The other day, I noticed an alert on my Facebook author page app, which indicated someone had either liked my page or left a post on my wall. Excited, I checked it out, hoping I had a new fan.
My hopes were dashed when I saw a post that kind of went like this:
“Hi Megan! I’m [so-so]! I’ve just published my book! Here’s the link to it on Amazon, please tell everyone you know about it! Thanks!”
I blinked, took a deep breath and deleted the post from my wall altogether.
I do not know who that person was. I never heard of that author, and that author had never before contacted me. S/he had not liked my Facebook page at all, never followed me on Twitter or Google+, or anything. I had never interacted with that person before, and yet here s/he was crashing on my Facebook page – which is part of my platform used to promote my books.
This wasn’t the first time this happened, and sadly it won’t be. There are some authors out there who simply don’t seem to understand how to properly promote their books. They may have heard social media is the way to spread the word, and that authors are supposed to help other authors. But the way they go about it is kind of rude and unprofessional.
If that person wanted me to help them get exposure, I would have been happy to do so. All they had to do was check out this blog and see that I offer author interviews. If they were polite when they contacted me, and not pushy and arrogant like a few have, I would have gladly featured them on my site. Crashing in on my Facebook page as they did was not appropriate. In fact, it was more like spam than promotion.
The same has happened here on this website. I’ve gotten comments left by authors responding to one of my posts. Only they are not really commenting on my posts. They’re leaving comments like this: “Buy my book! Here’s my Twitter handle! Like me on Facebook!” Again, authors resorting to spam promotion. Even worse, they are spamming on another author’s space.
Some self-published authors seem to really misunderstand how to promote their work. It could be ignorance or desperation. But either way, I can’t fathom why anyone would think hijacking another person’s platform is a good way to increase book sales. It doesn’t at all, and they only make themselves look bad. All they have to do is ask to do a guest blog post, offer their book for a review, and all the other networking strategies. Basically, asking for permission works, not stealing!
Learning to promote your book is simple. There are many websites and blogs that give great suggestions. Even I’ve given tips. If you’re going to self-publish your book, educate yourself. Don’t make a fool out of yourself or become disrespectful. Self-publishing isn’t easy and they are many who fail terribly because they made poor decisions. Don’t make yourself a statistic.