5 Mistakes You Need to Avoid when Promoting Your Book

Updated: Jul 27

If you've been a writer for very long you'll have noticed that it is difficult. There are monsters hiding behind your computer chair, sneaking up behind you when you've fallen asleep on the couch after a [very brief] writing session.

If you're not careful and if these monsters are left unchecked they will get in the way of you becoming the great writer that you are supposed to be.

So Let's Start Vanquishing!


This is the last post of our series

7 Angry Monsters of Writing and How to Vanquish Them.


First, Our Solutions Won't Work For Everyone.

Before we get started we need to add some disclaimers. Why? Because every book and every writer is different. That means that you can't apply the same promotion plan to all of your books. You have to make it customized to your target audience, to the themes present in your book and to the goals that you have for each book.

Here are the disclaimers:

1) The content presented in this episode is primarily directed at virtual or online promotion strategies for fiction novels. There are other strategies that you should use for non-fiction.

2) This is not a conclusive or exhaustive list. We are only hitting the high points here.

3) By suggesting these strategies, we are not guaranteeing results. Every book is different, and every author is different, so the results of these strategies will vary.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let's carry on to the meat.

One Major Mistake Authors Make At the Beginning of their Careers

What is it?

They try to promote their book without having established an author platform. Instead of promoting their book using author profiles on social media platforms, they suddenly present themselves as authors to friends and family who had previously thought that they were simply electricians or firemen. That won't work. People need to know you as a writer and you need to prove to them that you are a legitimate member of that community. How will they know you can produce amazing fiction if they have only known of you within one sphere of your life. You need to present yourself as a serious writer for people to want to read your books (people other than your mother of course.).

This is just one example of a major mistake that could set you back when you are trying to boost your book sales.

5 Tasks You Need to Complete before Promoting Your Book

1) An author website and dedicated book page. Your book needs to have its own book page on your author website. To have a really great website that stands out you need to build your author brand, which includes logos, taglines, professional author photos and a short consistent author biography that you use for every online profile.

2) A book cover. I start to work on my book covers while I am still writing my first draft. The reason: so that there is some sort of graphic that I can use when talking about my book. Will this cover be the final version used on my paperback/hardcover books? I don’t know, it’s possible. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that it is high quality and that it provides the reader with a sense of what your book is about.

3) Social Media Profiles Dedicated to your work as an author. Before you start talking about your book ensure that you have set up author profiles on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media platforms that you are comfortable with using. *Never use your personal social media accounts to promote your books.

4) A Budget. There are free ways to promote your book, but they are usually way less effective than paid promotion (of course they are). I tell my clients to primarily use free promotions that are supplemented by at least one paid promotional strategy per month. That means that before you start promoting your book you need to have an established monthly budget.

5) Know your Audience. You need to know the answers to these questions before you start promoting your book: Who is going to read this and why? What are the demographics of these people? What media sources do they spend their time on? Where are these people located (virtually?). How do I make connections with these people?

Moving Forward

Ok, so now you have established your author platform, you have a plan and a budget in mind and you are ready to go. What specific promotional strategies would we recommend?

First, you need to know that there are thousands of different book promotion strategies that you could use virtually or in person, all with different amounts of time and money commitments.

PRO TIP: You need to ask yourself how much time you have to put into your promotional strategy before you sign up to write a blog post each week for a year.

Here is a short list of some of the best promotional strategies that will actually give you some results (in most cases anyway)

1) Book Promotion Websites: There are hundreds of book promotion websites that provide paid services to clients ranging from:

a. Promoting your book in their newsletter/blog/social media accounts that boast high follower numbers.

b. Offering Giveaways or discounts. This is desirable when you are just starting out and want more reviews.

c. Book Tours. There are book tour companies that have connections with bloggers, podcasters, and book influencers with a high number of followers. Book tours can include guest blogging and podcasting opportunities, author interviews, book reviews, giveaways, promotions etc., and are usually catered to the author’s preferences.

2) Email Engagement with Mailing List: Authors who have a reasonably sized mailing list and regular email offerings usually boast some decent book sales.

3) Consistent Social Media Interactions. The goal is to establish yourself as an author (in a particular genre is preferred) on social media networks and to reach out in a specific way, which will mean different things for different platforms. For example, on Facebook, you’ll want to reach out by joining groups that your ideal readers frequent, engage in their conversations, comment on their posts and periodically post about your book. With Twitter, you’ll want to google all the most used hashtags to do with the genre and themes relevant to your book. In order for your posts to start appearing more frequently on people’s feeds, you are going to want to post at least 2-3 times per week. This is the social media posting formula that you should use: 1 personal post, reflecting something about you (not too dramatic or personal of course) which may include what you were thinking/doing that day, something you were celebrating, the food you were eating, etc. Then some sort of relevant event/video/graphic from a source that pertains to the genre and themes in your book (subtle), and then an interactive post that points directly to your book/characters in your book or themes in your book, with graphics related to your book (book cover, etc.)

PRO TIP: If you want to be successful at promoting your book, you need to have the right mindset. Book promotion is not a one-time event, it is an ongoing process. In fact, it never ends. From the time of idea conception to publication you should be pointing your audience to your book, either provocatively or subtly.

We hope that this post and the previous posts in this series have offered you some valuable tools for vanquishing those monsters! If you have any questions or need any support in your writing journey, please do reach out to us: athousandliveslivedpublishers@gmail.com or Tweet us @ThousandLived

Be sure to check out the accompanying podcast episode, hosted by author Hazel Dains.


Guess what?

We have a completely new podcast series coming your way: "Worldbuilding: Endless Adventures," where authors Tamara Linse and Hazel Dains will talk about the complex process of building worlds and how the rules are different depending on which genre your writing belongs to.

If you're a writer, you won't want to miss out!