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Book Promoting to an Internet Group You're Already In

A publisher wrote to me to say:

"Thanks for all the great information. I have one question about "Promoting Books on the Internet." I have joined some newsgroups and listservs on my topic but have been afraid to be very explicit about PR for fear of being exploitative or "spamming." I have usually just attached my signature when I have posted to the groups. Where is the line between legitimate posts and spam? I would appreciate some guidelines. Thanks again for sharing the helpful information."

Here is what I recommend:

The key is not to post publicity releases to your groups but to work in small articles that draw upon your book's content, articles that would be thematically appropriate and "shaded" or customized to each particular group.

For example, if there is a discussion thread that would be an ideal talking point for your book, then you would say something along the order of "speaking of XYZ, did you know that..." and say something pertinent, then referring the reader to your book for more information, including that your book can be found at this or that online bookstore, 800 number or local public library.

Spam is an unsolicited, thematically inappropriate e-mail post. Your thematically appropriate contribution to the e-mail list or newsgroup's online discussion would neither be unsolicited (since you are a member and especially since you are working off some existing discussion thread) nor thematically inappropriate to the focus of that particular group.

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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