What happened when I spammed porn bots with links to my book?

Lady's bum in underwear

Several years ago, I installed Snapchat on my phone to see if I could incorporate it into my marketing campaign for the company I was working for. After fumbling around the app for a few days, I uninstalled it because, well, I just didn’t understand it. (yeah, my inner-boomer was showing)

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I decided to re-install it after a conversation with my current employer because (surprise, surprise) we wanted to see if we could use it to effectively market to our target audience.

When I signed in, I discovered that I had several pending friend requests (weird, I thought I needed friends for that *insert sad emoji face*). Most of the names were unfamiliar, so I deleted those, but several looked like they could’ve belonged to someone I met in the past, so I decided to accept them.

As you can probably deduce from the title of this blog post, they were not, in fact, people I knew. My messages were immediately spammed with links to websites like OnlyFans and other *spicy* content.

If you’ve been following me for any duration of time, you know I’m not one to shy away from outside-the-box book marketing techniques and this was no different. I had started to delete the messages and unfriending the accounts, but then I had an idea.

The popularity of websites like OnlyFans skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to people losing their jobs, so I think it was a fair assessment that these accounts, while most likely automated, were controlled by someone legitimately trying to make a living on the platform.

Although the average OnlyFans users makes about $150 per month, those in the top 10% are known to make between $5,000 and $100,000 per month. Now, is the top 10% using Snapchat to try and drive traffic to their site? Probably not. But what about the top 50%? No idea, but just as these people had the courage to shoot their shot, I decided to shoot mine, too.

I opened the remaining chats and, rather than clicking on their links, I sent them a link to where they could buy my book on Amazon. And do you want to know what happened?

Nothing.

You’re probably not surprised. I’m not either, but it certainly would’ve been an incredible story to tell to my fellow writers. I can imagine it now:

How’d you sell so many books?

Oh, it was easy, I just sent my link to sex workers!

Anyway, the morale of this story is: spamming porn bots is not an effective form of marketing your book. However, I did notice that Snapchat has changed a lot since I first installed it so many years ago. Have you ever used the app to promote and market your book? Let me know how in the comments!


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Published by Tim Koster

Tim Koster is an American author who was born and raised in Portland, Maine. After graduating from Deering High School, Tim attended Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire, where he studied English with an emphasis on creative writing. In his junior year, Tim enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve as a public affairs specialist and deployed on two combat missions – his first was to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn (2011) and his second was to Syria in Support of Operation Inherent Resolve (2018). Tim currently lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.

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