Lately, it seems like everybody, me included, tells you what you should do. You should promote, you should blog, etc. So today, I thought it’d be informative to post….
Top Seven Things Authors SHOULD NOT Do
(because top ten is so cliche)
- Badger Reviewers. If you send ARCs to reviewers, feel free to follow up once, in a couple of weeks. Don't say, "Did you read the book yet and did you like it?" Simply write, "I'm writing to ensure you've received the book. Please let me know if you require additional materials." This doesn't put the reviewer on the spot and sometimes, they actually didn't receive the book.
- Over Promote. Take a look at your twitter and facebook updates. How many of them are promotional? Now go to your e-mail. How many web-blasts have you done to your mailing list? Do you lurk in the mystery section of Borders every day, casually suggesting your latest release to any customer that passes by? Promoting yourself too much is an annoying turn-off that will shrink readership rather than expand it.
- Bitch and Moan. Everyone can spot the bitter author at a conference. The one who's never been reviewed in the NYT or is on his 3rd agent or whose publisher just doesn't give them the support they need. We've all been there, in that place where it seems like nothing ever goes our way. But cry for a day and get over it. I believe if you ooze negativity, only negative things will come to you. If your agent drops you or you get a bad review, deal with it and move on. Don't dwell in the bad.
- Say Anything Online. Once you put something online, whether it be a blog post or facebook update, it's there forever. For everyone, even people you least suspect, to see. Don't trash books or authors or reviewers online. It's poor form.
- Post Negative Reviews Online. This ties in with points 3 and 4. I see so many authors posting (complaining about) their negative reviews online. Why would you want to draw attention to the bad? Any negative review you get should be ignored and you should cross your fingers that no one sees it. Not post it on your facebook or link to it on Twitter!
- Forget about your Editor. Throughout the promotion process, it's important to keep your editor in the loop. Good reviews, tour dates, speaking engagement; inform your editor about all of these. They want to know what a great job you're doing and, since they are responsible for your next contract, it's important for them to hear the good things.
- Do Nothing. As an author, it's your job to promote. You don't turn in your novel and simply move on to the next one. I see plenty of authors who ignore the social media, don't update their website, don't tour, and overall, don't do anything. Big mistake. If you don't do something, no one will, and the hard truth is, you won't be an author for very much longer.