My father always told me that it's okay to make mistakes, it's how you learn. Well, I'm about to tell you the mistakes I've made while marketing and promoting my books so that you don't have to go through the same mistakes when you market and promote your own books. I'll put them in list form so it's easier to digest.
Number 1. When posting on forums don't just promote yourself with no other redeeming information. When I first started out I'd post summaries of my books and links to buy them on sites that specifically said no self-promo. I didn’t listen. The result: I got banned from these sites and all the networking they could have provided. Provide content marketing material when you post. Writer’s are always interested in information that can help readers find their books.
Number 2. Don't write articles that tell people how they are going to feel about your book. For instance, don't write a blurb that says, "This is the best book you'll read all year". Statements like that really turn off the reader. Let the reader decide if they like what you’ve written.
Number 3. Don't believe the hype that paying for click advertising or putting up banners are going to increase sales. The most important driver of sales is word of mouth through social sites and networking… using grassroots marketing. If you’re looking for the prestige that comes from seeing your book ad on a popular website, then go for it. But statistically, it's a very small percentage of people that will actually buy the book through a paid advertisement. Sorry, but it’s a fact.
Number 4. Don’t think that by spamming social network sites that you’re somehow going to go viral (meaning tens of thousands of people clicked on your info) and sell a million books. Most social network site followers don’t want to see you blurbing about your book a dozen times a day. They would rather watch kittens playing piano.
Number 5. Just because you wrote a book, published it, and sold a few copies, don’t think you’re going to be able to quit your job and retire. That only happens to lottery-winning writers. I’ve had a few tweets and postings go viral and it led to just a small increase in sales. It’s a cool feeling knowing so many people have checked out your stuff, but not profitable.
Number 6. Write for yourself and don’t try to copy what’s out there just because what’s out there is selling now. Be original and write what you want. That’s the only true way of gaining a loyal reader following.
So there you have it. These are the mistakes I made early on in my writing career that cost me loads of time and briefly damaged my professional online persona. Do the exact opposite of these six things and I guarantee you’ll see your sales rise and people will begin to notice you.
I also wanted to let everyone know that I have two promotions going on tomorrow. One from Ereader News Today and one from ChoosyBookworm.com. I highly recommend that authors try to promote on both sites. ChoosyBookworm is a free service and Ereader News Today gets paid on commission. They don’t make any money from your promotion if you don’t. I think that’s one of the best deals there is for exposure on the internet.