For the past ten days, I’ve been trying to shake a pesky Internet Marketer off my back (he was offering me his services to peddle my books online) with almost no success until today. Don’t get me wrong; there are a lot of decent folk who are earning a living in that area, but this guy was the main reason why many individuals working in the Internet Marketing field are considered a lower life form than the Protozoa Amoeba.
It started quite innocently with a few Direct Messages through my Twitter account:
Hey, I notice you have several self-published books on Amazon! this guy PMd me.
You have very low sales rankings. I can help you market them.
Sure. No, thanks.
I got a surefire method.
(The same way as Ponzi had a surefire method to make me rich, sure). No thanks.
This went on for at least a week. He was hinting that a cover change, blurb rewrite and several “other” little tweaks to my books would get me into the hotsellers list. I’ll give him that; he was very persistent. He was a little like a dog with a Frisbee.
Okay, here’s the problem why my books don’t sell: I write mostly for myself. I write the books that I would like to read… little crazy things with a touch of Monty Python, a dash of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a little of Something happened on the way to the Forum and a generous dosage of silliness, right out from the Police Academy movies. So basically, the only potential buyer for my books is… me.
Yeah, I know, there must be a lot of people out there who might have a special fondness to all the things I just mentioned, but I seriously doubt that my potential audience is allowed to use e-readers in the Mental Asylums where they’re locked in.
After the eighth day, this guy’s pestering was beginning to bother me. I had to shake him off my tail. Okay, I agree, I told him. My books need some help, I said in a Direct Message.
There was a surprised pause on his side. I honestly think that he really couldn’t believe the way I had finally caved in. He was about to give me the straight pitch about his services (and his comprehensive prices) when I cut him with: “Problem is: my books are unsaleable.” Of course, this was only the first one of several baits I was laying for him.
Nonsense! he replied. There are no bad books; only badly marketed ones. Besides, I love a challenge!
I have no budget.
Nonsense! he said in the next DM. Everyone can afford me!
I mean it; you’d have to work for me on spec.
An awkward silence. We’ll see, he replied after a long pause.
I thought you said that you loved a challenge, I taunted him with my next bait.
Being a writer with a deep knowledge of human nature is a great advantage against this sort of people; I knew that vanity would get him for me. I felt him nosing the bait, even from this far side of Mongolia.
Yeah, sure. We’ll work it around, he answered If we want to continue with the fishing metaphor, I could say that I was feeling a little tug on the line by now.
One moment; I can’t really trust you on this task if you don’t have faith in the product you’re going to sell for me. I’ll send you a complimentary copy. Read it and you tell me later.
So I sent him a Smashwords coupon for The Karaoke Duo Vs The Karaoke Zombies.
He redeemed it five minutes later. Bingo!
That same night, he sent me another Direct Message. A very defeated DM. It was evident that he had read the first couple of chapters.
You were right. NO ONE can help you market THIS.
I haven’t heard from the guy since then.