Every author wants free promotion. But indie authors crave it. Promotion could make or break the success of a new release (also factoring in how high the author sets the bar), but there is promotion and spinning your wheels in a fashion made to look like promotion.
We all go the route of combing the internet for reviewers, posting on every site we can find, maybe giving away a gift card, but there are certain things that just don’t work for obvious reasons. Like those threads on websites that advertise ‘Authors Promote Here’ like this one. Why? Because I don’t read them. That’s not to say that I’m the be-all, end-all of what will and won’t work. But I am a reader. And on the way to picking my next book, whatever that’s going to be, I don’t look at threads that have post upon post of authors schlepping their next work. It could be a great piece of fiction that I would become my very favorite book, but I’ll never learn about it that way.
The top ways I learn about new books to read are through recommendations and cool-looking covers. I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s how to reach me.
So why do these threads exist at all?
It’s for the same reason that crosswalks sometimes have that button you push when you’re facing a ‘don’t cross’ signal. It gives the authors the impression they’re actually doing something. It’s meant to placate us.
There are things that actually do work. Joining groups that allow you to post messages aimed directly at people who like your genre. I’m in several Yahoo and Facebook groups and have generated sales from both. You can even track traffic by creating links through bit.ly and posting those links. Of course, there’s a ton more that could be done—that’s more of a ‘hey, this is stuff that actually does something’ thing.
But don’t waste your time with author promo threads. Serious.