I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember. While I always wanted to be a writer, it took about twenty-eight-ish years for me to believe it was possible and go for those publication dreams.
And now, here I am! It’s taken years and lots of rejections and hours and hours of hard work, and there’s still a lot of hard work ahead as I plan on doing this for a long time. Still, the fact I even have “readers” is amazing to me. I want you all to know how much I appreciate your time and interest.
While I am now a published author, I’m also a reader, and I try to keep my reader self in mind when I approach the “selling” part of my writing job. So, I thought I’d write this little “dear reader” letter to let you know where I stand when it comes to how I think you should read my books. (BIG HINT: However you want!)
I see a lot of promotion tactics that make me deeply uncomfortable, so let me say clearly right here that…
I will not…
-ask you to buy a book at any specific day or time.
-Gift a bunch of copies to people to download at a certain time in order to manipulate my Amazon rank.
-promise incentives in order to get to some particular rank on Amazon/BN.
-ask for reviews in exchange for x,y,z. (I appreciate ALL reviews, but I won’t manipulate people into writing them).
-react poorly to/argue with ANY reviews
-ask you to tell your friends about me.
Maybe it can be boiled down to that. I won’t ask you for anything, readers. As someone who has saved up money to buy favorite books, checked books out from the library, borrowed/lent books to friends, I can’t feel right about asking you for anything. Because reading isn’t a job and you have no responsibility to the author. You owe me nothing (except maybe obtaining the book legally, and really that’s not something you owe me). The fact that you’re reading my book is enough.
But what about you? What do I owe you?
1. The best book I can write.
2. Updated information on my website regarding my books and upcoming releases.
That’s it. I also try to make myself accessible to readers. I’m on Twitter a lot. I’m on Facebook, and I answer emails. I truly enjoy interacting with readers and do as much as I’m comfortable with doing.
Sometimes I’ll do giveaways. I almost always tweet/Facebook news, covers, sales, etc. I’ll share blog posts and talk about books I’ve read (including books I’ve read by authors who are friends, but I will try to make those connections clear). I’m not perfect and I’m sure I’ll make mistakes, but this is my comfort zone, and when it comes to “promotion” and “marketing”, I’m good with staying smack dab in the middle of comfort.
In the end this is what I promise, because it is what I value. If other authors feel differently, it’s certainly their prerogative and I wish them no ill will (as long as they aren’t being raving jerk faces).