So now you can sit back and wait for all the admiration, accolades and royalties that will surely pour in as soon as you hit the submit button, right?
There’s still one minor detail left to attend to, and that’s marketing.
Like any other product that’s available for sale, if no one knows your book exists, they can’t buy it.
Marketing your book effectively gives you the best chance of moving many copies whether your main goal is profit, exposure or otherwise.
With that in mind, here are some of the things you should never do when you’re marketing your books if you want each release to be a success.
- Don’t forget to focus on a niche.
There’s an old saying that goes: “If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.” When it comes to publishing and marketing your book, this saying rings true.
A successful marketing strategy always involves targeting a specific audience for your book. When you have a focused niche, you accomplish a couple of things that make selling your books more likely.
- Your writing has more appeal. Instead of writing another generic novel or non-fiction guide, you can target a smaller audience and meet their needs more effectively.
- Marketing is easier. When you have a focused niche, crafting your marketing message is much simpler and more effective because your offer aligns directly with what your target audience wants.
Instead of going wide and shallow, having a clearly defined niche lets you market narrow and deep, penetrating right down to the core of your target audience.
And, another plus for appealing to a very specific audience? Groups of people who have closely related interests tend to share their favorite books and authors with their peers, which boosts your chances of going viral.
- Don’t create a boring book cover.
It’s your birthday and you just got presented with two gifts.
One is a box enrobed in beautifully embossed gold wrapping paper with a big bright red bow perched perfectly on top.
A crudely wrapped object in a brown paper sack.
Which gift would you be more excited about if you had no idea what was inside?
I think the choice is obvious, and it’s no different when it comes to the way that you present your book to your readers.
You can offer your audience a crumpled brown paper sack, so to speak, or you can leave them yearning to tear into your book with a beautifully presented front cover image and compelling description of what your book has to offer on the back.
Covers sell books, so a great design is essential to your marketing strategy.
- Don’t market your book to just anyone.
It doesn’t really matter how many people you can get to see your book offer if the ones you present with it aren’t interested in what you have to say.
That’s like trying to sell your prize winning hamburgers at a vegetarian convention. It’s a total waste of time, energy and resources. Not to mention, very upsetting for you and those poor vegetarians!
Instead of wasting your time (and your erroneous prospect’s too), take careful steps to plan out the details of your marketing strategy.
Create a persona of the customer most likely to buy your book.
- What would compel them to buy it?
- Where do they spend most of their time on and offline?
- What about your book would resonate with them on such a deep level that they have to have it, and would likely buy future releases as well?
If you can answer similar questions and narrow your focus down to create a marketing plan, you’ll connect with the kind of people who actually want what you have to offer and the selling process becomes much easier.
- Don’t avoid outsourcing for help.
When authors decide to publish a book, most of the time they do the actual writing themselves. However, many self-publishers don’t stop there.
They try to design the cover, start a guest blogging tour and promote their book via social media, all while networking offline for more publicity.
It’s no wonder many would-be publishers end up overwhelmed and never actually gain traction for their books.
Instead of trying to take on the world singlehandedly, investigate using one or more of the book marketing services available to self-published authors.
These types of services help get books in front of your target audience quickly and with as much exposure as possible, minus all of the stress and stumbling blocks typically associated with trying to go through the entire process alone.
- Don’t ignore building a brand.
When you have a brand that connects with your audience, marketing becomes relatively effortless and you build on the success of every new book you publish.
When you’re clear on what you stand for and what readers can expect from your books, you can create a consistent stream of marketing messages that resonate with your target audience. Combine that with regular contact with that same audience and you build strong relationships, which is the key to effective long-term marketing.
Always remember that you’re never just selling “a book”. You’re selling yourself and what you have to offer that’s special and different from every other writer out there.
Yes, building a strong brand takes a lot of time and effort. But having one ultimately gives you a significant amount of leverage when marketing your books.
Instead of having to go out and search for people to buy your work every time you release a new book, you develop a loyal following that seeks you out and wants to buy everything you release because they know you deliver.
- Don’t rush through the book production process.
When you’ve finished your first draft and you’re chomping at the bit for your book to go out, it can be tempting to rush through the rest of the book production process. However, actually doing that could end up being a fatal mistake.
Blazing through the steps that lead up to your final book release increases the chances of mistakes happening exponentially.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so a book filled with typos that delivers an underwhelming experience will likely leave a bad taste in your reader’s mouth.
This means that while it may extent the time it takes to get your book into your reader’s hands, being meticulous during the book production process pays off in the end.
Readers are much more likely to spread the word and recommend your book to others when you take the time to ensure that it is spectacular before you release it.
The fact is, doing what it takes to get your book into as many hands of your perfect readers as possible is hard work, but it can be done. And if you do it exceptionally well? You may just end up with a bestseller on your hands.
As you navigate through the twists and turns that are a normal part of promoting a book, avoid making these marketing mistakes and significantly improve your chances for success!
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