Sunday, 17 March 2013

Playing the game or playing it straight.

There seems to me to be endless amount of advice from people who seem to speak with what is either authority (or a very good impression of it) on book promotion. I am sure it is all good stuff; all about seeking out the right reviewers, collecting thousands of twitter followers, making a big impression etc., etc. It's all about knowing the tricks, playing the game, knowing the insider rules.

The trouble is I think a lot of making this impression is window dressing, it's all show and no substance. I have tracked back a number of author's who have a whole armful of reviews - many more than my The Last Mountain has gained - yet I know from their sales position on Kindle that they are selling much less copies than my effort.

Maybe I'm just naive but I think people can easily see through this game. If something is dressed up to the nines, if there is an excess of presentation over substance, people will spot it (though in the case of Tony Blair I would have to add the caveat eventually!). We have a saying in my native Yorkshire; 'Fur coat but no knickers'! I think that sums up the approach of too many.

I just think it's simple. If you write something good, that people like, then they will take the time to review it and, even better, tell their friends who will also read and buy it. In that way a good author will build up a readership. Sure, this weekend I've been on Twitter telling everyone about my free promotion on my new novel Contrail but hey, I'm not a JK Rowling or a Dan Brown, I need to get the ball rolling, to get people reading. But that's all I will do. If people like it a few will hopefully review it. They will tell other people and...

But if they don't I know that it is the most eloquent criticism that people can give me. That would tell me far better than any number of manufactured reviews that I need to try harder.

I think playing it straight is the only way for me.

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