From author Lindsay Buroker:
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. Self-published authors, in particular, seem to be big offenders.
Note: traditionally published authors can be just as guilty of shameful self-promotion, but I believe the real-time sales reporting we indies have access to through CreateSpace, Amazon, B&N, and others makes us a little crazier.
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Emailing people who didn’t opt into a newsletter signup on your site or who didn’t otherwise ask to be kept abreast of your releases.
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Leaving blatant plugs for your book in people’s blog comments. It ispossible to leave comments as a way of getting your name out there and, maybe, enticing people back to your site, but you need to add some value to the topic being discussed and find a subtle way to mention your book (if you mention it at all — leaving an awesome comment and simply working in the fact that you’re an author may entice folks to click).
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Asking other authors to read/review your book, especially if this is your first contact with that author. Your first contact with anybody shouldn’t be a request for a favor. If an author’s popular enough to have attracted your attention, assume that they receive quite a bit of email, including requests for favors from new authors. They’re also busy writing the next book to keep their fans happy. If you establish an online relationship with the author first, again doing favors for them before thinking of asking anything in return, he or she may be willing to help you down the line, but I still wouldn’t ask them to read your book. I know you think your book is brilliant, but chances are said author is just going to see it as a 10-hour (or however long it would take to read the book) burden on their precious time.
Link to the rest at Lindsay Buroker