Every self-published author knows that releasing a book is only half the battle. Maybe not even half. After all, the market is flooded with an incessant stream of new books of every type known to man. But how many of these books are backed by competent, strategic book marketing?

To market a book is not enough – it needs to be marketed well. When done badly, book marketing is an endless black hole down which an author’s cash, motivation and will to live soon vanish.

To avoid making a disaster of your book marketing dreams, avoid these mistakes at all costs.

Dropping Dollars Without Due Diligence

Spending money on book marketing is an investment. Like any investment, you need to feel confident that you will see a positive return, in order to justify your expenditure.

One of the major mistakes a lot of newcomers to the world of book marketing make is blindly throwing dollars at the first shiny marketing service that crosses their path.

Don’t be taken in by hype and cleverly crafted sales copy. Do your homework and make sure that the form of book promotion you are considering has a proven track record of working for authors in a comparable situation. It’s worth asking around your author network in order to get some word of mouth feedback on what has and hasn’t worked for your contemporaries.

Choosing the right book marketing method for your particular context is only the first step. You also need to approach your chosen method in the right way. For example, there is a right and a wrong way to put together a book press release. Facebook ads can be used effectively or ineffectively.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the latest hot tactic will be enough. You need to understand how it works, why it works, and why it is right for your situation.

Trying To Be All Things To All People

Perhaps the golden rule of book marketing is this – “your book is wrong for almost everyone”. As bad as that may sound, it’s actually a blessing in disguise. A great thing, in fact. By acknowledging that your book is not suitable for the vast majority of readers, you allow yourself to dedicate your full energy to finding those who will absolutely love it.

If you are publishing a work of nonfiction, you should be aiming to solve a particular problem, or providing captivating information that will fascinate a certain type of reader. In the case of fiction, you should know exactly who your ideal reader is. Different readers love different books. This comes down to personal taste as well as demographics. Until you know exactly who your book is best suited to, you stand little to no chance of getting your work in front of them.

After identifying the right readers for your particular book, all that remains is finding the best ways to bring your book to their attention. This could be through the use of fan groups on Facebook, paid advertising on Amazon, or even old-fashioned offline promotion to small bookshops.

Expecting A Magic Bullet

Do you want to know the one perfect book marketing method that, when done properly, is guaranteed to get your book into the hands of adoring readers, rabidly waiting to offer glowing five star reviews of your work?

If so, you’re not alone. Spend some time around rookie book marketers and you will soon see the unrealistic expectations many hold for marketing. Endless people get sucked into the hype of a particular method and think it will solve all of their author woes. In the real world, effective book marketing usually requires a combination of methods, coordinated congruently, not to mention a little luck.

It also usually takes time to learn a particular book marketing tactic and see it bear fruit. The process isn’t instantaneous, and requires a mindset of learning and growth.

Takeaways & Final Thoughts

The 3 key lessons to walk away from this article with are –

  • Research the reputation, quality and potential ROI of a book marketing service before spending a dime
  • Know your audience and the best way to reach them
  • Mix your marketing methods, manage your expectations, and be willing to learn as you go

So, what will it be? Carefully crafted book marketing with a great chance of a solid ROI, or an endless black hole down which your cash and sanity will vanish, never to be seen again?

Choose wisely.

Dave Durden is dedicated to helping authors of all abilities with book marketing. When he isn’t working on amzprof.com, he is busy exploring the psychological aspects of business for his own nerdy enjoyment.


Dave Durden is dedicated to helping authors of all abilities with book marketing. When he isn’t working on amzprof.com, he is busy exploring the psychological aspects of business for his own nerdy enjoyment.