Tag Archives: promotion
How NOT to promote your Ebooks!

Rule No#1 in promoting yourself is supposedly getting involved in online writing communities, forums, Facebook and the like. Anything social, right? So to “test the water” last night I registered at a forum called The Writer’s Forum (www.writersforum.com) where aspiring, established and indie writers are encouraged to share their thoughts, experiences and promote their work. I wrote a nice Introducing Myself post in the Introduce Yourself forum, then I posted in the Publishing Forum what I’d done in the past, present and future, how I’d just published my eight books as Ebooks (making no attempt to disguise the fact I was in promotion mode) and I also offered to discuss with anyone interested the process I’d just gone through. I was genuinely polite, honest and transparent (as my old boss like to say).

This morning I check the forum and see my post isn’t there… odd, but these things happen. I log on and bam! I’ve been permanently banned, never to be lifted, for spamming. This isn’t an auto-response thing. The noddy running the forum has deliberately decided to ban me.

So I wrote an email to the webmaster asking why I’ve been banned. Okay, I was a little pissed off and DID ask whether he was interested in having experienced writers contributing to the forum- or whether he just wanted unpublished people who would desperately resort to paying his sponsors’ for their dubious services- nasty I know, but jeez, an instant, permanent ban and being labeled as a spammer? I found that offensive and uncalled-for.

His response later was that I’d obviously not read the forum rules, which state that only “active members” can promote their published works and that I hadn’t proved that I was going to be a contributing forum member. Okay, I get that- but hell, who reads the rules? He was certain his forum members would “succeed without my expert advice”. I didn’t say I was an expert- I said I’d had plenty of experience to offer. There’s a difference he’s apparently incapable of understanding.

Now I could, in turn, reply that he is supposed to be a forum moderator not an internet demi-god and that a responsible moderator would have simply removed my post and sent me a brief message as to why I didn’t make the grade (yet) for promoting my books. I could also suggest that he personally, plainly hasn’t ever had anything published beyond the second-grade finger-painting his mother stuck on the refrigerator door for a week when he was 12 years old (think about that)… or maybe he just resented my achievements as a writer and enjoyed putting the (banning) boot in?

Lesson here is that if anyone finds themselves about to embark on a similar mission, perhaps a more stealthy approach to establishing a presence on these forums first is better? Apparently some writers forums aren’t particularly interested in people who have actually achieved anything and are willing to share that experience- or at least the moderators aren’t. It upsets the sponsors who, for god’s sake, don’t want informed, free advice being handed around instead of people paying for it.