Promotion – how much is too much?

11 thoughts on “Promotion – how much is too much?”

  1. I find this to be a fascinating topic. I, too, wonder the same thing at times. Sometimes it feels like you’re hearing about the same books over and over so much that you DO lose interest. The books that really catch my eye are the ones that started out with little fanfare, but for whatever reason caught on to the reading public and the next thing you know they’re making a movie. Okay, what was it about that little book that fired up the crowd? Now, that’s the one I want to read!

    Good Topic!
    ♥ Mary Mary


  2. The other way publishers overshare is that the promoted author gets to review/comment on other people’s books, or do an article. Then at the bottom comes the plug: Freda Smith’s NEW BOOK How I Overshared is Now out!!! Hate this. And you are quite right, it puts people off.


  3. Hi Carol – yes, like when they turn up on a talk show and have to pretend to be interested in everything else going on but you know why they are REALLY there – their agent/publisher has sent them. 😦 Ali B


  4. Spot on, as usual. It’s how publishing works, though, isn’t it? They have a release date and build everything around it and are feverish around the statistics of what the buzz achieved in sales, which means they are really pleased, back-slapping and high-fiving at getting a review in a top paper or a spot in a supplement or radio spot. They should have a tick box for ‘over-saturation’ to remind that, often, little is more, that book buzz builds slowly, over time, as readers fall in love with it and can’t wait to read it. But it’s a reminder that publishing is a business and the business needs to recoup the money they’ve expended to get the book out there.


    1. Oh absolutely, Janette. There’s always a bit of the sour gapes mentality for anyone who is not part of the action. But it just all seems to be part of the ‘all or nothing’ attitude in the book market. I realise it’s the same with music. Was pleased to see Sheryl Crowe on a line-up recently then suddenly she is EVERYWHERE! Ali B


  5. This is such interesting piece, Ali. I know what you mean about feeling as if you’ve read it already. I think this is where self-publishing and indie authors have the advantage… in mainstream publishing it seems that you only have a short period to make an impression. I’ve heard it said that an average mainstream pubbed book has a period of 9 months on the shelf to make it (or not). That’s not long. I guess that’s why the publicists cram in lots of promo around publication date. I often say to SilverWood authors that they have the luxury of time to build a following – because if you’re self-publishing, unless your book has a time-related topic that means it has to succeed immediately. You have the freedom to allow your book to build slowly or organically. You’re not bound by any artificial “it has to work now or we move on to the next profitable product” thoughts. You can build interest and readership over years if you want to, gradually bringing more books on stream. That means the self-pub author can create a longterm promotion strategy, rather than feel their books have to sink or swim within months. (And hopefully people don’t get fed up with seeing a constant presence in the media or online.)


  6. Hi Helen – BWW were discussing this last night. We’ve all been infected with the mentality that things have to sell out straight away or that’s it, show over. As you say most books and authors can build over time and this probably applies particularly to those who are new to the market. Very few books have a limited shelf-life. (Similarly the authors, we hope!) Ali B


  7. Thoughtful post. As you know, I’m not one to hide my light, but the best sales month for my first book was nine months after its launch. I’m a big fan of organic growth/drip-drip promotion. I like to find out stuff around the story, research, the author’s motivation. This only comes out bit by bit, and lets the reader enjoy discovering things themselves.

    But we live in a commercial and competitive world and authors like to get their work in front of readers, so gentle promotion is needed…


  8. I know what you mean about the overkill but I’m not sure it affects what I read. Perhaps because I rarely read non-fiction, I often appreciate reading articles about the book (in the dare I say quality papers) so I know what’s going on and don’t have to take the time to read it.


    1. Hi Ann – in terms of actual reviews, I think you’re right. they can be a useful short-cut! But I was just wondering if over-exposure of the author might have a negative effect in some cases. Ali B


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