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Promoting, how much is enough or too much?

I wasn't sure what to write about this month until I was on one of those dreadful sharing sites and left a comment concerning a book of mine that was listed on their 'please find for me' thread. I left a polite response, asking that my books not be shared. The next day, there was a comment which surprised me, and made me think. It was something like this, 'I don't know who you are, never read your books, so you either don't do much promoting or you're a lousy writer.'


At first, I just blinked and thought, what an idiot. I didn't respond and I have no plans to go back to their site. I mean, why would I? 

I have been thinking about that comment, though. Honestly, I'm glad they don't recognize me or know who I am. That can't be a bad thing. Or can it?

I do promote. I don't spend as many hours as some authors do, but I do my best. I post here. I have my own blog I try to post on at least a couple of times a week. I post on a few of the Yahoo groups, have a newsletter, Twitter, Facebook and several other promotional venues I struggle to keep up with. I do mean struggle here. 

I'm not by nature a social butterfly type. I'm much more comfortable in my little corner of the universe typing away, creating stories or working in my garden or feeding the deer.I know many authors who feel the same. Some, like me, do the best they can, attend chats at the various groups, post blurbs and such to a myriad of Yahoo groups and other networking sites. It takes up hours of time we could spend writing.

How much time is enough for promoting? When should an author turn that PR switch off and get back to the actual job of creating the next book? What social network device works? How much should we spend on promoting? There are dozens, probably hundreds of sites where we could buy time/space and get our names out there. But, putting together promotional blurbs also takes time. 

I know a website is pretty much mandatory. I have one. I adore my site and work very hard to keep it up to date, adding new book covers, mini blurbs and such to it whenever I can. Usually, this happens four or five times a month, if not more. I put out a newsletter, have a slowly growing list of people signing up for it, and do add personal bits and pieces to that.

I guess my question for anyone who sees this is, how much time should an author spend promoting, trying to get their name out there and/or flog their newest/up and coming/older books? I'd really love to hear from both authors and readers.

And, if you do want to take a peak at my work on Total E-Bound, that would be wonderful. Here's the link to my page there: 

Have an amazing day!


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Ranae Rose said...

That person was a jerk, Jude. Definately take their comment with a bucket of salt!

Anyway, I'm not so sure there's a concrete answer to your question. Promotion is certainly a balancing act!

Marc Jarrod said...

I know most publishers do their best to get your book out there, to the point they pay promo companies to do this.
I also understand that publishers want authors to help out too. As the man upstairs says, "I help those who help themselves.
Unfortunately I havn't gotten that message, yet. LOL I do have a personal blog and a Facebook account, but I am terribly guilty of not utilizing both utilities.
How much is too much? When you just use one promo website and post excerpts ad nauseum. You need to spread your wings. I am sure there are a lot of free promo websites out there. I have a book coming out and I am really going to start hitting the streets--well cyberspace streets and not only start promoting my up coming books but all of my past books.

Jude Mason said...

Hi Ranae,

I do tend to agree about the idiot. LOL Actually, I was quite all right in my anonymity among the sharing site. It's nice to be under their radar for a change. My thoughts really were, how much promotions is good. I mean, I really don't want to drive readers away because they're sick of seeing my name, right?

Do you remember when you were a little kid and your mom said, 'don't brag about yourself, it's just not nice.' Well, I think that stuck too well and I really have a difficult time telling people about the success I've had.

Thanks so much, Ranae. I really appreciate your feedback


Jude Mason said...

Hi Marc!

So glad you could pop in. Yes, publishers all need the authors to promote for themselves. I mean even Stephen King does the talk show rounds and such when he's got a new book coming out. Many authors do extremely well at promoting. They seem to have a gift for it, and I'm jealous. LOL

Yes, I've seen your blog. The poor neglected thing. You need to get something new up there.

I so suck at hitting the streets. Sigh! You're right though. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!


Lisabet Sarai said...

Somebody said that YOU don't do enough promotion? OMG. And that they'd never heard of you? Where have they been, under a barrel? In a cave?

A couple of years ago I decided I would stop berating myself for not promoting enough and just do what I can. Not stress, you know? Be cool.

(That's why I've spent the last three hours doing my monthly website update LOL...!)

Naomi Bellina said...

Sorry you had to read such a rude comment. That's just plain mean! I recently took an online workshop that said we should only spend about a third of our time doing promotion, the rest writing. Maybe it was only a fourth. It seemed like a low number to me. I hope as I get better at marketing the hours I spend will be reduced while my output increases!