Online Book Promotion for Idiots

Today, I am cheating. I've been ill for two weeks with swine flu. (Actually, it's sinusitis, but I'm a writer, I'm allowed to be melodramatic.) It has killed my last remaining brain cell and I am not up to writing a proper article. So, bearing in mind only five people ever read my own blog, I'm taking a gamble on you not noticing the fact that I have rehashed this post from something I wrote last year:

With fewer publisher pounds going into publicity these days, authors are increasingly expected to do the bulk of their own book promotion. Fortunately for us, the web provides a wealth of free opportunities. Unfortunately for everyone else, some authors don't realise what will do more harm than good. Here are the instructions for becoming one of those authors...

1. Join every book-related forum you can find – the members are waiting with bated breath to hear about your opus. Don't read the forum first, or introduce yourself – there’s no time for that in the fast-paced online world. Your first (and only) post should be:

You all should read The Undertaker by Doug Graves, ISBN 978-14M4N1D10T. This hilarious comic fictional novel has been described as Terry Pratchett meets The Da Vinci Code!!! Buy it now!!!

If it's a forum for writers rather than readers, add:

Yes, it happened to me!! I'm living proof that you should never give up! Be inspired, because even you miserable wannabes might one day manage to get published like ME!!

Then move on to the next site and wait for your Amazon ranking to shoot into the top 10.

2. Just think of all those stupid agents who rejected you. There's nothing that will humble them so much as a mass email with your ISBN and a huge attachment of the cover image. Ha! The joke’s on them now. They'll realise that they made the worst mistake of their life and will buy your book to serve as a constant reminder of their own fallibility.

3. Did some ignorant Amazon reviewer only give your book three stars? Don’t worry – you can turn this to your advantage. Use the comments facility to say:

Wow, did I upset you in a former life, you moron? This is not *supposed* to be great literature – are you too stupid to see that? Well, obviously you ARE, because there's a typo in the third line of your “review.” I know where you live, so if you keep telling people you only found my book “fairly amusing,” you’d better watch out, OK? And I'm getting all my friends to mark your review as unhelpful. So there.

The reviewer will be so scared he’ll give your next book five stars, and everyone else will be so in awe of your feistiness that they’ll place an order straight away. Result!

4. Put a SIGNED FIRST EDITION!!!!! on eBay. The key to success is to have at least ten identical auctions running simultaneously – you wouldn’t want anyone to miss out now, would you?

5. This is the most important one: plug your book in the comments section of blogs. DON'T just stick to relevant blogs, either – you never know who might be interested:

This sounds like a fun lake to go carp fishing – if you're sad enough to like that sort of thing LOL! By the way, if you’re interested, my latest novel “The Hound of the D’Urbervilles,” ISBN 978-5UPER1D10T, is a pacey thriller featuring Tess as a jaded detective and Angel Clare as her bumbling sidekick. It’s available from Amazon for only £17.99. Happy angling or whatever you call it!

Good luck! You'll need it.

Most of this post originally appeared on Writing and all that.
Oh yeah, and... you all should buy my book!!! Visit to find out how!!!


Roderic Vincent said...

Excellent, Caro. I originally enjoyed this on your own blog (bet you get a lot more than five) but it made me laugh again today. Thank you.

Geraldine Ryan said...

Hilarious, Caro! Hope your sinuswinitis is gone now!

Lucy Diamond said...

Ahh, the list of advice I have been waiting for - cheers!
Hope you feel better soon. x

Administrator said...

NOW i know what to do - thank you, Caro!

How did you know us wannabees are always miserable?:)

Hope you feel better soon.

Gillian McDade said...

Brilliant advice, Caroline! Thanks for such an amusing post - made me laugh bucket-loads :)
Hope you are feeling better soon!
G xx

Caroline Green said...

Absolutely hilarious!

Hope you can breathe again sometime soon.

Caroline R said...

Thanks, all - I've got antibiotics now and already feeling well enough to do some book promotion!

Hack for hire said...

This made me laugh. Having a touch of writer's block at the mo so nice distraction from work!

Fionnuala said...

I read your blog! Maybe I should 'follow' it so you know I'm there?

Your post had me giggling right through it. Hope the cold is better soon.

zzboy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Caroline R said...

That deleted comment was the epitome of irony!

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Oh, to have something to promote! Thanks, Caro - must read your blog in future!