Friday, 16 December 2011

If You Use Amazon Community Forums to Promote- Read This Now...

A few months back I mentioned the problems some writers were having with promoting their books on the forums- where even a mention of your book within a discussion could get you banned.

So this announcement from Amazon is very important. Read the statement here. It applies from the 15th December- yesterday. Thanks to Carol Arnall for bringing it to my attention.

"Shameless self-promotion activity will be limited to the `Meet Our Authors' community. Promotional threads outside of these forums will be removed. " (Extract from the statement from the Amazon Community Team.)

Now forgive me for being naive, but how will you make readers aware of your books without shameless self-promotion?

You can add your views here.

Will potential buyers arriving at Amazon be given the option to go to the Meet Our Authors section? Probably not, until Amazon see a large section of their market not performing to their calculations, or they get complaints...

Will readers realise that it is for them too? Not every reader is aware of how much information there is available beyond the main information pages.

As Amazon haven't distinguished between the different genres some wise writers have started posts for specific genres, which should help any readers who venture in looking for book information.

But I have to say this really is the wrong time of year to make a major change like this.

Writers do have lives beyond writing and promoting their books, so having to begin updating one of their promotional outlets in the week before Christmas is not good.

If you know of fellow writers who use Amazon forums to promote their books then spread the word, as I'm sure there will still be a few writers unaware.


RobCrompton said...

This sort of thing can get crazy. Some time ago on a different forum a member asked a question about a particular aspect of 19th century American religious history. I referred him to the only readily available published source dealing with his question. Trouble was, it happened to be my own book. I got banned.

It's specially crazy for Amazon to enforce this sort of rule in view of some of the ridiculously effusive reviews which some self-published authors prepare for their friends to post simultaneously with the book's going live on the site.

Carolb said...

Sadly Amazon seem to use a sledgehammer to knock in a nail, rather than taking a sensible view and barring those who abuse the system- and it's usually very obvious when that's happening.

Your experience, Rob, is a perfect example of the drawbacks such systems have.

Best wishes for the festive season.

Diane Fordham said...

The whole promoting the novel thing is becoming quite frustrating for me - and then I read this post! I'm with you on this Carol,perhaps we are naive, ... first the journey of improving ourselves as writers, persevering, suffering all the rejections until finally getting there somewhat - and then the even more difficult journey of promoting ones book. (I couldn't resist that one) Have a great xmas Carol and may 2012 bring us loads of acceptances!!! x

Carolb said...

I hope your book promotion is successful, despite all the hurdles, and your book continues to thrive in 2012.

Merry Christmas Diane, and a great New Year.