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authors: please read this post!

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Showing 151-175 of 254 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jun 21, 2012, 10:04:50 PM PDT
Mr. Somreth says:
I would rather read about authors and artists promoting their own book than this silly nonsense. I may not buy a book 99 times out of 100 when writers plug their books. Most self-promoting authors are like pamphleteers on the Vegas Strip. I suppose there's an art to making the flicking sound and there's a time and a place for everything. They might as well be exhibitionists. But to the 1% who managed to get my attention, I say good show! You made me look. At least it's leading me to a story and not a long list of posts that have even less to do with reading good books. Meanwhile, David Copperfield and Celine Dione don't have to beg people to see their show. If only all writers could be like them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012, 5:55:14 AM PDT
Misfit says:
" Having some one walk into my backyard and piss on the lawn would not make me happy. I completely understand how you feel. "

Lol, that's better than the like walking onto a used car lot description I've used before.

It is hard to find the right blend of working contact and social media like FB and Twitter. Some are just overkill, all they do is promote their book and talk about where their book can be had and carry on about the latest great review. Then there are other authors (I'll name three - Susan Higginbotham, Elizabeth Chadwick and Sharon Penman) who talk about their research, the writing process, share historical tidbits about their period and research and more. They are participating in the community and added value to it. They come onto reader sites like Goodreads and Historical Fiction Online (great board BTW) and participate as readers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012, 5:58:14 AM PDT
Laura Wright says:
Hi, Sovann. I'm not sure why the thread is such an issue, as it's title is "authors: please read this post!" Naturally, authors did. Likewise, authors are indeed readers. I'm not sure why you read the entire thread, either, as you can see from the initial post it hasn't as much to do with reading as it does writing.

I'm sure if an author is a multimillionaire, and has a readership in the millions, they don't self-promote on any real level. There's no need. They already have a following. I'm sure all writers wish they could be like that, as well.

Authors who self-promote are no different from a small business which self-promotes, it's the tactics that bring about question. So, there must be a number of businesses that you resent for trying to pay the bills, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012, 8:08:36 AM PDT
Elise says:
Steven: Love your comment about your lawn! Folks in my office are wondering what is so funny. Thanks for the laugh!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012, 8:21:52 AM PDT
Misfit says:
"Authors who self-promote are no different from a small business which self-promotes, it's the tactics that bring about question."

That is something to consider. For example, the copy machine salesmen who continue to call and call and call and call no matter how clear I try to tell them it's not going to happen. Our needs have changed and management has other things on their mind and thinking about a new copier until the five year lease is up just isn't a priority. One guy got pushy to the point that I had to get the controller to tell him NO and stop calling. Then he had the nerve to call again. I can guarantee you, if and when we do need to shop for a new copier, that company is not going to be on the list of potential suppliers.

Posted on Jun 22, 2012, 8:48:20 AM PDT
Laura Wright says:
Exactly, Misfit!

I think those people are in ever industry and in all walks of life. The few bad ones just have a tendency to ruin it for all of the legitimate individuals who aren't abusing their position. From your example, it's in copier sellers, I've seen those door-to-door meat salesmen the same way, as well as telemarketers selling refinancing, home siding, replacement windows, those who claim they're with a charity, so on and so forth. But, it certainly doesn't mean they're all like that.

And, generally, it doesn't ruin or stigmatize an entire industry, or a significant portion thereof, just because a few are like that.

Posted on Jun 22, 2012, 8:54:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 22, 2012, 8:54:51 AM PDT
Evidently, the attitude expressed here would not allow any mention at all of a book owned by the party posting to a thread. We understand and agree with not promoting books in a reader's forum, however when a reader asks for a list of books, and a respondant does nothing more than include his own book in a list of other related books, we feel the policy goes too far. That is not self-promotion.

Posted on Jun 22, 2012, 9:09:03 AM PDT
Laura Wright says:
Hi, Old China Book.

No, that's not it at all, I don't believe. There's a gigantic difference between the situation you mentioned, and blatantly (and rudely) using a discussion forum like a spam list. At least, that's what I've assumed this was about. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012, 9:11:18 AM PDT
Elise says:
The problem is that the majority of self promoters materialize from nowhere, shill their book like it is the best thing since grits, and contribute absolutely nothing to the discussions. Amazon has rules and we are standing up for them to keep the Reader forums clear of such pollution. Any disagreement with the rules should be communicated to Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012, 9:38:59 AM PDT
Hi Laura,

Thanks for your reply. You are quite correct in your view - the issue is as you say the abuse of
a forum not intended for promotion, hence Amazon creates a separate forum where authors
can "promote" their books. But like any general rule, such as "no promotion here," any mention
at all of one's own title in the context of a reader's forum is being regarded as abuse. So, if we
mention a title of ours in a simple list of other similar books, or in a discussion of issues touched on
in our title, the "promo police" seem to be challenged to distinguish this as something other
than gross promotion, presumably simply because of the link between a title and the party posting.
In the end, the situation is not life-threatening and hardly worth than a mention. We cannot
expect all parties to take the time to be so discriminating, or deal with the folks who are really
angered by the abuse of their forum. So, we're off to find another windmill now. Ciao!

Posted on Jun 25, 2012, 12:57:34 PM PDT
Steven Lloyd says:
Was feeling under the weather until today. I missed some good discussions.

EliseElise: Glad you liked my comment, so I found the "Meet the Authors" thread and, well, you know. I threw my junk in with the rest.

This is the first time I've posted anything on Amazon. My stuff had been legitimately published the traditional way for so long that I feared being blacklisted by my peers. But things change.

One thing I do now is this: If the author doesn't do it right things could fall apart. And don't nail boards without emailing to ask permission.

Without the legitimate small press and self-publishing you wouldn't see a great deal of emerging new writers. writers need to know what goes into it, and what doesn't work.

Good Writing
Great Cover Design
Enticing description of the book.

All it takes is one bad review to take you out of the race.

P.S I remember a director who spammed his short film so much that I bought it just to toss it in the trash. Mean? Yes. Deserving? Absolutely! They should make a category for F films, cause this one didn't even come close to B


Posted on Jun 25, 2012, 3:56:41 PM PDT
C. Keefer says:
Hello readers,
I totally understand and, as an author who is passionate about getting my books into reader's hands (after all, that's what all those missed hours of sleep were for :) I empathize with authors who may become pushy in their efforts to connect with readers. But, where would we authors be without the readers--and vice versa? Happy reading to all and may the sales go on in the appropriate forums :)
Chana K.

Posted on Jun 27, 2012, 8:30:00 PM PDT
SweeDaRo says:
Steven and Laura, wonderful comments! I wish more who made the mistake took it and learned from it as you did Stephen. What's the favorite quote about not learning from ones mistakes, just can't remember it right now when I could use it. LOL

Where in the world did the myth come from that if a writer is published they must be well off? So many readers seem to think this way. My husband and I have gone to some book conventions and have followed a writer from her beginnings, working her two full time jobs (one raising the kids) and writing in her spare time. She had a breakfast for her fans at that first convention 6 people, including the two of us were there. Now 7 years later, she is successful enough to say writing is her job and has a large following, and to go to a breakfast you have to get on the list way in advance but you know what our favorite was that small group of 6. I only mention this to illustrate how word of mouth and getting your name out there can work and how believing in your work can pay off.

One more question for the writers here. Do you feel an author needs to be a reader in order to be a writer?

Posted on Jun 27, 2012, 8:44:54 PM PDT
Laura Wright says:
Absolutely, you must love reading. You must also learn from other writers' mistakes when you come across them while reading ;-) It will save you lots of time.

I don't know one writer that's "well off." Anywhere. No matter of their history. I think it's just a stigma, many readers have them when it comes to writers and authors. I think many people prefer to think that a writer is an inanimate object, just an add-on for a word processing program, and not a person. It helps them disregard the real effort and hard work that goes into a book.

I make my money from non-fic assignments, more so than fiction. I feel her pain. My son is autistic, I'm a primary caregiver for my elderly mother, my husband has a heart condition, and I write in my spare time. It's hard to do and be everything, and be a writer. But, if you got the writing bug, there's just no option.

Posted on Jun 27, 2012, 8:56:51 PM PDT
SweeDaRo says:
Laura, another excellent comment - "Authors who self-promote are no different from a small business which self-promotes, it's the tactics that bring about question." I would add that I think as writing is a creative process that some writers take it too personal, as an artist, I understand why such sensitivity, it is like putting a part of you out there. I wonder if this is where the antagonism comes from, a new writer is told to abide by the Amazon rules and stop spamming, takes it in a personal way, then writes back defending there work. On the other side readers get tired of seeing yet another writer recommending their book but not contributing anything else to the conversation and aren't as polite in stating that the writer has not followed the rules, so more feelings get hurt and round and round it goes.

Old China Books, it sounds like you have had some rough experiences and am sorry you feel you can't post your books. I hate to hear that happening, I think I've come across some of your posts before and have not and would have no problem with mentioning your book in the context you have stated. I see no reason why a post like that that contributes to the thread should be pulled. Don't get discouraged.

Hopefully this thread will lead to a better relationship and understanding between reader and writer, two groups very much dependent upon each other, so I hope everyone keeps the discussion going. After all talking with each other is better than talking at or behind each other, and the last two is sure to yield no positive results.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2012, 10:45:48 PM PDT
C. Keefer says:
Laura, as a writer, I totally agree. And I feel YOUR pain that there's never enough time and energy to totally assuage the writing bug--but it's better than being addicted to recreational drugs or alcohol. At least I HOPE my family feels writing is less destructive :)

More power to ya, Laura... and the rest or you, take it easy on us writers.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012, 2:30:02 AM PDT
There are some online marketing and book promotion guides for us newbie authors that are quite misleading about this . . . so thanks for the guidance.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012, 2:31:59 AM PDT
Ha . . . the writing is fine . . . it's the marketing that can be destructive.

Posted on Jul 3, 2012, 1:12:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2012, 1:12:53 PM PDT
An amazing discovery for authors -- well, I was amazed anyhow! There is an Ebook called "How to Market a Book" that has really great advice on how to get the word out there about your work. I started reading it last night and I couldn't be more impressed, especially since I'm making a go at doing the writing thing professionally now. I have no financial interest in this book and I do not know the authors, btw.

Leonardo Noto

Posted on Jul 5, 2012, 5:30:10 PM PDT
I know that this isn't exactly the ideal forum for this discussion, but it does go along with the rest of this thread -- I'm 50% through the above recommended book and I can't speak highly enough of it for author's. Really, if you're an author, check it out! Very very helpful!

Leonardo Noto

Posted on Jul 5, 2012, 9:23:14 PM PDT
SweeDaRo says:
Leonardo, I feel the efforts of this thread is to bridge and, for me personally, try to mend this gap between reader and writer. An extension of that is how and where can a writer promote their work so I see no problem in mentioning a book you've found to be helpful instead of misleading as the ones Byron has encountered. Making both authors and readers aware of the issues faced and being able to air both sides of this issue, in a receptive atmosphere, is what is most important.

On a personal note, I find it sad that the people who seem to have the biggest issue with this thread and issue do not contribute, more than down voting. Here they have the chance to say something, voice their point of view and don't, sounds like a wasted opportunity passing them by. Oh well, what matters is the people who do want to learn and understand, and are trying to do something about it. I have never been in on one of those threads where things got ugly between readers and a writer(s), and never acted in a rude or derogatory manner to any author, instead I stayed away, for about a year, when I found myself having to wade through so many unrelated pitches to buy this or that book. I've realized my error, that ignoring the situation will do nothing to help and this is my effort to correct my initial reaction and work on the situation. I appreciate the openness of those contributing and know that the one thing out of this that can't be changed is that neither party, reader nor writer, can continue to exist without the other.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012, 12:36:43 PM PDT
Well said, and thanks!

Leonardo Noto

Posted on Jul 8, 2012, 12:14:43 PM PDT

Posted on Jul 9, 2012, 8:44:15 PM PDT
Ya' know that book I recommended -- you might want to read it all the way through before using it for marketing (unlike your's truly). So I read the part on how to set up a Twitter account --great! I set up the account and now I'm ready to go. It's so easy, you just type in stuff like "historical fiction" and all these people pop up that you can send Tweets to. Well, apparently these random crazy people aren't so hot on getting hit with great book ideas from authors. So now comes the hate mail; just as I'm getting to the part of the book where it teaches you how to use Twitter without pissing people off!

Ah yes, humble pie, so tasty...
Still a great book, though.

Leonardo Noto

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2012, 1:49:13 PM PDT
Laura Wright says:
Thank you, Keefer. I will.

Thank you Dawn&Ron, too.

I think there are some super-sensitive readers out there, too. I think many readers have a desire for authors to be "read and not seen or heard from." I hope this is something that will fade as the publishing industry changes, and it is changing. It's more common for bestsellers to start as self-pubbers today, which are then picked up by the big boys in NYC. I think that's the smartest route, anyway, in business terms.

There's actually a growing trend where authors are commenting back on bad reviews. It drives readers nuts, and it isn't perfect, but it's something. Some authors can't handle bad reviews, but I think if you reply respectfully and with appreciation, there's nothing wrong with it. That also goes back to treating writing like a business. Businesses have services like to deal with their negative publicity, authors don't, and they should.

Anyway, we'll just have to see what tomorrow brings.
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Discussion in:  Historical Fiction forum
Participants:  29
Total posts:  254
Initial post:  Jan 10, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 3, 2014

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