We’re all promo whores

I have blogged before about how much I detest promoting my work. This time, though, I’m blogging about how much I still hate promoting and how some out there on the loops bash authors for not having time to hang out with the other authors and the readers. As a result, many of us are labeled as promo whores.

Most of my online correspondence is via facebook and my website, but even when it’s my website, it’s difficult to blog about something interesting on a regular basis. I detest promotion work, and then when I post on groups and even take the time to comment on some threads, I still stumble across posts where authors grumble about their peers who they feel are promo whores.

Publishing is a business.

I try to rub elbows with other authors, but most of the time it’s on my publishers’ loops, and even then, it’s a rare occurrence for me to to be on a loop because I just don’t have the time to sit at the pc constantly typing something thoughtful and hitting ‘send’ so that I’m considered a regular poster. I have to write to submit material, I have to submit to score contracts, and then once the title is published, I must promote that work. Every writer is forced to do this whether he’s with a big print publisher, a big e-publisher, or one of the smaller ones. Then if an author writes under more than one pen name, the work doubles or triples for that author.

Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace are easier to use than the loops are, especially when Yahoo has fits all the time. I enjoy talking with other authors, but they’re doing the same thing as I am, so why spend a lot of time on the loops? How many writers are on them compared to readers? Sure writers read, but they write more and have less time to read. As a result, they promote like crazy, too, so I feel like I am mostly promoting my work to other authors.

Building a blog is a good, firm tool for an author to use. I promote my blog posts and I try to blog about interesting things that get discussions going in the comments section as well as incorporating some sort of link or mentioning one or more of my titles. After all, I am a businesswoman. My business is writing books, and in order to sell those books, I must promote them.

Authors imagine, they write, they sell the work, and then they promote while they write the next story.

But blogging is tough to do too. What to blog about? When to blog? How often to blog? Will readers respond to this blog message better or that one better? Is my blog topic something that will urge the net surfer to click on it? Is it too sexy a topic? Too mundane? And how often should I post the link to gain interest?

So, if I’m a promo whore, that’s fine  so just give me a minute to slip on my crimson corset. lol

Those red corsets are a necessity in this business of publishing. If someone stops and chats with me on my website, I’ll talk their ear off because I pay close attention to my site—it has nearly 7,000 hits and hasn’t been online a full year yet. I take my career very seriously, so since I’m an author, I have to promote my work. If myself or other writers chat online all the time, when will we have time to finish our manuscripts let alone anything else? If you’re in some sort of business that sells a product, whether books, makeup, clothing, or whatever, aren’t we all promo whores to some degree?

Are you an author who struggles to promote, write, work a day job and manage a family? How do you promote and rub elbows online? Share your tips and thoughts!


24 Responses to “We’re all promo whores”

  1. Kiraya, I wish there was an easier way to reach just readers. Most of the groups I’m on are mainly writers, and although they read too, if they’re anything like me, they struggle to find the time. I only manage a few minutes here and there.

    • kbhotromances Says:

      As Ambrielle was saying in a comment farther down, it takes building a readership. The more an author writes, the more his work is out there, and the more readers will notice his books. But it takes time, and that’s one thing schmoozing on the loops eats up in the blink of an eye.

      I wish it was easier, too, Lisa. Thank you for commenting!

  2. I am so with you, Kiyara. I HATE promoting myself. I don’t have the time to post to every yahoo group or chat with every group. And I hate doing drive by promoting, but sometimes I have no choice.

    Currently i am looking into readers sites to promote to. though I love my fellow authors to bits, I agree with you. As an author myself, I don;t always have time to read all the books advertised by my fellow authors. I wish there was a magic spot we could promote to that would give us all the sales we deserve.

    Great post!

    • kbhotromances Says:

      We’re all guilty of drive-by promos, Shiela, but what irritates me is when even the blog posts or a review post is labeled as a drive-by. I chime in on threads that interest me or ones where someone might have a great review to show my support.

  3. I agree with this observation. I don’t detest promotion, but I would just rather spend my time doing promo posts/events that are effective. I, too, sometimes wonder the percentage to authors and readers on some of the Yahoo groups and other romance reader boards. I spend the majority of time writing books for my readers and that’s the way it should be.

    If I can think back to when I was a voracious reader, I never stalked my favorite authors on Twitter and Facebook. I went to the bookstore or online to buy the book with the cover/blurb/excerpt that interests me. Only then, if I loved your book, did I go find out if you had a website with backlist or upcoming releases.

    Promo is a great tool. In addition, I think it’s important to grow your author brand, produce great books, and your fans will buy your books as soon as they come out.

    Interesting topic 🙂

    • kbhotromances Says:

      Hello Abrielle and thank you for visiting here today. I truly enjoyed reading your comment and agree with you too. Building a reader base is THE most important thing an author can do.

  4. I hate promoting, because I don’t have the time or the energy to hang out on Yahoo groups all day. I don’t know how any author can call another a promo whore, because none of us have the time to hang all day in Yahoo loops. I’m on Facebook and Twitter enough as it is. I also agree with Lisa and Shiela, I can never find reader sites. The only things out there leave you promoting to a bunch of other authors. I think the only truly effective marketing tool is building a backlist. I’d rather write my next story anyway!

  5. Oh, Amen. Nuf said. 🙂

    Fiona 🙂

  6. Promo is a necessary evil. In all honesty, I don’t have the time, but I make the time. The vast majority of us don’t have the luxury of a PR machine behind us – it’s only us! I try to blog every single day – lately it’s been rough between travel, out of town guests and insane last minute edits – a long story I don’t even want to get into!
    I feel you, girl!

    • kbhotromances Says:

      You wrapped it all up into a wicked-cool one liner with your first sentence ‘Promo is a necessary evil.’ It is necessary and it is is evil! lolol

  7. Looks like we all agree, we hate the time it takes to promo and we’re not sure if any of it is reaching readers. And I write slow so I really have to budget my time.

  8. Thanks for posting what we’re all thinking! It is hard to get your name out there and noticed but I feel like I’m beating a dead horse on the loops.

  9. I must be an anomaly, I actually like promoting, but I’m kind of running out of ideas or feel like I’m not doing enough to promote my book.

    Does that happen to everyone?

    I run a contest every week and promote on the promo days on the loops I’m on, joined three websites to help me with promotions, I’ve also started having guest bloggers on my website or blog, but still is that really enough?


  10. I’m writing from the UK and have only just started this after taking advantage of Amazon allowing non-USA residents to upload for the Kindle; my second rights-reverted print book has just gone live. The promoing – which I knew I’d have to do – has exploded like a nuclear cloud. How to allocate time to simply read the loops when emails pour into my Inbox whenever I log on. Writers seem to belong to lots, but reading, never mind participating, is a voracious eater of time, never mind writing time, and something has got to give or I’ll never get my next book finished (or the family will revolt).

    Has anyone discovered an effective way to do this, like keeping a log of where you promo, sales and/or web/blog visits? Or is it simply one of those ether things that is unquantifiable in the short term but quietly builds to, hopefully, a critical mass? Or are we all just hoping to get lucky?

  11. Egroups – focused egroups devoted to a topic you care about are better places to maintain a small degree of involvement than big book promo groups. Blogging – what I do is run with a broad theme that relates to my work, but is of wider interest – check out my column at http://www.thepaganandthepen.wordpress.com I blog every day about soemthing pagan, and sometimes refer directly to my work, but it means every day I have something to take to facebook, twitter, egroups, that might interest people. I use it as a mental warmup before other jobs, and it does seem to be getting folk interested in me as a writer, and thinker, and hopefully this will boost sales. It’s a long term strategy, but I think it will pay off.

    • kbhotromances Says:

      Thank you for sharing this with everyone, Brynneth. I think you are right about the pay off. I’ve also noticed my work gets more reaction from those places than from the loops and groups.

  12. Thanks for the input. I shall bear it in mind. My blog was, originally, devoted to my critiquing work, but that has just gone by the by, so I may well re-invent it as a fiction blog.

    Regards to all – Linda

  13. Finding time to write, research, read, promo, keep up with writing a blog as well as reading them, Facebook, Twitter, and a full time day job, sucks up every minute of every day. I constantly wonder if I’m on enough loops or the right loops. I’m usually exhausted when I get home.

    I hate to promo.

    I have set up my own system. There are a few (2-3) loops that I like to take time to comment on whenever I can, so when I promo on them, I’m not such a whore =). Also, if those loops have something going on (event, contest, or hot pics), I’ll try to promo it on my Twitter and Facebook. I figure what helps them, helps me. Other loops, well, I’m sorry to say, I’m just a promo whore. I hit and run. It’s unfortunate, but I only have so much time in one day.

    I also try to write my blogs in advance and schedule them to post when I want them too. I have my Twitter linked to my blog so a tweet of my blog will show up on Twitter shortly after it is published. Facebook does the same, but it takes a couple days for it to show up.

    After work and weekends are for writing and taking care of household stuff and family. It doesn’t give me a lot of time to write, but I make the most of it.

    I think if more loops were author AND reader friendly it would help the authors. What I mean is if the moderators of the loops (readers as well as other authors can ask questions too) not only asked the readers questions, but threw a question out for authors such as What are you working on now? or How do you find time to write? Stuff like that. Then readers learn about their favorite authors and maybe discover new ones.

    • kbhotromances Says:

      I am like you where there are 2 or 3 groups I read regularly. I read digests, but only click on things that catch my interest. That’s a good idea about setting up blogs to post ahead of time. I will have to look into that for this site.

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