If You Don’t Toot Your Own Horn, Who Will?

I’m speaking to you all today regarding fear of self-promotion.  Lately, I’ve been seeing some things on Twitter and Facebook that are rather disturbing to me.  I actually see people apologizing for promoting themselves and/or their work.  Sentences beginning with “I apologize for this shameful plug I’m about to give” or “I don’t mean to be tacky by sharing this” are just not sitting too well with me.

But, those apologies aren’t the only things that have my panties in a roar today.  On Facebook here lately, I’ve personally been ‘schooled’ or shall I say ‘had my hand spanked’ a time or two for sharing something of my own on another author’s page.  I was told (kindly, I must add) that it is “often frowned upon by other authors if you promote YOURSELF on their page.”  Frowned upon?  Really?  WOW, you guys are just a little too uptight on Facebook.  Maybe that’s why I don’t hang out there much.  But am I to take from that, that it’s OK for me to SHARE something of someone elses on another’s page?  Because, I do that, too.

OK, back to the fear that we have of SELF-PROMOTION.  Let me ask you this one little question:  If you don’t promote you, who will?  Now, let me be kind enough to answer that question for you: NO ONE!  Even if you have the largest publishing house in the world behind you, they’re not going to invest in you the way you will invest in yourself.  They have millions of books to promote, and yours is one in that million.  So how much time do you think they’re going to devote to little-ole-one-in-a-million YOU?  I think it’s safe to say…not that much.

I am a strong advocate and believer in self-promotion.   We devote so much time writing and creating beautiful written works and then people expect us to not spread the word about it?  That’s crazy to me!  Absolutely insane!  We spend countless amounts of time on social media in hopes that someone will buy our books, or better yet, RT or share with others links to our books.  But the only way that can be done, is if we put it out there first.  Yes, there are times when your little network of Twitter and Facebook pals plugs you, but they can and will plug you only so much.  WHY?  BECAUSE THEY’RE SMART ENOUGH TO BE SELF-PROMOTING themselves!

When you realize that in everything you do, you will have naysayers, know-it-alls, etc, but you have to remain true to YOU and your desires, your dreams, your very own plans.  Yes, its nice when someone you respect comes to you and tries to show you the ropes around a new place, but by the same token, what works for them may not work for you, and vice versa.

With all that being said, here are some tips that I would like for you to use in your new-found self-promotion arena:

*Each time you send a tweet, don’t let it be a “wasted” tweet.  Always add your book’s URL or even a link to your website, blog, etc.

*I usually let my followers and friends know that I say THANK YOU with RTs.  I was told (which means I don’t know for sure) that Twitter allots you only a certain number of tweets per day and if you go over that, you’re sent to Twitter jail.  If that is the case, then let’s not waste tweets.  I see countless Twitter timelines with nothing at all but THANK YOU’s and if I’m on their timeline, it’s probably because I’m looking for something of THEIRS to share and promote.  And by the way,  I don’t RT THANK YOUs.  I simply move on to the next person’s page with something relevant to share.

*Don’t hesitate for one second to put you out there!  Everyone else is doing it so why shouldn’t you?  We’re not just on Twitter for fun (at least I’m not).  DO YOU, THE ONLY WAY YOU KNOW HOW!

*And for those of you who have established all these ridiculous social media rules, get over yourselves.  It’s hard enough to get our work known and into the hands of readers without having to worry about some ridiculous “rule” laid out by the almighty (self-proclaimed) RULERS of social media forums.  Move over and let others do their work.  Spend more time focused on what you should be doing and less time on what mistakes others are making ‘in your mind’.

Well, I’ve said enough for one blog but before I leave, I’d like to know what you think about self-promotion, whether it’s in line with what i’ve shared or not, let us all hear your take on it.  Remember, everyone’s different.  We all see things differently, so what do YOU think?  COMMENTS ENCOURAGED!

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16 Comments

  1. I visited you today because of K. Treat’s blog.
    I like your thoughts on self-promoting. I believe as long as it’s done in good taste, there’s nothing wrong with it. Like you said if I don’t say something, who will? I’m hoping that when I finally become a great writer and well-known that I won’t have to toot my own horn so often. 🙂
    I put very little of my writing on fb; most of it is on my blog. If you want to share any on my blog, you’re more than welcome. Just make sure you’re identified as the writer. I don’t want to take your thunder.

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  2. Viv

    There’s a guideline I think is useful: 70/30 for promotional tweets etc, and the 70% is other stuff that is interesting, funny, engaging but above all stuff that says something about you as an author. I have had people unfollow, claiming to be bothered by promotional tweets, and this has upset me at the time, because I am careful to ensure that I engage on as many levels as I can.
    When it comes to FB, I have to say that it’s not uncommon that people don’t take any notice of group guidelines or page rules. If a person posts their promotional material unasked on my wall or my author page, I consider this discourteous at best. If I like their stuff, I will post it myself. I wouldn’t post my stuff on someone else’s space unless it is set up for unsolicited promo or they have specifically invited me to do so.
    In the end, people buy a book because it offers them something for their money, and the job of the author in promotion is to suggest that their book offers something that the others don’t. I’ve stopped worrying about whether self promo is tacky, because there isn’t an option otherwise, because, as you say, if I don’t don’t my horn, it’s likely not many others will!

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    • Hi Viv! Thanks for stopping by! I’m not up on everything FB yet, and honestly, I may never be. But this is what I think about posting on FB walls (which i’m not even real clear on what they are) but, I believe, if you don’t want someone to post on your wall, then there is a feature that allows each of us to NOT ALLOW OTHERS TO POST ON OUR WALLS. And since some feel very strongly about that, I don’t know why you just wouldn’t turn it off. I mean, that’s the purpose of that feature, I would assume. I share things all the time and if I share something with someone who is my FB Friend and they don’t have that feature activated, it says to me that it’s OK to share whatever (that’s appropriate) on their space. That is the purpose of being “friends” too, right? Again, I don’t know. There are just too many rules out there for me to keep up with, and I’m sure, some of these rules discourage newbies a lot. So FYI to all: ANYONE IS WELCOME TO SHARE ON MY WALL WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. Again, as long as it’s clean and appropriate material, it’s fine with me. I am a candle lighter and I know that everyone is trying to get their candles lit. So we must remember: A CANDLE LOSES NOTHING BY LIGHTING ANOTHER CANDLE! Thanks again, Viv and keep tooting that horn!!

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      • Viv

        Actually, sharing direct advertising on FB may well get you reported for spamming. I’ve come across quite a few people who have found themselves banned for this. I allow others to post on my wall because generally what arrives is stuff that we both have an interest in: articles on psychiatry, Jungian analysis, pictures of deer from one friend, pictures and videos of sloths from another. Oh and well wishes for things like birthdays. I had on occasions friend requests from writers, and within half an hour of accepting, the new *friend* has posted sales links to their books on my wall. I find this very rude. They did not even take a few days to get to know me, have an idea of whether I might even like their work. The first occasion it was about a series of romantic novels that are about werewolves; I am not remotely interested in either romance or werewolves (or vampires for that matter). I removed the post and I can’t recall whether I unfriended said writer or not. FB is about relationships, as is Twitter, and it’s actually relationships that build long term fans.

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      • Viv, thx for stopping by again. I dont like werewolves, vampires (cats), nor am i a big fan of erotica, but that’s just me. But, just as i may not be a fan of, or really ‘into’ these particular types of writing, i am respectful of the fact that they are being written by authors just like me who deserve to have their work read just like me. Just because i’m not into it, doesn’t mean that someone else who might be reading, isn’t and again, their msg deserves to get out, the same as mine. FB and Twitter are about what YOU make it, and that’s something different for each and every one of us. As far as what someone posts on my FB wall or Twitter, i dont even see the majority of it as I am too busy #WRITING. But, i am so glad there are others out there reading it as i am so glad there are others out there posting on my FB wall as it would be very boring if it were up to me alone to keep it moving.

        We will just have to agree to disagree on this one, but thats OK. What a boring world it would be if we all thought every thought the same, all the time.

        Again, I need to put this out there, if u need a place to park your hat while on a blog tour, etc, WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is NOT genre specific. As long as it’s not offensive, you are welcome to guest post, get interviewed, etc. on my blog!

        Enjoy ur hump day, Viv!

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  3. I like that you wrote this. I don’t share my work as much as I should. However, there are authors out there that think we shouldn’t even be inviting people to ‘like’ FB pages! A ridiculous notion if ever I saw one.
    What I would suggest is ‘gentle’ promotion. Of course share your books in groups that are relevant to your genre. However, limit it to once a day. I hate looking at my newsfeed and half of it is taken up by one author who has shared there book on every possible group in a ten minute time period. Not only that, but it rarely works.
    Thanks for taking the time to write this post. It really is relevant 😀

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    • LT, thanks for stopping by and I truly love that “gentle promotion”. Good one! I hope i didn’t come across as just dog-houndedly promoting, because that’s not what I was getting at. This is what I do…If someone tweets me with a question, I will respond (if they’re not in my normal circle of folks who may already know me and my work) with an answer to their tweet as well as whatever “thing” i’d like to share at that time. (Example: @Tweeter: Hi @nonniejules! I’m following you now! Me: @Tweeter thank you so much! Enjoy the ride. nonniewrites.wordpress.com). Promote, promote, promote, because it just won’t happen if you don’t.

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  4. Nonnie what you are saying makes a lot of sense. I’ve learned so much just being connected to you. I’m also working with a personal friend of mine to help her promote her message and her books. I’ve got nothing to lose and she is a dear friend. She has helped me build my website and given me countless tips so we help one another. So I don’t mind at all helping out. In a few days her promotions will start. Nonnie keep doing what you do best and you can’t go anywhere but up.

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    • Shirley, you are awesome and you always keep me pumped!!! That’s what your support does for me, so know that this is definitely a two-way street we’re on. As the saying goes, “it goes both ways.” Everyone will not share my opinions and they are definitely entitled to their own, but I stand by the points I have made in this blog. So many have come to me and shared how this has dramatically improved their standing, sales, exposure, etc., so the proof is in the pudding. It works for me and that’s all that matters, right? To each his own. Thanks for your never-ending support!!!!

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  5. Nonnie – No one, and I mean no one, can sell you better than yourself. I had the publisher try to sell me a package to do publicity. I kindly told them no and that I knew more about my target audience than they ever could. They then tried to offer to send out media releases. Again I declined opting for an other solution.

    I am not going to spam everyone but I am also not going to just say, “Hey the book is out there” and then sit back and wait for something to happen. I like your points.

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    • And Ms. Kathryn, I always love your points of view! I hope that no one sits back and just waits for something to happen, because in reality, it won’t unless you MAKE it happen! Thanks so much for engaging!

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  6. I love your honesty and common sense, Nonnie. Self-promotion is essential to lowly authors, so thank you for highlighting it.

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    • Thanks Jenny and yes, we lowly authors must do all that we can to get ourselves out there. Hey, it’s hard work trying to become a J.K. Rowlings, right? Take care and thanks for the support of stopping by to share!

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  7. Hi Nonnie
    I agree that we shouldn’t always be apologizing. However adding your blog URL to every tweet makes it very boring for everyone else. I find I’m more interested in a person if they write interesting or entertaining tweets rather than ‘in your face’ self-promotion. I can’t connect with random shout outs about ‘how amazing my book is BUY IT NOW’ – but I will pay attention if someone who has written consistently good tweets and has been engaging, promotes their book from time to time. I have bought books from Tweeps who have been engaging. I think the whole key to self-promotion online is to promote without making it look like promotion -it’s quite a skill which most of us are still trying to perfect!
    Thanks for all your #FFs and for your thought-provoking post.
    Emily

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    • Hi Emily and thanks so much for stopping by sharing. You are right in the sense that it is a skill that we’re all trying to perfect upon and I know some of us, myself included, are still trying to find our way around this social media arena. Trying to figure out how to get our work out there without being intrusive is a chore, but one that will get easier with much practice. Hopefully though, one day it will all fall into place, and we’ll all be better for it. Or better yet, let’s run to the bookstore and see if someone has already written a DUMMIES book on it. LOL Thanks again for the support of stopping by!

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