The Difference Between Marketing And Spamming


In one word?


It’s that simple.

Whenever you vet a marketing tool or strategy, ask yourself ‘What’s in it for the others?’ not just ‘How can I turn this into sales?’

What will this offer my readers?

(It doesn’t have to be an actual thing like an object; a unique experience, inspiration, fresh perspective or an A-HA moment can be just as gratifying.)

What kind of aftertaste will it leave them with? What kind of feeling will they associate with me & my books because of this?

How will this tool enrich their lives, or make their day, or even just make them smile?

How can I turn this into a WIN-WIN?

If a specific tool, or campaign, or long-term strategy does that, and is generous to your readers, you’re doing ethical marketing.

That’s what I’m aiming at. That’s what I’m so feverishly researching right now, and biting my nails over, and sacrificing rare & precious sleeping hours for.

I think it’s worth the pain. You’re worth the pain. And so, in turn, are your readers.

Published by Veronica Sicoe

Science Fiction Author — I deliver the aliens.

7 thoughts on “The Difference Between Marketing And Spamming

  1. Ethical Marketing, tricky business akin to the elixir of life and the philosopher’s stone rolled into one soggy mess. I’m joking but it is a bit of tightrope walk. The ultimate gift you can give someone is friendship. The danger to avoid is the illusion of friendship – or is it?
    I am really enjoying, maybe appreciating is a better word, your research into what happens after you’ve written the damn book 🙂


  2. I’ve done a lot of work for newspapers and mags because it gives me credits and a platform. In that business the direct approach is what works–that is, talking to editors via email or phone. It goes like this: “Dear editor, ( his name) I have a 400 word piece on (name a topic) do you want it and if so what is your pay rate.”
    How to use the direct approach with self pub fiction? Along with book signings, library talks, and any other public speaking opportunity, attend conferences related to the subject your write in and set up a booth. Go to book fairs. Write sci-fi? Go to sci-fi events like comi-cons or Star Trek conventions. Where ever interested people are, go there and meet them. Write thrillers? Go to a police fair or retired military conference. You get the idea. Go where the potential readers might congregate and sell your stuff eye to eye. Word of mouth still works.


    1. I hear a lot of writers praise IRL marketing, connecting with people at various events, and such. It sounds very intriguing, but also very alien to me. I’ve never been to a con, or conference, or book fair. I don’t think I will anytime soon either, first because I live in Switzerland yet I’m not interested in German or Swiss fiction, and can’t afford to fly to the US or UK for a con. Not yet, at least. But if that chance presents itself, I’ll definitely give it a try. 🙂


  3. Almost any e-marking feels like spam to me and many others. I think the personnel approach is under used. Face to face meetings build network connections. People that meet you and like you will buy your stuff. Doing speaking engagements not focused on selling, but on any topic you know well, generates interest in you. After the presentation it’s–” By the way I do have some of my books for sale afterwards.” Speakers and especially genuine speakers are always in demand. Library systems, Universities, book clubs, book stores, all enjoy having a speaker come in. If you speak for free, even better. Don’t call it a book signing, do a presentation and offer books after the fact. People will come to hear a speaker talk on a topic of interest. Don’t talk about your books except in passing. Deliver an entertaining presentation and make that the focus, not talking about your book.


    1. I think the best approach would be to at least try to make online interactions as honest, open and non-sales-related as possible as well, and simply never forget that people are on social media to connect with others, be entertained and have fun, not to be sold stuff.

      Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments, Rachel. You make great points, as usual. 🙂


  4. Great point, Veronica, I am now in the early stages of marketing my book and wish I had taken more time to do what you’re doing here. You’re definitely on the right track. There is marketing and there is PR. Marketing is very distant as in PR requires more work but it brings the writer closer to your audience, hence it establishes trust. And we all know how important trust is. Cheers.


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