That’s What Friends Are For?

Back to the whole Selling Your Soul thing (you’ll tell me if I’m getting boring, right?)

One of the selling tactics recommended by John is to reach out to your Twitter followers, get them to buy your book.

Now, I know some of my followers have been kind enough to do so – after all I’ve tweeted about it enough – but I always knew it would only be a very small percentage. John seems to indicate that you should actually reach out personally to them, use your friendship as a lever, expect them to buy.

That probably works if you have enough followers. And if the bulk of those followers are just casual friends, with little holding them together, no common ground except (perhaps) that they’ve enjoyed your previous books (one obvious flaw here: no previous books = no fan base).

The bulk of my Twitter friends are, in one way or another, in publishing. They are authors (published, self-published, aspiring), agents, publishers, PR people etc. And I follow them precisely for this reason. I’ve gained enormous amounts of information and knowledge from these people over the past couple of years, I wouldn’t dream of asking them directly to buy  my book. I’d be far too embarrassed.

Some of them, I know for certain, won’t buy it because it’s self-published. That’s not them being all high-and-mighty or holier-than-thou but (I believe) more a case of not wishing to tarnish our friendship.

Not long after I started this whole writing adventure, a good friend made a comment to the effect of “Surely, you write in the expectation that your friends will buy and read your book”. I don’t think I ever had that expectation. Sure, there are a very small number that I assumed would do so, and I’ve not been shy about telling everybody on Facebook and Twitter, but to expect? Never.

I’m still hopeful that I’ll convince some of the more cynical, that they’ll give my books a chance and realise that self-published doesn’t automatically mean bad. But I’m not going to force the point.

Because it has to be their choice.

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2 Comments to “That’s What Friends Are For?”

  1. Really? The advice was to ‘expect’? Surely that’s a recipe for disappointment?

  2. I have FB friends who are authors (some published) whose writings I don’t like – but I wouldn’t tell them that. I/we borrow books from the library to see if we like (or don’t) and only admit to reading them if we like their work. It doesn’t change our ‘friendship’. I have read some excellent indie books of varying genres but if we get offered one and decide we don’t get on with it then we tell them exactly that – but never the why – and apologise. Life is short enough.

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