5 Book Promotion Mistakes and How to Fix Them

You wrote an amazing book, designed it to perfection and even managed to get it published. But it isn’t selling as well as you thought it would. What went wrong?

1: The author wrote the wrong book for the wrong audience. Way too many authors write the book they want to write without truly considering their audience. It’s no wonder they fail in their attempt to promote the book.

There are two things this author can do:

• Start marketing to the right audience.
• Create a book that actually appeals to his target audience.

2: The author doesn’t know that he is responsible for promotion. It’s never too late to promote your book. Start now soliciting book reviews in appropriate magazines and at related websites and set up speaking engagements, for example. Read my new book to learn how to use your personality to sell book: Talk Up Your Book. Available at Amazon.com. (Use my name with the title in order to bring this book up at Amazon.) “Talk Up Your Book Fry.”

3: The author neglects to establish a platform. Many new authors don’t know what a platform is. It’s the author’s following, his reach, his way of attracting his audience. Most successful authors today have a platform in place before they produce a book.

How can you play catch-up with regard to your platform? Start now getting exposure and establishing credibility in your field. Participate in online forums on your topic, submit articles to appropriate magazines and newsletters, set up speaking engagements, write letters to the editor of pertinent magazines, make news by starting a volunteer organization, for example, and then tell the press about it. For fiction, get exposure and establish credibility as a novelist. Submit stories to publications your audience reads, blog regularly, use social media to become known and so forth.

4: The author gives promotion just a lick and a promise and then wonders why his book didn’t “take off.” Authors need to understand that book promotion is ongoing. It should start before you write the book and continue for as long as you want to sell books.

Remedy this mistake by establishing a solid promotional plan immediately. Start by compiling a mailing and emailing list. You’ll use these lists to announce your book, publicize any specials you’re running, inform folks of new additions to your products or services, let them know about upcoming appearances and so forth.

5: The author gives up. I can’t tell you how often I hear this from disillusioned authors, “I can’t sell my book, so what’s the use?” There’s one thing for sure; you won’t achieve the level of success you desire if you quit. Successful promotion takes time, energy, patience and lots of persistence.

There’s a lot to contemplate when entering the huge and competitive business of publishing. And promotion is a major consideration. Whether you land a traditional royalty publisher, self-publish (establish your own publishing company) or go with a pay-to-publish service, it is up to you—the author—to promote your book. And the time to start thinking about promotion is before you ever sit down and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

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