Now that you’ve spent weeks, months, and possibly even years writing your book, paying special attention to each and every word and seeing each character grow and develop, having just started as a small spark of imagination in your brain, there comes a time where your book can make its way out into the world.
For many authors, the idea of marketing their creation can be a challenging one. Not only will you have the traditional doubts of whether your work is good enough for the public eye, but the entire process of where to start and how to market can be more daunting than the release itself.
While the internet is overflowing with posts and articles on how to market your book, today we’re going to explore some of the most common mistakes that authors make during the marketing process. This way, you can avoid falling into the same traps, giving you the opportunity to maximize your success!
1 – Trying to Market to Everyone
When you’re planning on releasing your book, it can be tempting to think that everybody is going to fall in love with it, or at least you want everyone to fall in love with it. However, this isn’t going to be the case, and every book has its own target market.
Before you start doing anything marketing-related, be sure to define this target market and the demographics within. This way, you can spend your money and efforts in the right places where you’re marketing to the people who are interested in your book.
2 – Not Using Social Media
Social media is easily one of the best platforms to market your book, and you’ll be able to connect with potential readers and fans on a one-on-one basis. However, you need to make sure you’re using these platforms regularly and keeping them updated.
If a potential reader visits your page and it hasn’t been used or updated in months, they’re going to be put off by it, and you’ll have lost a fan. If you’re not planning on using a platform, delete or hide your account to avoid this problem.
3 – Failing to Interact with Fans and Readers
Whether you’re connecting with fans and readers on social media, answering emails, or even doing live Q&As on platforms like Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram, not interacting with your fans on a personal level means you’ll be missing out on the promotional effects that this has.
By dedicating a set amount of time per day to reply to comments, answer messages, and just to interact with fans can be a great way to build a community and loyal following around you as an author and your book.
When people are interacted with someone they admire, they become far more attached to this community and feel as though you care about them as an individual. This is a great way to get people excited about the things you do, and the more the word spreads of how much you appreciate your fans, the more fans you’ll acquire.
4 – Not Marketing Your Book Early
While you may think ‘okay, I’ve finished my book, and now it’s time to start marketing it,’ this is the wrong approach since marketing can take a long time to build up momentum. In fact, you’re going to want to start marketing your book long before you finish it in order for your efforts to gain traction.
“Even without a finished or finalized product, it’s important to organize your tour dates, start running your social media campaigns and start organizing any potential interviews or airtime you may be using to promote your creation,” shares Jack Smith, a book marketer for WriteMYX.
The earlier you can get started, the more hype you can build and the more flexible you can be with your approach. Sometimes, one method of marketing simply won’t work for whatever reason, so starting early gives you the time and space to make adjustments and to move forward in the most productive way.
5 – Overrating the Importance of Your Book
While this isn’t to say your book might not be the best book ever written, it just might be, however, this fame, fortune, and recognition come with time. Thanks to the innovations in the print industry and the boom of digital media and eBooks, there are more books being published now than ever before.
This means that writing and finishing a book isn’t as impressive as it once was, and simply finishing it won’t be enough to grab the attention of an editor, newspaper or online blog. Still feel free to release a press release but include more details about why people should be reading your book based on the themes and content.
6 – Not Using a High-Quality Website
Just like any individual or business, you need a website as an author to use as your HQ for all your activities and marketing. Your website should be the foundation for the rest of your marketing efforts. No matter what social platforms you’re using or where you’re posting blogs, always link back to your website.
While a website is important, so is the quality of your website. If you’re using a dated website that’s difficult to navigate, or comes across as too messy and packed out, this is going to put people off. While you don’t need to go all out, keep your website clean and easy to use for the best results and reader interaction.
7 – Not Acquiring Testimonials Before Publishing
Social proof is one of the most effective ways you’re going to market your book. Quite simply, if someone reads your book and says they love it, and then someone reads this review, they’re so much more likely to buy it because someone else did.
Think about the process you go through when you buy a product on Amazon. You’re far less likely to buy a product that has no reviews that one that has multiple reviews. Including reviews in your marketing process helps you book come across as being real, and also helps to remove any doubt that people may have on whether your book is any good.
“Even if you haven’t released your book yet, it’s important to get reviews to get yourself started. Get trusted friends and family to give their honest opinions to get the ball rolling. As more books sell, you can switch up which reviews you’re using to market your book,” explains Sarah Taylor, a writer, and editor for 1Day2Write.
8 – Not Taking Opportunities as They Come
Whether you’re nervous, don’t feel like you’ve got enough time, or you’re aiming for something bigger, it’s important that you take every legitimate and genuine opportunity to promote yourself as you can.
For example, if a small-time radio show suggests doing an interview with you, you might not think their small listenership is worth your time, but this is a huge oversight. You never know who could be listening to this station or reading a blog you’ve posted on a small website, or where the opportunity might take you.
Taking these opportunities is so important because no matter how small they are, you never know where it’s going to lead. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should take every opportunity, especially no illegitimate ones, but be smart and never overlook a potential winner.
Joel Syder is a business analyst and writer at Academic Brits and Origin Writings. He enjoys helping people to realize their potential in exciting field of information technology as well as creating articles about things that excite him.