In which I witter on about self promotion and sisterhood

Ahoy, hello and indeed howdy one and all.

Reading it back I suspect that was probably a greeting that needed more commas, but I can’t quite work out where to put them so I’m going to move on and hope nobody noticed.


I’m also going to skip over my normal paragraph about being a bad blogger and promising to eat my bloggy fibre and be more regular in future. Best laid plans and all that…

So, anyway, this week I am mainly thinking about self-promotion. It’s a bit of a tricky topic for us budding writers out here in InternetWorld. If you hop over to Twitter you will find that the only form of tweet even nearing the ubiquity of “Buy my book,” is the humourous ranting tweet about the number of tweets saying “Buy my book.”

In addition to the relatively benign “Buy my book” tweeters, you also get the real hardsellers who send DMs (private one-to-one messages on twitter) instructing you to buy their book and write an amazon review, or demanding that you like their facebook author page. Those people are beyond the pale and should be rounded up and taken away to a place where someone can have a stern word with them and then they can sit for a bit and think about what they’ve done.

All of which is a bit tricksy for us writerly types, because ultimately we do want you all (every single last one of you) to BUY THE BOOK. Fortunately, I am here to save budding writers from this nightmarish social media stressfest, with my completely considered, not made up on the spur of the moment at all, RULES FOR ONLINE PROMOTION.

1. Tweeting or Facebooking a single line from your novel won’t make anyone buy the book. No single sentence is that amazing. If Shakespeare had been @shakespearebard and had tweeted “‘To be or not to be’ Brilliant new story: HAMLET! Out now ” he would have essentially managed to make Hamlet sound a bit meh. Bad Shakespeare. And Bad Twitterers. Bad.

2. Don’t tweet or message me just to ask me to like your Facebook page. Have a facebook author page by all means. I’ve got one. It’s fine and dandy. It means that you can keep your personal facebook and your public/work/writerly facebook separate. But the point of having it isn’t just to attract likes. Presumably the point of having it is to allow you to engage with readers in a fun interesting way that ultimately encourages them to BUY THE BOOK. Putting all your energy into getting likes for a facebook page seems like putting your cart before your horse, which is stupid because horses are notoriously poor at pushing stuff. Facebook likes aren’t an end in themself. Remember that people.

3. It is ok to tweet or retweet links to reviews, blogposts and news stories about your book, but it’s not ok if that’s all you tweet or all you put on facebook. Twitter’s tagline is “Join the conversation,” not “Shout promotion at strangers.” For every explicitly promo-y tweet set yourself a target of at least three tweets about your breakfast. Everyone loves breakfast. No-one loves having promo yelled at them across the interweb.

4. Be interesting. And if you only adhere to one of these rules, make it this one.

So in summary, facebook author pages are like horses. You need to be careful about where you put your cart, and be interesting. That is all dear readers. That is all.

Actually no, it isn’t! I’m not usually a fan of blog chainy type things, for similar reasons that I’m not really a fan of blog awardy things, which I explained back here. However, this week I was tagged in this:

by the rather lovely Jane Lovering, and the concept didn’t actually offend me so I shall play along. The idea is that we’re sharing the love between cool and interesting women bloggers who we admire. Jane has already tagged my fellow Choc Lit newbies, Rhoda Baxter,  Janet Gover and Jules Wake, and so I’m going to add the following:

Laura E James – one more Choc Lit Newbie. The Dear Mum post on 22nd July made me tear up.

Holly Anne Gets Poetic – in the interests of full disclosure I’ll acknowledge that Holly is a close personal friend, but she’s also my absolute favourite poetry blogger out there at the mo’. Read her. She is funny and dark and wise.

Neets Writer – I’m not normally a fan of writers blogging about writing. In fact the amount of writing chat around here at the moment is quite putting me off myself. But Anita Chapman does it well – she’s worth a read.

Kate Johnson -And one more Choc Lit girl to finish things off. The delightful Kate Johnson, who I have just about forgiven for taking MY little cup home from the RNA conference this year. Apparently she won it or something…

And that really is all. Bye bye.

Author: Alison May

Writer. Creative writing teacher. Freelance trainer in the voluntary sector. Anything to avoid getting a real job... Aiming to have one of the most eclectic blogs around, because being interested in just one thing suggests a serious breakdown in curiousity.

5 thoughts on “In which I witter on about self promotion and sisterhood”

  1. Alison! Howdy. Thank you for the kind words. I’m sorry I made you cry. (That sounds like the start of a song.) Thank you for tagging me – do I now share the love on my blog? x


  2. No problem ladies, and don’t worry about making me cry Laura. It was a compliment!

    And yes, feel free to pay it forward on your own blogs if you feel so inclined xx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: