“What’s fact and what’s fiction?“
Writer Sandra Beckwith asked the same question in a blog post. She believed that with the growing popularity of social media, people would often find really interesting posts, or “myths” about book marketing. With one click of the Share button, people could simply spread these myths, without questioning whether it might really be true- at all!
To help up and coming authors, here are the top three myths that you should know about.
Myth 1 – You should wait until your book is released before you can market it
This one is dead wrong!
Okay, we get it, book releases are scary, especially when you’re an author. So instead of making promises about when the books will be released, you stick around waiting until it is already available for purchase so you can start marketing. We get it, there are a lot of what-ifs, “what if I don’t get to finish it?” or maybe “what if it doesn’t get published?”
Plus, there’s also the additional stress of writing a book and handling marketing stuff.
Beckwith offers a great way to resolve this. She advises authors to take occasional one-week breaks from writing books to work on their platform and establish connections with influential people who can support their book launch.
It’s really that simple. Stop writing and start marketing.
After a few days spent with marketing challenges – figuring out where to find your target audience or connecting with key bloggers, you’ll contact later for a virtual book tour – you’ll be ready to switch back to writing.
Don’t feel bad if you’ve waited until your book was done before you thought about promoting it, though. The world didn’t end because you didn’t learn about the marketing process until after you uploaded your book to Amazon or accepted delivery of so many book cartons that you’re using them for furniture, right?
Learn exactly what you should be doing as soon as possible as well as what you can do to promote your book as soon as you finish that first draft as you move forward with the next book and you’ll do just fine.
Myth 2 – You can save time by copying what other authors are doing to market their books
Beckwith recounts a time when another author emailed asked her if she could refer him to a book that “will function as a (marketing) to-do list.”
It’s a legitimate question. I mean why spend hours trying to work on a marketing strategy, when you could just pick one that worked right? Well, that might be true, but books have different genres and different target audiences. It’s not like having a formula, or a one size fits all solution. Yes, every single title is different.
Your book marketing to-do list will be based on your book’s target audience — those people most likely to buy your book — and getting your book title in front of them. What I do to promote my niche nonfiction e-book doesn’t mirror what you should do for your sci-fi novel, for example.
If you’re certain that the author you want to copy is targeting exactly the same people as you and has been very successful, then following her or his lead could make sense.
If she’s or he’s trying to reach the same people as you and not selling books, you’re smart enough to know that you don’t want to do what she’s or he’s doing.
Learn as much as you can about who is most likely to buy your book, then learn which tactics you’ll need to get your title in front of those people.
Myth 3 – You’re sunk if you don’t use social media
Let’s face it, there are some people who are masters when it comes to social media, and there are some like us- who are barely trying to understand how it works.
A lot of people don’t like to post, tweet, share, or update. Let’s be honest: If you’re one of them, you’re going to be a reluctant marketer if you have to do something that you don’t enjoy or that doesn’t make sense to you.
Sure, it helps, but is it absolutely necessary? Nope.
What’s more, if you don’t understand how it works or its value to your book, you probably aren’t going to do it the right way, anyway. We’re not saying “Stop using social media,” especially if you’re seeing results.
You can keep on going to the same things that don’t really work out for you., especially if there are effective alternatives.
People marketed and sold books long before social networks existed. It can still be done without them. Take time to learn. As with everything else related to the book publishing industry, knowledge is power.
Take the time to learn as much as you can about book marketing and promotion long before your book is published.
Consider the source of the information you find rather than accepting what you’re seeing as fact.
Think before you do. Ask yourself, “Does this make sense for my book? Will it help me reach the people I know will love it?”
Book marketing isn’t hard, but you do have to know which tactics are the best for your book, and you need to know how to execute them. Don’t expect to learn and absorb everything quickly. Give yourself time to process your new knowledge and test it to see what works best for you and your goals.
This content was originally published here.