I had a moment while reading part of an article this morning and decided to share the whole thing with you. Bear in mind I’ve not read the entire article (it’s been released as a free 65 page ebook as well) so I’m just concentrating on one little part of it, just this heading:
It starts off well but then devolves. I’m wondering if they’ve just misread the information they have. The author thinks this is political but my reading on it is more mechanical and financial. When writing a computer program for people to use, to be populated by people, such as Facebook or GoodReads, you need to have data in there to check that things work. At early stages of the release it doesn’t really matter if the data is slightly empty as you just need something there. GoodReads was launched in December 2006 and many of these ghost members were put in during 2007 to 2009.
Why? I suggest two reasons. The first is to make sure the software is running properly (you don’t want it falling over the moment you hit 1 million members) and the second is purely financial. They needed it to look populated in order to get more funding. And this second reason is actually mentioned in the article. But then the author goes on to say how strange it is that these members never read books. And that’s a der moment. If they’re dummy accounts for either of the reasons I’m suggesting then they’re not going to read books, they’re just going to sit there. The author does suggest this is a conspiracy as many of these types of sites do.
Promoting your book
But getting back to the title of this article. This week I was put on a Twitter list of Amazing Writers. I’ve no idea why I’m there but I found myself intrigued as to who else was on this list so I clicked through and scrolled through the list of tweets. One of them was a link to the GoodReads listing of this book I mentioned above. Just enjoy the irony with me. It was originally a website, the author then turned it into a book using Smashwords. The book is now listed on GoodReads and is called Authors vs GoodReads.
While tweeting about your book is a good method of promoting your book there are other things you need to know and do. I should probably write a proper article but for today I’m only doing an outline.
You can do the old-fashioned method of getting on the speaking circuits, publicising your new book at writing festivals and putting your name down as someone who can speak on panels. Not only can, but should. You need to get yourself out there and be seen. Challenging for shy introverts but you need to challenge yourself in order to change. Part of this can be a physical book launch where you get one or two people to say nice things about you and a few people attend and you potentially sell books.
But you also need to do the new-fashioned stuff of getting your book into the hands of bloggers, getting them to write about it. I.e. having a non-physical book launch. This is where you contact a whole raft of bloggers weeks before the launch and ask that they join the launch using reviews, giveaways or even Q&As, the more you have the better but I’d suggest you need a minimum of 10.
Then there’s social media including Twitter and Facebook. You need to help amplify the publisher’s efforts. You need the bloggers to amplify this even more. Why? Because when your book has left the shelves it will still be visible on the web.