Tit for Tat – You Scratch My Back….I’ll Scratch Your’s!

I’ve been reading a book about how to build your author platform and gain publicity. Platform is “what’s out there” about you – your website, blog, social media sites, etc…your voice. Over the past several months, I’ve been trying to build my platform, gain followers, figure out how to get people to care about what I have to say. This is a challenge because I can’t even get the people in my own house to care about what I have to say, let alone anyone else (ha ha). The only time anyone cares about what I have to say is if I say “wanna go for a walk?” to my dogs.

In this book, the author says that one way authors build platform and gain publicity is tit for tat or old fashioned bartering. (please…keep the tit jokes to yourself…or not…it’s only Wednesday….) Apparently, this is actually a huge part of promoting your work. You share a blog posting from an author….that author turns around and interviews you for his blog. You promote an author’s book on your social media accounts…that author promotes your book when it is released.

The very same day, I was contacted by an author from New York via my website. I had followed him on Twitter – because I’ve been following other authors and writers on Twitter in a daily effort to connect and build my platform. He sent me an email and told me that he is the senior editor of a major online book review site (I’ll leave the name out). He explained to me that he was trying to build up his book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads due to an extended absence from publishing (a family situation) because the only way to get the attention of the folks on “Pub Row” (not a bar scene…but the publishers in Manhattan) was to have a certain number of reviews.

Then he offered me a tit for tat: if I read his two books and provided him with reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads (they don’t even have to be good reviews), he would in turn give my novel a spot on his review site. He would have it reviewed by his staff and also publish the first chapter on his site as a teaser. All for free. I can even use his review on my cover.

As a new novelist in a very crowded market, this is a good deal for me. It’s free marketing. I know my publisher will do what it can, but in this publishing world, if you are an independent – the best promoter of your work is you.

So I started reading one of his novels. It takes place in the Pine Barrens and has referenced Trenton, New Jersey, where I was born. Must be fate. Or something (since I don’t really believe in fate anymore LOL).


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