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What NOT to do in your marketing

It’s Monday Marketing time and today I thought I would do something different and discuss what NOT to do in Marketing.

If you are new to my blog, I post Marketing articles on most Mondays and if you want to check the earlier Marketing posts, you can find them here.

In my other Marketing articles for writers, I’ve discussed lots of things you can do to market yourself as an author and market your book.  After all, marketing is not just the heavy sell.

But I’m going to cover some of the things I see from authors that I would suggest are not good Marketing practices.

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Don’t… Beg

Honestly, this one seems so self-evident and yet since we’re all on social media, random writers think it’s a great idea to beg (often total strangers) to buy their book.

We don’t like pushy salespeople in any other walk of life, so if someone knocked at your door trying to sell you something, most likely, you’d dismiss them.

Just because we’re all online, doesn’t mean that sending a random tweet to someone who decided to follow your Twitter account is any less annoying.

It comes across as desperate and also, a little insulting that you didn’t even take the time to check if we are your target audience.

Just because someone follows your social media accounts does not mean you should be tagging them in to your “buy my book” tweet or sending them personal comments on Facebook asking them to buy it either.

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Don’t… Spam people

This is similar to the one above.  However, those who beg usually do so after you choose to follow their social media or their blog and suddenly that single moment of connection seems to be enough for them to jump in with their “buy my book” pitch.

Spamming is a little different.  This is often where you will get unsolicited DMs on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook messenger.

I’ve had people message me on Facebook… who don’t even follow any of my Pages asking me to “read their book”. Just recently I’ve been getting the same spammy tactics on Twitter.

The same applies to blogs, those of us who have writing and/or reading blogs, don’t want to be spammed in our comments section.  Thankfully, most spam filters will catch this but the odd ones do pop through.

I’ve even had people use my “Contact Me” form on this blog to spam me with book buying links.  Don’t do this, I guarantee most people will delete or even block you.

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Don’t… Only use text

While you are marketing to readers, and readers love the written word, we are still mostly visual creatures.  This is why a book cover will be the first thing that catches our attention.

Don’t miss out on that opportunity by using only text and no visuals in your marketing.  Yes share your chapters with us, share your scene snippets but add in some graphics.

There is a reason Book Aesthetics are becoming so popular, they can draw in a reader faster than any chunk of text.

Using visuals is especially important in places like Instagram and Pinterest.

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Don’t… Do everything free

If you think writing and publishing a novel will be free, think again.  Even if you go the traditionally published route, you will need to do marketing and in the end you will need to spend some money.

There is a lot you can do for free, yes you should save money were you can but you also need to be willing to invest in your book.

That might mean paying for an author domain name, paying for the premium service on a website or scheduler, buying Facebook ads, paying for a professional book cover, buying swag merchandise, paying for professional business cards etc.

Remember, if you are not willing to invest in your book, why should anyone else?

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Don’t… Hi-Jack

Don’t hi-jack someone else’s book campaign or tour or blog posts.  Don’t go onto someone else’s social media or blog etc and talk about/sell your book in the comments.

Unless they explicitly asked you to share such information, it’s very rude to just start talking about your book on someone else’s campaign or blog.

I’ve seen people running Facebook campaigns and found comments from other authors saying things like “If you like this book, you’ll love mine…”

That’s dirty pool, and I highly recommend against it.

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Don’t… Wait to create a platform

I’m still shocked to meet writers (yes, that includes unpublished ones) who don’t have an Author Platform.  Don’t wait to be published, you should be marketing immediately and the first thing you should have is a central hub.

This is almost always an Author Website and/or blog, though some writers prefer to use a Facebook Author Page or even a Twitter account as their central platform.

The idea behind the platform is to have a main location where you have contact details, bio, Press kit, book information etc.

Remember, marketing is not just about “buy my book”, it’s about building interest in your work and yourself, connecting with readers, this is why you should be marketing before you have even finished writing your novel.

If your only idea of marketing is to “sell, sell, sell” then you’ve missed a trick.

~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~

Thanks to all my awesome readers who have been so patient with me following everything that’s been happening.  I am still without my main laptop but I’m doing what I can on my old one.

How do you feel about these points?

Share your Thoughts image.

Happy writing

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What NOT to do in your book Marketing. Marketing tips for Writers.  Image: Stop sign

33 comments

  1. I really am a visual person so the point you made about making the book appear inviting was really a good one.
    I know it’s probably weird but I don’t even read the books overview unless I feel something from the cover when I look at it.
    Also, the only thing I’m going to beg for is another bowl of ice cream. I’m not writing to get rich although it would be nice. With so many fabulous writers out there I’d just be happy if it was read at all.

    Great advice, thanks

    1. Thanks so much for reading. Apologies for the delay in replying.

      I know what you mean, a good book cover is almost essential for me to look at the blurb on the back.
      🙂

  2. These are all excellent points. I get the whole being “proactive” thing but some people have no tact and emailing and reaching out through social media being like, “Hey, here’s my book. Read it, love it, review it.” No, it’s doesn’t work that way. I’ve had way too many emails and such like that. Super annoying.

    1. Thanks for reading. I am always so shocked that we are still getting emails and DMs from random people begging us to buy their book. How do these people consider that is a good idea for marketing?

  3. These are good. I talked to this lady a couple of months ago, and she was all excited that she published her book that day. She didn’t even have a Twitter account. I’ve personally purchased books from people on Twitter because I liked them… it doesn’t hurt to make friends that like books. They might just buy yours someday.

    1. Thanks for reading, Brooke. I agree, making friends with book lovers is a great way to build connections and meet fun and interesting people 🙂

  4. Here’s the problem, I always feel like a bit of a huckster when I promote my book, but I know if I don’t promote it no one will. So, I’m left feeling smarmy using the occasional post to “sell” my book. I’m very good at bargaining, but selling is a whole other story!

    1. Thanks for reading, Ivia. I know a lot of writers have that awkward feeling when they promote their books, but promotion is necessary and it’s only really bad when it’s an in-your-face “sell sell sell!”

      Whereas a few small posts to sell, and garnering interest in the book is great

  5. Good points, indeed. Because one is understandably focussed on one’s own work, it is easy to fall into some of these traps — like a mention of one’s own book in a review of another — without even being aware of it.
    Something else I have noticed is that freebie books may well be snatched up but are often not even read thereafter. One values what one pays for.

    1. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate your insight and I agree, I’ve never been a big fan of free books as I think you’re right, what usually happens is people grab all the freebies, and forget the author.

      Those who spend money are more likely to read the book and as you say, see its value .

  6. I agree to all these things. Ever since I started offering indie book reviews, I’ve had people send me spam-tastic emails that include every single one of these don’ts. I admit, marketing is hard, but classy marketing goes a lot farther.

    1. Thanks so much for reading, glad you enjoyed it. Yes I’ve heard from a number of reviewers who say they receive the same, spammy messages from people who haven’t bothered to check their guidelines or even take the time to tailor their message.

      I’ve even received such messages myself… and I don’t currently review books on my blog. Marketing can be difficult, but some people certainly make it a lot harder on themselves 🙂

    1. Hi, thanks for reading. That depends on the different writers. If you have polished chapters, you could include the first 1 – 3 chapters.

      However, if you are still writing your novel and haven’t yet fully edited enough. You might want to just include a summary, short blurb, long blurb, an excerpt or a page.

      By the time you are ready to sell your book, I do recommend having the first chapter (up to 3 chapters) on your platform.

      I hope that helps. Thanks 🙂

      1. Thank you! I enjoy every visit to your awesome blog! As for developing a platform, I may need to get one of my two unpublished books further down the publishing trail first…but not wait as long as I otherwise would have, thanks to you!

  7. This was so excellent – I don’t know if you remember my comment a few weeks back, but this article basically explains why all my worst fears with marketing aren’t actually that bad! Thanks, Ari, for making great content like this!

    1. Aww thanks for resding and I’m so glad you found this helpful. Yes I remember your comment and I’m happy that this article has waylaid some of your fears.

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