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  1. To-Auto-DMORTo-Not-Auto-DMThat-is-the-questionThere seems to be a vast swathe of disagreement among Twitter users when it comes to the Auto-DM.

    Some think it is marketing gold. Others see it as an intrusion. An invitation for spam and other unwanted communications to a supposedly private space.

    So how does a self-published author do the right thing? What is the right approach to this social media tool?

    My Thoughts on the 'Evil' Auto-DM

    Given the fact that I have built several e-mail lists to over 500 subscribers from Auto-DM alone, it is probably no surprise that I disagree completely with the anti-Auto-DM crowd. Questions I have asked myself are, if I balance the gains I have made from using it against any obvious disapproval and the effects of such, has it been a worthwhile move? My answer is, yes, it undoubtedly has.

    I could stop there. The Auto-DM as a marketing tool has far outweighed in gains what little disapproval it has been met with. It is certainly almost impossible to measure clear disadvantages while I see the fruits of the tool every time I open my e-mail marketing account.

    But I won't stop there. Because there is more to say. And if you are convinced it is a good move from what I've said, then you really need to read the rest of this post if you want to maximise your efforts.

    Auto-DM - The Crap Way

    My most common reaction to Auto-DM's is not one of dislike or annoyance (I'm no hypochrite), but one of disbelief at what a waste of time and effort some of them are. I'm not talking about the ones that say 'Hi, thanks for following me' especially, although I do not understand what the sender is achieving beyond their statement of polite intent which will be forgotten withing seconds. 

    What I'm talking about is the following:

    'Hi! I'm such and such and I'd be thrilled if you went to (insert website) and checked out my book. Thanks!'

    Anybody guess what's wrong with this? What am I going to do when I read this? Am I going to think to myself that I cannot live another moment without clicking on the link? Am I going to move heaven and earth to look at this book because it will thrill the sender?

    Nope and nope.

    I am going to do nothing. Because there is nothing in that Auto-DM that intrigues me. There is no indication as to what the book is about and no clue as to why I'd use my time to follow the link. It will be ignored.

    If this sounds harsh and uncaring, then welcome to the real world.

    What's in it for me?

    As self-published writers, we need to start thinking like copywriters - like ad men. This is the crux of my purpose with this blog and this site. If you're not connecting direct response marketing with your book promotion efforts, you're not with me yet. Or rather, I haven't done a good enough job of explaining it to you, which would be my considerable failing.

    Marketing must appeal to the self-interest of the intended target. There is no getting away from it. Should you fail to appeal to their self-interest, they probably won't click your link and they sure as hell will be unlikely to read your sales pitch. Forget it.

    So before you put your fingers near your keyboard, or indeed your mobile phone screen, consider what your ideal customer is about. What do they want? What do they need? How will you get them to do what you want them to?

    Auto-DM the Right Way

    So here's how to do it right. I can tell you with 100% certainty that the message I am about to show you will outperform the crap effort you saw by a staggering amount, meaning more clicks and ultimately more sales.

    'Hi! Suffer no more from a lack of motivation. Free book shows you how to focus, organise and get exactly what you want from life. Click here (website link) now to claim your copy.'

    If you haven't been with for long, then you may not quite grasp what is going on in that message from a marketing point of view. If that's the case then click here to start. There is a free book waiting for you and you'll quickly learn exactly how to construct messages that get attention and action.

  2. Who doesn't like a simple list?

    The reality of self-publishing success can be boiled down into 4 very simple elements. This is good news for you, the author, as dividing your time between them will pay dividends.

    This nice list of 4 items would have saved me a hell of a lot of wasted energy and brain-wracking. Without it, there are a million and one things that seem to demand attention and not one of them is done properly without a tidy overview.

    Liken it to trying to do a 1,000 piece jigsaw without a picture to work from. Now isn't that a task and a half? Attempting it will likely end one way - with frustration and failure.

    Far better to have the finished piece sitting right there in front of you as a reference. That's when you can start to put the jigsaw together and actually enjoy the process.

    The 4 Pillars 

    So here is the list. Your self-publishing jigsaw box. Everything you do should be geared towards one of these items. Do that and you will sell more - there are no limits.

    1. Cover
    2. Blurb
    3. Reviews
    4. Traffic

    So will you throw together a cover with little thought and minimal investment when it is one of your 4 pillars? Pillars being those things on which everything is built.

    Will you hurriedly rattle off a blurb paying no attention to copywriting basics and ignoring the fact that emotions sell? Will you test your blurbs and continue to try and beat your winning version? Why wouldn't you?

    How will you ensure that your reviews carry as much weight as is possible?

    What will you do to get more eyeballs onto your work and to give yourself an ever increasing likelihood of making big sales?

    This list will never change. But the methods might.

    But we have our fingers on the pulse. So you don't need to. Just keep an eye on this blog and if you haven't already, visit to get your free book '17 Self-Publishing Bullets for Writers'.

    So a word on copywriting.

    The list will never change. The methods might. But the foundation that will be your lifelong companion is the language of selling. Consider the 4 pillars again:

    • Cover
    • Blurb
    • Reviews
    • Traffic

    Do you see how copywriting applies to each and every one?


    Well I'm going to spell it out.

    Cover - Graphics surely? What about the title? (Headline)

    Blurb - How you describe your book to a potential reader will determine whether they become interested enough to buy. End of story.

    Reviews - Persuasion. 'Please will you review my book?' is unlikely to cut it.

    Traffic - What you write, where and how you put yourself across online will determine how many people decide to follow up and check out your books. Think blogs, website and dare I say it...e-mail marketing - where you control the traffic.

    I hope you are beginning to see that this self-publishing game does not need to be complex. It is a matter of learning how to construct your words to guide readers towards the desired outcome - more often than not to buy your book.

    Please share this post with your fellow writers. The world needs more goodwill.