September 16, 2011

The 3 Biggest Marketing Mistakes Authors Make

There is nothing worse than having a great book that is well-written sitting unpublished on your computer, or having a well-written published book sitting on the shelves not selling.

If you find yourself in either of these positions, you are not alone! More than likely, the problem is that you have made one or more of the three most common author marketing mistakes.

1. Failing to market yourself and your book, or not marketing early enough!
2. Failing to utilize available marketing tools, or not using them properly.
3. Failing to follow through to keep your marketing momentum going.

If you are guilty of making any of these mistakes, or all of them, have no fear. You can turn your your situation around!!

Let's take a closer look at each mistake and the solution:

1. Failing to market yourself and your book or not marketing early enough!
The first thing that comes to mind for many authors, especially new authors, when working on a book is completing it, not marketing it! There's plenty of time for marketing later, they say, and don't give their marketing plan another thought until after the book is completed and in the submission process, or until after the book is contracted.

Others try to put off marketing their book onto the publisher, mistakenly thinking that marketing it is not their responsibility, they are writers not marketers!

But succumbing to these lines of thinking in today's market is a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face as my Great Aunt Ida used to say!

Readers and fans are faced with hundreds of new titles being released each and every month, and are much more apt to purchase works from authors who they are familiar with, or who have been recommended by other readers or authors. And, it takes time to build up social relationships and to make yourself known.

So when is the best time to begin developing and enacting a marketing plan? The moment you decide to write your first word.

Agents, editors, and publishers often go online and google authors who have submitted manuscripts to them. They are looking for authors that have already established a following, because this indicates that there is already a market for the author's work established that can be built upon. After all, they have a lot at stake in the success or failure of the books that they publish.

2. Failing to utilize available marketing tools, or not using them properly!
In some of the writing groups I belong to, I am amazed at how often I hear fellow authors make excuses for not marketing themselves and their books. Two of the excuses I hear the most often are:

a) Marketing takes too much time!
b) I don't know how!

It is true that marketing yourself and your books does take some time, but it is time well spent if done properly. After all, nobody will buy your book if they don't know that you or it exist! Effective marketing helps to build visibility and awareness of both you and your books.

There are tons of resources out there that can show you how to effectively market yourself and your books. Here are a few places to start:
The Creative Penn
Author Marketing Experts Blog
Marketing tips For Authors
Author Insider
Author Marketing Ideas
The Savvy Book Marketer
Self Publishing Coach

These resources can guide you on the most effective ways design an author marketing plan and on how to use a variety of free and low-cost resources and tools to begin building your author platform.

3. Failing to follow through to keep your marketing momentum going.
Another all too common mistake that some authors make is that they start off strong but then start floundering after a few months. I have been guilty of this mistake myself.

The key to effective marketing is to continually and consistently be utilizing available tools to build and grow your author platform. Remember, as a writer you are an entrepreneur and business owner with a product to sell. And like any other business, marketing your product is a necessity if you want to be successful.

So take a moment to review your are in your marketing, what tools you have available, and what actions need to be taken to get your marketing back on track.

Stay tuned for my upcoming series of marketing posts where I will be sharing some of the most common free and low-cost marketing tools and tips to use them effectively to build a successful author platform.

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