It’s near impossible to miss the spam on Google+ at the moment. It seems every self-published author is trying desperately to promote their work by firing copy / paste adverts into forum after forum without a care for where it is going. Blocking is going on, insults are being thrown at these people and repeat offenders are finding their entire profile is reported to Google for abuse.
If you’re a self-published author you need to promote your work. Without a publishing house behind you it means doing the grunt work yourself. But there are rules and best practices to follow if you’re going to do it effectively and avoid alienating your potential readership.
Find the right communities.
Don’t post your romance novel set in 15th century England in a sci-fi community, nor your self-help book in a future technology one. Find communities that have a direct relationship to the theme of your work.
Read the rules.
Some communities ban advertising outright. Others ask for promotions to be placed in specific places in the community. Whatever the rules follow them. Kidding yourself your work is so amazing people won’t mind is NOT going to work.
Make it relevant.
Don’t just copy and paste an advert from one community to another. Try and tailor the message to the community, drawing out appropriate themes and coming across as relevant. It’s also worth remembering that if someone clicks on your profile and you’ve been pasting far-and-wide all that person will see is endless adverts.
Of course, if you’ve been using Google+ correctly you’ll have been participating in communities where your readers will be found. You’ll have been engaging in conversations and discussions and providing a gentle stream of appropriate promotions that have built momentum. It’s far more effective than an apparently panic driven advertising campaign that alienates and risks your entire profile being removed from Google+.
(Thanks to Mike Mozart for the pic)
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