Now that I’m a published author, I’ve stumbled upon a secret society: the cross-promotional author collective. Any author, regardless of literacy, could join any number of warm, fuzzy clubs to mutually stroke each other’s egos, exchange rave reviews (sometimes without even reading the book), tag each other’s books on Amazon, like them on Facebook, host each other on blog tours, even compose our own hyperbolic promotional tweets (“…a real page turner!” “…stayed up all night reading!”) and post them to a special thread for other members to copy and paste to Twitter.
Apparently, scores of burgeoning authors have no trouble promoting anything and anyone for mutual marketing purposes. But is it a good idea for authors to publicly endorse badly written, poorly edited work under the guise of support? Is it really worth our time? Does the indiscriminate promotion of questionable writers result in more book sales for anyone? How do our recommendations affect our credibility? How long will it take for our Facebook and Twitter followers to discount our opinions and ignore our posts?
On the other hand, it’s a tough market out there. Trying to promote our own books makes us pariahs in reader forums. Even friends and family get tired of listening to us talk about “the book, the book, the book!” Giving away books for free is the not always the best business decision. How do we get noticed without support? Is there a better way? What do you think?
Stay tuned for my next blog post for more.