by Patrick Norris

I like a good story as much as the next guy. However, do we have to endure what I can only consider to be a midlife crisis?
Bitter stories that have a go at friendsand family and who than attempt to cash in on it, why, I ask why?

Posted on 1 Jun 2012 21:47:39 BDT
monica says:
Has *none* of you read the sticky? Amazon policy demands that spam be posted only in Meet Our Authors forum. Posted there, advertisements magically become something other than annoying (though often inadvertantly funny) spam. It's only a matter of time--I do so hope this isn't wishful thinking--before amazon begins to patrol the less-frequented forums like this one and deleting the adverts.

Do you lot also proudly display the pothandler your 6-year-old made and ask strangers to admire it? to buy it, for flip's sake?

Posted on 3 Jun 2012 19:16:20 BDT
Jada says:
Hi All
May I ask a favor. I am not an author but a friend of one. From the thread of this group people seem genuinely interested in the love of a variety of autobiographies. Can you check out my friends book? The Journey from the Village: A Liberian Life
journey from the village by Alfred B Kennedy. It's out of my usual zone but I think sometimes the best heroes or most interesting lives are those lived right next door from us. Everyday men and women reveal much more than we expect. The book is about an ordinary African boy literally walking you through history through his innocent eyes. Everyday events such as bereavement and poverty but also social upheaval and economic changes. constructive opinions on this new up and coming penman's first work would be great! Secret treasure on a whole new world and way of life.He writes in a way that makes one remember pivotal times in one's own formative years. He also pens the contension and struggles a man faces through his ages and stages in life. You will probably want to give yourself a pat on the back as you relate and remember the giants you have overcome in your own lives. Certainly Inspires to face those things that seem impossible to get past.

Posted on 3 Jun 2012 23:50:08 BDT
M. Allani says:
It's always better for books to be recommended by their readers rather than by their authors. On another hand, even the most enthusiastic readers are often too lazy to post their glowing recommendations anywhere. I for one am guilty of this. So, let me make partial amends by saying that I am very much enjoying Haruki Murakami's Dance Dance Dance. Have not quite yet finished it, so will reserve final judgment for now!

Magda Allani

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2012 11:03:12 BDT
TomC says:
So on a thread debating whether or not people should be permitted to advertise books - which is clearly forbidden by Amazon, except in the board reserved for it - someone pops up advertising a "friends" book. Wonderful.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2012 12:27:27 BDT
Avid reader says:
I agree with you. I bought 2 books recommended by what I thought were other readers in this section only to find them complete and absolute drivel. Then I realised they must have been recommended by people pretending to be unbiased. I felt really cheated. If an author is recommending his or her book they should be upfront about it and say so otherwise the independence of such forums will be undermined and no one will trust them.

Posted on 4 Jun 2012 12:36:39 BDT
DodgyPoet says:
It may have been said before, so apologies if this is the case, but the advent of the Kindle and bypassing of traditional print routes has opened the publishing industry to literally everyone. This means there is a high volume of new books and therefore an incredible number of authors fighting for advertising space. In places where authors can advertise there will be hundreds of different books and readers are unlikely to be able to choose between them, sticking to traditionally advertised literature or the products recommended by their peers.

The only way I've found to successfully promote my book is to make some new friends on networking sites and leave them to find my website in their own time as telling people you've written a book seems too much like hard selling. Likewise, leaving a post on a forum is like saying 'I don't care who you are, I need readers' and there are plenty of other authors in the same boat. Creativity in advertising is crucial, especially for those on a small budget.
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