I’ve noticed a marketing trend among authors recently. It makes me uncomfortable, though I’m not sure why. It has to do with the increase in promotional offers to encourage readers to pick up a copy of the author’s work and read. I get the theory. We all want to figure out the formula for getting our work into the hands of people who will truly enjoy the ups and downs of our fictional creations.
But… I dunno… some of it seems to border on desperation. Where does the metaphorical line get drawn that separates smart promotion from that’s-a-bit-over-the-top sort of madness?
It seems that every day I’m beseeched to read someone’s work and as an added incentive they’ll throw in a (fill-in-the-blank for yourself). Today’s offering caught my attention because someone wiggled a chance to win an Amazon giftcard or the equivalent amount of cash via Paypal. Technically, I guess it works pretty much the same way. I could use either one to purchase items for my personal gratification but somehow the idea of winning cash in exchange for downloading a book that is already being offered FREE seems like overkill.
Be patient people.
You want to reach the readers who want to read your book because they like the sound of the story not because you’ve enticed them with goodies. Goodies are nice. I like goodies too. But as a writer, I want readers to find my work because they’re curious about a plotline. I want them to read my books because the characters appeal to them (or not, depending on which book we’re talking about). That usually takes some time.
Everyone has to make their own choice about marketing strategies and figure out what their goals are – and it’s a certainty we don’t all want the same thing. In the meantime, I’ve started to avoid downloading the books that are hawked with increasingly strident shouts. Maybe they’re wonderful stories with characters I would love… and if that proves to be the case I suspect somewhere down the road I’ll discover them because someone will mention them by name.
But not because I had a chance to win a Kindle or a Kobo, pocket some cash or giftcards, or be expected to offer a mailing address so they can send me a box of chocolates (that’s the weirdest one yet, yeah?).