Sunday, April 15, 2012

How Much is Too Much?

It isn't easy for a new author trying to make a name for herself or himself. There is a lot of competition out there for readers' hard-earned money. And now with self-publishing becoming so popular where anyone can upload a book, it's even harder for an author to make those much-desired sales.

Which leads me to the topic of promotion. Authors will try whatever it takes to get noticed. It might be ads, blogging, requesting reviews. They might hand out cute little trinkets at conventions, something to hopefully make you remember them the next time you go shopping for books.

And then there's Facebook and Twitter. I doubt if there are many authors who don't have at least one of these accounts. I have both, but don't post much. I'm a full-time author, which means I'm home in front of my computer the biggest majority of my time. That doesn't leave a lot of chances to do something exciting, something I think is worth sharing with the people who friend or follow me.

Because I don't look at Twitter every day, certain tweets will jump out at me when I do sign in to my account. I see tweets from some authors that say the same thing over and over. I have to admit seeing the same authors posting the same tweets about their books gets old. I'm so sick of seeing the titles of those books, there's no way I'd ever buy them. I doubt if that's the result the authors want to get with their promotion.

I've always heard a person needs to hear or read something at least six times before s/he remembers it. Do you believe that? Should an author keep pushing the same type of promo in the hopes of finding new readers? Or is that same promo driving away the readers s/he already has?

How much is too much?



Amber Skyze said...

I'd be curious to see what others say. I know I get tired of seeing the same posts over and over all day long.
But what does an author have to get noticed?

woolfcindy said...

I can understand your frustration, but understand that just because you've seen it 6 times, the other 3500 people that are following me may not have. I've discovered that tweeting makes a BIG difference in my sales. I tweet or I don't sell nearly as many.

Carly Carson said...

I do think it takes several times for a person to "recognize" a name. I've heard anywhere from 7-15 times. I don't follow Twitter much so I haven't been annoyed there. Same with FB. There have been 1 or 2 people who've annoyed me on a loop with their constant promo postings, but I know at least one of them is VERY successful. So even though I won't buy her book, many others do. (Don't know the answer.)

Paris said...

This is a very timely post and introduces a question that I've been asking myself because I am promoting my newest release. I know that I ignore a post that I've already read from an author and can get tired of seeing the promo but Cindy is right, not everyone else may have seen it.

I've been very bad about just hanging out at the yahoo groups that I belong to but sometimes I think that just hanging out and letting people know who you are works better than posting the same blurb or excerpt.

I have both a Twitter and a Facebook account but I'll have to let you know how helpful that's been at a later date:)

Cora Blu said...

I think because many of us are on the same loops and writing groups we're like a big family in a small house. The visitor on Friday doesn't know that the meatloaf was recycled from Monday, so it's a new meal to them while everybody else is rolling their eyes. I try and be understanding. :-))

Ann Jacobs said...

There's a limit as to how much I post promos about my books on FB and Twitter (I use Topaz Promotions to hype my stuff on the groups), but then I'm one of those readers who sees the same promo half a dozen times or more and makes a mental note never to buy anything by the author who's doing the annoying promo. Frankly, I haven't seen how posting multiple promotional stuff on social media has had much of an effect on my sales--but then I'm fairly well known since I've been around erotic romance for close to ten years.

Helen Hardt said...

Unfortunately, I don't have much to add because I know zilch about promo, but I've found the six responses (so far) extremely interesting. Clearly there are as many differing views on promo as there are shoes in my closet :). I appreciate all your opinions!

claudia celestial girl said...

I will 'unfollow' folks on Twitter who use it solely for the purpose of blaring their advertisements. Social media is just that -- social. You are supposed to be genuine, show that you are a human being, and most importantly, interact with your potential readers! share interests. Post about your dog. I'm a big tennis fan, so I post about Rafael Nadal. I know folks who post about the Lakers basketball team. It makes you accessible and people can connect with you even if they are a Roger Federer fan. So, I have a huge problem with tweets that are only about 'buy my book'

Sylvia said...

I am struggling with this right now. I am trying to increase my sales, not spend too much on ads and yet get my name out to readers. It's a tough balance and one that I've yet to feel comfortable with. And I haven't even started the twitter stuff yet. I know not to promote myself, but I haven't even tried to tweet anything. That's my next goal. Learn to tweet.
Sylvia McDaniel

woolfcindy said...

I wanted to say too, that I don't use Twitter just to promote my books. I also use it for my gardening updates and the weather and whatever else is on my mind. But I do use it a lot for my books too. For me it makes the difference between selling 1 book per day and selling 15. Not a lot of books compared to many, but it's a great deal of difference for me.

Lucy Francis said...

I find that I get huge responses on Twitter when I'm just tweeting 'real person' stuff, including new people following me. When I tweet promo, I get retweets, which I greatly appreciate, but I'm not building relationships with readers when I'm shooting out promo. Those relationships are what I'm after.

An interesting note... I use to shorten my links for twitter. The advantage is that will track the clicks on those links. On my biggest Twitter promo, over two days, I tweeted those links hourly, and had retweets that gave me a reach of 100,000 followers regularly across those two days. I had 7 clicks on those links.

I'm very methodical about promo, so that I can track what works and what doesn't. Tweeting or not about my book has had no impact on sales at all. YMMV, of course, but for me, I'm relieved to let Twitter be about building relationships with readers instead of direct promo.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

This thread is very interesting to me since I have the same questions you do. I have noticed that when I tweet, I have more sales. But since I do get annoyed by too much promotion from other authors, I don't want to do that. I'm trying very hard to tweet things that others might find interesting about my books, but it's hard. I feel a lot like a hamster in the wheel most days.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting blog and equally interesting comments. I can't say I've noticed a huge spike in sales from promo efforts either on my blog, facebook or twitter. Where I have had a spike is where I've joined professional groups like Linkedin and Goodreads. On my blog, I aim for subjects that are of wide ranging interest to a lot of people and these subjects do have a spin off in sales.

But as my books have only been on Amazon for 5 weeks it's a little early to tell if this approach is working.
This week for example I'm interviewing Kura Carpenter a New Zealand designer who is making a name for herself in book cover design both for conventional books and eBooks.
By utilizing all the interesting things that happen in our lives on a daily basis makes for much more interesting posts for readers and as one commentator said this is building relationships with our readers.
And building this relationship is what successful promotion is all about surely.

N.J.Walters said...

I'm not on Twitter. Facebook is about all I can handle and I try to keep that friendly and personal and keep actual "promotion" to a minimum. I think you can over promote if you're not careful and turn people off from your books.

Adele Dubois said...

Hi Lynn!

I spend most of my chat time on Facebook and my blog, which feeds directly to my social networking sites. This has worked better for me than paid advertising on review sites. I think cover art gets lost in the sea of ads, just as our posts do on chat loops. However, I still maintain a presence on two author group blogs and loops.

What do I find most annoying? When authors put me on their mailing lists and send me newsletters, esp. without my consent. Urghhh!!