Mistake 67: Not Marketing Yourself and Your Book

Publish date:

from 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer's Digest Writing Kit

Why this is a mistake: Writers tend to think that promotion and marketing is the job of other people, and in a perfect world it would be. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world. Sometimes you may find you’re the only PR department your book has.

The solution:
Promotion is the bane of a writer’s existence but also an absolute necessity. Even if your publisher is 100 percent behind your book, you should still do everything possible to promote it.

Image placeholder title

You can use any of a number of techniques to market your book. (See also the books written entirely on this topic.)

  • Web site: An absolute must.
  • Blog: An inexpensive, but time-intensive endeavor.
  • Direct mailings: Probably not cost-effective for fiction.
  • Media outlets: The best bang for your buck, time and cost wise. But it can be very difficult to garner media interest for fiction unless you have a unique hook. Think about how many times you see fiction writers on media. However, there is a magazine out there for everything. Talk radio is also good if you can figure out a reason a show would want to book you.
  • Hand-selling: Very difficult unless you have the personality to do it.
  • Book signings: Not as fun as you think they are. Mostly done to meet the booksellers.
  • Controversy: Depends on whether you’re willing to sell your soul to the devil.

There is a balance, though, that needs to be struck between marketing your published book and writing your next book.