Talking about promoting our books, about marketing, about how to do it and do it right.
Well, I personally believe the approach is threefold:
1.) Give them something
2.) Stop suggesting they buy the product or title(s)
3.) Don't overdo it
The unasked question by any and all people on the planet, as well as in the next galaxy, is: "What's in it for me?" We must reward interest, loyalty and support with genuine information, entertaining reading and/or something worth something for nothing. If we always ask of them, but never reward them, we lose them.
Hurry! Hurry! Step right up! Only four steaming piles of poop left! Well, okay, not all of them are steaming, but we quickly turn off potential interested readers, followers or referrals if all we ever do is give them kisses and promises, and constantly suggest they go to our site and buy our books. Like tuning out, or turning off the radio during commercials, fast forwarding recorded television programming to bypass the promotions, and glazing over or even closing our eyes when we flip past print media ads, this is what folks will do if the white noise of "buy me" is all that comes up out of the static we post. And, suckering them with terms like "free," "buy one, get one," or "jump this hoop and I'll pat your head" isn't going to endear them.
What will? If they've visited your site, blog, or otherwise viewed your Internet, direct-mail or other content...They. Are. Already. Sold! Cut the sales and promo, and give them a quality product. The best way to do this is via video book teasers, short stories, testimonials or interactive forums where discussions are being held by our readers, even our detractors, comparing us to other writers and authors, or those steaming piles of poop.
Even the quality content, awesome interactive forum or blog discourse and giveaways can be overdone. Pace your promos. Be consistent and dynamic, offer solid good content, but keep them wanting (panting) for more. Don't gorge them on every possible thing you can think of in a five-day period. Spread it out. Be regular, but even a daily bowl of oatmeal gets old if you eat it day in, day out.
So, offer quality content.
Stop selling and start interacting.
And keep it at once a week (sometimes daily, if you can sustain/maintain the quality and dynamic content) for blogs, twice-monthly for newsletters, and one a month or bi-monthly for specials and giveaways.
Do ask them to sign up or follow. Do invite them to comment, but do not make them have to jump hoops, provide the location of all scars, tattoos and their nose hair count in order to be a part of this awesome presence that is YOU THE AUTHOR.
This the kind of content I am going to try and provide, along with applied endeavors for promotion of my titles, and links, at my recently redirected blog E.C. Come, E.C. Go. If you like what you see and read here, feel free to follow. I will hound and not pound on you for your subscription to my forthcoming newsletter later. All my titles can be found at Lulu, as well as other popular sites like Amazon, iBookStore, Nook, SmashWords and Sellfy.
If you like western storytelling, visit Writers of the West. Watch for information on marketing and branding for popular eBook titles, independent authors from around the world, as well as a planned authorial website and major specialty titles website coming soon.