Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Embarassing Truth

FACT: I suck as self-promoting.
FACT: I WAS a sucker when it came to advertising.
FACT: Taking blogs at face value can hurt your reputation.

Why would I make such bold statements?
I literally shot myself in the foot, and lost five readers in the process. It all happened when I was trying to take a proactive approach towards marketing/advertising, something a shy introvert should NEVER tackle alone.
I take pride in my love of research. Here is my story. On February 17, 2013 a blogger who promotes authors and their books, approached me via Facebook.
After reviewing their blog and seeing how they shared information about the book, the author and their other work(s), I assumed this was a wonderful opportunity. To my dismay, I was wrong, dead wrong!
Here is the initial message:
“Just wanted to mention this: If you're looking for some added exposure, each weekend I do a romantic/erotic giveaway blitz! It's gotten to be pretty huge. Authors donate a mobi/pdf or amazon gift version of their book, or swag, in return, i send lots of fans to "like" and follow on facebook and twitter, and new readers!! .. the link was inserted here. If interested in being one of our featured giveaway authors, let me know, would love to have you. I'm filling slots for the 3/9 and 3/16 weekends”
Doesn’t that sound wonderful? To me, it sure did. All I had to do was supply a free book or swag, and in return, my work would be shared with a wider audience. It seemed like a wonderful opportunity, therefore, I quickly replied with links and all pertinent information.
The prizes I offered were an autographed print book (The Coalition of the Supernatural), and a poster of my recent release.
To me, this opportunity was a blessing. It was a wonderful invitation to reach a wider audience, or so I thought.
The old expression goes, “The path to hell is often paved with good intentions.”
When I initially signed up, I was told it would be one of two weekends. I waited for interview questions or a finalized confirmation email … they never arrived.
Previous blurbs and advertising for the authors were good, nearly excellent!
The first weekend mentioned by the blog owner passed by without an email. The following weekend, I received an email with a link advising me that it was live!
Live? Without questions or a solid confirmation! Wow, I’ve got to see this, I thought.
I clicked on the link and discovered that three other authors were featured, and I supplied the prize for their advertising.
Talk about being kicked your “special spot”!
So why am I sharing this? Am I looking for sympathy?
Absolutely not! Shame on me for taking that blogger at face value. I should have asked more questions, a lot more questions.
I believe that we must take responsibility for our actions. My penance for my lack of vetting was simple. I took the loss and mailed the winner the prizes.
Romance is my genre, not erotica. This was made clear with the links and information I sent to that blogger who approached me. Yet, my prizes were used to promote erotica.
I lost five devoted readers because I was lumped in with erotica. It was heartbreaking. One parent found me on that blog and stopped her daughter and friends from reading my works.
Once again, the only one at fault is Sass. I should have clarified with that blogger that if accepted, my work would only be featured on a romance page.
So why this blog?
Quite simple. I want to help prevent others from making the same mistake I made. It’s my way of  turning a negative situation into a positive life experience.
Many authors are natural born introverts. We would all love to just write, however, we must market our work, if, that is, we want to present our work to the public. In order to do so, it is important that we properly assess opportunities such as I was presented by this blogger.
Do you have a positive or negative experience to share? If so, please tell us about your experience.
Together we can help each other.
Brightest blessings,
Sass :)