Indie Author PSA: Do NOT Do These Things in 2018

by | Jan 17, 2018 | Book Marketing Basics

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Dear indie author. The new year is still freshly upon us as is our book marketing efforts. Let me take this time to let you in on things NOT to do in 2018.

Mistake #1: Stealing ideas from other authors

Okay, this isn’t as nefarious as it sounds but hopefully it caught your attention.

What I mean is, asking other authors what’s been working for them, and trying to replicate their book marketing efforts or path to success.

Not only is every indie author experience different because of their platform and time in, every book is different because of the genre and competition at the time of release.

So asking an author in another genre for insight – almost useless – but even asking an author you feel is your direct competition, is still sketchy at best.

Maybe they’re a rockstar on social and the idea of managing 3 accounts gives you hives. Maybe they have a mailing list of 5,000 people. You rarely know all the details required to make an effective assessment of their journey and book marketing strategies.

Mistake #2: Clipping coupons for success

Shortcuts rarely work out in your favor, and this couldn’t be more true than it is for the development and production of your book and your self-promotion.

Your content should be stellar. Yes, some genres and authors do really well with formulas, but they’re few and far between. Stick to elements you know your market gravitates towards, but be sure you’re putting a unique spin on it.

Invest in a quality editor. Just do it, no exceptions.

Invest in a quality book cover designer. Just do it, no exceptions.

Invest in a book marketing plan. This doesn’t mean you have to go into debt to hire a firm for all your book promotion needs, be strategic.

Be willing to learn effective strategies for self-promotion, especially those that are specific to your genre. Figure out everything you should be doing for your book, and make the sometimes tough decision about what you can manage on your own and what you might need to outsource.

Either way, success in publishing today isn’t free. Let that sink in and if you’re still game, you’re miles ahead of the thousands of authors just waiting for success to knock on their door.

Mistake #3: Wasting your time

Seems like a no-brainer right? But what I mean is, wasting your time by frantically (or not so frantically) trying random book marketing strategies hoping to get lucky.

Book marketing as an indie author is very strategic, and unless you literally have nothing better to do, and don’t really want to make any money at this, you need to pay attention.

Track you successes AND your failures.

If something kind of works, figure out how to take it up a level, or consider putting more time into it.

If something bombs, don’t give up right away, tweak it a bit, give it another shot, try supporting it a bit more before you write it off as useless to you.

Yes, your book marketing needs to be consistent, but it doesn’t have to be a second or third job if you’re being smart about it. Quality and consistency over quantity really rings true in this case.

Mistake #4: Putting all your eggs in one basket

One of the most cringe-worthy sentiments I hear when talking to potential clients is, “I’m going to wait and see how this one does before I put too much time into another book.”

Bad idea. Terrible. Naïve. I could go on but I want to keep this positive!

I could count on one hand how many indie authors became an overnight success with a single book. Tack that stat onto the fact that there are over 4500 books published every day and I hope I’ve made myself clear.

The most effective strategy for selling books is to release books.

If you write it, they will come.  I wrote something similar when I asked for you, as an indie author, to make your resolutions for 2018 here.

Of course they all need to avoid mistake #2, don’t just release books to check them off your list, release amazing books with incredible covers supported by smart book marketing strategies – and I assure you you’ll have a winning formula on your hands for long-term success and more book sales.

If you’re thinking that while this is great advice, you don’t actually quite know how to make it yours, reach out!  Let me help you figure out how you can sell more books this year.


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