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Self-Promotion in the Social Media World... a few thoughts...

I am all about free. I even like the sound of it... "free".

This short piece is just me putting down my advice for people looking to peddle their wares (in this example a book/eBook) to the millions of potential buyers out there. The take away is that people hate to be sold to.

Q: "But... how do I advertise? I am a well kept secret right now!"
A: You advertise by NOT advertising.
Q: "OK, now I know you're nuts..."

An extremely effective and free technique is to self-advertise, but in a more professional, subtle way. There are hundreds of forums, newsgroups, mailing lists, Facebook pages/sites, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. that are either directly concerned with writing in general, or even specific to your genre or other aspects of your writing's corner of the world.

Frequent them. Search for keywords relating to what you are good enough to offer advice about-and it doesn't have to be about writing & reading. How many "Professional Reader" are there? Your biggest audience will be grocers, truck drivers, pilots, gas station attendants, anything. Only post on what you know about, not a link to somewhere.

Be genuine.

Offer real, accurate advice or solutions to real problems-but never "advertise" in the classic sense of posting "WANT A GREAT BOOK? CLICK HERE!". Overtly advertising is more than just frowned upon. Instead, create for yourself a short (1, 2 lines MAX) signature at the bottom of each post (copy/paste) that might have the name of your works, your genre is nice to include, and even a URL (link) to a place for more info/sales/etc. Just the facts, no "COME BUY MY BOOK!". You want traffic that is interested in your work.

This "soft sell" approach is like a person stopping to help you with a flat tire, and as they drive off you see they are driving a car with their business on the side of the door. You appreciate them for helping, and respect them for not jamming a business card down your throat.

You will always find that offering real help is always appreciated, while posting to tell everyone to come buy your book/eBook will not only likely be against posting rules, but be met with disdain or aggression.

At least that is my personal advice. :)

P.S. Resellers like Amazon will let you have timed "Free Downloads" of your book in eBook format. You can even put the first chapter or two in a separate product, and make it always free to download.

example of a good signature:

---
John Poopenstein

Historical Fiction, Instruction, Lecturer - Author of "Hitler: Master Tap-dancer"
Download the first 2 chapters of my next novella "As The Stomach Turns" free at: www.www.www
---

Above, you are balancing information (who you are), with free stuff (who doesn't like free?). The rule in successful advertising is to never expect anyone to give to you without you giving them something.

And by giving, I have seen things like the above free preview, to educational articles. A writer I admire does YouTube videos, and only at the very end does he say, "I'd like to thank all the people who have gotten themselves a copy of my book _____. I appreciate your support very much. Without it, I couldn't continue to entertain you.", while showing the books to the camera. Not more than 30 seconds total advertising, sometimes as little as 15.

So maybe you want to more firmly establish yourself as an authority by doing a few videos that people would really watch. All you ask of them for this valuable information is to endure a few seconds of you mentioning your thanks to those that have purchased your books. Not bad-and definitely not one way.

Just something to think about!

:)

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Author
Yumi Koizumi
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