Chris A. Baird | May 7, 2020
What are the mistakes to avoid when marketing a self-published book?

Marketing a self-published book will never be easy but if you try to avoid the biggest mistakes that most people do when publishing, you can save a lot of time, effort, and money. Learn how to do marketing the right way.

There Is No Such Thing As Magic

Today's question is what are the mistakes to avoid when marketing a self-published book? Well first, this is an excellent question.

We've managed to get our book done. So, congratulations if you've got your first book out. Then the question is we discover something magical which is that just putting the book out there does not get the book to sell.

A lot of the work is trying to get the initial steps and getting yourself motivated and figuring out how to self-publish. But once you've got that complete, we want to see the book sell.

We would like to get a return on the investment that we've made for the book. There are some tricks that we can use here. As well as some things to avoid huge mistakes when it comes to marketing a self-published book.

But before I answer the question, check out my free Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist. For my story, I also was under the idea that if I just came up with a book, that would be enough.

So I could just put the book out there. And maybe I could post that it was free. I could put it on promotions and that would somehow magically get my book to sell.

I was surprised to see that no, it didn't cause my first book or my second book to start selling. So, even though I had followed a number of the tricks that were laid out, it's still wasn't enough.

I was in contact with some friends and taking some courses on how to run ads and other courses on marketing and sales. After taking those courses, I began to understand that I was making a whole series of mistakes.

When it came to that and I was able to quickly correct those mistakes. Now, let's take a look at some of the answers that the things that I found.

Now, there are a couple of common mistakes. The first mistake would be not taking advantage of content marketing. And that is the fact that assuming, we're dealing with a nonfiction book.

If we are dealing with a fiction book, we can still do content marketing. But that is writing blogs, creating videos regarding our content, podcasts, and developing email lists that we're sending out the content or portions of content to our lists.

Check out this related article: Where Should A New Writer Seek To Publish Short Fiction?

So that they can follow along and see exactly what our books are. The books that we have published, what they are about, and to get them to start to know, like and trust us. So that would be able to get them to buy our books.

Buy our future books, our past books, or our present books. In other words, a whole series of sales, and most of the content marketing is free or close to free. I am actually building a course right now on how to do content marketing for your self-publishing books.

You're Wasting Money On Ads

If you are just getting started, you could just Google how to do a blog or these other things. And that is one of the mistakes people make is underestimating the power.

It takes time to build up a following if you are going that route, but that route is free. It doesn't cost you any additional money. And you can build an audience rather quickly using this very technique.

The next one is, using paid ads that cost more than the profit you are making. Most people discovered this one when they've heard from some very famous self-publishers or publishers but usually, it is from self-publishers, that they ran Facebook ads.

Then, they were getting millions of new sales on their books and making dollars off of their books by these Facebook ads. The problem though is that most Facebook ads will charge you about a dollar for each click you get on the ad.

If it takes 10 clicks to get a sale of one of your books, well, you would have to be making at least $10 on your book. Most people aren't making more than a few dollars, maybe $5, or maybe you are making $10 or $20, it depends. But for some people, it is not worth it.

There are a few exceptions to this one. That would be maybe you are trying to push your very first book. And you already have data or money to show that it's worthwhile for a longterm basis.

The customer is thinking about the long term. That may be that the lifetime value of those customers is going to be greater than the cost it will cost you on Facebook. But that requires quite a bit of measuring.

Check out this related article: Can Writers Sell Their eBooks Directly Through A Facebook Store Rather Than Through Something Like Amazon KDP?

You have to have a decent size bank role to know that it is worth your while to go about purposefully losing money on the ads you're running. So this would be a mistake you could make in marketing.

I would not do this unless you happen to have a pile of cash. That you are willing and ready to lose in the process of exploring this route. Also, you should have a decent following on your books already, right?

The next mistake is not watching whether the ads that you're running on other platforms. For example, on Amazon, which is a place you can make a profit off of your ads. In fact, that's the best place.

If you're not running ads on Amazon, you should be. But this is a place you are going to want to go to. You are going to want to follow the status of your ads on an ideally a daily basis. You do not want ads running that are losing you money. And a lot of people make this mistake.

I remember when I first started running ads, I would just set them and forget them. And some of these ads ended up costing me a lot of money.

I started visualizing the ads and putting them into other tools so I could see, like Excel or something. Seeing where I was making money and where I was losing money, I was able to better adjust those ads to ensure that I was making a profit.

Stop That Nonsense

The final problem or mistake that people can make is thinking that just chatting on social media somehow counts as marketing. This is a common one.

I keep tweeting about my books and I keep talking to people on social media, on Facebook. So that should count as working or as marketing, right? This is complete nonsense.

This is not how we go about doing it and the number of sales you make. Here is the first question you should always ask somebody who is choosing to go this route.

It is how much of a spike in your books did you see after you started talking and using social media as your primary way of doing marketing? Now, notice we're dealing with chatting on social media, not using content marketing where you are creating actual content.

And then sharing it across social media and commenting when people comment on those shares. Or either going on social media and just keep blasting people with, "hey! buy my book, buy my book".

There are so many forums on social media, specifically on Facebook with authors who are simply trying to sell other authors their book. So, this is a terrible marketing mistake.

Check out this related article: What Is The Greatest Misinformation You Have Read About Book Publishing?

Do not waste your time trying to sell to other authors. This will never work for you. I would not suggest going that route. So, these are just a few.

I'm sure many other mistakes can be made. What have you found? Have you found a solution to avoid mistakes when marketing a self-published book? Have you found some mistakes are worse than others when it comes to marketing?

If you're making mistakes, how much money has it cost you based upon what you have already done? I hope I have helped you see some of the mistakes that have been here.

Check out my other blogs and videos to see other questions that are just like this one that will be able to help you on your self-publishing journey.

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