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The Worst Book Marketing Mistakes Authors Should Avoid

October 6th, 2017

When an author finishes a book and proceeds to publishing, they often think that most of the work is done. After all, writing and editing are really demanding in terms of time and effort, so having a complete book seems like a huge relief.

However, the release is only half of the way. If you’re not a well-known author, it’s not even half. The book market is highly saturated with a constant supply of new products of every genre. For example, Statista calculated that the U.S. book sales market in 2016 alone accounted for 2.7 billion books (both print and ebooks).

There is some good news, though. A large share of authors doesn’t support their products with quality marketing.

When done badly, book marketing can burn a hole in an author’s pocket without any meaningful results. To avoid experiencing such a disaster, avoid the following mistakes.

Mistake #1: Marketing for everyone

When asked who their book is for, authors often reply: “it’s for middle-aged women” or “it’s for teens who like comics.” In some cases, they say their book is for everyone.

Any marketer would be shocked to hear answers like these. First and foremost, thinking that all middle-aged women will read your book is a bad idea (unless, of course, you come up with a global best-seller). It is very likely that only a small share of this target audience will be interested in the book. That is, if you market it properly.

Second, if you think that every person in the world is a potential customer of the book, you will lose before even the time to market comes. Marketing is the art of putting a product in front of a target audience. If everyone is a potential reader, what marketing strategy will you use? Tell people about your book on the street? Which Amazon category will you choose?

Takeaway: always market your book for a particular target audience. If you need some pointers, here are 5 tips on how to define a target market for writers from The Creative Penn.

Mistake #2: Launching the site and releasing the book at the same time

Experienced writers recommend that you start marketing a book about six months before its release. That’s when a website should be launched, too. It is a crucial tool for creating awareness of the new book and a small audience for the release.

Many authors choose to launch the website when the book is out. As the result, it becomes extremely difficult to get some traffic there. Eventually, the website may even become useless if you’re a beginner writer without an appreciable fan base.

Takeaway: a website should be done early to fuel your marketing effort. It takes months and sometimes years to get some traffic, so you should begin blogging as soon as it goes online.

Here are some tips on how to write successful blog articles about books from For Book’s Sake.

Mistake #3: Doing only one thing

A writer can find a potential reader almost everywhere. That’s why you need to conduct your marketing using as many channels as you possibly can. For example, if your primary tool for finding readers is Twitter, you are missing the people on Google+ and Facebook.

Each social media platform has certain advantages that appeal to people. That’s why someone might be using only Facebook or only Twitter. To get the maximum reach, you need to expand the range of your social media marketing effort.

Takeaway: try marketing your book on every popular social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. After several months, you will define where you should focus your effort.

Meanwhile, take a look at NY Book Editors’ tips on how to use social media to market a book.

Mistake #4: Designing the cover without professional help

Being a talented writer does not mean that you are an excellent designer as well. Many people think differently and design the covers for their books. As the result, they produce amateurish designs. A person who has seen a lot of book covers will easily recognize it and won’t purchase the book.

Takeaway: money is a sensitive issue for beginner writers and we realize that. However, if you want to work in this field professionally, you need to hire a professional designer to produce the book cover.

Need advice on finding a designer? Here’s a comprehensive list from The Creative Penn.

 

Tools for Book Marketing

AuthorMarketingClub.com    – a community of 25,000+ authors and readers that allows you to promote books for free.

Book-related Website Designs – a collection of website designs for inspiration for your fantastic site.

ShareThis.com   – easy-to-use share buttons for your site to expand your marketing effort.

 

The Bottom Line

The golden rule of book marketing says: “your book is wrong for almost everyone.” Remember this rule and use the tips above to succeed. Happy marketing!

 

 Lucy Benton is a marketing specialist, business consultant and helps people to turn their dreams into the profitable business.  Now she is writing for marketing and business resources. Also Lucy has her own blog at ProWritingPartner where you can check her last publications. If you’re interested in working with Lucy , you can find her on FaceBook and Twitter.

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