You have to tread the line between awareness and overhyping. Because you have a vested interest in selling your work, others sometimes assume you're just out to make a buck.
Book promotion doesn't always have to be so unpleasant.
If you have published books and an online platform, then you also have a following. You have readers paying attention because they value your storytelling.
Instead of plugging your books all the time, why not recommend those of your fellow authors? It's a promotion opportunity you can feel good about.
The genuine endorsement
You know what this is like.
Remember the last time you read a novel that really grabbed you. You had to tell a friend, right? It's about finding that person who would enjoy the book as much as you did.
You weren't driven by a commission or reciprocation. The intention was to spread the joy, to make someone else's life a little better.
A book recommendation without expectation is a special kind of promotion. It had nothing to do with who wrote the book, and everything to do with whether the recipient would benefit.
So how does that translate into a professional setting?
Good feelings all around
Other authors are not your competitors. Maybe that was true once upon a time, but not anymore.
You're no longer fighting writers for a spot on the shelf. Digital media and self-publishing means the available space for books is now stretched to infinity.
Touting that you're the only author worth following is self-serving, but hardly true. Fiction isn't a commodity. Everyone has room to like more than one story or more than one author.
Writing, especially good writing, takes a lot of time. If you have a communication channel with your audience, then how are you rewarding their attention between projects?
When you come across a good story in your genre, use social media to share a good word. Make recommendations because you're confident enough in your ability and generous enough in your motivation.
With that mindset, you won't have less fans. You'll have more.
Jason Kong (@storyrally) helps fiction writers build better online platforms. Sign up for his free newsletter here.