Nonfiction Book Writing, Self Publishing, & Marketing Coach

Are You Making These 4 Book Marketing Mistakes that Cost you Sales?

You’ve heard these stats before. Most authors sell only 200 self-published books. These may not be your sales numbers, but it’s possible to sell so many more by getting much more visibility at places like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. And don’t forget blogging that adds to both your online visibility and credibility. In my 25 years of book coaching, so many clients don’t do the homework (actions) necessary to make their books well known to their target audience.

Here are 4 Mistakes You Don’t Need to Make…

1. Your name or your book aren’t well known enough because you don’t invest the time for a Social Media Book Marketing Campaign.

If you don’t take these actions consistently each week, your book sales will fall flat. I’m sure you’ve heard of the book promotion platform that can include blogging, article marketing, LinkedIn marketing, Facebook fan page promotions, and Twitter tweets. Aim for your targeted reader. You have one, don’t you? If not, invest in finding out who they are. Yes, your book is on Amazon. That’s not a big deal if you don’t send your audience to buy it there. Put up an author page and remember to add your Amazon book cover and blurb to your LinkedIn profile. You need to have eyes in the back of your head – Notice opportunities as they come to you in Social Media.

2. You present the wrong message about your book.

Even professionals forget that their audiences need reasons to make that buying decision. After I posted a blog article on the difference between benefits and features to my LinkedIn groups, I got an avalanche of comments such as “I didn’t realize that benefits sell; features describe.” You need to educate your LinkedIn groups about your book. Include benefit statements such as “Save book marketing time by focusing on one audience.” Later, when this one audience buys, you can expand your messages to other audiences in your blog and your social media discussions.

Remember, it’s the hook, not the book. Your audience only cares about what the book will do for them. They don’t care about your story. They don’t care about the number of pages or the quotes or even what’s in the book. If you are a good marketer, your efforts will pay off. One famous agent told me 15 years ago that you can write a mediocre book, but if you market it well, it will sell! I don’t recommend writing a mediocre book, but you get the idea.

3. You are not savvy with SEO strategies.

Think about your book title. Does it include the keywords your audience is looking for? After one coaching session, my dentist client discovered that no one was looking for teeth health or prevention, so we made her book solve a problem instead. If you offer solutions to a problem or concern, you must let the world know with the keywords of the problem first.

This client and I brainstormed until we got to “15 Toothache Solutions.” Short and to the point. Aim for top ranking in Google. It takes some time, but you can make it happen with the power of keywords. In our session, this client realized she could get much higher Google ranking when she posted blogs with keyword rich blog titles that solved different problems and reached different audiences with tooth problems. Make your blog titles and information stand out from the crowd.

Remember, you need to make time to learn online book marketing strategies that work and spend less time on the old traditional methods. What used to work to sell books, such as using bookstores to sell print books, works only for the “famous.” Your audience is online and not looking for your book in the store. You have only 1-2% odds to get your unknown book sold there while the internet offers so much more. That’s why I fell in love with the internet 13 years ago, and never looked back. Yes, a learning curve, but what doesn’t have learning curve? You need to continuously learn new book marketing strategies. Keep your education going in this field because it’s here to stay!

Why not attract many more potential buyers to you with proven strategies such as using high and low competition key words in every page of your website and in your book’s promotions online? Your audience is looking for a book like yours, so invest some coaching time so you can shorten your learning curve. I’m ever grateful to my two webmasters who educated me on Search Engine Optimization with keywords.

4. You don’t realize the importance of a book website and getting targeted traffic there.

Conversion rates of opt-ins and book sales are all important, so you must also produce a short sales message for each book, product, or service you want to market. In each piece, whether a video or print sales letter, be sure to include your top 5 or so benefits, some great testimonials and a 100% guarantee. You need to pay attention to sales conversions and do what it takes to get them. Getting traffic is important, but your traffic has to convert to opt-ins and sales. It won’t matter if you don’t have a proper sales letter on your site for each product. That too takes some coaching or a big wallet to hire a copywriter.

People who put their book on a print on demand website should realize it’s a long shot with only a 100-word description among 1000’s of other choices. Visitors at POD websites aren’t really looking for your book; they are looking to see if they should publish here. My advice? Create a business book site. It can be just one sales letter page plus an order button and delivery system such as PayPal. Don’t sell different kinds of books on your site. Create a theme and focus on it.

5. You give up too fast.

Building your sales comes from engaging your audience for years. For example, my book coaching clients get serious to sign up for sessions after enjoying all of my good information over time, often after a year or more. And, you also need to keep writing valuable content for your blog until you build a following and community who likes you and your information. Think at least six months.

Does this sound like too much effort? Will it take too much time? Not for me. We all have the same amount of time. Remember, if you don’t set money goals, get a book marketing plan going, then engage in online promotion actions that suit you, you’ll make pathetic book sales of only $200.

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Judy Cullins

Judy Cullins

Book Coach at
Book Coach Judy Cullins, author of 38 books including “Write your eBook or Other Short Book-Fast!”, solves the tough problems for top business people writing a book. She determines their unmet needs of having enough time, positive mindset and tried and true writing skills that create a book their ideal audience will love.
Judy Cullins
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  • Great article. I'm happy to know we've been doing everything mentioned! 🙂

  • Hi James. Glad to hear you're taking actions on this mkg. Are you getting the results you want?

  • These are fabulous tips and are great for self-publishers! Thank you for posting! This is really useful.

  • Kaylee, I'm happy that you got value from this. When you are ready, you get more specific help in my first coaching session! Until then, keep reading these blogs.

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