I do public speaking from time to time, mostly cloud computing and leadership. Imagine that you’ve come to the conference because you are interested in this topic. You are in a crowded room with dozens of other people, I walk up to the lectern and say:
“Good morning. I was invited here to speak to you because I am one of the leader in the industry. I have two master’s degrees in the subject and over fifteen years in the industry. In addition, I’m one of the best speakers I know. Please applaud now.”
I’m kind of a jerk, right. A self-promoting egotistical ass.
Okay rewind time. Same conference, same room, same lectern. I’m standing beside the head of the conference; he is behind the lectern. He checks the mike and says:
“Good morning. I invited Dave here to speak to you because he is one of the leaders in this industry. Dave has two master’s degrees and over fifteen years experience. In addition, Dave is one of the best speakers I know. Make him feel welcome.”
Now you are looking forward to hearing me speak. You are expecting a dynamic, interesting speaker with lots of knowledge on this subject.
What’s the difference? Both passages said essentially the same thing. Read them again, if you like.
When someone else says nice things about you, you are perceived one way. When you say nice things about yourself, you say another.
That’s the problem with self-promotion on Twitter.
When I see a Tweet that says:
@Some_Author: I loved this book. Fun exciting #newauthor #couldntputitdown. #amreading. http://some_ebook_link.somethingelse
You come across as an arrogant jerk, just like I did in the first hypothetical situation.
So how do you self-promote without sounding like an ass?
First, real reviews. Ask your beta readers to post reviews of your finished work. Real reviews about what they really thought. Include the good and the bad. We all have a built in bullshit detector. If you have twelve people post “Best book ever!”, “New Classic, better than The Bible”, and “Some Author is the next George R.R. Martin”, we all know those are bullshit reviews.
Real reviews read like this: “I liked reading the Dandelion Project. I connected with the main characters and thought the subject matter was interesting. There were times when I felt a little lost because the book doesn’t give the backstory of the Dandelion Project, you just sort of jump in but it was good.” – Joe Reviewer
The review mentions some good stuff and some bad stuff. It doesn’t make the book sound like divine inspiration.
Then quote the review:
@Some_Author: Thanks @JoeReader, for the nice review. I always love hearing from my readers. http://linktomybook.
You seem like a decent chap. I’d like read what Joe Reader said. Heck, I might buy that book.
Second, don’t make your price your selling point. People will pay for a good book. They really, really will. Really. The key word is good. As an author, you are putting yourself on a page. Don’t put out crap. You are worth more than 99 cents. Really. Write a book so good that people would willingly pay $100 a copy.
Write something that matters.
Write Something That Matters.