By Annie Stone
I published my first book back in March 2014. By the end of the month, I had created a Facebook page to help promote my book. Even though there wasn’t a whole lot of interaction with fans in the beginning, it was very important for me to reply to every single comment and message I received. Although the amount of comments on Facebook has increased so much that I am unable to keep up with them all, I do my best to “like” each post and respond to many of the comments.
If someone asked me how I go about marketing myself, I would probably answer that I don’t do any marketing at all. At least it’s not marketing in a traditional sense of the word. I like to consider it my own brand of “friendly marketing.” Although I have chosen to keep my publish persona under the guise of my pen name, I still give my readers a look into my private life on social media. I answer questions, send birthday greetings and have contests for readers to win copies of my books. I also actively contribute to book forums by posting my own personal book recommendations and give writing tips. However, I make sure not to use these forums as a podium to promote my work. I only advertise my books on my personal website and Facebook page.
I am not offended when I hear someone say “I don’t really care for your books, but I think you’re a great person.” Seriously, it’s more important for me to be recognized as a nice person than as a outstanding author. Of course I would love for people to enjoy my work, but I’m happy as long as my readers consider me a kind person.
Some might see this as an elaborate marketing strategy, but it isn’t. It’s just the way I like to treat people. Even though I haven’t met most of my readers in person, I’m sure they know I am honest and that I appreciate them.
Some users have been following me on Facebook for more than half a year now. I regularly read their status updates and comments and view the photos and videos they post. Seeing what books they are currently reading and other small details about their lives gives me the feeling that I actually know them. They are no longer just my readers, but also my friends.
I think that this kind of direct contact with readers is what makes self-publishing so special. I feel like we are on the same level. We are like friends who share enthusiasm and fascination for literature, make jokes with each other and offer constructive criticism for each other’s work. As a self-published author, I like to give the impression that I am approachable and readily available for contact. I believe that it is much easier for self-published authors to establish these kinds of relationships with their readers than big traditionally published authors who hit the top of the bestsellers list.
Becoming friends with my readers – I can’t imagine a greater compliment than that.
German author Annie Stone, has self-published eight erotic novels within the past year. Her latest eBook, “There Have Always Been Fairy Tales,” was published through epubli in February 2015. The author, who uses a pen name, will make her first public appearance at this year’s Leipzig Book Fair.