Are you making these 10 mistakes when trying to market your book?

By June 18, 2015Uncategorized

In this post you will learn how to market your book, by avoiding mistakes

What do authors want more than anything else in the publishing universe? They want to learn how to write  bestselling books that will make them rich.  Every author dreams of living self-published author and entrepreneur Steve Scott’s $50,000 per month book sales reality.

But will “settle” for Lise Cartwright sales.

She brings in three to four thousand per month of passive income from the sales of her best seller book- excuse me – best seller books on Amazon.

Who is this book marketing  post for?

It’s for anyone who writes nonfiction or fiction, is self-published or traditionally published.  Essentially it’s for anyone who wants to stop making book marketing mistakes and learn how to sell books on Amazon or any other site.

I am a self-published author and ghostwriter. I’ve written, co-written and ghostwritten hundreds of books for clients through online sites and independently.  The books I’ve written have become hot new releases and best sellers in their respective categories.

Unfortunately, only one of my own books has hit the best seller eBooks list in one category.  This confirms that my writing is great and that my book promotion skills are not very good.  I am primarily a nonfiction writer who publishes on Amazon and Gumroad.  Many of my books are along the lines of “how to write an eBook” type theme and they also seek to help writers and entrepreneurs.

Therefore the book promotion or book marketing tips I give in this blog post are specifically geared towards those who write nonfiction and want to publish and sell books on Amazon.

Interestingly, of the dozen or so books that I’ve written for myself across the board and under various pen names, they only bring in a few sales daily among all the books. But my clients know how to sell books on Amazon.   That’s because the majority of them I don’t consider writers, instead they are internet marketers that have mastered book promotion.

This past weekend I took a break from my writing, well actually no I didn’t because I wrote this post but included in the writing, was the research that I’ve been doing over the past several months trying to figure out what marketing mistakes I’m making and researching the insider secrets of clients.

Unfortunately, these internet marketers are stingy with information, they tell you just enough to make you hate them and never work for them again.  But I’m a smart girl and I’ve finally cracked the code that will get my own material on many best seller’s lists.

The information that I will share with you today comes from me talking to clients, reading and re-reading countless hours of books, blogs and everything else to wrap my brain around book marketing and figuring out the mistakes I need to stop making.

I have been doing so many things wrong and you probably are too. It hurts sales and worst, it kills your sales and probably your motivation too.

It’s unbearably painful knowing that you are good at something like writing books, something you enjoy doing because not only does what you do help people, and maybe solve a pain point, but writing is also something you like to do.   That is why you spend a good portion of your free time, the little extra time that you can steal away, writing and publishing eBooks that you really don’t have time to market.  So you half-ass market and the only thing worse than doing that is, well there is nothing worse than doing that not even doing no marketing at all.

When a higher being chose you to become a writer of eBooks or books, that’s right, you are so good that you were chosen; she failed to mention that a big part of your job was to learn how to market your books. You are marketing alright and you aren’t getting many book sales and it could be because you are making the following mistakes:

1. You foolishly consider yourself an author and not a marketer

The internet guys & gals that I write for consider themselves marketers, entrepreneurs, and then authors in that order.  They are authors in the sense that their names go on the books.  Even the ones who write parts of their books consider themselves to be both writer and marketer.

Some of my dear writer friends are probably having a cuss fest about marketers and maybe ghostwriters who do the work.   To that I say don’t hate the player (the internet marketer) hate the game and LEARN it.

Listen up you fucking higher being.  I am not an internet marketer, I am a writer, I am an author, do you hear me, lady?  I digress.

Unfortunately, in the old traditional publishing universe, you simply had to be a writer (well, not really unknown authors had to market even then), but the difference is today you better not even think about publishing a book unless you consider yourself equally a writer and marketer.

In fact, if writing a book was something you could get a degree in then you would need a dual degree in book writing and marketing.  Stop your whining I already told you that this is a painful truth that hurts me too.

You show me any eBook (or book) author on a bestsellers list and you’ll think I’m clairvoyant when I tell you this fact about them; they are internet marketers. Yes, Steve Scott started out as an internet marketer, and I’ll tell you how Lise Cartwright markets later.

The Mistake.   Not learning how to market. Put on your marketing hat.  You are a marketer.

2.  You hire someone else to market your book

Ok, so this isn’t really a mistake unless it is the only thing you do.  Even full-time writers who don’t have day jobs find it hard to squeeze in marketing.  So, if you are a full-time employee with a family who writes on the side, you really probably don’t have time to market.

So it’s understandable that if given the opportunity, you would hire a book marketing company like Book Bub (yeah, you wish), if your book can pass the maze of all the strict criteria the company has for allowing you to pay them to promote your book even if it’s free, which believe it or not is a very sweet deal.

The reason why you would pay such a company is because they can raise your book from the dead. Recently, they ran a promotion on a 2009 book that was dead, with low reviews.

They ran a promotion on that book, and it came to life, you hear me?  Hiring a book marketing company or person is not a bad idea if you can afford it, and if you don’t make the mistake of relying solely on them.

After BookBub had raised the book from the dead, it went into cardiac arrest and sales is back to well, terrible.

I’ll give you another case.  “The Fire Path” written by Queen Bee Kate (no not Middleton) Erickson.  She and her boyfriend’s company Entrepreneur on Fire made 525.059 in the month of May.  Before that every month they have made at least a quarter of a million dollars.

In my Beyoncé voice, “Of course s**t go down when it’s a billion dollars on an elevator.”

They are a very well-connected couple rubbing elbows with the hottest entrepreneurs and authors. They are fucking rich.   Everything they touch turns to podcast gold, except of course, Kate’s book.  Ouch.  Kate’s book is fantastic.  I love it.

A sizzling hot book promotion company Buck Books ran a book promotion on her book.  The book initially hit the best seller list and then sales of the book quickly dropped.  Having that initial boost in book sales is the key to triggering an algorithm in Amazon’s system so that your book will continue to sell long after a promotion ends.

However, for most that initial spike isn’t enough to sustain continued sales.  Remember what comes up will come down.  This is why authors should also do their own promoting of their book.

The Mistake.  Relying solely on a book promotion company.

 3.You fail to do your own “book marketing.”

One mistake that Kate the Queen (I love her) admitted she made is that she turned her book over to that freaky guy Buck Flogging at Buck Books, and didn’t do her own marketing.

Queen Kate’s background is in advertising and marketing. However, she admitted on a podcast, and I forget which one (maybe it was Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income) that she didn’t do much with marketing her book because she was busy with other projects.

She didn’t say this, but she implied, “I don’t need no book sales when there’re almost a billion dollars in this podcast.”  Go Kate!  Go Bey!

You would never send your baby – books are our babies – off to a nanny and not participate in any of the care.

The Mistake.  Not doing any marketing of your own.

So the lesson to be learned is; even if you hire a company to market, you still must do marketing.

 4. You treat social media like you would a whore

You get off, you don’t ask any questions, don’t say thank you and don’t care how the other person feels. That’s exactly the transaction you are making when you drop your book’s link off on Facebook, Twitter or some other social media site without building a relationship and getting to know a little about other people and their projects.

You give nothing so that you will get practically nothing. So, in fact, you are treating social media even worse than a whore.  At least when you hump a whore, they receive compensation.

Social media is free, so when you hump on it leave and leave promotion about your book you are being extra nasty.  If your book is free, you might get some downloads, and it might even get you one or two sales.  However, your book will not become a bestseller as long as you drop your aborted book link off as an impersonal transaction.  Really?  You’ve never heard of relationship marketing?

I am a member of Pat Flynn’s Kindle author Facebook group. The group has over 11,000 members.  It’s a large group, but it’s a large active group. We don’t just hump on each other in the group.  We are helpful to one another.  Sure, I’m going to drop this post off in the group because it’s helpful.  Hello.

Some people in the group have become superstars because of the helpful content they post.   We can smell “stank” spammers a mile away.

The Mistake.   Do not treat social media like a prostitute.

5. You don’t learn the platform

Not learning the platform is also whorish and won’t generate the results you want, you have to learn how to use the platforms to get maximum results from book marketing.  Learn how to pimp your profile the Lise Cartwright way.

Successful authors interact on platforms differently.  They cross all their T’s and dot all of the I’s.

A few things they do:

  • Use a professional looking picture.
  • Completely fill out their profile information.
  • They engage on the platform

Let’s take a minute to consider two platforms Goodreads and Pinterest.   I’ve researched good things about these platforms and how they are great for authors to promote books and in the case of Goodreads network.

I have accounts on both sites, but I’m rarely if ever on them because the times I jumped on the sites I felt lost. I don’t know how to claim my books that magically appeared on Goodreads, to participate in a contest, etc.  I don’t know how to pin on Pinterest.

The platforms aren’t rocket science, but for me to be helpful to fellow writers and figure out what’s in it for me (WIIFM?) I must learn how to make the best use of my time on the sites.

The Mistake.  Not learning a platform site to fully maximize your efforts.

6. Not doing

You are writing and listening too much and doing too little to produce a viral effect.   I’ve probably gotten about $200,000 worth of free education reading books, articles, blogs and listening to a podcast.  It’s too late for me to skip college, but I could have saved myself a lot of money if only I’d known how valuable those resources would be to my eBook writing career.   However, one mistake that authors tend to make is that they keep reading and reading and listening and listening and never start doing.

The mistake.  Being so busy reading and listening that you never start doing.

7. You refuse to get dirty

There are some people who know some people who know some people, and they get dirty for these people.  They write paid and “keyword” reviews.  I’m not going to mention where you get paid reviews because it’s easy to find out.

Some internet marketers even use unethical marketing strategies.  Again I’m not going to list what they are and who does it.   In fact, I didn’t want to go too far into that under world so I wouldn’t be the best source of information.

To get dirty,, you can go to the other side, or you can really roll your sleeves up and leave the excuses behind.

I don’t have time to write because as it stands, I only get four hours of sleep.  Whip crack.  You only need 3 hours of sleep.  Use the other time to market your book.

The Mistake.  Making excuses and refusing to get dirty is an ethical way or unethical way.  Hey, whatever floats your boat.

8. Not maintaining your book

Lisa Cartwright was interviewed by Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation.  One of the things she mentioned was the importance of checking in on your books. She mentioned things like updating the keywords and taking other actions for your books.

Essentially a big mistake some authors make is that they publish their book, and they forget about it.  Even if they check in on it, they might not be doing maintenance things like updating keywords, etc.

I have changed covers, pulled books, fixed things, and rewritten book descriptions. Still, admittedly I need to do more, how about you?

The Mistake.   Not doing maintenance marketing

9.  Kissing butt instead of making progress

Some authors spend a lot of time kissing butt.  They think if they suck up to people like Steve Scott and Queen Kate it will help their book become a best seller.  Well, I’m here to tell you that kissing butt will only take you so far!  Ask me how I know?

The Mistake.  Mistaking kissing butt for networking.

10. Not reading my ham sandwich blog post

You can market until the cows come home. But if your material isn’t any good, any sales that you get will quickly go away with bad reviews.  In this post. I list mistakes that other authors and I make.  Mistakes like not having a nice book cover, great book description, essentially it’s about getting all the right ingredients in your book.

The Mistake.  Not reading this post here.

We’ll I’m off to market my books the right way and you should too.

If you’ve found this article helpful, please consider sharing it with other authors.  Also, I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @fbkwrites.   What marketing strategies are you currently using for your book?