Friday, 20 May 2011

The Rewards of Self-promotion

I am a great fan of Twitter. Those of you who follow my Opportunities list are offered so many ideas because many of them come to me this list. I also use this wonderful social networking platform as a means of giving myself a treat; after every chunk of work is finished, usually about an hour’s worth, I reward myself with looking at the Tweets and posting one of my own.
I follow about 500 people and some are more present than others. I consider these to be my friends and worry if I’ve not heard from them. Many of them self-promote, and I’m happy with that because that’s not all they do. Besides, as we’re in the same game they just might be promoting something I’d be interested in.
Take my mate Trevor Belshaw aka Trevor Forest. I’m about a centimetre away from buying Peggy Larkin’s War. It appeals because I’m a sucker anything to do with the war – especially as I’m about to embark on my own rather unusual take on World War II. I write for children and this is a children’s novel. I love the name. Peggy Larkin. Fantastic. The cover appeals. So what if it’s self-published? I’ve read some brilliant self-published material and some absolute dire mainstream published writing.
But there are lots of other books that appeal as well. Goodness, I stopped keeping a wish list on Amazon because I realised I’d never live long enough to read all of those books. And I’ve got three shelves full of bought books and ten library books waiting for my attention. So why Peggy Larkin’s War? Because Trevor keeps mentioning it. I’m sort of thinking “Go on then. I’d better see what that is all about.”              
We need to be exposed to adverts at least three times before we act. The first time sows the idea. The second time confirms the possibility. The third time calls us to action. The bombardment thereafter pricks our conscience until we submit. We have to have an interest anyway, or the bombardment just becomes a background noise.  However, the background  noise still serves if the interest arises later. Just imagine, if I had no interest in Peggy Larkin but my kids were having to do a project on children during the war,  Ah yes, I might think, Peggy Larkin’s War, and I wonder what Trevor did for his research.      
So, friends, self-promote like mad. We are fortunate that these days we have many tools to help us.    


Trevor said...

Wonderful post, Gill, thank you. (mind you I would say that). My only worry in promoting Peggy Larkin’ War was overdoing it. As it’s a children’s book I couldn’t speak to my intended audience and didn’t want to attempt to hunt down kids on Twitter for obvious reasons. I was quite nervous when I first began to promote it as I had a vision of suddenly losing half my followers. Thankfully my friends on twitter understood the problems that self published authors have with merchandising and promotion, and no one has taken me to task over it. Maybe my friends are too polite, lol.
Twitter is one of the few tools a self published author has to work with, so when I decided to push I had to push hard. I think the trick is to make sure you interact with your twitter friends at the same time as a continual bombardment would put the most sympathetic of followers to hit the unfollow button. I do try not to massively overdo it and make sure I chat with people and have some fun too. So far it’s gone well and I’ve managed to stir up a lot of interest without any negative feedback. I really would hate to be seen as a spammer.
Many thanks for the article Gill. I hope you enjoy Peggy Larkin's War if you do buy it, the feedback on it so far has been beyond my wildest dreams.

Rebecca Emin said...

What a wonderful post. And you won't be disappointed by 'Peggy Larkin's War' it is a superb book for readers of any age, I absolutely loved it.

Kath said...

Really interesting post, Gill. I'd never thought about how many times we need to hear about something we're interested in before buying it before but that makes sense.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Peggy Larkin's War - I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and, thinking about it, apart from knowing Trevor through Twitter, one of the reasons it appealed to me was because Nina Bawden's Carrie's War was a childhood favourite.

Alison Wells said...

Yes, very interesting points Gill. I definitely feel it's possible to achieve the balance between self-promotion and genuine interaction with like minded people. Thanks for this food for thought.

Just Marie said...

Brilliant information on self publishing, thank you for this blog. I also wholeheartedly recommend 'Peggy Larkin's War'. I read the book before painting the cover and fell in love with it. My partener began to read it reluctantly, because it was a kid's book but, when he finally succumbed to my persuasion, he couldn't put it down. Trevor Forest is a brilliant writer and I just know you will love the book too.