Please don’t . . .

cropped-blog.pngPlease don’t . . .

I had to get to this one sooner or later. I seem to have a whole lot of issues with blogging. Maybe it’s because I am still recently from the real world out there. Anyway, I have a new itch that needs scratching (gnomes, you’re safe, I won’t be picking on you).

My itch is the number of self-pub authors that want me to buy their books.

There, I said it.

I need to enlighten you a little.

I, too, am a self-pubber (sounds like it involves alcohol) and I, too, am looking for people to buy my books. But if I buy your book, then you have to buy my book and the whole writing world will collapse because authors will die of starvation. I am also on Amazon and although my sales are not terrible, they are not enough to purchase all the books that are continually being offered to me.

I DO believe that blogging is a great way to network and cry on each other’s shoulders and encourage each other, but it is not a bookshop. When I go to a bookshop (digital or otherwise) I like to browse. If someone is going to stand in front of me and keep holding their book up to my face, I will go to another bookshop.

However, I do think that we can productively support each other by the reciprocal providing of reviews. I don’t know how I sell any books with no reviews, or a solitary bad review (which is attached to my current best selling work — a puny short story which somehow sells despite my desire to disown it).

My point is this: tell me when your book is FREE on Amazon, and I will read it and review it for you. When you are a new writer, reviews are more precious than sales, believe me. Perhaps I will start a Freebie Friday Blog. You place your book FREE on the Friday, I will set up the link to it, and we can all provide reviews.

Let’s be sensible about this, and let the READERS buy our books, not other writers. Let them make some money first. . .

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28 thoughts on “Please don’t . . .

  1. There are many ways for a writer to make people aware of their books. Using the ‘buy my book’ system is definitely not one of them.
    Personally I usually link whichever of my books I’m talking about on any given blog post of mine by highlighting it, so that if anyone is curious, all they have to do is click on it to go to the book in question. That way, the reader is under no obligation, one way or another. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • And you do not PUSH your books, Jack, you weave them into your blog. If everyone followed your example, I would never have written this post. Your posts are first of all BLOG POSTS, and the book promo is secondary, kind of “See, I AM a writer so I actually know what I am saying.”
      In fact, I am going to carefully study your posts and see if I can pull it off as casually and tastefully as you do. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. I didn’t know this was such an issue. Admittedly, I started this whole blog thing because the advice is develop an author’s platform and all that other stuff. But I am horrible at self-promotion, feels like I am standing on a corner with a tin cup, so I don’t do it. There are so many really interesting people out there, blogging away, but I suspect they would feel very much the same you do, about people pressuring them to buy a book. Blogging should be about writing and reading other people’s work and nothing more. I completely agree with you!!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Well put. I believe that if we start helping each other, for instance with reviews, then blogging will be used to full advantage. Yes, we need to build our author’s platform. But it will work so much better when it’s about GIVE and take. Right now it looks like ‘every writer for himself’.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mister Gates (sounds good, doesn’t it?), I know the tin cup feeling. And I hate it. That’s why I am eager to start some sort of review exchange. You help me and I help you, if you know what I mean.
      Yes, we are supposed to start an author’s platform, but it would be so much better if could help each other along. I feel like I already know you, just because you have interacted a few times on this blog. And that makes me interested in what you have to say and what you have written. If you were just standing on your soapbox, promoting your own book the whole time — even at the top of your voice — I would not have given you a second glance. But now I class you as a writing buddy, because we share the same ideas on things. So when your work is up for review, I will want to read it, because I am interested in what my friend has to say.
      Keep writing and keep blogging. You will find your corner of the market where people will draw nearer to read what you have written, because YOU have written it.

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  3. When I’m feeling cynical, I have to think we blogging indie authors are all hypocrites, aren’t we? The only reason we’re blogging is to call attention to our books so someone will BUY them, but we have to pretend to be informative, helpful types who would never dream of promoting our books. “Book? What book? Oh yes, the one whose sales i check every five minutes.”
    One irony is that we writers follow each other’s blogs because our posts are often about (surprise!) writing, publishing and book promotion. Talk about preaching to the choir!
    Another irony (a good one) is that some of us find congenial fellow writers here, and a supportive community. But it still makes no sense to flog our books to each other.
    As for reviews, I’ve recently decided to write reviews on my blog for indie-published books from the geographic area I live in. And I do seek out free ebooks on Smashwords, and usually review them too, on my blog and/or Goodreads.
    And finally, the first book of my series is perma-free on Smashwords (not Amazon, they don’t do perma-free). If anyone is inclined to read and review it, I would be delighted.
    Good post — I like posts that entice me into a debate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your input, Audrey. I will definitely be having a look at Smashwords for your work. Would you mind reviewing for me once you see my review up in lights on Smashwords?
      And you are totally correct, we writers are the worst hypocrites. But writing takes a strange creature, so I guess that excuses our faults. But just think about all the other wonderful things wrapped up in a writer. Like . . . uh . . . I’ll get back to you on that one. 🙂

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  4. Informative and heartbreaking. I know you, and I, have already had this conversation Dorothy, so you’ll know where I’m coming from (the local pub) on the issue. Never having been a self-pubber (it might require a local watering hole if I had) I find myself on the outside looking in on this conversation. As my blog is nothing more than an excuse to practice writing (and may I add, from a completely absurd point of view) I have, as of yet, not been able to write a book (that anyone would take seriously that is), but I will, so feel threatened self-publishers. In the meantime, if you find yourself reading any post on my blog, you’ll not have to worry about me bombarding you with the title, or price of my latest release. On the other hand I might buy one of your books (but I’m still trying to figure out how I might benefit financially from that one though), and you’ll not have to worry about me pitching my latest non-novel, non-novella, or non-short story. But I can see where reviews would offer constructive criticism, or praise resulting in improvement in ones writing, and style of writing. The Freebie Friday idea is a very generous thought, where I could see someones book sales improving from so much feedback.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you – I don’t want my blogger friends to buy my books but reviews are more than welcome and I try to reciprocate. I think getting the news out about books is important. And I’ll let everyone know when I have freebies.

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