Friday, 5 October 2012

Sock It To 'Em

I was watching a wonderful Monty Python sketch, called How Not To Be Seen, and it occured to me that one of the most effective forms of camouflage is to be a debut author.

After the recent "sock puppet" scandals about established writers using fake accounts to write glowing reviews of their own work, there's still the tricky issue of how to get your book known if you're just starting out.

It isn't easy. You can repeatedly spam all your Facebook friends, or blatantly ask for retweets on Twitter, or amble into Waterstone's and make vague tut-tut sounds – while these approaches may be more morally honest than sock-puppeting, they are unlikely to help promote your book. Or make you popular.

I certainly don't have all the answers. Naturally, I've done the blog/website thing, set up my Facebook page and tried to be entertaining on Twitter. I've spoken politely to some local book shops, and even printed up some flyers which are displayed around the local communities where the story is set.

Is that enough? Well, no. I'm still very much at the foot of the mountain. However, at the time of writing, Eye Contact has 16 reviews on Amazon with a very pleasing 4/5 star overall rating. None of those reviews are from me or my family, and only one of them is from somebody I know.

Why does this matter? Why don't I simply make up a few fake accounts and award myself 5 stars? Because not cheating has given me hope. Knowing those ratings are real encourages me that the series will build a following and be successful. It'll take time, but I have a 3-book deal so I can take the long view (or I could if I was a little more patient).

So thanks to everyone who's taken the trouble to review Eye Contact… and to all the dishonest authors out there, who sneakily try and rate their own books, I say "Dishonest authors, will you please stand up!"

No comments:

Post a Comment