Publishing,  writing life

How NOT to Promote Your Novel

A Brief Guide for Newly Published Authors

  1. Do not SPAM your twitter feed or social network with links to your book once an hour on the hour for weeks or even months. That’s SPAM, not marketing. That doesn’t mean an occasional book pimp is a bad thing. Do engage in author events, talk to your potential readers about normal day-to-day stuff, and act like a human with interests, a life, etc.
  2. Do not post ridiculous statements like, “The greatest American novel EVER!”  or “Your world will change if you read this book!” It’s just hokey. Let reviewers and critics make these kinds of statements. You stay out of it.
  3. Do not compare yourself to famous bestsellers like J. K. Rowling or Stephen King. If critics or reviewers want to compare your work to a famous celebrity author, great, but doing it yourself looks tacky. (A lot of young and eager writers do this.)
  4. Do NOT under any circumstances, slam another author or another author’s book then post a link to your own book while praising yourself and your work. Don’t do this in book reviews, don’t do it on said author’s website, and don’t do it on social media. It’s unprofessional and it’s bad form. And it will make other authors dislike you. Word will travel quick what a jerk you are. Some of your best allies in book marketing are other authors. There are enough readers to go around, and readers are more than happy to read numerous authors. Just because a reader likes XX author, doesn’t mean you have to take out XX author and “steal” their readers. This isn’t a competitive sport where the last man standing wins. As a  friend of mine (who reads voraciously) pointed out, even the most prolific author cannot produce enough material to keep readers reading nothing but their books.  Some readers read up to 200 books a year.
  5. Do not turn every conversation into a conversation about your latest book. So if your friend says, “My dog ate my favorite slippers last night!” Don’t immediately say, “The dog in my novel is a chewer, too!”  You can talk about every day things without mentioning your new book.
  6. Do not engage readers who hate your books. Just don’t. What they think of your work is none of your business. Let them hate all they want. They’re not the people you write for. It’s the readers who LIKE your work that you’re writing for – and yourself. If you attack readers who attack your work, it’s bad publicity for your work and will turn readers off.

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at

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