Saturday, 25 June 2016

Shameless Self-Promotion

It's right there in that phrase:

Shameless self-promotion.

It's not hidden, it's not subtle:  You should be ashamed of yourself.

The 'shameless' isn't even required. Most of the time if you hear someone say the words the distaste is evident in their tone, especially if you hear them spoken in the UK. The US is a little more forgiving.

And sure, there are circumstances where self-promotion can be an unpleasant thing. In an office/company environment, promoting yourself at the expense of others might be a necessary evil to some, or classless and unfair to others.

But for authors? C'mon! We're one person sales-machines. We write books. We need them to sell. We're not stamping on someone else's chance. And who else is going to promote them?

"The readers!" you answer. "If you can't rely on your readers to promote your work ... it must be a bit shit, no?"

Well, yes, word of mouth, one reader to the next, is the best sales mechanism any writer has and moves a lot of books... but why should it end there?

Should we only ever lift boxes with one arm for fear that if we use two we'll be seen to be 'trying too hard'? Or should we use all the resources at our disposal?

I earn my living as a writer. I pay my bills with the portion of each book's sale price that comes my way. Why would I not use the social media options at my disposal to remind people when those books come out, get discounted etc? Who else is going to do it for me?

Self-promotion for authors means book promotion. We're not declaring ourselves to have great teeth and spectacular soccer skills ... or to be better humans than the next person ... we're saying 'buy my book' in as interesting a way as we can.


  1. I'm not sure what prompted you to write this post, but for what it's worth - please promote with reckless and unashamed abandon! As you've put it, this is a necessary means to an end. When the end in question is your financial livelihood along with the support of your family, all means are justified.

    You produce countless hours of entertainment for others, I cannot imagine what would prompt someone to critique your marketing activities in light of the success of your work thus far. Furthermore, you produce this work on a timely schedule, which cannot be said for your wider peer group.

    In short, they can go to Hell, do your thing knowing that many of your current and soon-to-be fans are cheering you on from the sidelines.

  2. I downloaded Prince a loooong time ago, as it was on sale on Kindle (sorry). I didn't read it until April. Got hooked, bought the rest of the trilogy, spread the good news to family, reread, and only then thought of following you on twitter. Thanks to your twitter I found out that there was a second trilogy, that the third volume would be out June, etc.

    Writers of your caliber are rare, and most writers, good or bad, don't seem to get the kind of promo that even the trashiest tv shows do. Continue the shameless self promotion, please; it's actually helpful.

  3. Love the post you self aggrandized author you! LOL You can get my unbiased opinion in the August edition of RT digital magazine available now to subscibers

  4. I just wanted to say, that recently I started to read/listen to more books, and because of that I now have many books in my To read shelf, and although I did not yet read any of your books, they are on top of my list (actually i think i will start Prince of Thorns next). I also started to use Twitter recently (yes, there are still human beings, who are new to this..), and I followed You along with other authors I like, because i like to be up to date on book news.
    This is where I saw Your first (well first for me anyway) self promotion tweet. At first it was funny, then only "meh", then by the 20th time it gradually got annoying, so I taught it best to unfollow you (is that a thing? do you say that?) so that my reservations towards You, and Your self promotion would not effect my enjoyment of the books (because I still want to read them, because I know that someone can be an @ssh0le of an author, and still write great books).
    But then I taught I should search a little. Why dose he do that? Do other people think he promotes his own book too much to? Is it even so, or am i just to sensitive?
    So that is when I found this post (and another, that i don't know now where it is.. i wanted to write it there, but what the heck!), and realized, that You are absolutely right. Maybe it was your family background, maybe that i understand now that this suits You better, then selling it in person, but most probably it was that i realized that you are not doing this because You are so full of yourself, but You are doing this consciously, deliberately, and whit no small amount of humor.
    I realize that one mans opinion (whatever it may be) probably dose not mean much, but i still felt the need to say this.
    So that sad I just wanted to bow my head to you Sir, and apologize for the offenses that i did not had the opportunity to commit!