This morning I wrote on Cerulean Rust, my second steampunk novel. It now stands at over 72,000 words. Good amount, but I had to stop early because I couldn’t stop processing last night’s events.
As part of my process to grow as a writer, I am trying to be more social on media. As an introvert and very blunt talker it’s hard but last night I pushed farther than normal. I went to a few FB groups and posted various questions. They enacted some very long conversations, some still going on this morning. I’m glad I did it, and will do more to reach out.
But one issue got my goat (so long goat). It began about dumb Amazon now wiping out book reviews from people who simply know an author. This is done by the company mining your media data. That’s terrible and counterproductive to sales, but not what for me wondering.
In between this talk a friend in another group posted she will no longer promote her book in various groups because they are filled with writers, not readers. It hit me because I’ve had the same problem. Post a promo. Get a like. Assume said like is someone who might buy a copy. No. It’s a writer, who in turn wants you to go and like their book. This isn’t all bad. Quite a few authors like my stuff and I theirs to support one another. However…
If all we do is promote to each other, we’re not selling, except during free giveaways and Kindle Countdowns. So  I had to wonder, where do you promote online to get readers?
Not Good reads, unless I’m doing it wrong. Readers may recommend but don’t advertise. LibraryThing and Booksie are also writer dominated I learned. So where is the market? I’m far from a business minded Joe, but somewhere in the WWW there has to be a place.
I’m grateful whenever someone buts a copy of An Unsubstantiated Chamber. But in the back of my mind a thought keeps saying there has to be a better way, a smarter way, a site where readers are scanning books to read.
Maybe if I start a Steampunk Readers Group? Rules being you are only here as a reader looking for books to buy. But then how do I sort the promoting writers from readers? Hmm…
Like for Like seems to be unproductive. Even books consistently free move slow. I want to crack this case, and find a way we can sell better.
After all, I read a lot of great things, and want more people to know about them. Maybe if we take a day to promote other writers’ works, price, link etc. I might try that with permission. I know some talented folks with great books. Maybe by heavily recommending them, I then mention mine later as an aside. Two birds. One stone.
I think the advice I’ve been reading is true. Connecting with folks by talking will nab more fans than rampant promos. It takes longer, but the bonds formed are more enduring.
Any writer up for the cross promotional idea comment below. Also if you have an idea or know a site to reach buyers comment it here. Spread the word.

Know your alternate history!



  1. Baron, you have located and identified the wall. Let me explain how you get readers. You invest $10,000+ per month in advertising, or you get a contract with a traditional publisher who will do it in exchange for most of your rights. I was once hounded out of a GoodReads group for suggesting such blasphemy. So am I wrong? Please, I beg you, show me. You know that old saying: “Money talks; that other stuff walks.”

    1. You are as truthful as truth can be friend. The only consistent advice I read, and seems slow but steady, is to constantly talk to people in the genres. Eventually they know the person and then ask about your book. Other than money money money, that’s the route. I’m taking it. Tell ya how it goes…

  2. I definitely hear you! I feel much the same as you when it comes to social media. Honestly, my best sales come when I’m out at events and meeting readers face to face. If I have a print book and an ebook, even ebook readers will ask if its available and take the information. I’ve had some pull out their Kindle and buy it right there. Even that can be tough — a lot of events want money for a table, then you have to stand out from the other self-published authors, presuming those events will even sell a table to a self-published author. That said, some events have book dealers that will work on consignment. If you can get print books at a decent price for resale, that can be worth pursuing.

    1. Me, I work part time. My car died some time ago. So going to events and paying for a table is a pipe dream for now. That leaves social media and a contest against tens of thousands. I’m up for it. I know it is a slow game. It gives me time to plan and assess things. So far the media side has been worth it. When the day comes, I’ll be at cons hitting hard!

  3. It’s a tricky question, and a bloody great one. I wonder is it best to plough on as usual and hope that the knowing-each-other thing slips under Amazon’s radar, because despite screaming headlines to the contrary, there’s no way they can get to absolutely everyone and they do seem to be cherry-picking. Want me to create a diversion??

    1. So far it hasn’t happened to me yet (except for my wife who never reads but read my book, actually liked it, left a review and they scrapped it), but I think it could happen. Scary. It’s like their latest changes hurt our chances to blossom rather than help.

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