Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Read me!

Someone posted on the Amazon boards asking people for recs on the best recent indie books. A few people suggested some; one or two dissed indie authors as unpolished; and then a few indie authors began posting links to their own books.

I've said this before, and I'll continue to say it: Recommending your own books on a rec thread is not the best way to make an impression, IMHO. Reccing someone else's book (even if you end with a sig line linking to your own book) makes you a contributing member of the community, and lets people know you're there to talk, not just to post links to your books. Reccing your own book just makes a lot of people dismiss you as a spammer, especially if you use the same verbiage over and over, or if you do it on a lot of threads.

I will confess that I have recced my own books on some romance threads, if they very specifically met the criteria requested (I mentioned In the Mood in a rec thread asking for redheaded heroes, for example). However, I'm on the romance forum quite frequently, reccing other people's books and chatting, and when I do have occasion to mention one of my own books, I try to rec at least one other author, too. I'm familiar with the romance genre, after all, and I can usually come up with a book I enjoyed if I think about it. This way I'm actually contributing to the discussion, and not just jumping up and down with my hand in the air, yelling Hey, read my book!

Once again, subtlety is the key here. It's okay to mention your book on a rec thread that asks specifically for books like it (though you might want to consider whether it's really modest to post a link to your own book on a thread asking for the best of indie books). But don't use boilerplate, and do try to suggest someone else's books, too. And it doesn't hurt to actually hang out on the forums relevant to your genre and chat, either. It's the difference between promoting, and being friendly.

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