Monday, May 16, 2011

Promo No-No Ten

Ten Things You Shouldn't Do to Promote Your Self-Published e-Book
(The PBW Edition)

Ask me to review it: The answer is no. This does not mean I hate you, or that I'm a print-published snot, or I'm part of a legacy publishing conspiracy to squelch your genius and/or kill the sales you were stealing from us before you cause our antiquated system to collapse into some tar pit where we'll bellow pathetically as we slowly drown. The answer is no because I'm a writer, not a reviewer.

Bribe me: Unless it's five million tax-free dollars, don't even bother.

Convince my mother to get me to read/endorse/promote/blurb it: It never works. My mother is a nice lady who will say yes, take your CD, and put it in a safe place at home. After that it will stay there for all eternity, because in a day or two she will forget you, what she agreed to do, your e-book and where the safe place is.

Describe your personal problems and explain how my purchase is going to solve them: Call me a pessimist, but I honestly don't think my three bucks will get you through that nasty divorce, stop the foreclosure on your house, pay for that gastric bypass surgery or get you back into rehab.

Disguise your promo with unsolicited advice on how much money I could be making by self-publishing: Yeah, that's totally going to dupe me.

E-mail me an unsolicited free copy: Oddly enough, this is not going to tempt me into reading or reviewing it. This is going to make me delete your e-mail and divert any future e-mail that comes from you right to the SPAM folder.

Offer reciprocal pimping: I don't sell my self-pubbed stuff, sorry. It's insane, I know.

Patronize me: While I acknowledge the weighty depth of publishing experience bestowed on you during that unbelievably stressful fifteen minutes you spent uploading your first novel to, you just might want to rethink this strategy, grasshopper.

Send me a discount coupon code: Use some logic here. If I wouldn't take a free copy, why would you think offering me a dollar off the cover price would be the temptation I could not resist?

Warn me that I'm missing out on the best book of the year: Sorry, I've already read that one. Alas, you didn't write it.


  1. Wow! Of course people shouldn't do that to you. They shouldn't do that to anyone.

    The hard sell never works, under any circumstances.

  2. Your free ebooks have worked really well for you! For lots of other authors, too, actually.

    Every time a new author comes along and gets told "go promote", I cringe, knowing they're going to repeat all the same mistakes because that "go promote" doesn't come with any helpful guidelines.

  3. Lol - you know you made it when folks want to rub you like a Buddha to get some luck (i.e. ask you to read their stories).

    As for the other stuff? I have read your books and really enjoyed them.


  4. Love this post. The bit about your mother? I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but I get it.

  5. ROFL trying not to cough. I should not have read this now I can't breath again. :)