Eric B. Thomasma



Additional Rules for Self-Published Authors Who Wish To Post On Amazon Reader Forums

Posted on June 18, 2012 at 9:00 PM

The terms of service for the Amazon reader forums forbid authors from promoting their books anywhere but their "Meet The Author" corral forum. Unfortunately, many new authors either don't read the terms of service or ignore them. In almost every category, there is one or more discussion threads devoted to reminding authors not to promote their books, yet everyday, self-promotion occurs. This has led to an extreme prejudice against self-published authors, and a hyper-vigilance among the forum members. Even if you’ve never engaged in self-promotion activities, you are still tainted by the actions of others, so following are the Additional Rules for Self-Published Authors who wish to post on Amazon reader forums.

1. You are not a reader, regardless of how many books you've read and plan to read, once you publish a book, you are no longer a reader. Your opinion of someone else's writing is not enhanced by understanding the process. On the contrary, your opinion is now biased by jealousy, hero-worship, or association with other authors and cannot be trusted.

2. Never ever recommend a book by a contemporary author. (See rule 1.) If you want to recommend a book in a reader forum, make sure the book is at least as old as you are, or that the author is dead, thereby reducing the impression that you have a personal relationship with said author.

3. Your book never, I repeat never, meets the criteria for anyone requesting a suggestion on a book to read. It doesn't matter if your book fits a point-by-point description of what they're looking for, it still doesn't meet the criteria. Don’t mention it.

4. "Recently Published" does not include your book, regardless of when it was released. As an author, you cannot make recommendations in a "recently released" discussion. (See rule 2.)

5. Never mention that you are an author in any discussion. You may only have that information in your profile for anyone interested enough to check.


You may think these additional rules will make it next to impossible to get your book discovered, and you’d be right. Even though Amazon’s KDP Tips For Merchandising include “post on message boards, join user communities,and promote your book on sites across the Web”, that doesn’t include their own forums.



Categories: My Writing, Ramblings

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