Can You Market Your Book Too Much?
An Overview for Writers
Writing is a good word. It is a happy word. It is a warm and fuzzy word.
Marketing is a bad word. It is a sad word. It is a pins and needles word.
And there you have the common wisdom of most writers. They love to write and they hate marketing their writing.
I have said before and I’ll say again, so hang in there one more time: writers love to write but they want nothing to do with the promotional side of writing.
Well too bad! You need to promote your work. How else can you expect anyone to read it? Your family and friends might read the book, but after that, who do you think really gives a rip about it?
However, I believe it is entirely possible to market your book too much. Let me explain what I have seen in over-promotion tactics, and then we’ll talk about a more balanced and intelligent approach.
The Social Media Blitz
I don’t know how many times I have seen this particular tactic, but I have to tell you it turns me off and makes me determined to never read a book by an author who uses it.
Spend some time on Facebook. Most writers I know already do this, but the next few times you sign in pay attention to the writers who are promoting their work. There are some who believe it to be their job to advertise their latest book two, three, four or more times each day. They are justifiably proud of their work and they want to see it succeed, so every opportunity that they get they put their book up on the Facebook feed and tell you how great it is.
You all know who I’m talking about, don’t you? I’m willing to bet you know of an author right now who is doing this. Do you want to know what my reaction to this marketing blitz is? It annoys the hell out of me quite frankly. I am a reasonably intelligent person, and after the first five advertisements on Facebook I have pretty much figured out that the author has a book to sell. I know they are excited but enough is enough. KNOCK IT OFF!
What these authors have done is the exact opposite of what they set out to do. They have alienated potential buyers by being annoying, and that is no way to market a book.
And if that isn’t bad enough, there are other authors and musicians and sculptors and artists and photographers, and they are all doing the same thing.
I believe I am speaking for the common man, the daily Facebook browser, when I say WE CAN’T TAKE IT ANY LONGER!
So What Should You Do?
Despite what some may think, marketing is not a synonym for Facebook, nor is it a synonym for Twitter or whatever other social media strikes your fancy. Marketing is a well-rounded effort to reach as many people as possible with a positive message, and that message is that you have something that the buyer wants…..and if they don’t want it now then you will give them a reason for wanting it NOW!
Listen, of course if you have written a book, you should announce it on Facebook. Of course you should open a Facebook page just for that book…..and then move on to the next stage of your marketing.
Do book signings. Do book readings. Get your book accepted into local bookstores. Get business cards and open a website for you, the author, and your new book. Contact the local media, the radio stations, the newspapers, the public television stations, and tell them you have a new book. Take advantage of any free advertising that you can find in your community.
You can also market your book in a passive manner. I do this quite often. I will write an article about the art of writing, and I will use my book as an example when making a point, and then I will provide links to my book within the article. That way I’m not beating my readers over the head but instead I’m sneaking the message in the back door.
Here Is the Point I Want to Make About Marketing
As if I didn’t already make it….use all of the resources you have at your disposal. There is an old cliché that has great truth to it: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you drop the basket you will be having baloney for dinner instead of an omelet.
The Greatest Marketing Tool a Writer Can Have
Are you ready for it? This is important so pay close attention.
If you are a writer, and you want your book to be read by thousands….hell, let’s shoot for the moon…read by tens of thousands….then write a quality book.
What a concept!!!!! Deliver an excellent product and people will find it and buy it.
Has anyone out there heard of “word of mouth advertising?” Well it’s free, and it spreads, and it doesn’t cost a penny….but it will never happen if the product you are selling is mediocre or bad. The first step any writer should take is to write a good book. You can dazzle them on Facebook with your book design and your clever slogans, but if your book is trash then word will spread, and that is not the kind of advertising you want now is it?
Conversely, if you write an excellent book, a holy cow book, then word will spread, and it will be good words of praise, and from that you will see more sales.
Are you starting to get the picture?
A Harsh Reality to Swallow
There is no doubt that ebooks offer a wonderful opportunity to writers who would otherwise never get published. Literally anyone can be a published author and on one level that is a very good thing indeed.
There is no substitute for quality.
So try this if you are a writer.
Instead of beating people over the head with a constant flood of Facebook snippets about a mediocre book, try using all of the marketing tools that are available to you to promote your quality book.
Read that sentence again.
Instead of beating people over the head with a constant flood of Facebook snippets about a MEDIOCRE BOOK, try using all of the marketing tools that are available to you to promote your QUALITY BOOK!
See the difference?
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I Want You to Succeed
I really do! Why else would I write a blog about writing and compose so many articles about writing? My tagline says it all….”Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.” That’s what I want for you. I hate watching writers waste their time and effort backing a dead horse, or backing a good horse but not knowing how to train it properly.
If you take nothing else from this article then I want you to take with you these two truths:
- Nothing beats a good product
- Smart marketing beats dumb marketing every single day
I wish you success in your next book venture. Remember that writing is a happy word, and I wish you all the happiness that you deserve.
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”