The Trouble With Author Spam

by M.R. Goodhew

Are You Unknowingly Spamming Your Social Networks?

Now days indie authors are feeling the pressure to make their social media networks work for them.

They have signed up on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest or as many platforms as they can handle.

They have made tons of connections, traded page likes, and joined all the right groups.

They have studied up on marketing and created a great ad for their book with a catchy tagline and a great hook. Or, they are offering their book at a seriously discounted rate if not for free.

They have created their schedule for marketing and are sticking to it like clockwork. Posting their ad to their groups and feeds at at least three times a day at these particular times – 6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 9 pm.

The trouble is that they are now spamming these platforms with this ad. Their share shows up constantly along with thousands of others and has become irritating or is largely ignored. Who is this spammer, is it you?

All of these ads have begun to look the same and there is nothing that stops the public you are networked with, mostly authors, from scanning right past all of your hard work that went into that perfect ad. It’s SPAM.

And if that is not enough, you may be posting your ad for your book on the pages of your followers without their permission, spamming their timelines.

There has to be a better way.

And there is.

Build Your Network With Your Brand

Newsflash – becoming an author is not a get rich quick scheme. Your product is not in demand, there are thousands like it on the market. There are thousands of well written free books, discounted books, and unique books with catchy titles and good covers.

You need to stand out from the rest to generate the kind of sales you are looking for and to gain popularity.

Becoming an author is a business venture, not unlike launching a start-up. It takes years to see the profit and plenty of hours of overtime. Becoming an author is a commitment to your writing career and involves your effort and hard work just like anything else of value. My hat is off to those of you who have done it the right way, you’ve busted your butt creating your platform and poured your heart into your brand by doing what you do best, writing.

My advice for those of you who have not began with your brand is this…

The best way to launch your book is a year before you publish. You do this by creating your brand and building a website where you start a blog and you regularly post content related to your brand. You then share this content across your social media networks and begin to build your following the right way, by getting people interested in what you write.

You make connections with real people by talking to them. You read their articles and make comments. You share their content if it resonates with your brand or if you think your network might appreciate it. You guest post on other blogs. You share your content to your groups and you connect with the people in your group. Once you have drawn people to you with your content, it’s word of mouth more than ads that will skyrocket your sales.

There is a time and place for your ad. Once or twice a week in your groups, three times a day on Twitter, once every other day on Google+ and Facebook. You can also append your ad to the bottom of each blog post, this is a great way to market your book.

Find out how to build your author brand in this article. Discovering your Brand

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Become Part of the Conversation through Blogging

If you are passionate about your subject and are willing to write about it regularly (no less than three times per week), a blog can be a fantastic—and free way of building an audience for both you and your work. You can start your blog with WordPress. It’s free, and sign-up is very simple. Below are the steps to help you get started:

  • Set Up an Account: Visit the WordPress.com and set up a free account to create your blog. Or build your own WordPress website by following these simple steps at How to Set Up Your Author Website
  • Give It a Name: I suggest that you use your name so that the blog can expand to include future books you may publish.
  • Write a Post: Once this is done, click “create post.” Type your entry just like you would an email. You can choose different fonts and sizes of text, or add pictures, lists, and links to websites.
  • Preview and Publish: Click on the preview button to see if you like the way your entry looks. If not, you can edit it until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the results, click “publish.”

Write in Blogging Style and Observe Blogging Etiquette

  • Regularly Update: Update your blog frequently, three times a week is a minimum but set yourself a realistic schedule and stick to it.
  • Keep It Short and Concise: Keep in mind that in the blogosphere, people have shorter attention spans than they do offline so you need to make your posts easily digestible and informative – 250 words can be enough.
  • Make It Compelling: Strive to create blog copy that is compelling, interesting, and will invite further conversations. Remain true to your brand. Stay on topic so that you don’t lose your audience.
  • Engage: This is an opportunity to tell your readers what you are writing about. Ask them what they would like to hear more about. This kind of involvement will make them feel attached to you and your work, building an audience that will stay with you from book to book.
  • Involve: Pose questions and comment on people’s comments. A blog is meant to be a community. Respond directly to people’s comments, either in the comments or in a new blog post. This will engage readers so they will come back more often.
  • Give It Personality: Above all else, remember that your blog should be an extension of you, let people know who you are and your opinions should be reflected in your writing style

Target Your Audience and Build Upon It

  • Spread the Word: Once you have been posting regularly for a couple of weeks, tell your friends, colleagues, and contacts about your blog and ask them to tell their friends, colleagues, and contacts. Send an email or newsletter to your email address book or database introducing the blog and linking to it.
  • Utilize Your Sphere of Influence: Look around the Internet for related blogs, and read and post to them. Commenting and becoming part of the blog community will cause others visit your blog and do the same.
  • Use Your Amazon Author Page: Once you begin blogging, be sure to sign up for Amazon’s Author Central. This is a program that will allow you to feed your blog directly onto your author page on Amazon.com, a very powerful way to share compelling content with possible customers.

Optimize Your Blog and Link Like Crazy!

  • Submit Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools: The first place you should take your sitemap for a new website is Google Webmaster Tools. If you don’t already have one, simply create a free Google Account, then sign up for Webmaster Tools. Add your new site to Webmaster Tools, then go to Optimization > Sitemaps and add the link to your website’s sitemap to Webmaster Tools to notify Google about it and the pages you have already published. For extra credit, create an account with Bing and submit your sitemap to them via their Webmaster Tools. Submit url’s to Bing, Google, etc.
  • Identify Clear Keywords: Create a good, concise description for your blog, as well as relevant keywords. Make your headlines snappy.
  • Tag: This is easy to do on the “create post” page. Just enter the relevant keywords in the box separated by commas, this will make your blog easier to search.
  • Link to Retailers: Use your custom “Buy the Book” landing page. The page should be live six months in advance of your book’s publication date (You can list pre-order books with Kindle Direct Publishing for eBooks, and Amazon Advantage for paperback publications).
  • Social Networking: Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., to let others know what you’re blogging about and provide links back to your blog.
  • RSS: Put a subscription icon on every page.
  • Pictures: Use images whenever possible.
  • Learn from Others: Take a look at your favorite writers’ blogs and emulate some of the techniques that make their postings great.

Participate On Other Blogs

This can be a very powerful tool for promotion and raising your profile. Here are some tips for getting started:

  • Find Your Community: Use a blog search engine to find blogs in your subject/area of expertise.
  • Make Your Mark: Once you have identified those that feel relevant and compelling, become part of the conversation by commenting on a post that interests you and add something that readers of the blog might be interested to know.
  • Let People Know Where You Are: Link to your blog or website if you’ve written something relevant to the conversation. If you are bringing something valuable to the debate, people will begin to follow you and will be more interested in what you publish.

For Your Cover Design, Illustration, & Author Graphics See Michelle Rene

Book Cover Designer and Marketing Design

 

18 thoughts on “The Trouble With Author Spam”

  1. I’ve copied your article and included it into my saved articles on writing and blogging. I’ve been blogging and writing for two years. I’ve done everything on your not-to-do list. I’m afraid to cut down on my tweeting. I’ve found that if I don’t tweet, I don’t sell any books. My Twitter follower base keeps growing while my blog audience is sluggish. I have a core group of bloggers who follow me. I don’t believe they read vampire or mystery books. They like my poetry, posts about my book, and author interviews. I’m stuck for now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s totally fine to tweet about your books as much as you like but be aware that some people may hide your tweets if they get notified of them too many times a day. If you’re tweeting about your books all the time, be sure to tweet just as a person as well, retweet the people who are retweeting you, and communicate with your following…they want to know you’re a real person they’re following and not just a promoter. With your blog it sounds like you need to revisit your platform branding. I’m writing a book about that now. But in the meantime, try an exercise in branding your platform that involves keyword research in order to create content for your blog. Because, it sounds to me like your blog posts aren’t as closely relative to your books as they should be and that’s why your fellow bloggers aren’t snatching up your books and promoting them via word of mouth. Check out this article for some help: https://mundusmediaink.com/2015/10/01/discovering-your-brand/

      Also, I don’t mind that you copied and pasted my article, as long as you clearly reference me as the author and have links back to my website. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  2. I agree one-hundred percent about getting spammed by ads for books, usually in genres I don’t actually read. I’m looking for ways to connect with people who are interested in the topics of books I write and read. Goodreads groups has been one way of making connections. I’m also joining blogs on my topics, but I’m listening to your advice and keeping my own promotions in the background. Great advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! Even though I’m doing most of the things you discuss, it’s nice to get a refresher every now and then to see what’s new and what else I could be doing to brand myself more effectively. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. I always have my eye out for new and effective ways to promote your brand as well. It always seems to come back to providing content relative to your brand on a regular basis and interacting with your social networking community. Beyond that it’s the quality of writing and aesthetics of the brand that promotes the books.

      Like

  4. I put up an advertising post about once a week on one of my blogs or on Twitter. I cut off Twitter people that post too much – drives me crazy. I don’t mind adds, I read most and sometimes take a look at their book if I like the add, and will buy through these. I also get annoyed by people on Twitter who think building a brand and name recognition is all about re-tweeting hundreds of things each day. Nice Post.

    Liked by 1 person

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