5 Book Marketing Misconceptions–and the Truth to Avoid a Misstep

The publishing industry can be complex, and many authors enter it with a lot of misconceptions about “dos” and “don’ts” in the world of book marketing.

Because the digital world morphs almost daily, so does marketing. Best practice marketing is innovative, following the trends of technology. This means that even the most seasoned authors often don’t know what’s effective and what’s not because it changes so often.

Because the digital world morphs almost daily, so does marketing. Click To Tweet

It’s important to know what works and what doesn’t. The world wide web spins all these rumors about how to sell products and how to promote books, and I’ve seen so many misconceptions presented as proven truth–and then, unfortunately, built into authors’ philosophies and campaigns.

I’m hoping to clear up 5 common book marketing misconceptions–and then offer you a few nuggets of truth so you can avoid a misstep.

Misconception #1: Your publisher will lead the way.

Consider your publisher a partner–not a leader, not a teacher, not a contractor. An in-house marketing team’s bandwidth and resources are limited, so do not expect them to carry the weight. You should expect to invest equally with time and budget for the best chance at success.

Misconception #2: Social media doesn’t sell books.

Social media is the modern day referral currency; it’s the language of the internet. The truth is that it’s a crucial piece in the process of selling books. People won’t say they bought a book because of Facebook or Instagram, but they will say they bought a book from a friend’s recommendation that they saw on… you guessed it… social media.

Misconception #3: You need a high-powered PR firm.

PR strategy is effective for some books and ineffective for others. Traditional media alone rarely sells books with any kind of sustainability, so be mindful of the importance of integrating media outreach with other kinds of digital marketing. Some books will hit big with media–but most will not, no matter the horsepower behind a PR firm.

Misconception #4: Marketing starts when the book comes out.

If you want to succeed, you have to think about marketing early–even before you finish your manuscript! Build marketing ammo into the early messaging, title, and cover. Plus, the best book campaigns begin with pre-order initiatives 4-6 months before release date. Dig into the marketing months before the book comes out in order to build big momentum at release.

Misconception #5: Your book is for everyone.

Not true! If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. If your book is for everyone, it’s for no one. Marketing and sales success depends on knowing your own target audience and designing all promotional assets, messaging, and strategy with them in mind.