Indie authors have a strange job description. I’m sure when most people hear the term indie author, they immediately think self-published or small-time author, but this is far from the truth, especially in the ever-changing ebook environment. There are plenty of indie authors that are successful and even indies that are bestsellers. Being an indie author does not equate to being small time.
One common thread for all indie authors, though, is having multiple job descriptions. Indies have to understand and execute on a variety of jobs, which may include writing, editing, formatting, coding, and marketing. We are the jack of all trades for the writing world.
There are plenty of places to fall down in this process, but it’s the marketing efforts (or marketing flubs) of authors that are the most visible. Now I’m no marketing expert, not in the least, but I have learned a thing or two. Here are 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Marketing Your Book.
Being an indie author does not equate to being small time.Click To Tweet
1. Buy My Book!
This is the most common and the most tired marketing effort used by indie authors. To me, it seems to be a failure due to either one of two things. Either the author just doesn’t know how to market his book other then coming right out and saying it, which I fear is probably often the case with many indie authors. It’s difficult to come up with unique creative ways to get the word out about your book, I get it. But this way isn’t going to get the results you want.
The other reason indies do this could be because they’ve confused the need for a “call to action” on their website with something that is acceptable on social media. The simplest way I can explain the difference is to bring this into a brick-and-mortar, real-world context. Imagine you are doing a book reading at a local bookstore. Having a little stand with a placard that says “Get Your Copy Here” is great. That is acceptable. Approaching everyone in the bookstore with your book saying, “Buy my book!” is obnoxious. That is unacceptable.
Treat social media the same way you would the real world. Try to engage and interact. Don’t always try to sell.
2. Buy Me Book!
I struggle with this all the time. We are very busy people and we are juggling a lot balls in the air at once. It’s difficult to make sure every quick quip on social media is spelled correctly, but proofread your posts. A writer saying, “Buy me book!” is like showing up to an interview with your fly open and toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Not a good first impression.
3. All Caps
This one is pretty self explanatory, so I’m going to give Brick Tamland the floor here. This is what I feel like when I see a post on my social media feed in all caps.
4. The Solitary Link
If you can’t take the time time to put thought into your social media post, how can you expect a potential reader to take the time to put the thought into considering your book. I would love to see the statistics for the success rate of someone randomly clicking on a link with no understanding of what the link is and then that person deciding to make a purchase when arriving at the linked page. It’s got to have the lowest success rate for book sales out there. It’s either that or throwing copies of your book out the window of your car on the highway with a note saying, “Please send a check to…” I’m not sure, but one of those two marketing methods are the least successful.
Point is, stop posting the solitary link.
If you don't put thought into your tweet, you can't expect a reader to put thought into buying your book.Click To Tweet
5. You Will Love It!
Really? Will I? You don’t even know me. Why do you assume I am going to love it. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate your vigor and passion. I understand the effort you put into creating your book. I commend you for the feat and I wish you all the success in the world. But why do you assume I will love your book? Adamant recommendations from biased authors that do not know me- maybe it works for you, but I just don’t see it.
So get creative people. We all want to sell our books. We all have dreams of success. Find creative avenues for sales. If you have creative ideas that have worked for you, share them here. I would love to hear them!
Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.
Loved this article. Thanks for letting me know I’m not crazy in searching for something that doesn’t make me, well, crazy!
These are great- especially #2. You spend so much time and money on the proofing and editing process for your book, and then to make a mistake like that. Always read your posts a few times before hitting send!