I’ve come to a momentous decision today. Thanks to the general public’s total lack of interest in my work, I shall no longer be doing any advertising of my books.
I’m not the world’s greatest saleswoman, I’m the first to admit that, and I don’t have a rich husband/parents/boyfriend/wife;/girlfriend/son/daughter etc to pay for one of the many over priced ‘advertise your book here’ websites or a publicist to do the work for me. All I have is me.
I’ve said many times that authors are a selfish and competitive breed of creature. They don’t give real help without a fight and they happily use bribery and outright fraud to jemmy their book’s way up the ladder of apparent success. From getting other writer chums to write glowing reviews, to giving away kindles and amazon gift cards in return for reviews, anything and everything is fair in the book game.
You can’t just do a giveaway anymore, that doesn’t work. Without the promise of a brand new kindle or $50 in amazon money, no one is interested in actually reading a good book these days. It doesn’t matter how badly written the book is, how atrocious the spelling or how lackluster the grammar, so long as that kindle or gift card is in the post, they’ll give a glowing 5 star review.
I’ve just run a giveaway event for my latest novel and I’m not offering kindles or money. I don’t need to bribe anyone, the book is good enough on its own to more than compensate for the time involved in reading. The trouble is that people don’t actually read books anymore, even their buddies’ ones that they review. They just skim without taking anything in.
I set an easy and fun competition and was offering ten free e-copies of my latest novel as the prize. All I was asking was that people write a little story of 300 words about a celebrity and I would read and pick ten winners. Guess how many signed up for the event. Go on, guess. Thirty eight. Now guess how many actually did a story. Two.
Officially the event runs until Friday but I’m confident no one else will bother to enter and, as per the rules set by me, if less than twenty enter, the whole shebang will be cancelled.
One thing that people really should try to get into their brains is that all those who are offering kindles and money as bribes to you for reading and reviewing their books, are doing it because they need to. Think about it for a second; why would someone who has written a brilliant book need to give expensive gifts away to people to tempt them to read it? Answer – because they probably wouldn’t go within a mile of it if they didn’t.
I recently watched a hilarious conversation on facebook where an female author was moaning loudly to her chums about someone who had given her latest tome a bad review. Her little buddies jumped in and commiserated with her, called the reviewer all sorts of a obscene names and some even threatened violence if they ever met the person. I went to Amazon and read the free preview and was appalled at the spelling and grammar, the punctuation mistakes and continuity errors I saw in the just the few pages the preview offered.
The standard of writing has fallen through the floor since the advent of self publishing and most people now have so little real knowledge of how to use their own language correctly, that their work often isn’t fit to read.
I’m not going to start offering kindles and amazon gift cards to bribe folks to read my books. In fact I’m not going to actively advertise them at all anymore. I shall do my usual post when I publish a new novel and continue with my weekly tweet/excerpt group as that helps out others, a couple of whom are very nice people. I write because my soul aches to write. I write because the universe demands I write. I write because it’s the only thing I can do well. I shall continue to write books of quality and publish them. Whether you read them is up to you, but I won’t be offering you anything for doing it.