3 Mistakes Authors Make

Writers often believe that publishing a book is their highest goal. Not as many new authors know what to do once they hold their book in their hands.

Writing Tip for Today: Whatever your present goal is, know that publishing your book is the beginning, not the end of your writing journey. Here are 3 mistakes you’ll want to avoid:

Refusal to Market Online.

Some new authors say they don’t have time for all this social media nonsense. Others claim they only want to write, not promote. Whatever the reason, it is foolish to turn one’s back on the most cost effective way to market your book: the Internet. All the different sites (Facebook is only the beginning!) may overwhelm you. Most experts recommend you join two or three social media sites and work on building a following. You will build it gradually, by responding to requests and by seeking out those whose interests are similar to the topics in your book. By burying your head in the sand or avoiding social media, you deprive yourself of the cheapest way to spread the word about your new book. If you think you can’t do it, get someone to help you set up accounts and then use them!

Marketing Mainly to Other Authors

I’ve seen a lot of authors amass a slew of followers but they mainly consist of other writers or authors. All trying to sell each other a book! Go where your Readers are! Find groups or discussion boards interested in your book’s topic (for fiction, look for genre groups or people interested in some topic raised in your story). Join the face-to-face organization that makes sense. Yes, this takes time, but if you develop relationships before you hit ’em with a buy buy buy blitz, you’ll be more respected and not thought of as a shill.

Lack of a Destination Website.

All these marketing ideas and no place to go! You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a decent webpage, but you should spend as much as you can to build a welcoming landing place for prospective readers. If you’re agent-shopping, you can bet the first place an agent will look is at your site. It should be professional, inviting and clear. What kind of books do you write? Who is your typical reader? Your website needs to reflect these things. It should convey to agents and readers that you are confident they’ll love your stuff. If money is tight, look at using a template from WordPress or another platform and build it yourself. Make sure your site contains both static and changing material, and update frequently. Provide a way for readers to contact you. Add in a Speaker’s tab, where potential clients can see a list of topics you can speak about. Consider giving readers outtakes or excerpts from your work, but keep these brief. By avoiding these 3 mistakes, you’re on your way toward building a readership that can go far beyond your circle of friends, family and acquaintances.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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