Happy New Year! If you’re reading this, chances are good that you survived 2016. For that, I think we all deserve a medal. Or chocolate. Or both.

When it comes to marketing, I’m all for getting attention. And I fully acknowledge that sometimes attention-getting tactics can be a bit shocking. Maybe even offensive to some. We all have different buttons and tolerances.

Attention-grabbing tactics can be a spectacular means of getting in front of new readers.

Sometimes, though, they can go terribly wrong.

For example:


What’s wrong with this? Plenty.

  1. I haven’t read the book (and won’t, now), but I’ve read others in the series, and I’m willing to bet that this image has nothing whatsoever to do with the story. In case there’s any doubt, your marketing should have something to do with the product you’re trying to sell and nothing whatsoever to do with ones you’re not.
  2. It’s a friends-only post, which one would think would be good in this case. But it’s not. It’s just childish.
  3. There’s getting attention, and then there’s being desperate. The latter is kinda pathetic, and should be avoided.

I’ve spoken with many an author (not to mention CEO) over the years who doesn’t want to change who he or she is in order to market. That’s fine. You don’t need to. Just like people don’t need to buy your books. That’s your choice.

If your choice is to do things that are pointedly and deliberately offensive, you’re going to lose some readers. Will you gain others? Possibly. If the American President-Elect’s Twitter feed is to be believed, it’s a surefire route to…greatness.

But I like to think y’all are better than that.