In publishing today, it seems like there are a million things that an author can/should do to ensure success. There’s always the latest website, social media platform, or marketing tactic just waiting to be implemented, with the promise to success just around the corner.
Compared to when I was first in business almost 16 years ago, the resources and free promotional tools that are out there now are overwhelming, and I know it can seem daunting as you being marketing your book. I want to focus on sharing the most common marketing missteps I’ve come across in my 16 years in business, so you can avoid making these mistakes in your marketing. Stay tuned, because we’ll be sharing these with you over the next several weeks.
Know When to Invest Your Money
I always find it interesting that authors will sometimes spend years writing their books and then leave the cover design to someone who isn’t a designer. Or they try and design their website themselves. While you are the expert on your book, most authors have little expertise in book design, or website design. My advice to you is to entrust someone who is an expert with design.
Consider these facts for a minute: shoppers in a bookstore spend an average of 3 seconds looking at the front cover of a book and 7 seconds looking at the back before deciding whether to buy it. Further, a survey of booksellers showed that 75% of them found the book cover to be the most important element of the book. Also, sales teams for publishers or book distributors often only take the book cover with them when they shop titles into stores.
Your website is similar. It’s like your business card, and is a reflect of who you are as an author, and your book. Let’s say you designed your own site, which saved you a few thousand dollars paying a web designer. Now you’re off promoting your book and suddenly you’re getting a gazillion hits to your site. Like your book cover, if your website is not appealing, it will not convert visitors to your site into a sale.
While it’s tempting to save money by doing it yourself, how much money did you lose by foregoing the designer and doing it yourself?