Can You Over-Promote Your Book?

Sometimes people bring me ideas for blog posts. This week a friend suggested I write about the annoying author who “over-promotes.”

Do you think there is such a thing as over-promoting your book or yourself? I’m sure this subject could be debated from now until Sunday. What’s considered obnoxious promotion to one person might be creative, clever, on-the-ball promotion to another. Here’s what happened in my friend’s case.

She wrote an article and it was published. An author came along and posted a comment. What bothers my friend is that the comment was pure and blatant self-promotion. There was not one gracious iota about it. This author took the opportunity to promote. And promote, she did without ever mentioning the article she was using—that she had hitched her soapbox to. She simply took up that space and used that venue to promote her book and her views.

I still suggest that you should use opportunities such as this to promote your book, but do so with some sort of grace, for heaven sakes. Let’s say that you have a book of poetry and you found a great article or blog post featuring an active group who is fostering the reading and writing of poetry in schools. Sure leave a comment. But start out by commending this group’s efforts. Maybe compliment the writer for a well-written piece of importance to the community and then, perhaps, briefly tell of your experience learning about poetry in grammar school, for example. Then mention that you are now the author of a book of poetry. In my opinion, this is a more gracious way to promote yourself or your book using someone else’s article or blog post.

You can ride on the shirttails of another author or freelance writer, just do so with class, not brass.

Here’s another example: You have written a book focused on the life for one woman living in the Middle East. One day, you read an article featuring the Middle Eastern woman’s plight—how women today survive in some of the small villages. You want to promote your book to the readers of this article. Great idea! These readers are probably your readers and this is an opportunity to reach them. The gracious way to proceed would be to compliment the writer on her research and sensitivity to the subject. Explain that you have traveled into some of these communities while researching for your book and maybe tie something from your book to an area of research noted in the article. Of course, give the title of your book and a bit-ly Amazon link along with your name.

Now go out and find recent blog posts and articles on the topic of your book and see how gracious you can be while promoting the heck out of your wonderful book.

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