WRITE CLUB: VANITY PUBLISHING

Hello, void. It’s time for yours truly to write another post.

Last week I promised I would discuss the potential that comes from independent ebook promoters. Let’s get to it.

There is no potential to be had here, folks.

Since rejoining Twitter to promote my own original novel, Finding Fae, I’ve become immersed in the independent online writing culture. I’ve made awesome friends like Ash, curator of the blog From Ashley to Ash and I’ve also felt less alone about my current writing situations. But I’ve also gained a lot of… questionable followers. Oh yes, I’m talking about those ebook promoters.

If you’re in the same situation as me, you know who I’m talking about. Those weird “businesses” that are a dime a dozen (much like us indie authors) who send you messages right after they follow you. Some of them can be pretty suave, I’ll give them that. They’re masters of schmoozing you right up, complimenting your work and praising your writing prowess. They try to convince you that for your work to continue being great, you need a little more exposure, a little more professional help with marketing, someone who promises to put your work in front of their 50k+ followers… for a minimal fee, of course.

Don’t buy into it.

You aren’t guaranteed any reads or sales. You’re basically throwing your money to the wind. You’re buying into a concept called “vanity publishing,” where you’re paying someone to publish and promote your work. It’s a huge scam. Those 50k+ followers your books are being solicited to? They’re all just other writers working toward the same end. They’re only following this ebook promoter’s profile so they can see their book pop up on someone else’s feed from time to time. When that happens, they’ll retweet it to show everyone at least somebody else promoted their work.

Of course, they’ll always forget to mention they had to pay for that to happen, but still! Be proud of them! They know how to type in their card information!

But if you’re still not convinced, I don’t blame you. I mean, who am I to tell you what to do? I’m a nobody. I’m just writing into the void. You definitely shouldn’t listen to me. I’m only going through the exact same thing.

So if you don’t believe me, look at any ebook promoter’s profile. See who exactly is retweeting and liking their posts? For an account having 50k+ followers, there really isn’t much activity going on with their promotion-centered posts. How well do you think that bodes for your novel and wallet?

But again, maybe I’m wrong. Has anyone had an actual positive experience with an independent ebook publisher? If so, drop a comment so we can start a discussion.

Until next week, void.

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