4 Common Book Marketing Mistakes Authors Make

Avoid Book Marketing Mistakes and Be More Successful

Writing a book is a huge accomplishment. Getting it published is an even bigger achievement. It’s tempting to look at your pub date as the finish line, but consider this: did you write your book for it to exist, or do you want people actually to read it? We’re guessing the latter!

That’s where marketing your book comes into the picture. As you’re planning your book publicity strategy, there are many to-dos… and also not-to-dos. Below we’re sharing four common book marketing mistakes authors make that detract from the overall goal of getting their book noticed and how you can avoid making them. A graphic illustrating common book marketing mistakes made by authors.

1. Missing the most interested audience

Sure, a mention of your book in a major magazine or on a hit radio show seems great. However, a book PR mistake that authors make all too often is getting hung up on what they perceive to be the best and biggest outlets without considering whether that’s where their readers are. Though positive publicity for your book is welcomed in almost any outlet, authors need to focus on a thoughtfully planned and targeted approach to connect with their ideal audience. Getting caught up on the idea of media attention that only “looks good” won’t actually do much good if the viewers of that content aren’t interested in what you have to offer.

Instead, think like a reader – and not just any reader, your reader. What types of media outlets do they consume? Are there a few podcasts that, though niche, would be the perfect place to reach them? Do they read blogs more than they read newspapers? Perhaps you know you’ll capture their attention as they review a specific trade journal.

The point is this: keep an open mind about the types of media outlets that might be best to cover your book, even if they aren’t the flashiest. The goal is to reach and connect with your audience.

2. Lacking a professional website
What is usually the first thing you do when you want to find out more about someone or something? Visit their website. Don’t underestimate the book marketing value of a professional, clean, and updated website. It should be a hub where potential readers can go to find out everything about your brand and should include, at the minimum, the following:

• An “about me” page (with image)
• A page all about your book (with image)
• A press page
• A contact page
• Your social media links
• An events page

If you’ve authored other books, it’s a good idea to have a page that lists your other work, as well. Just make sure that your most recent book – the one you’re publicizing – stands out as such. If you don’t already have a blog, it can be a great place to showcase your expertise and a smart way to get your readers to keep coming back to your website to read new posts.

Keep your website as uncluttered as possible, with clean lines, proofread text, and clear images. Incorporate your logo, if you have one, or your book cover colors as part of the overall design. A professional website will only add to your legitimacy as an author.

3. Leaving social media followers unengaged

Some authors are so focused on getting followers to promote themselves and their books on social media that they forget that they need to keep them after they get them. Followers can just as easily click the unfollow button if they don’t feel like they’re valued or getting anything of value from following along with you.

Posting quality, value-rich content as regularly as possible is important, but once you post, don’t forget to engage with your readers. Respond to each comment on your posts if you can. Doing so will allow you to really connect with your followers, making them feel like an important and recognized part of your community!

Another idea for engaging with your followers is to ask them questions. Generally, people love answering questions, sharing their thoughts, opinions, and stories, and weighing in on things they’re interested in. Ask your followers what they think about a topic related to your book or for their feedback on what they’d like to see and hear about.

4. Not delegating to others who can help

Authors have a lot on their plates, and the truth is: nobody can do it all themselves. Savvy authors determine the parts of book marketing campaigns they need help with and delegate those tasks to other professionals. For instance, you might be a phenomenal writer, but perhaps your social media skills aren’t up to par; that’s where a social media expert could come in handy. Or maybe you need help staying on track with your to-do list; a virtual assistant might be a great investment. Does your website need an update? Enlist the help of a professional website designer for the best results. And, of course, if you’re overwhelmed at the thought of reaching the most and best media contacts to cover your book – Smith Publicity would be honored to be part of your team!

Now that you know a few of the most common book PR mistakes authors make, and what you can do to avoid making them yourself, you are on the path to enjoying the success you have worked so hard to earn.