Posts Tagged With: don’t

Promoting Do’s and Don’ts

If you’re a self-published author, you have to promote your work. If you can’t pay someone else do do it, you have to do it yourself.

There are some things that are great, some things that are a waste of time, and some you just shouldn’t do. Here are some of each from my experience. A lot of it is about etiquette, because there are a lot of rude writers out there. Unfortunately, the people making the rude mistakes probably aren’t reading posts like this.

Don’t consider other writers as your opponents. Readers aren’t going to choose just one book. They’ll read what they see. If they see your book on seven other sites because you’ve promoted those seven other writers’ books, they’re seven times more likely to buy your book. We’re all in this together.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you want people to review your book, review theirs. If you want people to tweet about your book release, tweet theirs. Until you are a bestselling author, people probably won’t promote you if they get no value out of it.

Don’t keep all your promotions to yourself. Trading promos is an awesome way to spread your influence. Also, people like you better if you aren’t all about yourself.

Do provide people with other value besides what you’re selling. Free, interesting content is like a sample of what they’ll get if they buy your work. The more variety you provide, the more variety you’ll get in your attention.

Don’t tweet or post on facebook like a maniac every 30 seconds to advertise your work. Nobody likes that and you’ll lose all your followers, plus you’ll gain a ton of maniacs like yourself who only want to broadcast like a crazy person. If what you are saying is valuable, people will notice.

Do rotate your promotions between your groups. Poll your facebook friends, run a contest on your blog, tweet your reviews on Twitter, but Don’t broadcast everything to everyone every time.

Don’t promote as if people already want what you have and were just waiting to hear about it. They don’t care and they aren’t impressed. Hubris is ugly. You’ll set people up against you instead of drawing them in.

Do focus on the people who are interested. Give them a little extra, like a beta-reader position or a review copy. They aren’t interested because you are hot stuff and you deserve followers. They like what you do and should be appreciated.

Don’t give your beta-readers your manuscript chapter-by-chapter as you write it. They will get sick of your book right away. You may want to read through your work again and again, but most other people won’t. Keep your work like a secret before you finish and people will want to know more about it.

Do promote in ways you enjoy and understand. You’ll be more natural and likable if you enjoy what you’re doing. If you hate it all, maybe you should save up and hire someone else to do that part.

Categories: Resources, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

How Not to Publish a Novel Yourself

(The Lustre is set to release Thursday!!! Please get back to me by Wednesday, you last-minute-ers, if you want to get in on the Launch Party action!)

I can’t say that I know exactly how TO publish a novel but I definitely know some things you shouldn’t do:

  1. Don’t write your novel/short story/poetry collection, edit it, release it and THEN publicize (blogging, online communities, networking). Do publicize as soon as you decide you are going to finish it and publish. If you are psychic or have been given a peek into the future and find you might want to publish someday, start promoting right away. Even if you are planning on going the “traditional publishing route”, you should publicize. You will have to do it anyway.
  2. Don’t write one book and expect it to take off on its own and make you rich within months. That would be a Holy Miracle. Do expect to make chump change for quite a while unless you know more than me. Legend has it that authors used to make it big by self-publishing back in “the day” before everyone realized how easy it was. It isn’t that way now. Sorry.
  3. Don’t expect that you are professional enough to produce quality work as an editor for your own work unless you are an editor, and even then, don’t. Also, don’t expect your Uncle Joe is either unless he is certified or has worked in that capacity for years. Do have lots of people read your book to make sure other people understand what you are saying. Do hire/employ a professional editor if you want a quality work.
  4. Don’t try to follow every bit of marketing advice you see online. It won’t all work for you and it isn’t all right for what you are promoting. Do follow the advice that works for you and focus on that so that you have time to write.
  5. Don’t try to avoid other authors and push them aside thinking they are your competition. Other writers are your biggest audience and resource. Do treat them as you would like to be treated.
  6. Don’t think that self-publishing will be the easier route. It is just a different kind of work. Do expect to learn a lot and do a ton of work.
Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Never Do This

I keep a running list of things that I keep to remind myself never to do them in a book. Here is the list.


Write a Fiction novel about myself disguised thinly. Middle-aged housewives do not have romantic adventures.

Write novel about novelists, publishers, or anyone in the writing business. It’s pandering or bragging.

Begin with how drab people’s lives are

Begin in an awful situation that isn’t exciting and doesn’t move the story along.

Spend too much time with discussion and explanation at the beginning. Give them SOME action or even a little plot!

Write a plot line where the heroine saves the hero from himself. It’s overdone, oversmug and under-realistic.

Write people who behave outside their age. A 30-something with a 20-something lifestyle and 20 something mindset isn’t dashing. It makes them look developmentally delayed.

Start the book with a long boring history of people who arent real and the reader hasn’t had time to care about yet

Make too many plot twists. It should be exciting, not dizzying.


Phrases to avoid:

Twin, dark pools

Eyes like the ocean before a storm (overused)

being “undone” unless writing about Regency England or Hairstylists

All eloquent description of kissing, lovemaking, or intimacy. It always sounds corny and embarrassing.

  • Examples: “Taking his tongue and giving him hers in return”, “Tender sweep of his tongue”

Absolutely anything about claiming unless it has to do with coats or dry-cleaning


This list is by no means complete. If you have any wonderful “bad writing avoidance” suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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