Stop the Promo-citis and Just Review the Damn Book, Please

Filed under: Book Auntie Braggery, Book Reviews, Community, In the Wild, Marketing, Pondering, Reading, Writing

While there is an exception to every rule, most of us hate, hate, hate the self promotion of books. It makes EVERYONE crazy!

Straight Jacket

Readers get sick of hearing writers with promo-citis. Admire my cover, pre-order my book, buy my book, review my book, come to my signing, I’m having a giveaway, buy my book, buy my book, buy my book. Did you see this review by someone who bought my book? It’s so awesome YOU should buy my book. Seriously, I didn’t grow up contemplating going into marketing. My life is not and episode of Mad Men. Here’s the truth…authors are juggling jobs and kids and pets and parents and illness and every other real world calamity you can think of. Self promotion kinda sucks. Authors just want time to write more good books and spend a little time surfing baby animals on social media sites. Is that really too much to ask?

Some days it’s seems impossible. But even though I know I’m not in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize, I’m going to put out a solution that could potentially work for everyone. Or at least ease the madness a little bit. The secret for slowing or stopping promo-citis is…


Word of mouth sells books.

If readers are talking about the books, authors won’t have to do as much self-promotion.

And it doesn’t have to be complicated.

*Reviewing on an online sight like Amazon or Barnes & Noble is fabulous and hugely appreciated. Your favorite author and their publisher and agent will love you forever for taking the time to put your thoughts out there. But if you’ve never done it before, don’t be intimidated. It isn’t necessary to write a lengthy, time consuming and complicated review, a simple 5 stars and an I love this book will do the trick.

*Reviewing a book is as simple as telling people that you liked it. Encourage other people to buy it and read it. Think of book buzz like a stadium full of people trying to do the wave. If enough people don’t stand up and wave their arms and cheer, no one will even notice. It takes a lot of people standing up and waving to get anyone’s attention. Authors can not make a wave on their own. It takes fans.

*Give books you love to people who love books. As a book lover, I have never gotten a book and been upset. Even if I don’t end up reading the book, I donate it to someone who will and it makes me happy that I helped another author out there. Book Nerds are fabulous freaking people!

*Please don’t assume that other people are reviewing and talking about a book, making it unnecessary for you to do it. There are so many books out there fighting for shelf space and reader attention. Worldwide there are over 2,000,000 books published each year. There is no such thing as too much attention–especially for mid-list authors. It takes a lot of pushing before a tipping point is reached.

*Not everyone has heard of the books you love. Remember there are lots of books out there. Bring the books you love to the attention of your librarians and teachers. Libraries and schools do not have a large amount of funding to play with, but they will appreciate your feedback. They want to purchase books that will get readers excited. Your positive review, of a book you love, might get that book in front of a lot more readers. Books just want to be read. <3


This is by no means an extensive list of ways to help authors by reviewing books. But I’m hoping it’s a good start. Please feel free to add in your suggestions in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for ways to support the books I LOVE! Also, sharing this information with others is great. Not everyone realizes how much an author’s career depends on book buzz. And don’t forget it’s time to be part of the solution–stop the promo-citis and review the damn book, please.


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6 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. <3

    But this totally made me laugh. IF ONLY people would review my books! I have an ARC list and I beg for reviews, and yet, I have so very little of them. I have the same amount of reviews on my first book of my series as I had SIX MONTHS AGO. 36. And I got a new one a week ago and my number is still at 36 because Amazon took away a review for no reason. The book is even free which is supposed to encourage reviews. Still, nothing. I wish I could sit back and not say anything about my books. It definitely would leave more time for actually writing them like you point out.

    Readers, please listen to Kim!

  2. I like this idea! I’m crazy busy and I don’t have the time to search out the awesomeness out there. It’s easy to find the top books but I’ve read amazing stuff no one else ever heard of…and I told lots of people to read them! So YES, book buzz!! Give it to me Kimmiepoppins- whatcha reading??

  3. While I certainly sympathize, Kim, book reviews are mostly what I do on my blog. And lately I’ve been inundated with review requests. Seriously. Sometimes they ask me point blank to also post a review on Amazon (which I rarely do because I’m a big fan of indie bookstores and yanno, Amazon is killing indie bookstores). I’ve even written a blog post about this which will go live in June. I’m only human, and as much as I’d love to help, I can’t read or review every single book people beg me to review. (Sadly, not every book I read is worthy of 5 stars either.)

    So if writers really want to help other writers, instead of begging harried reviewers like me to review your book, here’s another suggestion: each writer posts one or two reviews of another writer’s book, in any forum they choose. Doesn’t have to be Amazon or B&N. Then… Pay it forward.

    Another suggestion is to just be yourself on social media and don’t mention your book at all. Followers who are intrigued by your content will find out you have a book and will probably buy it.

    • As much as I love seeing reviews of my work on blogs, it’s almost like being penalized when those reviews aren’t posted to Amazon πŸ™ Because authors needs reviews on places like Amazon to be considered for advertising. Many places, like Bookbub, eReader News Today, and many more, will not consider advertising your book if it doesn’t have enough qualifying reviews on Amazon (They can be any kind of reviews from 1 to 5 stars). I have stopped soliciting reviews from people who don’t post to Amazon. πŸ™

  4. Wow, is this ever timely for me! LOL! The thing is, even authors who abhor too much self-promotion are stuck between a rock and hard place, because publishers expect it of you. It’s tough to balance being a team player–getting the word out about your books–and not being obnoxious about it. All you can do is try your best to hit the sweet spot: raising awareness of your books’ existence without turning off the very readers you’re trying to intrigue. Argh. Dilemma. πŸ™‚

  5. “If readers are talking about the books, authors won’t have to do as much self-promotion.”

    That is SO true! I’m happy to stop talking about my books, when there is chatter about them from readers, but if no one is talking AND I stop too, sales drop. It is that simple. SOMEONE has to be mentioning the books regularly.

    Great post, Kimberly.

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