Sunday, January 18, 2009
How Not To Promote Oneself
I've read a lot of blogs over the last year, gotten to know many fellow authors, attended and sat on panels and other events. I realize it's necessary to indulge in self-promotion and have done a fair bit of it myself. But nothing turns me off to an author more than one who talks about nothing but his/her own work, rarely has anything positive to say about another writer, and NEVER asks other authors about their work.
If I go to a panel, I want to hear about the subject, be it 'what makes a cozy mystery cozy' or 'sexed up thrillers' or whatever. I do NOT want to to hear an author answer every question by turning it into a reference to his/her book. Once in a while, sure. But every question? Jeez Louise, just shoot me! No, just shoot the author in question. With a tranquilizer dart, of course. An elephant tranquilizer 'cause some of these people have all the subtlety of elephants.
And if you're writing post on a publishers author blog, don't make every post an advertisement for your latest work. Or upcoming or past work, for that matter. Don't tell your readers to 'get those sales going.' Make sure your post will still hold together if you take the words 'I' and 'me' out of it.
Don't get me wrong, the majority of writers I've met are delightful people with genuine interest in other people, supportive and helpful to aspiring writers. Sisters in Crime Nor Cal alone has some of the nicest people I've ever met. Hailey Lind (current president of our chapter) is worth the price of membership alone. She is personally responsible for kick-starting my social life at last year's Left Coast Crime. Without her, I'd probably still be wandering the hotel halls, too shy to talk to anyone. Actually, if you're in SinC NorCal, just assume you're always welcome in my house. Unless you're allergic to cats. If so, you're still welcome, but bring Benadryl.
And so many of the writers I've met through Make Mine Mystery and Fatal Foodies...well, I've enjoyed both getting to know you and (slowly) making my way through all of your books. You offer good, solid advice and what promotion you do for yourself makes me want to read what you write.
Now I want to know, what drives YOU crazy in terms of bad promotion? What makes you turn and run the other way, vowing never to read a word a particular author has written..and if you do, it's only out of a morbid curiosity to see if their work can possibly live up to their own hype? Inquiring minds want to know...