My house is cluttered with Christmas decorations, I have a Christmas theme on my computer and I have a stash of books with Christmas premises. And what am I reading? Pinterest marketing for Dummies. My brain is cluttered with all this promo stuff.
I like the idea, in theory, of posting my covers and even pictures of the places where I set my books on Pinterest. I like the idea of Kindle countdowns to launch the books or even street teams. Well, no, I’m finding I’m not so thrilled with the idea of tweeting and facebooking what are essentially ads for my and other authors’ books. So maybe I’m not made for street teams.
I think as a society we’re sick to death of being sold to. We know we have a bigger purpose in life than just to purchase goods. Recently George Takei of Star Trek fame ran a Facebook post where he had pictures of different football teams on the field: the Lions, the Bengals, and the Bears. The last picture in the frame was of George himself. He challenged his Facebook fans to figure it out and then said that those who could would probably like a link he provided. Well, the answer to the riddle was obvious to George’s followers as the title of his book is “Oh Myyy, There goes the Internet.” (Lions, and Tigers and Bears, oh my!” from the Wizard of Oz.) It is also the title of his new fragrance: Eau My which is where his link led.
Instead of being charmed by the cute puzzle, many of his fans left sarcastic or nasty comments about his less than subtle advertising. They wanted more than to be sold to. They wanted a genuine connection.
And I think we as authors have the same problem. We can’t just get on the web and keep repeating: “Buy my book, buy my book.” I know I am more likely to read a book that I have seen reviewed by someone on Dorothy L or Goodreads. I like it when a discussion goes off the book entirely to a place where the book is set or a thought or idea that the author is trying to champion. I will if the discussion intrigues me, go find that book. So why do I think other readers are any different?
I guess it’s just easier to promote by putting pictures of my books settings on Pinterest. Promoting by discussion would mean I would have to get together with other authors, read their books, have them read mine and pick up threads from the books that we could discuss online. Hmm. I would like that a whole lot more than tweeting about my Kindle countdown.