Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Tips on Pimping" Guest Post by Author John Paul Allen

Tips on Pimping

What’s the hardest part about being a writer? No – not the writing – it’s the promoting. You work weeks, months, and sometimes years to get a story published then watch the numbers. In my case that means emails from Dave of Biting Dog Publications to inform me of sales (or lack of them), with requests that I get the word out. The term we use is pimping. I’m D. John Ice and my books are my girls. 
Again pimping … promoting is the hardest part of the job and if you don’t know what you’re doing you’ll wind up spending more time selling than you do writing and that’s not only frustrating, takes the fun out of what we do, and makes us less than popular among potential readers. Still it must be done and I’m going to share a few tips that’ll help make the experience more enjoyable for both you and everyone you reach out and touch.

Know What You’re Pimping: A new story? No – your product is YOU. When you post on facebook, Goodreads (any social media website) or tweet about your work a small number of friends might click the link you’ve offered. Most will not, because 1: they see that crap all the time and 2. they don’t feel the love. They doubt your true interest in them, beyond as a potential sale. 
“But I have to tell them,” you say. Yes you do. If they don’t know, they aren’t going to buy and there’s only one thing more depressing than an unread story or novel. That’s an unread story or novel after you’ve posted about it on every freaking website you can join. The error is that the writer needs to understand the between story promotion and self-promotion. I see it as a 5 – 95% endeavor. Only five percent of your social media time should be spent sharing news of your work. Put info about your writing in the profile. Make sure you include any links. Once each week you can post about your work, but that is only if you’ve been active on the site and pimped yourself enough.

What is Self-Pimping? It is caring about others and treating those you list as friends as just that. Read their posts and comment when appropriate (or at least click like). It also doesn’t hurt to comment or like photos – especially if they share pictures of their kids or pets. If you want them to learn about you (and your stories) you must learn about them. Will this sell books? Yes, not to all of them of course, but not all your friends in your natural world buy your books. Still there’s a chance they might tell others about the online friend they have who happens to be writer and that person might become a reader. Also you’ll make friends online with other writers and with them you can discuss each other’s projects and at times swap works. Don’t be too pushy, but there’s nothing wrong with offering a copy after you’ve become friends and if you offer to read someone else’s work it doesn’t hurt to write a review or post about the work if you enjoyed it.

Know Where You Can Pimp Your Story: There are places on the net where you can promote. The first site that comes to mind is Free Book Dude ( They offer info on free reads, have contests, and set up online book tours for writers. Visit them, look around and ask Joshua Cook if you have any questions. Also there are groups on facebook and all over the net where writers and readers meet to share books (their own and others). Remember they are trying to build communities so don’t hit and run. Read other posts and take part in discussions before you post about your own work.

I understand that you must promote, but again it’s how you do so that determines success in finding readers. I know from my own experience. Nine years ago, after releasing my first novel, I joined Myspace. I saw it as a perfect place to pimp and looked at all who befriended me as potential readers. That’s how I treated them – as readers and not people. Almost all my posts centered on trying to get them to buy my book. Then my wife passed away and upon sharing my grief I discovered they were more than royalties. They were kind wonderful people who cared about me and my survival. Because of them I did and I also learned not to look at them as friends (some who became readers) and they began to look at me as someone worth learning more about – in some cases that meant giving my work a read sometimes it doesn’t. I’m happy with each result and truth is that in the long run this mindset sells a lot more books and makes the net a lot more fun.

Note: I’d like to thank the following: 
Free Book Dude ( for putting together this book tour and for all they’ve done to help writers promote their works. Check out their site.

Biting Dog Press/Publications ( who puts out some damn good stuff.

Meet Author John Paul Allen:
John Paul Allen describes himself as a semi-complete unknown. "I'm like a literary lounge singer," he shares, "but thanks to social networking, digital technology and good people who believe in my work my readership is expanding. Author of Gifted Trust (novel), Monkey Love (novella), and Dark Blessings (short story collection). His short story, House Guest, has remained in the top 100 for Kindle horror twelve straight months. John recently took part in Fresh Blood Old Bones, an amazing collection of works by some of the best tenured and new writers in the horror genre.

Former Michigander, Eagle Scout, and fourteen year veteran of the U.S. Navy John Paul Allen has lived in Cuba (GTMO), Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, Texas and now resides in Tennessee where he spends time with his girlfriend and enjoys being Paw Paw to one-year-old Makenzie and his new granddaughter, Zoe.

Follow John on the Fresh Blood, Old Bones Tour from December 23 – 29. Read special guest posts, enter to win John’s entire Biting Dog Press digital library, read reviews of Fresh Blood, Old Bones and even listen in on a live podcast interview. For more information, check out the John Paul Allen Tour page from and Biting Dog Press.

Fresh Blood, Old Bones Synopsis:

Fresh Blood, Old Bones showcases the work of new and established writers in horror, fantasy, and science fiction (with bizarre thrown in for good measure). Enjoy eighteen tales as true masters of the genre (including Joe R. Lansdale, Nancy Collins, and Neal Barrett Jr.) combine their talents with stories from up-and-comers (including Tim Bryant, Monica J. O'Rourke, John Paul Allen, and many others) in this unique and exciting anthology.

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  1. Excellent post, John! As a reader/reviewer/unpublished author, I face the self-promotion/sales-promotion situation from the "buying" side. I appreciate learning about new books and new authors I would otherwise miss. I don't appreciate those who "pimp" themselves (their work) ad infinitum (and no this doesn't reference you). I can't imagine how difficult it must be for authors (and publishers) to find the fine line: must be equivalent to balancing on a tightrope over the Grand Canyon, with no net. Great luck on your blog tour-I believe you'll be visiting me too.:)

  2. "Fine Line" describes it well. I like people and try to be careful (most of the time). Yeah I'm stopping by on the 26th. I tried being entertaining :)


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