by Anne R. Allen
A lot of authors get that deer-in-the-headlights look when I mention marketing books online.
But it’s pretty much the only way to promote books during this “stay at home” pandemic.
So we gotta do it. I understand your reluctance. Social media is full of trolls, scammers, and vast herds of bellicose morons.
And there’s also a lot of unethical and downright criminal behavior that gets labeled as “online marketing”.
Some online marketing “gurus” teach (expensive) lessons in manipulation, lying, cheating, and general flimflammery. I had one contact me just this week. He’d put a Google Alert on “guest blogging” and this blog came up, with my piece complaining about unethical behavior in requesting guest blogposts.
He’s such a lazy idiot that he hadn’t bothered to read the passage of the blog he cut and pasted into the email. But because I used the magic keyword phrase, he expected me to link to his website that teaches people to send unethical guest blogpost requests to bloggers like me.
Um, sure, right, dude. I’ll send my readers to Moron McSleazy University, so they can learn to use Google alerts to harass me.
Here’s the thing: trying to sell your books or services by gaming the system, abusing bloggers, and lying is a very bad idea. Even if you’ve paid a lot of money to learn how. What you want to do is establish a brand that people trust, like Stephen King, Doris Kearns Goodwin or Lemony Snicket—not Scams “R” Us. How do you do that? As Ruth told us last week, you reach success with patience and persistence, not tricks and gimmicks.
Here are some of the unethical things I see all the time. I hope normal people aren’t starting to think this is okay behavior: