The Soft Sell versus the Hard Sell: Please Don’t Cram Your Book Down My Throat

I’ve been attempting, as a writer, to think more like a reader lately. Not too much of a stretch.

At issue is what to do when my psychological thriller, Forgive Me, Alex, comes out on December 20th. I mean, I can’t just release it and sit back, waiting for it to sell a million copies as if by some form of literary osmosis. If I want people to buy my book, and of course, I do, I’ll have to work at it.

Yet which are the best methods for promoting a book? There’s quite a lot of debate about this in the indie book world. Everyone agrees that the social media venues are important tools: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and so on. We all have our blogs. Then there are blog tours and interviews.

The problem I have—as a reader—is that it all devolves into a bunch of white noise. “Buy me!” “No, buy me!” “Hey, don’t listen to them. Buy me instead!”

Frankly, I get sick and tired of that crapola, and I really don’t want to treat those who engage with me online to that nonsense. Yet how shall I sell my book if I don’t… well, sell my book?

Perhaps I should take the softer approach. I might talk about the book on occasion, but nothing too heavy. I’ll ask Tony Hooper, protagonist, to stop by from time to time, as he has already on three occasions: first visit, second visit, third visit. I’ll try to engage people in meaningful conversation, some lively but friendly debate once in a while.

I think the best thing is just to let people know my book is available. Treat potential readers with a little respect. And let the chips fall where they may.

The begging, perhaps, will come later.

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