how to · Pay It Forward · Tips · Writing

Promo Rules on FB – How to Make Me Skip Your Post

Maybe it’s just me, but when I see a post about books on Facebook, there are a few NO-NO’s that will turn me away, before I even see what the book is called, who its by or what it’s about.

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1 – these fancy schmansy posts with hearts and flowers for about four lines, e.g.
*´¨)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•`
or this ⭐.•°°•.✫🎶 ღ˚ •。* 🎶.•°˚ ˚
And, no, I’m not joking. I’ve seen these exact things. To me, it’s an eyesore and I skip past them, because it makes my head spin.
2 – OMG! OMG! Like, I just read the most awesome book!
No, you didn’t. You were probably gifted the book, asked to post about it or whatever. And, if not, then I’m assuming you were. Why? Because people don’t start every single post with OMG! ten million times. And yes, I’ve seen this too. There’s one book blog I used to follow that has this exact problem for EVERY post, about a book review. Now I just skip reading it.
3 – *crickets* Literally, no words.
A sales poster, with no words, no “hey, I thought I’d just drop this by” or “this is my latest book, I’d love for you to check it out” etc. Nothing. Not a word. The same goes for teasers. Unless it’s Teaser Tuesday, then I like to see text along with my posters, to get an idea of where I can buy the book, who the author is and what it’s about.
4 – When I see one book promo’d in 15 groups a day, often more than 3 times in each group, by a mass-market street team that don’t communicate with each other. If you have a street team, make sure you delegate the groups they can post to and don’t let them spam groups with similar/same posts about your book. It makes you look like a spammer, even though you’re probably not.
And, again, I’ve seen this happen. Once, it was 5 posts by 5 different people, who all had the same poster, text and were very clearly on the Author’s street team. Now, like I said, it may not be the author’s fault, but if you want to have a successful street team, pay attention to what they’re posting and – if you see a problem – as them to remove the duplicate posts. Not only is it fair to the other authors who are being hidden by posts for your books, but it’s also fair to the admins who HATE repeat posts like that with a passion. Not doing anything about it, when you know it’s a problem, is a sure fire way of being banned from that group or reported for spam.
5 – DO NOT beg and plead for people to buy your book to get it into the #1 spot. Especially DO NOT say that you deserve it. DO NOT let your street team use this pleading instead, insisting that you “worked hard for it” or “deserve it”. Guess what? So do a lot of other people.
Fun fact – when my last book came out, A Royal Craving, I was so close to getting a #1 spot in Amazon DE and Amazon CA, until another author’s street team flooded FB with this kind of desperate post – “They really deserve that #1 spot”. And, guess what? They got it. At my expense. Now, I’m not one to blame the author, but it was clear they knew about it (and no, I’m not naming names), and they did nothing. In fact, they shared the posts, creating even more of a problem.
My book was my first to ever really get me recognised in the M/M community, to get my work talked about between readers and it was a huge thing for me, to get so close to a #1 spot with it. This other author is huge and has has that little orange flag a dozen times. I had it once, for 3 minutes, a long time ago. It had taken me 4 days to get my book properly out there and noticed, so close to that #1 spot. It took this author 1 day of blast posting to get it.
I’m not the only person who had a book out at that time, so this isn’t just about me. It’s about being fair to the other authors that you maybe don’t know exist. It’s also being fair to your readers, some of who will instantly shut off when they see a hundred and one posts about the same book. So be smart and be fair. You’re not the only author out there.
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Personally, I can tolerate 1, 2 and 3, by simply ignoring them. But 4 and 5 made me sad, disappointed and angry. 4 and 5 are the signs of an author who doesn’t care about their readers or their fellow writers. This is a tough business as it is, but if you want to get noticed, don’t step on those that might have helped you get to the top and certainly don’t expect them to help you, after stepping on them.
I said it before, sometimes the street teams get over eager. This is why I don’t have one, because you can’t control them like you can control your own promotions. If I’m the only one promoting my books, I know where, when and how I’m representing myself. I also know that I’m not spamming anyone or using emotional blackmail to get my books out there.
I want to do this the right way. To let the readers decide who deserves the limelight and who they’ll be recommending to their friends. This author and street team that flooded FB with a desperate bid for #1 got what they wanted. They also had 3 members and the author being reported by group admins for spam. The author was blocked from promoting their own work for a week, which – sadly – only wound their street team into a whirlwind of outrage and anger, sharing the book in even more places, with less care for other people.
But if you spam groups, readers and fill people’s timelines on FB with your own work, so that nothing else is seen, expect to pay the consequences. Expect readers to get fed up of seeing your book cover everywhere and having your teasers thrown in their faces.
Be smart and be fair. I can’t say it enough. When you’re promoting your book, remember that there are a million other people out there, working as hard as you are, as deserving as you are, all fighting for the right to be seen. Sure, they’re competition, but this business is hard enough without us turning on each other.
Stand together.
Support each other.
Share other author’s, when you can.
Recommend great books you’ve read.
Be sparing with your promo’s.
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They say it takes 8 times for someone to remember something. So 8 mentions of your book will probably get your stuck in someone’s head. That doesn’t mean it all has to be done in one place, on one day. Spread it out, over a week or a fortnight, share in 1-2 groups at a time. Or, better yet, offer up free copies to eager readers and let THEM be the ones to show off your work.
Whatever you decide to do, think before you act. Ask for help. Help others. Do whatever you think is right.
Just remember that we’re all in this together.
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