Writing a book is a long, grueling process followed by a self-publishing journey that has more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. But that’s only half the battle! Marketing is probably the most difficult part of the self-publishing process, which is the reason why so many self-published authors don’t even bother. The market is full of books from every niche you can possibly think of, but how many of those books are backed by a sound marketing strategy? Not very many!
I see so many new self-published authors make the same mistakes. Marketing can either be positive, or it can become a black hole that sucks out your soul and spits out what’s left of your motivation. Are you scared? Well I might be exaggerating just a bit, but the harsh reality is that book marketing mistakes can completely kill your dreams so you need to avoid them at all costs!
Book Marketing Mistake #1: Throwing Money Away
When you spend money without researching the market, you’re essentially just throwing it away. Look at spending money as an investment. You need to do your homework to ensure that you will see a positive return. Blindly throwing money at marketing is one of the most massive mistakes I see with new self-published authors.
Don’t fall victim to hype pitched to you by sales copy. Make sure that you do your homework and choose book promotions that are proven to be successful. Join some Facebook and LinkedIn author groups and ask them whether or not they have used the service.
Choosing the right marketing platform to invest in is only the first step. You will need to approach it in the right way too. For example, there is a right way and a wrong way to use PPC (pay-per-click) advertising. The same is true for Facebook ads.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that there is some magic pill you can buy that will automatically work. Marketing is only going to be as effective as the effort you put into it.
Book Marketing Mistake #2: Trying to Market to Everyone
There is a really good rule of thumb for book marketing that states, “Your book is wrong for almost everyone.”
At first, I’m sure that sounds bollocks but it makes sense when you stop to think about it. In fact, it’s actually a great thing. Understanding that your book is not suitable for most readers allows you to dedicate your full marketing efforts to a focused target market, which is much smaller.
Entrepreneurs will likely be publishing nonfiction books so it will aim to solve a specific problem. Therefore, the target market would be people suffering from that problem.
If you are publishing a fiction book, then your genre will determine the target audience. This is usually a specific demographic.
Once you have identified the target market for your book, you are much better equipped to target those readers. You’ll find that it’s so much easier than trying to market to all readers.
Book Marketing Mistake #3: Making Marketing About You
Marketing is not about you. It’s about your readers. Period! I’m going to shoot straight with you:
No one gives a crap about you. No one gives a crap about your book. At least, not yet.
Receiving such an unyielding indifference is a real disruptive revelation for writers who have slaved away on their manuscript, put in the effort to design the perfect cover, and put together an awesome website. A lot of them simply quit and say, “Books don’t sell anymore.”
The marketplace is not the problem. They are. These people expect readers to breathlessly wait for their book when that simply does not happen. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t a market for it. It just means that you have to find a way to make your target market care about you.
Customers always want to know what’s in it for them. They don’t care about your past experience or about your goals. They want to know that your book will solve their problem. Therefore, you should build your marketing campaign around how your book will enhance your target market’s life.
The three main takeaways that I want you to get from this blog post are:
- Research thoroughly before you spend money on advertising.
- Focus on your target market rather than all readers.
- Marketing is about your readers, not you.
What choice will you make? Will you carefully market your book with a solid chance at achieving a good return on investment or will you watch your book’s success dwindle into the dark abyss, never to be heard from again?