Authors Must Stop Using Spam to Promote their Books

  • The greatest desire of an author is to have people read their book, which serves as validation for their work.
  • Too many authors use spam to promote their books. That has the opposite effect of attracting attention, and turns people off.
  • Authors must use effective methods of generating interest in their books, instead of resorting to spam.
  • Devising a strategy to sale books must be undertaken if an author wants to be taken seriously, as opposed to being ignored.
  • Establishing expertise as a writer and being more relatable on a human level will result in increased sales.
Posted by Webmaster
When an author writes a book, their greatest desire is to have people read it. Writing a book involves a lot of thought. Thinking is present throughout a long process that requires a lot of discipline to complete the book. People reading a book serves as validation of the author’s efforts. Feedback, and especially people enjoying the book, can often be a greater reward for the writing process than receiving money, even though compensation is also desired.

Once an author completes their book, they begin to promote it. Some do that with the assistance of their publishers, agents, and others. Those who self-publish their book must promote it by themselves. As self-publishers promote their book, many do it in a way that either reduces or causes their sales to remain stagnant, because they use methods that many view as being annoying as opposed to informative. That includes the use of spam.

Spam has become a constant presence in the lives of people who use the Internet. On a daily basis many of us receive tens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of unsolicited email messages that flood our inboxes. These messages often advertise products we have no interest in, and are not relevant to us. Yet they still come regardless of our efforts to stop them.

Types of Author Spam
Some authors have unfortunately resorted to spam as a means of promoting their books. They bombard the people with messages containing advertisements about books that are not targeted towards the intended recipient. The recipient may have an interest in literature, but the type of book the author advertises is not something the recipient would be interested in.

Requests for Review
I have received emails about books from authors who do not know me personally, yet seek to arouse my interest in their book. Sometimes the emails contain requests for me to review their book, based on a review I wrote about another book. As I recall, none of the books the authors want me to review are similar to the books I previously reviewed. The books I reviewed were read based on my own interests, and not done at the behest of others.

I might be receptive to requests to review books that fit my interests. The books I usually read are about history, politics, autobiography, and suspenseful fiction involving history and politics. If a book does not contain those themes, I am unlikely to read it. If I receive a request to review, for example, a romance novel, the request is likely to be ignored. Additionally, I personally feel that asking a random reader to review one’s book is to some degree inconsiderate. Reading a book takes time. And to ask someone to not only read a book but also review it is asking a lot of someone the author does not know.

Message Board Spam
Another type of spam that I’ve seen used by authors, and which I find particularly annoying, is message board spam. I am particularly keen about making sure that does not occur on The Literary Board, because the presence of spam can compromise its integrity and reduce interest in it. I created a thread specifically for book spam, where authors can Shamelessly Self-Promote their books. But as is the case with humans, 90% of people can follow the rules yet there will always be others who are either too lazy to read the rules, or violate them purposely for self-serving reasons. When spam appears on other threads, it is deleted and the spammers are placed on my radar.

It is annoying when I discover spam on The Literary Board. It is also very annoying when I seek to participate in discussions on other message boards and forums, and have to filter through spam. I have recently begun to regularly use Google+, which I ignored in the past. Part of this participation involves interacting with other literary enthusiasts in Google+ communities. While doing this, I have discovered that seemingly 70% of the messages in the literary communities are spam posted by authors. This is extremely disappointing.

There are some communities on Google+ that are created so that authors can promote their books. Therefore, it is appropriate for an author to post information about their books by spamming those communities. However, there are far fewer of those types of communities than there are of other literary communities. The majority of literary communities are not places for spam, or for authors to constantly promote their books. Most literary communities exist for literary enthusiasts to discuss literature in all of its permutations and associated activities. Unfortunately, all of them get bombarded with spam.

The Problem with Author Spam
Spam is generally one of the most annoying aspects of using the Internet. As shown, some authors use spam as a way to promote their books. But their methods have the opposite effect of what they intend because people ignore spam, and are attracted to things that are more meaningful.

When I receive requests to review books that are about topics that I have no interest in, I am turned off. I do not attempt to learn more about the book nor the author. It appears the author has requested a review from me as an act of desperation without determining whether I as an individual will be interested in their book. Regarding discussion forum spam, I do not bother to look at the numerous posts by authors who post links to their books. I am sure that many others treat spam in the same manner.

Author spam comes off as an act of desperation. It shows that the author is so eager to attract attention to their book to sell copies that they are willing to ignore common norms of decorum. It seems selfish because it compromises the integrity of discussion forums. They exist for people to discuss different topics. But when authors bombard those forums with self-serving messages intended to increase book sales, it becomes hard for people to discuss legitimate issues related to literature.

As I explore different Google+ communities, I often find it difficult to locate discussions to engage others in. Most communities are filled with an abundance of posts by authors advertising their book or blog. It takes a lot of time to locate a post where the original poster seeks to discuss a literary topic with others. That makes the communities unappealing, which is something that is noticed by many others. Some of the people who create Google+ communities have stated explicitly that people are not to spam the communities with posts about their book. It would be nice if people followed the rule. However, there will always be people who push the line and do what they want.

Effective Ways to Promote Your Book
Since I am a writer who has experienced the excitement that comes from people reading my work, I understand the desire of an author to have their work read by others. But if an author truly wants people to read their work instead of immediately dismiss or overlook it, they must promote their book properly. Using spam is not the way to do that.

When an author promotes their book, they must think like a reader. They should promote their book in a manner that will appeal to readers. Requesting reviews from readers who have reviewed books dissimilar to the author’s book is likely to have limited success. Spamming people who have a general interest in literature is likely to result in failure. And spamming discussion forums with posts about books that lack any informative information about the author, their book, or its overriding artistic value, is likely to annoy more than entice.

Author’s Must Plan their Marketing Campaign
Through operating this website, I have learned some effective methods of marketing. The most important thing that I have learned is that it is a waste of time to have an unfocused marketing strategy. Campaigns should be targeted to specific groups that are related to the product being marketed, as opposed to general groups of people who have no relation to the product. The most effective marketing strategies are specific and target groups of people that are related to the product being marketed.

Targeted marketing is the most effective way to sell a product because it focuses on people who are most likely to be interested in the product. While promoting this website, I have tried Facebook Ads and Google AdWords, but they became ineffective wastes of time and money. On the contrary, the most effective way to market has been to directly contact authors and others who have expressed an interest in literature. Said method has resulted in the greatest amount of growth for this website.

Authors should locate people who have expressed an interest in books that are similar to what they have written, and directly contact them. They can do that by using different means. Sales might initially be slow, but they will also be more effective. In the meantime, authors can build a following by participating in discussion forums. But that participation should involve conversing with others about different literary topics, as opposed to posting spam about their book. Authors should establish some form of expertise, and show that they are accessible to their fans. By doing that they will generate genuine interest in themselves and their writing, rather than becoming known as spammers whose work is ignored. Since there are so many authors spamming discussion forums, they must do things to separate themselves from the masses of those writers. That can be accomplished by being more open and relatable on a human level, instead of acting in a self-serving manner that turns people off.

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