The process of developing your manuscript from the initial idea into a fully-fledged book is a long and laborious journey that can take many months, or even years. But you need to put as much effort into marketing your book as you did writing it. This article from guest blogger, Joel S. Syder will help you avoid the ten most common marketing mistakes made by self-publishing authors.
It’s only once you’re ready to release your creation upon the world that self-publishing authors realize the journey has only just begun. Marketing your book is essential to get potential readers interested. But what’s the best way to do that? Avoid making the ten common mistakes below, and you’ll be on the right track!
1. Not Starting Early Enough
It’s vital you make sure you start making your book before you even finish it. This way, you can create hype and a following around your book, rather than finishing it and starting off with nothing and having to build your way up.
2. Not Getting the Cover Right
“While we should never judge a book by its cover, the sad truth is that everybody does, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the cover right. Many aspiring authors will take on the challenge themselves, but unless you’re a professional designer, you should always invest in this area to get it done properly,” explains Mary Taylor, a publicist for 1Day2Write.
3. Thinking It Will Happen Overnight
It would be absolutely amazing to release your book to the world, wake up the next day and find it’s selling millions around the world. However, this simply isn’t reality. If you don’t market or try to sell your book, it won’t sell. It’s not possible to go viral overnight without getting the word about your book out there.
4. Trying to Sell to Everyone
Let’s just put it out there: not everyone is going to enjoy reading your book, nor will they even be interested in reading your book. However, don’t take it to heart – remember your audience is out there, you’ve just got to find them. Figure out who your ideal reader would be, and then market to them specifically. You’ll waste a lot of time and energy trying to target everybody who reads books.
5. Not Optimising Online Media Advertising Strategies
“When it comes to marketing your book, social media is going to be your best friend, whether that’s using online ad space, connecting with your readers (more on this below), or simply getting your name out there to the masses,” explains Richard Harper, a book editor for WriteMYX.
However, it’s important to make sure you understand each platform and what works best on each. After all, Twitter is great for little snippets of text, whereas Instagram is best for visual images.
6. Having a Fixed Tone of Voice
When you’re communicating with different target markets throughout the marketing process, you’ll need to learn how to communicate effectively. Know your audience. After all, you would speak to your 85-year-old grandmother far differently than you would your best friends.
7. Not Communicating with Your Readers
Chances are you’re going to connect with potential readers through social media, which means you have a direct line to speak to them on a one-on-one basis. Failure to connect with your readers will be one of your biggest mistakes, and you should never underestimate the benefits of engaging with them.
8. Trying to Market All the Time
Of course, you’re going to want to maximize your sales, but it can be expensive and time-consuming trying to market your book at all hours of the day. Instead, try marketing one day a week with a big push, rather than tirelessly pushing all day every day. It’s all about trial and error.
9. Underestimating Free Books
Of course, you want to get paid for what you write, and if you’ve got a masterfully crafted novel you want to charge for your hard work, that’s fine and completely understandable. However, many people will want something for free, so why not write some free books as a taster to potential readers to get hooked on what you have to offer?
10. Investing Your Time Too Thinly
While it’s so important to diversify the platforms, you’re using to promote yourself, at the same time it’s vital you’re not spreading your time and energy too thinly that you’re not investing enough time into a platform to make it as successful as it could be.
If you’re an expert on Twitter or Amazon, or you have a large following you want to work with already, there’s no point in trying to crack another platform when you already get the best results where you are.
Good luck with marketing your books – and do share any top tips you have, including other mistakes to avoid.
Joel Snyder is writer and production editor at Originwritings.com and Academicbrits.com. He enjoys helping people to publish and market their written creations as well as creating articles about things that excite him for Australia2write.com.