LitFire Guide: Book Marketing Mistakes You Absolutely Must Avoid

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May 28, 2015
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When we’re eager for success, sometimes, we go to certain extents to get things done. The unrealistic expectations we establish usually shove us towards drastic measures that have little or no contribution to reaching success. When we’re not reaping great results, we begin to lose hope. We give up.

Keep in mind that success isn’t something that just happens to you; you have to make it happen. All successful self-published authors have gone through the same thing you’re going through.  No matter what was thrown at them, they were able to pull through. So, stay strong and work hard. If you want a little help in achieving your goals, here’s a list of mistakes authors commonly do or practice.

  1. Flying solo

Although it is called “self-publishing”, there aren’t any rules prohibiting you from getting other people on board. In fact, hiring more people can help you improve your work and it lightens your load. Think about it, you’re skilled in writing but you might not be great at graphic design or marketing. Getting a few people on your team can be beneficial. For instance, getting an editor can help you improve your book content. Hiring a graphic designer can get you an attention-grabbing book cover that’ll work wonders. You’re a writer! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to focus on writing.

Are you willing to do everything that comes after publishing your book? This means you will be dedicating your days to enacting your marketing strategy, establishing relationships with your readers, improving your site’s search engine ranking, creating your author brand and so much more. With all that going on, how in the world will you find the time to write your next book? Again, there’s nothing wrong with assembling a team. Even Superman needs a little help from the Justice League.

  1. Underestimating a marketing plan

Your book is just one of the millions of books that get published in a year. Do you honestly believe that your book, out of the millions of books that get published, can generate readers without a proper marketing plan?

Doing nothing won’t get you any closer to your dreams. Moreover, millions of potential readers won’t even be able to find your book if you don’t apply the right marketing techniques. Read up on marketing strategies! Start organizing the strategies that are most accessible to you, and create a daily plan so you won’t waste any of your time, money and effort.  A brilliant marketing plan can generate a large readership.

  1. Shoving your book down people’s throats

Successful book marketing involves subtlety. Your aim is to get people to purchase your book, but you can’t exactly tell them upfront to buy it. If people have even the faintest idea of what you’re up to, they will run. People hate being cornered with sales talk. Similarly, spamming your audience with promotional details won’t get them to buy your book. They will only ignore you. They won’t care if your book is good or not. If there is prejudice, they won’t listen to any word you say.

Always remember the 80-20 rule of marketing. Book marketing only gets 20%; the rest should be relevant content that will establish your brand and keep your readers pleased.

  1. Not taking risks

With a number of authors hoping for their big break and trying the exact same formula for success, it’s quite the competition. If you still haven’t experience the success you’ve always longed for, take it as a sign to change something. Definitely, something isn’t working. Something needs change. Implement a new strategy if yours isn’t working. Don’t be afraid to try something new. That might just get you to stand out from the rest of the authors.

  1. Blogging/Social Media Hiatus

Consistency is of utmost importance when you’re using the Internet to market. If you go missing for a couple of days, your readers might start to doubt if following you was the right choice. They might even forget that they followed you. If a couple of days of hiatus can do that, you definitely mustn’t go missing for weeks or months! You can increase your readership by posting frequently, preferably daily, given that the content is something that your readers are interested in. You can give writing advice, book recommendations or book marketing tips. Again, remember the 80-20 rule.  For Facebook, you can have at least two posts a day. The number of likes and comments drop drastically by the time you make your third post, according to research. For Twitter, you can have three or more tweets per day, but your audience usually starts to lose interest after your third tweet. Once you get the hang of social media marketing, you not only get to keep your followers, you can gain more, too.

  1. Not engaging your readers

It’s not just enough to gain a readership. You have to be certain they’re not jumping ship. If you’ve given your readers the attention they need, they will stay loyal to you. Once you’ve earned their trust, they will be excited to read whatever book you’ll publish next. Your readers are valuable because they help you improve as a writer. More importantly, you can pay the bills because of them. So, start answering those questions. Reply to their comments and reviews. You can even have live chats with your readers! It’s the least you can do.

  1. Setting unrealistic expectations and giving up too soon

When you hear success stories from your fellow self-published authors, you sort of hope that you too might be lucky enough to experience the same thing. No harm in that. However, success won’t come to you in the exact same time and in the exact same form. Stop comparing yourself to other authors. It might take you a couple of tries. It might even take you a couple of years to reach their current numbers. Although you’re already published and you followed all the tips and techniques that you could possibly think of, sometimes things don’t really just work out the way you planned. But, it doesn’t mean you have to give up.

Look back, and try to figure out what you did wrong. Perhaps you made a couple of mistakes listed above. If you did, it’s time to set things right. Be knowledgeable of the tools of the trade. Create your plan, and execute every single point on your list. Don’t be afraid of change. Don’t be afraid to take risks. More importantly, take quitting out of your vocabulary.

We will be rooting for you. Best of luck!