Let’s face it – the world of book marketing is packed full of myths, half-truths, and out and out lies.
Why are things this way?
Not everyone is trying to intentionally mislead you. Although, sadly, some are. Instead, people often report things they’ve heard elsewhere but haven’t tested, state old information that no longer works, or simply believe something to be the case when it isn’t.
Book marketing is time-consuming and potentially costly. And that’s when it’s done the right way! Following some myth is equivalent to setting fire to your money and watching it burn.
So what should you believe?
Here are the myth and the truth for several common book marketing misconceptions.
Myth – Writers should focus on writing
There seems to be this myth that marketing is some kind of trashy or commercial pastime that is frankly beneath writers who shouldn’t engage in it at all.
People who hold that viewpoint seem to think that writers should focus entirely on writing. Marketing should be left to a publisher.
This viewpoint is a huge part of the reason that a lot of authors out and out reject self-publishing entirely. They don’t want to learn marketing whatsoever. They mistakenly believe that if they spend enough time writing a traditional publisher will notice them and do all their marketing for them.
News flash – these people are wrong!
Truth – It’s not enough to be a great writer
While there might be something appealing about the notion of writers being allowed to focus on writing only, it is so far from the truth.
The fact of the matter is that even traditionally-published authors are required to give input into the marketing of their book and carry out a lot of the legwork. Even at the stage of submitting a book proposal, authors are required to break down what kind of platform and following they already have, as well as ideas on how to market their book.
If you want to succeed as an indie author or even as a traditional author, you need to learn how to market. Try not to learn everything at once. Instead, learn a certain amount of knowledge on a few areas, such as marketing on Amazon’s publishing platform, and then take action.
Myth – Book marketing has to be expensive
A lot of authors just don’t market their books due to the fear that doing so would cost them money. Money that they don’t necessarily have to invest.
Maybe this fear stems from the word marketing and the big business connotations it has for some people.
Thankfully, we have the truth you need to know about this viewpoint.
Truth – There are plenty of free marketing methods
The reality of marketing is it doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.
There are plenty of low-cost options that produce great results. Amazon Advertising, for example, is very easy to get started with and eventually scale up, reinvesting your profits into further ads.
Free marketing methods are also a very effective option for authors. Often, authors end up overlooking a lot of ways to market their books that are directly in their control and cost nothing at all. Choosing careful keywords, picking the right categories, and learning how to write an engaging book description are potent marketing tools that cost absolutely nothing.
Myth – Writers barely recoup costs even with marketing
The myth of the starving artist never seems to die.
A lot of people have the viewpoint that authors, especially self-published authors, can’t possibly be making any money. Some folks feel that, even with book marketing, authors probably struggle to break even let alone turn a profit.
As you can probably imagine, this viewpoint is very far from the truth indeed.
Truth – You can make a healthy and sustained profit
Self-publishing is by no means a get rich quick scheme. Not every author is destined to become filthy rich from their work. Some authors won’t even put in enough work to generate any revenue. None of that can be denied.
What can, and should, be denied, is the notion that authors simply don’t make money as a result of their marketing efforts.
Both free and paid marketing can not only sell healthy amounts of copies of a book itself, but it can also produce revenue for authors from sources other than books. Books can be used as a funnel to sell everything from coaching to courses.
Don’t let the doubters put you off. If you put in the work, the time, and have the proven processes that have worked for others, you can achieve a lot of financial success through publishing. Countless authors have left lucrative careers to publish full time.
Mythbusters – Action steps
Congratulations! We’ve looked behind the curtain and found the truth about these three pesky book marketing myths.
So, what should you do with the truth you now know?
Here are three quick ideas to get started with:
- Given that it’s not enough to be a great writer, what kind of marketing do you want to learn the most? Make a plan for a few things you want to learn, and research your options for learning them, such as through blog posts, books, and videos.
- Now that you know free book marketing can be powerful and successful, try and brainstorm as many free ways to market your next book as you can. Once you have a big list, try and narrow it down to 3-5 techniques. Commit to learning as much about these as possible and taking massive action to implement them.
- Think about ways that you can use your books to sell more than just extra copies. Brainstorm ideas such as coaching programs you can offer or courses you could create. Try and find at least one promising idea you feel excited about to move forward with.
There you have it! The truth behind the myth. The real deal facts about book marketing.
What have you learned? How will you use it?
Oh yeah, one last thing. If you ever hear someone spouting these myths again – be sure to set them straight!