There is so much advice available on how to market your book. However, here are some things you should definitely avoid.
Overpricing your books
Setting your books at a higher price might seem like the best way to increase your royalties but, if you’re not a well-known author, it could deter new readers from trying your book. They have never heard of you, and need a reason to purchase your book. A good cover design and well-written blurb are essential, but price is also a major factor.
Make your eBook editions significantly cheaper than your paperback version. Many readers who prefer paperbacks may be tempted by your eBook because of the lower cost.
On the flip-side, offering your book at a bargain basement price can have the opposite effect. Perceived value is a huge factor for consumers. If a book is too cheap, a buyer may assume it’s poorly written.
Paying for overpriced marketing services
With marketing, there are plenty of paid options, but not all of these will result in enough book sales to recover the cost of advertising or promotion. In fact, most of them don’t. If your publisher is upselling you on lots of marketing bells and whistles, you probably chose the wrong publisher. They know those services cost more than any resulting book sales that may occur. They’re simply trying to dig even deeper in your wallet.
Comparing your own work to big authors
How many times have you read a blurb where the writer compares their work to that of a big-name author? If this hasn’t made you cringe and you bought and read the book, how many times have you felt bitterly disappointed?
If you really want to include a comparison, include quotes from reputable reviewers making the comparison. This form of marketing is setting the bar high and, if readers don’t see the promised similarities to their favorite writer, they might review your book more critically than they would have had they not seen the comparison.
Not using the same creativity you put into writing the book
If you have poured your imagination into creating your book, unoriginal attempts at selling it could let you down. Posting a link on Facebook, and simply asking people you already know to buy your book lacks imagination, and produces few (or no) results from outside your close friends and family.
You need to be just as creative in your marketing as you were in writing your book. If you blog about your book, make it interesting. Capture the attention of local and regional media by tying the themes of your book into topics they might be interested in.
Not putting yourself in your potential readers’ minds
With any marketing you do, you need to ask yourself, ‘Would I respond to this?’
Would you buy a book from someone you have never heard of after seeing the advertisement, blog post, or other marketing material? If not, why not? What would you want to know? What would convince you? If you’re not getting in your readers’ minds by asking yourself these questions, you can’t hope to connect with them in a way that will lead to sales.
Chasing the wrong platforms to market your book
Marketing is hard, and it’s difficult to know which methods will work. A lot of authors throw themselves into marketing in as many places as possible, but they fail to research the platforms they are using, or the potential audience they will reach.
If you’re contacting a podcast host about being a guest, make sure they actually have guests. If you want to place ads in your local newspaper, or have a feature written about your book, check that their audience matches your target audience. It’s no use wasting time advertising a horror book aimed at twenty-somethings to a readership predominantly made up of retired people in their 60s and 70s.
Targeting your book marketing means being able to focus your attention on fewer tasks, which will have better results, than just telling as many people as possible you have a book, and hoping the right people see it.
- Brutal Honesty, Because You Asked! Why YOUR Book Isn’t Selling – by Angela Hoy
- 55 Dos and Don’ts of Book Selling Has Been Published! – Get Your FREE Copy TODAY!!
- Book Genres That Are Selling GREAT Right Now
- How to Turn Your Customer Testimonials into Marketing Memes! – by Angela Hoy
- How to Go Broke AFTER You Publish Your Book! (Hint: Buy your publisher’s worthless marketing products and services…)
Amanda Steel is the author of Ghost of Me, which was a finalist in the Thriller category of The Author Elite Awards 2020. Amanda has had work broadcast on BBC Radio Manchester and The NoSleep Podcast. She also co-hosts a book review podcast, and works as a copywriter.
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