Welcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings! Actually, I like anchovies. Spam, however, is another matter.
Pretty sure it all started when I was a kid and that gelatinous fake meat in a can was a staple in our house for two reasons. One, it was quick and easy. Two, it was inexpensive.
Unlike anchovies, which I didn’t taste until I was in college, I never developed a taste for the rectangular, compressed goo.
But I’m not here to give you recipes today. I’m here to talk about (rant about) SPAM of another kind. The type that so many experienced and newer authors like to label PROMO.
Here is Ravenna’s quick and easy way to discern whether what you’re about to post to a wall, send in a mass email, toss onto a message board – whether or not you were invited to do so – or post in a group to 12,749 of your closest Facebook friends is SPAM vs. PROMO:
Did the group or individual ask for it?
NO? Then why are you posting it? Do you have an open invitation to post your promo? If not, DO NOT POST IT. Check with the group admin, the person on whose wall you’re about to post, or the admin for the email group you’re about to bombard, just to make sure.
YES? Okay. Great. But are you SURE you’re posting EXACTLY what they asked for, and nothing extra? They haven’t asked you to post about the mating habits of sea bass, and you’ve decided to use a lead-in that says something along the lines of… “When I was writing my award-winning, best-selling book COME MAKE ME COME (see section below for buy links!), I often pondered the habits of sea bass.”
NO. Just NO.
Why not? Because your readers really do want to get to know YOU as a PERSON. It’s true. I swear to all that’s holy and unholy this is a true statement. It’s SOCIAL MEDIA, not PROMO MEDIA.
Yes, they want to read your books and keep up with your releases. But they absolutely do not want to be spammed to death every single time they read something from you, even if it’s a quickie post or tweet about what you’re having for lunch.
A word about Twitter…
PLEASE DO NOT send a DM (direct message) to everyone who follows you, offering them a free book, a link to buy your book, or anything at all. You may thank them for following you, if you must, but leave it at that. Do not send them links to view your latest book trailer on YouTube, links to your publisher, or a link to your Amazon page. NOTHING. NADA. ZIP.
Same with Facebook. Don’t do that to someone who has accepted your friend request in the past five seconds. Don’t do it to ANY of your friends, or their friends. Don’t troll their friends list looking for new victims (friends).
That is NOT promo. It’s SPAM. It’s also an automatic unfollow and block by most of us (including me).
And now a word about Facebook walls…
Your wall is your castle. My wall is my castle. If you post your stuff on my wall without my permission, that’s like planting your ass in a lawn chair on your neighbor’s lawn, propping up your portable TV, complete with tall antenna so you can pick up the game five states over, opening a can of beer, and tossing a few steaks on your portable grill so you can spend the entire day (and night) parked there, eating, drinking, and watching mindless TV.
But I’m just being neighborly, Ravenna!
Great. Only problem is, your neighbor did not invite you over or give you permission to do all of the above on his lawn!
Get the picture? Good. This applies to ALL social media, by the way.
I know you’re excited about your release. I’ve got close to 80 published books between the three pen names now, and I swear to you I still get super excited over every single release. I know you want to sell books. So do I. I would kill to be able to sit home and write full time, and make a living from it. I do understand. Honestly. We all do.
But if you’re spamming people 24/7, you’re doing it wrong. And you’re likely alienating a LOT of authors in the process. This isn’t an easy industry, as you all well know. Don’t make it more difficult by doing something that is so simple to avoid.
I love promoting other authors. I really do. That’s one of the reasons I’m on group blogs like this one, and why if you go to my website and look at the cloud of tags (see what I did there????), you’ll see GUEST BLOGGERS is one of the largest. That means I have a lot of guest bloggers. A LOT.
The difference is, I INVITED them to guest blog on my site. They ASKED me if they could.
Okay. Now go forth and promote, but DO NOT SPAM.