With about a million books published each year in the United States, book marketing is absolutely critical. Much of book marketing is trial and error, since every book is unique. That said, here are some common book marketing mistakes I see. Learn from others’ mistakes and avoid these, and you’ll already have a leg up in the book marketing game.
Mistake #1: Starting too late
Quite simply: Waiting until your book is published to start marketing is too late. It sounds cliche, but it’s true that it’s never too early to start marketing your book. That includes before you’ve finished writing, during editing, during formatting — you get the idea. (See mistake #4 for a bit more/a different angle to this.) Even before the book is finalized, you have material to share: the title, the fact that you’re writing a book, your launch date, the cover, early reviews, and more.
Waiting until your book is published to start marketing is too late. - @jodibrandon
Mistake #2: Not focusing your efforts
You don’t market your business to everyone, because then you reach no one, right? And you didn’t write your book for everyone. That was smart. Following this pattern, it makes no sense to market your book to everyone. Hopefully before you ever started writing you identified your ideal readers. You need to market to those people, wherever they are.
Mistake #3: Blowing off Amazon
Love ’em or hate ’em, Amazon is likely a part of your book marketing plan. Uploading your book to Amazon and crossing your fingers isn’t the way to go. Amazon allows you to put seven keywords on your book page. Use all seven. Amazon also lets you choose two categories or subcategories for your book. Use both. (Psst . . . don’t forget about your Author Central page.)
Amazon also lets you choose two categories or subcategories for your book. Use both. - @jodibrandon
Mistake #4: Not planning for all phases of the book launch
Having a launch party is fun and a great idea, but book marketing is much more than a party on pub day. You need to think strategically and have activities for all phases of your book launch: pre-launch, launch, and post-launch.
Pre-launch, you’re doing activities like sharing the book cover on social media, sending book updates to your email list, and building buzz. During the launch phase itself, you’re using your launch cheerleaders to help spread the word that the book is available, sharing your Amazon sales rank, and doing a podcast tour. After the book has been available for a while, you’re in post-launch and your tasks include things like sharing positive reviews/testimonials with your audience and offering a holiday or anniversary discount or bonus.
Mistake #5: Needing more reviews
Book reviews don’t affect your rankings, but they CAN affect your sales. Reviews — both positive and negative — can affect potential book buyers. Book reviews are essentially the online version of word-of-mouth.
If you get these five areas right, and avoid the mistakes mentioned here, you’ll be on your way to a positive book marketing experience. Do you have any book marketing ideas to share, good or bad? Let me know in the comments.