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5 Common Marketing Mistakes That Authors Make 

There are many things you might be doing that are hurting your sales. Authors often find themselves falling into common pitfalls that lead to them wasting their efforts and seeing little results. If you want to make the most of your marketing efforts, here are five mistakes you should avoid when marketing your book.

1. Targeting a broad, undefined audience
Your book shouldn't be for a broad audience. It shouldn't be for every teenager who loves fantasy or every middle-aged woman. You may wish for everyone to read it and not want to alienate any demographic. But it's impossible not to do the opposite. Before your work becomes broadly accepted, it must first gain prominence in a narrow subgenre. Setting the unrealistic expectation of reaching everyone is a waste of marketing efforts. So, narrow down who your readers are even before you start writing. Otherwise, it will be impossible to categorize and market your book.

2. Designing your cover yourself
Designing your book cover by yourself is a bad idea. You may think you have impressive graphic design skills, but it's best to leave it to professionals. It is a brilliant investment that will pay off significantly. Many readers decide to read books because of their cover art, and people judge books by the cover. Don't package the hard work you put into your book with another Amazon amateurish cover. It takes professional writers to work with professional designers.

3. Choosing Amazon categories and keywords carelessly
It is an exciting moment when you upload your manuscript to Amazon. Amidst the excitement, many authors fail to use the correct categories and keywords for their work. This mistake is often why many books don't do well on Amazon. The author chooses a broad category like "thriller" or "YA." Or they select a sub-category that has nothing to do with their work. Categories are the primary source of visibility on Amazon. Rising to the top of the charts in a category that gets a lot of traffic gives you an automatic sales increase with zero effort. The same applies to keywords. So, you need to pay more attention to your categories and keywords and learn how to choose the right ones.

4. Trying everything at once
Trying everything is a mistake many authors make when they get desperate. The problem with trying everything is that you haven't tried anything. Most times, you're simply applying a bit of every marketing strategy without the principal element of patience. So you don't know what is working and what isn't, and you're wasting your efforts. Consider studying other successful indie authors in your field and note what they are doing differently. Then apply each strategy one at a time, and give them time. Eventually, you will find what works for you, and when you do, stick with it.

5. Using Facebook ads without proper knowledge
Facebook ads have a track record of boosting the sales of so many indie authors. If you do it properly, you should get the same result. Because of Facebook’s exceptional targeting capabilities, ads can work for nearly every author. But Facebook is a complex advertising platform with a steep learning curve. So investing little resource into it and expecting a sales miracle is a set-up for disappointment. Educate yourself, read blog posts from authors who sell through Facebook, and sign up for courses on the subject. After equipping yourself with proper knowledge, start running your first few ads with a small budget. 

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Frank Stephen