Pussy CatThe last few days has seen some very funny and very sad attempts by a number of authors who have tried to convince me to buy their books. From the lazy and repetitive to the imaginative and then to some who really need a course in basic human reactions to people making a complete idiot of themselves.

Here’s a classic example of the slothically lazy book marketer on Twitter who either can’t read the instructions or just can’t be bothered at all as surely everyone will just be racing to buy my book..

‘Check out my book – ‘XXXX’ – on #BookBuzzr -http://tc/uYr5DG’

Now this is really going to attract my interest and have me darting off to buy this terrific book. Well, no. This is the default setting for Bookbuzzr’s nifty little auto Tweeter. A great tool, but you are supposed to edit it and put in your own clever ‘writerly’ phrases to interest people in your book. It also has the ability to rotate different messages so you don’t bore the pants off people with the same ugly message every day. The crying shame is that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of these default Tweets going out every day. Book marketing? No. Pollution? Yes. If you’re guilty, stop reading this and go and fix it pronto. This default message drives away prospective readers faster than rabies.

Then there was a couple of absolute darlings who thought of a very clever ploy. I received a number of messages saying, ‘I’ve just downloaded your book, how about buying mine in return?’ Well, a very nice thought but it was my free book they downloaded and they then expected me to BUY their books in return. Oh dear me, dream on!

Another approach I think really goes down like a lead ballon is when I follow someone on Twitter and within five minutes I receive a Direct Message saying, ‘Hey thanks for following me! My book is available on Kindle for only $2.99!’ Well, the likelihood of me even wanting to know the title has now disappeared off into the never, never. Goodbye, nice knowing you – for five minutes. Bad luck we never had time to be properly introduced.

But my favourite really is a clever one. ‘Buy my book, or your cat gets it!’ Bad luck however. No sale. I don’t have a cat!

Goodreads has become another haunt of the very un-savvy book marketer lately. One very polite message to say hello and WHAM! Next message is ‘Buy My Book’. I think I delete about ten a day.

The simple truth of this is that some people are really stupid. Would they themselves buy anything from anyone who tried to flog products to them using these techniques? No way. So why do they think anyone at all will take them seriously?

Well, I suppose only those of you who have a cat might!

Buy My Book – Or Else?

33 thoughts on “Buy My Book – Or Else?

  • 30/09/2011 at 10:10 pm

    I’m with everyone else who dislikes the hard sell, but I disagree about not putting your books in your bio (as long as there’s more than just “I’m a writer, buy my books”) because I often find interesting stories on Twitter through bios. I ignore the auto response DMs, but no matter what anyone says, I will always send a personalized DM to those that follow me. No, I don’t mention my books, but It’s first contact and I want anyone who’s interested enough to add me to know it’s appreciated. And if I’ve chosen to follow you back, there’s a reason and I like to mention it (nice blog, cute bio, book looks good, etc.). An @ message to every new follower would definitely make my tweet feed boring – too many of them. Good points though, Derek. There’s a lesson here. Thanks for posting.

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