Writers Beware...Things That Annoy Your Readers

My friend, Jayne Ormerod, planted a seed this weekend. She interviewed me recently for her blog, Life's a Beach, and one of her questions was, "What is your pet peeve?" (Mine is people who leave their shopping carts in parking spaces. But that's another story.) It made me think about things that writers do that annoy friends and fans. Here's my list...

1. I know authors need to promote their work, but there is a way to do it without flooding newsfeeds with "Buy My Book" blasts. The 80/20 rule is important in book marketing. You need to share other information too (e.g. fun facts, facts, links, promotions of others, recipes, etc.). People will unfolllow or block you if all your posts are a sales pitch.

2. Then there are the authors who create a great graphic for a launch or book signing that I would like to share, and they've marked it private. Privacy and security are important, but if you're creating an announcement that you want shared, make sure that it's tagged for public access.

3. Again author promotion is important (and often part of your book contract), but don't post your sale, launch, or contest in the comments of someone else's blog or website unless it's part of a discussion, or you're part of the group. I manage several sites for a group of authors and for a book series, and people (not part of our group or even genre) post random, unsolicited announcements about their books being free or on sale.

4. Many people who like a certain genre, follow a lot of groups online. When you do a marketing dump to ten or twelve sites of your latest promotion, it appears on followers' timelines one after the other. If you're going to publish the same thing to multiple sites, schedule them or change up the post.

5. Make sure that your online presence is well-rounded. If all I see from you are announcements about your latest review or your latest 99 cent sale, I get bored. I want to know more about the author. (And you don't have to post personal things.) What research are you doing? What are you writing? What are you reading? What have you learned lately that will help other authors?

6. Other authors aren't your competition. You only need to be better than your last work. It's okay to promote other authors and share their celebrations. Your readers are interested in what you like. You actually have a greater reach if you partner with other writers.

7. If you schedule lots of tweets or Facebook posts, take a minute to see if they're being retweeted/shared. If you're getting a lot with no action, you may want to alter what you're doing. Others looking at your tweets or at you in lists, see a string of posts with no activity or interest. You're spending a lot of time posting content that no one is reading. Try something different. Add hashtags to appeal to specific interests. Add pictures or videos. Concentrate on the type of posts that generate activity for you.

What else would you add to the list? Happy writing and good luck with the marketing!

Riley's helping me with my blog today.

Riley's helping me with my blog today.