Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pushy, annoying first time authors. What is a reader to do?

We've been active on goodreads for quite some time now. It's a great outlet for readers wanting to connect with other readers about their tastes in books. But it has also proved an even greater outlet to first time writers hoping to get their work in the hands of potential readers.

My question is, how much promotion is too much?

In a few months, my sister and I will be published authors. With the freedom of independent publishing, it gives any potential author the freedom to write the story they choose, and not to fit a particular series that has already changed the course of the Young Adult genre(*cough* Twilight).

However, upon becoming connected with more first time authors, we're seeing a strong pattern. I won't name names, but particular authors add you, and attempt to shove their already published book down your throat, with no introduction. No prior relationship, no contact outside of promoting their own book, and it just makes you wonder. How much promotion is too much?

I understand that outside of loving to write, we want to make money for our work. We want to "live the dream" of seeing profit for doing something we love to do. But some authors go such a wrong way with it, and social networking has made it much easier to pester the reader.

I will admit. My sister and I were readers first. We've always had a penchant for writing, but reading has always brought out the love for it, and wanting to write what I dont already see a lot in mainstream books.

What annoys me is when(specifically first time authors)constantly brag about their work being the first of it's kind, as if there is a first of it's kind anything. You have to admit, there are probably only 7 original types of stories out there. It's an author or writer's job to pick one, and shape it into their own story and give a different way of looking at that story. Look at the story Hamlet. How many stories do you know that are similar to that story arc? A young man being betrayed by someone close to him? That young man coming back to restore his honor? Come on, that's The Lion King all day! And almost every story about love that ends tragically is derived from "Romeo & Juliet". But it's the way you make it different, that changes a reader's mind about that story.

In this modern age of social networking(even for books) I will say a lot of what has recently turned me onto certain new authors(or authors I wasn't aware of) is their etiquette, and their ability to connect with their reader. Several authors I've connected with include :

Thomas K. Krug III

Tricia Drammeh

Nulli Para Ora

G.R. Yeates(whom already has been a good friend of mine for almost 3 years)

Vicky Savage

Christina Channelle

Jamie Marchant

And all of them have either reached out to me, or were very engaging once I reached out to them. A lot of when you want to reach an audience SHOULD be how you interact with your audience. I mean, they are who you want buying your book. I've attempted to connect with even local authors in my state, and I understand people are busy. But it seems they're never to busy to promote their book!

As much as I want to promote our first novel, I realize no one knows us. Readers don't owe an author anything. We are trying to build relationships to build an audience first,in the process of editing our book. If friends are made in the process, I believe it would be much easier to suggest a book an author published than to promote like crazy because your book has been already released and you're just fussy it's not selling. :p

I've already either purchased, or began reading books e-gifted to me from authors who've reached out to me. Sometimes it pays to just be courteous.


  1. Hi! I came across your blog from a "follow for follow" thread on (I always check before I follow. I do discriminate! ;-)) Lovely blog by the way.)

    I'm really surprised by your post. NOBODY, and I mean absolutely NO ONE ever pushed a book "down my throat" on I was never spammed either. I wonder if you're being targeted because of your blog?

  2. thanks for following :) i've had a few instances lately where some independent authors have been hassling for me to buy their book to review it.not learning my name or prior conversation or ANYTHING!

    I mean i am interested in spreading the word on a new book, especially when an author provides me with a free copy but it's really expensive to buy new books of authors i'm not really sure about and have made no prior connection with me.

    Every new author wants exposure but some go to the extreme, putting themselves in the same breate as let's say stephen king.

    I'm all about spreading the love :) I'm in the business of recommending books, but it would be nice if some people would learn my name first

  3. I love this post. My blog only has a small following, and I've already encountered some of these pushy authors. They don't take the time to get to know me, know my preferences or goals with the blog, just see an outlet with which to push their book. It's especially annoying because if they did take any time out at all to actually look at my blog, they'd see that I have a whole page dedicated to featuring indie authors. I've always known when I first started my blog that I eventually wanted to help struggling writers out, but if you don't even take the time to learn the first thing about me or my blog, you don't deserve that help. I'm sorry.

    I know it's extremely difficult to break in, especially without team of marketers whose job is to get the word about your book out there. The likelihood of making it big off of a self-published book isn't very big, but as long as you have quality content and a polite, friendly way of finding your audience, you can find a nice little niche in the book world.

    If you're interested, I'd love to feature your book when it's finished!
    You can find the info for the indie feature here. Either way, I wish you and your sister the best of luck!

    -Kelly @ PaperFantasies

  4. Thanks for the comment! I think it's great you have an indie section on your blog. It's pretty hard for indie authors to get exposure so it's pretty cool that you do

    Some people have been real aggressive on the promotion aspect on selling their books. Sometimes it's about building relationships with fellow readers.I feel like every author should be an avid reader in attempts to truly connect with other readers. I'm definitely more of a reader first. Being a writer is secondary as my passion is reading.

    I've tried to let some authors know that i would like to help out but with independent publishing, Frankly speaking, You may have to give away some free books just to get your book in the hands of more readers.

    My sister and I may just offer our first book free for a while. Mainly because we're not struggling artists trying to get rich. We work and live comfortably so we're not worried about how many books we can sell, but rather trying to our book in the hands of as many readers possible.

  5. Yeah, I hate it when writers always have to talk about their book no matter what the subject. It's kind of funny when you give their book a try, the book they've been going on and on about like it's the best thing ever written, and you think it sucks. I have made a lot of writer friends online and some of their books, in my opinion, are not very good. But I don't tell them that. They have no idea I've read them. I only mention it if I love them. Marketing is just so hard. You feel like you're alone and if you don't talk about your book, no one will ever hear of it. But you have to push that urge down sometimes and just talk to people. I can't even count how many times I've sold my books without trying just because this person and I struck up a friendship and they decided to try them out.


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