By A. J. Llewellyn
My friend Jon just got his first ebook published. I will not say his full name here since he's embarrassed to be friends with a gay erotic fiction author - yet he happily picks my brain day and night for promo tips!.
The point of this is that he has been trying to come up with creative ways to promo his book.
Good luck, Sonny Jim, join the club. Welcome to our collective nightmare.
Every author I know is trying to be creative and fresh in the pursuit of selling their books.
My boyfriend Herve will testify to the fact I am online almost all day either writing, editing or promoting.
I promote in some way each and every day and it's endless.
Herve is very supportive but I feel like a bad boyfriend sometimes because I am always working.
Whether I am updating my MySpace page (still my favorite place to go since I have met so many AWESOME people through it) or posting a comment on Facebook, Twitter, chatting with the readers on my publisher's reading group or my own groups Midnight Seductions Authors and Seven Wicked Writers or one of the 345 yahoo groups I belong to, I am constantly working it.
I have five blogs a week that I contribute to, plus author interviews at Dark Diva Reviews that I do each week (they run on Wednesdays) and book reviews there as well.
I am a promo homo.
I am either posting excerpts on Monday when it is a free-for-all on most yahoo author groups.
I take part in loop chats and had a live chatroom chat at Midnight Seductions Authors on Friday night with my writing partner DJ Manly that was a huge success.
We genuinely engaged with our readers. Nobody blasted the chat with endless excerpts. We talked, we had fun, we still discussed our two series of books Black Point, a contemporary gay erotic romance series and our upcoming Blood Eclipse, a paranormal M/M vampire series.
We got to know our readers better and they got to ask us some awfully personal questions. It was great!
For the first time in two years of doing promo, I got emails saying, "Thanks for the chat. It was a blast. I really needed this tonight."
I can honestly say it was a fantastic three hours and I laughed like a madman at my computer screen.
It confirmed for my pets that their daddy is a loon.
But my question is, how far is too far? When do you become an efficient PR person for your work and when do you become an irritating pest?
Several authors I know have hired PR companies which have invaded the loops like demented locusts, blasting them with promos. Most of them are now on moderation. They turn up everywhere and just dump and run. This is bad for the author who is paying for the service, only to have the promos blocked.
I know several authors who are personally guilty of this too.They do the Internet equivalent of drive-bys. They also post the same excerpts over and over again.
Getting back to my mate Jon, I tried to advise him against it, but he thought he would get creative and joined a dating website.
He posted an ad that dozens of unsuspecting women thought was a genuine quest for love only to become enraged when they realized it was a book promo.
He mysteriously got several women from Russia who responded to his ad and one of them actually bought his book and wrote the following,
"I have never read such crap in my life."