Shameless or Shameful Self-Promotion

shameLindsay Buroker recently wrote on this in her blog.

Posted by Lindsay | Posted in Book Marketing | Posted on 10-08-2012

…As an author today, you have to be willing to self-promote if you want to sell books. That’s just the way it is. And, as with most things, there are good ways to go about it and bad ways, or, as I’m calling them shameless ways and shameful ways. The former can earn you new readers and the respect of your peers. The latter…

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of shameful self-promotion going on these days, and these methods can not only hurt your prospects of selling books, but they can also leave bad tastes in people’s mouths. …

So, what are examples of shameful self-promotion? Here are some that I see (trust me, as a blogger and active Twitter person, I probably get more of this than the average reader):…

Joining forums just to promote your book. Over at the Amazon forums, there are a lot of people who will tell you how much they loathe self-published authors, because they’ve had to scroll through so many self-serving plugs (now, the forums are highly monitored, and posts get deleted anyway). If you’re genuinely interested in becoming a helpful part of a community, then, by all means, join a forum (many of them allow signatures with links to your site or your books), but don’t expect to get anything out if it if your only goal is to sell books.

via Authorpreneurship 101: Shameless Self-Promotion vs. Shameful Self-Promotion | Lindsay Buroker.


I tend to be a rose-colored glasses type and go out of my way not to look at what other people are doing wrong.  I really don’t want to catch others doing something wrong. I’d MUCH rather catch them doing something right and give them a high-five.

But very recently I was caught in an unguarded moment by a shameful self-promoter (who shall remain nameless) and I was so utterly stunned by his/her behavior that I wasn’t certain it really was intentional. That is until it happened twice in the course of the conversation.

Essentially this person jumped into the middle of a social media gathering that wasn’t about him/her and effectively started screaming ‘look at me, look at me!’. And when everyone did, we were directed to her/his links about his/her books ect.  An awkward pause followed, then the conversation resumed.  We all would have ignored it all and forgotten it, but it happened again!

I was so embarrassed for this person.  I wondered if s/he realized that her/his efforts won no friends and instead offended people and just made his/her work look bad. Worse still, I doubt anyone will tell him/her this is the case and s/he will continue in their shameful ways.

Promotion/marketing is a dreadfully difficult part of the writing process and I am utterly convinced that the 80/20 rule of marketing makes the most sense.  I really like promoting others. After all, we authors truly aren’t in competition with each other.  After someone reads a good book, they want another good book.  Not a single one of use can possibly write enough to be the only author a person reads. So if they love your book, it may put them in mind to buy mine.

We don’t have to shove each other aside to steal our share of the lime light.  We get much farther by working together and cooperating.  A lot like we learned in kindergarten.

Posted in Things that catch my eye and tagged , , , , , .


  1. I think your approach is a refreshing one. Your promotion day is among my favorites. I have gotten some good new books that I might not have without your notice. Keep up the good work.

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