I recently wrote a ranting post about writers who spam me on
Twitter with invitations to try their free ebook. Well, this week I had a
similar thing happen on Instagram. One message was from a writer with an invitation
to read their book. One was from a book promotion service.
reaction to each of them was totally different. One worked, one didn't.
So I thought it might be helpful to analyze the two messages and find
out why. Because, let's face it, however much effort we put in to making
genuine connections on social media, at some point we will have to
mention the thing we are marketing. We will have to say the equivalent
of: "Hey, you know I have a book out," or "I'm an amazing editor if
you're looking for one," or "you should check out my social media
But the way we say it makes all the difference!
So, just to emphasize, this post is not intending to "name and shame"
anyone, but just to provide some helpful feedback for all of us!
Typical Bad Marketing Message
Let's examine the bad example first:
"Hello , I see you are a book lover. Please check out my novel. it
received 5STARS from professional editorial reviewers. Reviews are on Amazon.com.
A story of heartbreaking and hilarious escapades of Zara. Please help
me spread the word of my Novel amongst your friends. I can do with
support from book lovers like your self. let me know what you think ?"
(Identifying details have been removed.)
My reaction to this message was simply to unfollow. Why?
Firstly, it's very impersonal. It’'s perfectly easy to find out my
name from my Instagram page. This person didn't bother. Even though they
must have seen it in order to send me the message!
Secondly, notice any grammatical and punctuation errors? I did. That
may not mean there's any in the book, but it tells me there could be. Very unprofessional.
Lastly, this person is asking me to do an awful lot for them, without
offering me anything in return. I have a book coming out too, do I not
deserve any support? They hadn't even interacted with my posts on
Instagram before this. It's true that the writing community is a very
supportive one, but most of us view our writing as business. And a
business has to be founded on a principle of give and take.