Indie Author or Master Spam Artist?

So I’m almost two months into this indie author thing, and all the self marketing that comes with it. It has been an absolute blast for the most part, though, I do get a bit obsessive when checking my numbers. I get asked a lot about how I’m going about marketing and the only real answer I have for that is, I’m doing what comes natural. I’m trying to build a fan base, as I’ve said before, but one thing I refuse to do is become a spam artist. I can’t even count the number of ‘authors’ that were quickly blocked after it became apparent they were nothing more than bots. So let me get this straight, you are adding other authors under the auspice that they are also readers and then spamming them your link 24/7? I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again, how are your sales really? Have any of you ever given so much as a single random thought? No, nothing but links.

The only thing worse is a terrible cover. I get putting your stuff out there, but how about a few times a day not every 5 minutes. I’m starting to sound like a broken record with that one, or is it skipping cd, bugged mp3… There are plenty of ways to go about self promotion. I’m doing everything myself and I imagine most of you are too. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know what I’m doing but I do know what’s working. First and foremost write the thing, edit it, edit some more, let a few people read it, edit, have someone else edit it, look it over again, start the ePub process. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people slam most indie stuff for being sloppy. And it’s true for the most part. If you’re going to take the time to write a book, WRITE A BOOK! Don’t treat this as a get rich quick scheme. It doesn’t work like that, and those that have found success took time and the process took a lot of time. We’ve all heard the stories about author struggles from King to Rowling to McCarthy. If this were easy every body would be doing. Though it does feel like that most of the time.

But the real writers, those of us who can’t stop even if we never sell another book, who keep notepads on our night stands, who dream of other worlds even when it impedes our own reality, those of us who need one more word, one more sentence, one more page, are the ones that will make this movement work. Some of us just need guidance. Mine came from a rejection letter, where will yours come from?

I don’t even know where I’m going with this, but in a nutshell respect your audience. They are paying money for your thoughts, respect the hell out of that. Don’t treat them like dollar signs. I’m so thankful to everyone who has purchased the book so far, I’m so thankful for the reviews, the tweets, the emails, and likes. I try to keep up a constant dialogue with you all and it really pisses me off when I see ‘authors’ do just the opposite on twitter or in a few of the fb groups I visit. These horrible marketing strategies reek of writing for cash seminars. If you are really interested in writing and making a go of it, then write your ass off and keep doing it. Don’t take the advice of someone who has never written a thing before. It’s an art form, not a pyramid scheme.

Use twitter to find people who like the genre you’re writing in. Follow them, interact with them, and maybe they’ll buy your book. Spam them and it’s block time. Same applies to Facebook and any of the various social media sites. That’s my ‘strategy’ if you can call it that. I write for myself, and I write for my friends, know your audience and they’ll want to know you.

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