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Indie Author Problems: Selling To Friends

January 4, 2019

(image via wikimedia)

For years, I kept my blog Dysfunctional Literacy a secret.  When I created this blog, I knew I’d write some stuff that could get me fired from my job, so I kept my name off of it.  I was one of those… (pause of disgust)… anonymous bloggers.

I didn’t abuse my anonymity.  I didn’t join any outrage mobs.  I didn’t lead any personal guerilla attacks on celebrities.  Yeah, I wrote a few posts about James Patterson being a scam, but he’s so rich (and I’m not) that he doesn’t care.  I was very responsible with my anonymity.

I no longer have that job (don’t worry; everything’s great!), so I don’t care about being totally anonymous anymore.  It’s fine if people I know learn about my blog, but I haven’t gotten comfortable telling people about it yet.

It’s nice having anonymity, but it doesn’t help when selling books.  I have a few friends, acquaintances, and (former) coworkers who are self-publishing, and they’re encouraging (to varying degrees) the people they know to buy their self-published books.  That’s what I talk about in the video below.

What do you think?  If you self-publish, how do you promote your book to your friends, acquaintances, and coworkers?  Or do you leave them out of it?

  1. I’d say that if your friends are talking about their own blogs/writing, it would be very acceptable for you to chime in about your own. To say otherwise would be like suggesting that, upon hearing your friend went to Timbuktu, you couldn’t mention our own trip to Timbuktu, and that would be crazy. What you need is a blog bully. My husband is my blog bully. He talks up my blog, even when I feel too uncomfortable to do so, such as to virtual strangers, if the opportunity presents itself. (Embarrassing!) I also sneakily added the link to my blog as part of the automatic signature on my emails. Self-promotion is hard for introverts like us. I get it.

  2. I probably should have kept my blog a secret because my wife thinks it is about her (it isn’t). She just likes to think it is. Clearly, it is about my cat….

    Why can’t you have two blogs? One for promoting yourself and the other one is your secret blog. It’s too late for me but it might work for you. Well, I gotta go…off to the marriage therapist with the wife to talk about my blog and how it is about Mr. Whiskers and not her!

    • Why can’t I have two blogs? Because I… uh… ummm…

      Offhand, I can’t think of a good reason. You might be onto something.

      If your wife thinks your blog is about her, you might want to write some very flattering posts about your cat.

  3. I have two blogs other than this where I’m not anonymous. I created this one because I wanted to try and do this where no one knows who I am because, like you said, you don’t want your friends to feel obligated to like it.

    Honestly, I would get annoyed that my other blogs aren’t getting enough attention from my friends so I wanted to start fresh with a new set of readers who have no idea about me.

    Funny thing is this blog has taken on more traffic and followers in the short 2 months of its existence than the years of my others. Who knew?!

    • “Honestly, I would get annoyed that my other blogs aren’t getting enough attention from my friends so I wanted to start fresh with a new set of readers who have no idea about me.”-

      In their defense, blogs are more difficult to keep up with than any other form of social media, except maybe video channels. But yeah, I ‘d be surprised if anonymous blogs got more attention too.

      • That’s true. What I meant was more that I wanted to be sure others who didn’t know me would follow and that I wasn’t just building an audience of sympathy readers. That and I wanted to be able to talk about things that my friends or family might not be happy about. Writing is such a lonely art and getting feedback is helpful to know if I’m doing a good job. It was putting a damper on my confidence that I wasn’t growing those blogs beyond my friends and family. It’s one thing to hear I’m a good writer from mom than from a total stranger, you know?

  4. I always feel weird telling people about my blog, too. I don’t want to brag. And sometimes it’s hard to pick out the pieces I want to show people.

    • That’s true. Once they know about the blog, it’s all out there.

      The good part is that I can pretty much stand by most (if not all of) what I’ve written.

  5. I leave them out of it. I find them to be the least supportive people anyway.

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