Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today. We’ve already reached the end of January, but I hope your year is off to a good start.
It goes without saying that all authors, Indies in particular, must promote their books. Although many authors hate this part, marketing is an essential part of the writing process.
Fellow SE contributor Jan Sikes has a fantastic series on marketing. If you haven’t read her posts, I highly recommend doing so.
Several months ago, we SE authors had a behind-the-scenes discussion about promoting books. It all stemmed from a tweet Staci read where an author posed the following: “If you like (popular author’s name) and (another popular author’s name), you’ll love my books.” He went on to ask if that would make a reader take a closer look at that author’s work.
Most of the responses on Twitter weren’t positive. Our reactions weren’t either.
Very interesting. I feel the same as most of the folks who commented. I’m not swayed by an “I’m like another author” tag. I am more influenced by someone I know loving a book or author.
That is interesting. Sometimes it does make me take another look at the book, but more times than not I tend to gloss over it as a gimmick.
It only sways me if I know and trust the author.
Those types of comps don’t sway me. Sometimes they deter me, actually.
As a Net Galley reviewer, I’ve also noticed a lot of this:
I’ve seen several books on Net Galley and BookBub offers that promote by saying “perfect for fans of (popular author)” Neither sways me.
I get that publishers need to entice readers to request advanced copies. But there’s still something about the idea that bothers me. Maybe because I’ve been duped a few times, thinking a book would be comparable to someone like Stephen King, Mary Higgins-Clark, or John Gresham, only to be disappointed.
This bears the question, should we even compare ourselves to other authors?
Another thing I’ve noticed a lot, particularly with thrillers and psychological fiction, is the addition of so-called “enticing” words alongside the titles. Things like:
- Absolutely gripping
- Jaw-dropping twist
- Totally gripping
- Utterly compelling
- Nail biting psychological thriller
And my favorite (just kidding):
Until recently, I didn’t even know that was a word. Don’t get me wrong. Some of these books lived up to the hype, but do we really need this? Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but what happened to the days when a book’s title, blurb, and cover were enough?
Now it’s your turn. As a reader, would you buy a book if you saw those words in a promo or as part of the book’s title? Would it deter you?
As an author, do you see these things as a good approach to marketing? Would you try it? Please share in the comments.