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Indie Author Self-Promotion Strategies: Party!!!!!!

January 9, 2019

You can’t buy this book yet, but I’d love to party with these guys!

Self-promotion can be tough for independent authors.  It’s so difficult that even extrovert authors who are comfortable with self-promotion might not be successful.  So many writers are publishing stuff now that it’s difficult for many of them to stand out.  Sometimes it feels like there are more writers than readers out there.

I recently wrote a blog post about deceptive self-promotion strategies  that an independent author used in order to get a book deal.  Some readers might think that the lying self-promoting author was clever, but I’d prefer cleverness that doesn’t require deception.  I don’t want to pretend to be a publishing company or pretend to be a hot chick that likes my book.

Today I’m focusing on a different author who used a different strategy to sell books.  I actually like what the independent author in this article has done so far.  He’s written a historical novel set in the city of Houston, and a local Houston book store (not a chain) threw a preorder party for him.

The author and the store built up so much interest in the novel that it already has 300 preorders for a July publishing date.  300 pre-orders for an independent author in one location isn’t horrible.  And the author doesn’t even live in Houston!

I have no idea of what happened at the party.  As an introvert, I don’t like parties.  But if I absolutely had to throw a party, I’d throw a pre-order party for my book (or somebody else’s).  Maybe the book store hired a bunch of dancers and then got a bunch of patrons drunk.  I know people who’ll purchase anything when they’re drunk, including book preorders.

I wouldn’t want loud music at a preorder party, but loud music is almost necessary for a party.  And a fight.  Every good party has to have a fight.  If a preorder book party is too quiet, I’d pay a friend of mine (who knows how to fight) to loudly proclaim, “Stephen King is a hack!”

When you have a party filled with book lovers, calling Stephen King a hack will tick somebody off enough to at least cause a loud argument.  I don’t really want violence at a preorder party.  One loud argument will do.

Maybe I’d throw a preorder party, but I’m a little skeptical about the concept of pre-orders.  As a reader, I never pre-order books.  I don’t trust authors (traditional, famous, or indie) to write a book that matches the hype.  When it came to my friends who self-published, I didn’t preorder.  I bought their books, but I didn’t preorder.

Some authors might offer preorders to estimate how many copies to print or to get money up front.  As an author, I think the independent writer should have some financial stake in the publishing.  If you’re using somebody else’s money, you might get sloppy because you don’t have much to lose (except reputation).

Using somebody else’s money also means that they might think they have some control over what you write or how to spend the money.  If I’m using my money, I have complete control (unless my wife says otherwise).  Besides, I’m not going to do anything stupid when my family’s finances are at stake.  At least, I won’t intentionally do anything stupid.

I probably shouldn’t admit that I’m not a fan of preorders.  Now I might be accused of hypocrisy if I decide to offer preorders for my next book.  Technically, I wouldn’t be a hypocrite because I’ve never said I was opposed to the principal of preorders; I just said I was skeptical.  You can be skeptical of something and still try it.  I’ve never told other authors not to do it.  So if I offer pre-orders and somebody calls me a hypocrite, I’ll tell him/her to go screw off.

Next week, I’ll explain how telling potential book buyers to screw off is a great self-promotion technique.  It probably isn’t, but I’d respect it more than lying.


What do you think?  Would you preorder from an author you’re not familiar with?  If you’re an author, have you taken advantage of pre-orders?

  1. There has only been one author that I have considered doing a pre-order from. She is an indie author, however, she allowed me to read the first chapter for feedback and I was hooked! It is quite difficult for me to read outside of my small set of authors that I read. So, this was kind of a big thing.

    From an authors perspective, I believe I would only do a pre-order party if I had an established readership and had sold over 500 or so on one of my previous works. I feel like events such as this are reserved more for those who have a demand. But, hey. If it works, then it works. Way to go!

    (In the mean time, I would just like to get some reviews on any of the three works I have published. Purchasing them would be better, but I want to get my work in front of faces and if reviews help, then hey. There you go. My most recent work is on my page if any one wants to check it out.)

    • I like that, releasing a sample and then offering a preorder. That could work out for book the author and the potential readers.

      Great idea!

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