Self-promotion is a huge topic for web fiction authors, and it's something I've been struggling through quite a bit as I try to gain a foothold with my various web fiction projects and build my audience. Here's something that's been going through my head recently on this subject.
I'm working on a lot of writing projects right now. I have two ongoing serials (Losing Freight on http://1889.ca and Special People at http://specialpeople.timsevenhuysen.com), I'm about a quarter of the way through my Year of Stories challenge (http://timsevenhuysen.com/year-of-stories/), and I'm still keeping up http://FiftyWordStories.com.
Managing all these projects means that I have a lot of new stuff coming out every week. If I go on Twitter (@TimSevenhuysen -- plug!) and share the link for each new story or chapter I post just once, that means I'm sending out 13 self-promoting tweets each week between Monday and Friday. Add to that 1 or 2 blog posts per week and maybe a new product in my Store, and I could be averaging between 3 and 4 self-promoting tweets each weekday without even doubling up on any links!
What I've noticed over the past while, and what I think seems at least partially self-evident, is that when I'm bombarding my followers with that many updates every day, they're bound to start tuning them out. There's nothing special about the tweet to catch their attention. The links don't feel exciting or "new" because they're surrounded by so much other "new" stuff...
Another side effect of having so much new stuff to constantly promote is that I can't give any sustained attention to any single new thing. If I write a blog post about a new product in my Store and tweet that out, I feel like I shouldn't mention it again the next day because it'll just clutter things up with all of the other links I have to post. So I put a little bit of space, and maybe wait a couple of days before reminding people of the new product, and before long there's something else competing for attention with that product--a special event or a blog post or an important chapter or <i>something</i>--and the new product gets lost in the shuffle, relatively unpromoted.
One step I've taken to deal with all of this is to move 50-Word Stories back to its own Twitter account (@50WordStories). That's cut down one tweet per day. I've considered doing that with my other projects, so people can just see the links they want to see, but my 1,500+ Twitter following is one of my biggest self-promotion assets, and it's a bit frightening to think of splitting that up further.
I'm fighting with how to deal with these problems, and whether I need to slow down on my projects (seems like making myself "less productive" is a bad idea), or plan my special events and new releases better, or rethink my self-promotion efforts completely...
I don't know if anyone else has faced issues similar to these, but I'd love to get some outside advice!