Blurgh. These invitations always dump into my inbox, which greatly annoys the beagle because it’s her job to manage my email. When she’s feeling particularly snarky, or hungover, she leaves these invitations in so I can share the annoyance. What am I talking about? Those irritating spam-mails that come from authors who sign up with those spam-mail services in order to create blasts about their upcoming event.
“Come to my book launch party!” – Wha’? Who ARE you? If I really stop to figure that out (and yes, I’m embarrassed to say that I have), it’s invariably someone who queried me a millenium ago.
One an author told me she sent me one of these irritating ditties to basically shove it in my face that she managed to get published quite well without me and that I was “a fool” to have rejected her.
Ohhh…a “shove it – watch me gloat” invite. How nice. Makes me want to get off my yacht and fire up the Lear just so I can make the event. And I’m certain she has a Nobel awaiting her just as soon as AuthorHouse sends in her book.
The gist of it is this; even if these event scheduler sites are free, they’re nothing more than spam.And what do we do with spam? Hello, Spam, meet Ms. Delete Button. She’s feeling a bit cranky today, so she will attend to you with great prejudice.
This is an extremely ineffective way to “promote.” And that’s my point. There’s effective promotion and there’s promotion that makes the recipient hope you see the undercarriage of a bus.
Vanity presses do the same darn thing. Just yesterday I got another one. “Who is this guy?” I kept wondering. The spam-mail was linked to iUniverse. How lovely. So is this iUniverse’ idea of “promotion”? So during my lunch break, I looked up the book because the name was familiar. Ahhh…the pieces were coming together. I’d rejected the book several months ago. So I guess that’s how it works. The author supplies the addresses, and the publisher or whomever goes to work annoying a lot of people by filling their in boxes with garbage they don’t want.
Book promotion is supposed to be meaningful, not a race to see how many people you can irritate in the least amount of time. You want more hits than misses. You want to attract your core audience in a manner that will have them slobbering over you and your book.
Spam-mail does none of those things – it’s like throwing a dart blindfolded and hitting your mother’s favorite lamp. And what’s sad is the spam-mail I receive is always from authors who pubbed with a POD or vanity press – so they don’t know any better.
Please, dear authors, take this into your dreamstate:
Do Not Spam-mail.
Attracting an audience takes time, sometimes lots of time. Get on Twitter, Facebook, whatever social media that floats your boat. And don’t direct all the attention to you, as in, “Hey, I wrote this really good book…!” because that just makes people pull out their bug spray.
In order to receive, you gotta give. It’s impressive how many authors I meet who do nothing but talk about their book their editing, their publishing experiences – and not give a rip about a two-way conversation. I see this a lot in social media as well. Authors only talk about themselves, or their latest post, or their upcoming book event, and never take the time to establish relationships – as much as one can do with 140 characters, right?
It’s easy to ignore these people…just like their spam-mails. And this isn’t an effective use of their time.
So rather than playing Let’s Spam My Address Book, put some thought and heart into promoting your book. Channel those old telephone ads – Reach Out and Touch Someone. But do it in a personal manner. Touch those you know. I know writing is a solitary endeavor and this gives us the luxury of being incredibly selfish. But now it’s time to look beyond the end of your nose and network with people. Create honest relationships.
It’s not always about how many people you know, but how many people know you in a good way. Take a look at your promotional efforts – and your personal efforts – and analyze whether you’re giving 50% to the relationship or you’re just spamming your way through life.
Don’t be the noob sending out the “Hey, you’re invited to celebrate the ever-fabulous ME!” spam-mails. Conduct yourself in a manner that makes people happy to see your name in their inbox and would be delighted to attend your book event. Or drinks. But the beagle insists that you pay…