Yes, I know that pun in the title was cheesy. Getting on the “write” side of people? Seriously…
But anyway, what does all that mean?
Today, I want to briefly share my thoughts about writing etiquette…meaning the way you approach other writers, particularly through the blogosphere.
A lot of the time, we are excited about our own ideas and writing endeavors. And that is great. We should be. If we aren’t excited about what we’re writing, how can we expect others to be? We think we have totally awesome, unique stories, with attractive, relatable characters, twisted villains, crazy relationships that work out in the end…and we want to share our joy with others.
It’s totally common. Don’t ever beat yourself up for wanting to share and express your excitement for your own creativity.
That doesn’t mean you should be shoving yourself in other people’s faces.
Look, I get it, we all want to promote ourselves. Heck, we would all like to be PAID for our ideas, our stories, our hard, written work. Money is tight when it comes to writing, because you’re either a self-published author (like me), or your an aspiring author waiting for an agent or publisher to get back to you.
It seems like all of our problems will be solved if we simply earn ourselves a nice fat following. The goal is to have an audience that is so in love with your book, they love it as much as you do. But how do you go about OBTAINING this audience?
The Wrong Way
“Hi, I’m so-and-so. I just wrote a book that I think you’ll love. Would you mind following me so you can get all the updates on my story? Thanks!”
The first time you see a comment or email like this, you might be like “Oh, sure!” But by the tenth time or so, you’re like, “Seriously?”
To a degree, I think it’s always fair to give people a chance. If they want you to check out their book, you might as well do it…give them points for reaching out.
But the problem is, it’s annoying, or even rude, when someone makes a comment on one of your posts that is COMPLETELY unrelated. In fact, it’s sort of like someone being like:
“I found a new blog. I’m going to pitch my book to them!”
The problem with this attitude is that it creates a sense of CONSUMERISM. Everyone is out to get something, but no one wants to give. No one cares about community. It’s all about, “Hey, look at me!”
Everyone might be checking each other’s books out, but nobody will be SEEING.
The Right Way
If you have to pitch your book to someone, if you feel so inclined, be polite about it. Seriously. Validate the fact that you might be annoying them, that you aren’t trying to bother them. Essentially, be human, not some promotional robot.
However, the best way to gain the audience you want and surround yourself with people that are interested in your ideas is to be a PART of that community you desire.
Nothing can be gained without something being given first. You don’t have to watch Fullmetal Alchemist to believe that 😉
If you want an audience that’s crazy about you, find some people you are crazy about. Find other bloggers who like the same things, read the same things, and are fighting for the same things. I have discovered this by entering a community of aspiring writers…which, believe me, is a very big part of the blogosphere!
Become a part of a community. Comment without wanting something in return. Like a post without doing it to be noticed. And follow people out of genuine interest. What’s more, write about more than just yourself. Promoting your ideas is great, but it can be annoying to see an endless stream of somebody else’s dream showing up in your inbox.
I hope this post wasn’t offensive to anybody, and I hope it helped enlighten some of you! Thanks for being a great community!
Another subtle way to promote yourself is to do what I’m doing 🙂
I’d like to show you the cover of my book, and provide a link to where you can find it on Amazon (99 cents as an eBook, $12 as a gorgeous paperback):
Check it out, if you get the chance 🙂