I am not going to start by telling you that you should listen to what I’m about to say because, well, see #2. Instead, let’s just call these tips from someone who cares.
The Do Not List of Online Book Promotion
1) Do not use your Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Whatever account for nothing but your own book promotion because you wrote the darn thing so you’re unbaised as they come. Plus, on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is like a bee buzzing ten miles away, and 10 is watching My Little Pony for 17 hours straight, this is a 22.
2) If someone else on Twitter/Facebook/Whatever says something nice about your book, do not use your account just to quote them. This is pretty much the online equivalent of wearing a t-shirt that says I AM THE BEST! and it makes people want to punch you. Yes, you can thank them and you know what? That just might make people curious enough to see what you’re thanking Person X for. That’s okay because you didn’t shove it down their throats.
3) Do not ask people to buy your book. Ever. Tell them you released a book. If you’re smart, tell them something “hooky” about your book so they will make the decision to buy it. When possible, tell them you’re giving away a copy or doing a book signing. These are all fine. But for the love of all things blue and fluffy, do NOT tell them to buy it. Do not email everyone you know or post messages on Twitter/Facebook/Whatever. With the exception of possibly your own mother, it won’t work because most people are not actually mindless robots. Also, see #1.
4a) Do not ask people to rate your book well on Amazon/Goodreads etc… so your ratings will go up. If they loved it, they will rate it well. If they didn’t, well then your request might just make them want to rate it even worse because you annoyed them.
4b) NEVER ask people who haven’t even read your book to do #4a. This is the book review equivalent of “stuffing the ballot box” and if you do it, you deserve a lifetime of nothing but My Little Pony shows.
4c) NEVER EVER EVER ask/encourage/allow your family/friends to do items 1-4 because a) like you, they are biased so we won’t believe them anyway, b) we will probably think you asked them to do so which is like buying yourself the t-shirt from #2 and then asking your brother to give it to you for Christmas, and c) see mindless robot comment from #3.
To sum up: don’t be an asswipe.