The Dreaded Self-Promotion


I don’t know any writer, anywhere, who wakes up in the morning thrilled with the prospect of a day filled with self-promotion. As a group, we tend to prefer dark rooms, pajamas, and oversized coffee mugs filled with wine.


And yet, part of our job is to put on a happy face (and pants) and promote our books. Publishers expect it. Editors and agents demand it. And yet…so many readers say they prefer to hear about new books from other readers, that they find it tiresome to constantly hear from authors about their own books. Which…makes total sense to me, since I’m a reader too. And the number one resource I use to find new books is my like-minded reading partner, Lori. (Hi Kuney!) Not those paid ads we see so much of on Facebook.


So how are authors supposed to walk that fine line? The general rule is that for every 5 posts (or tweets, or Instagram pics) you post, only ONE should be about your own book. Some authors collaborate, like we do here on The Debutante Ball, and help promote each other.


But that still won’t reach a critical mass of readers, which is what you need if you even hope to have decent sales. So another great place for promotion is to get active in the many Facebook groups for readers. These groups are at the forefront when it comes to new books, reviews, and author recommendations. The Ones We Choose couldn’t have had nearly the coverage it’s had without these groups (and this is in no way a complete list — it’s impossible to name everyone!):


A Novel Bee – run by the amazing Kristy Barrett and Tonni Callan, A Novel Bee is a lovely community of readers who simply love to read and support authors. Kristy and Tonni run giveaways and fun Q and A sessions with authors all the time, and are so generous with their time. Join the group and see what the buzz is about! Both admins are really open to authors and publicists reaching out to them for reviews and coverage in the group.


Sue’s Booking Agency – Run by Susan Peterson, Sue’s Booking Agency is another great reader’s group that helps authors promote their books in a way that’s not obnoxious or flashy.


Suzy’s Approved Book Reviews – This isn’t a Facebook group to join, but definitely is a blog to follow (there’s also a Facebook page). Suzy has tons of great book recommendations and she’s also really active on Twitter.


Bloom – The reading group that promotes and supports The Tall Poppy Writers, this is an AMAZING group of female authors supporting other female authors. If you write Women’s Fiction or just love to read it, Bloom is the place to be. I’ll be doing a Bloom takeover on Wednesday, May 9 at 7 PM EST. Don’t miss it!!


Great Thoughts Great Readers – Run by Andrea Peskind Katz, GTGR is a juggernaut when it comes to gathering reviews for upcoming books. Having your book on GTGR gives it a huge boost among readers, and the group features all genres and authors. While GTGR will not let authors promote their books in the group, they absolutely want to hear about books you’ve read and loved by OTHER authors. Andrea also facilitates a group of “ninja readers” who are influential Goodreads reviewers that can catapult your GR average through the roof.


Reader’s Coffeehouse – founded by a group of extraordinary authors led by the talented Barbara Claypole White, RC offers a glimpse inside what founding authors are reading, and lots of giveaway opportunities!


Bookworms Anonymous – Another amazing group that allows authors to promote their books on a designated day every week, this allows readers to chime in, ask questions, play games and enter giveaways.


Baer Books – Hosted by Barbara Khan, this group also allows authors to promote on a designated day of the week, so as not to overwhelm the group. They have themed days, such as “Travel Tuesday” and “What Are You Reading Wednesdays”


And I haven’t even touched upon the bookstagrammers over on Instagram! Which is another post for another day. Needless to say, even though self promotion is hard and drives many of us to day-drink, there are ways to do it that don’t scare off the very people you want to hear about  and buy your book.


That being said…THE ONES WE CHOOSE IS AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER and will be released in five days!!!!




Barnes & Noble


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Born and raised in Santa Monica, California, Julie Clark grew up reading books on the beach while everyone else surfed. After attending college at University of the Pacific, and a brief stint working in the athletic department at University of California, Berkeley, she returned home to Santa Monica to teach. She now lives there with her two young sons and a golden doodle with poor impulse control. Her debut, THE ONES WE CHOOSE, will be published by Gallery/Simon & Schuster in May 2018.

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This article has 5 Comments

  1. I am so flattered to be included on this list! Thank you! I love supporting and promoting books and authors!

  2. Thanks for the Readers Coffeehouse shout-out. I’m actually one of 7 founding members: Cathy Lamb, Laura Drake, Steena Holmes, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Jo-Ann Mapson, and Kimberly Belle. Love these women; love this group. Come check us out, readers!

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