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Three Classic Disastrous Book Marketing Mistakes

My brilliant friend Diana messaged me at 7am this morning. “Is this a good title for my book?” she asked.

“I can’t answer that,” I told her. “Titles don’t live separately from the book. I have a whole process I take my clients through and I’d need to take you through that process to answer that question.”

You see, starting with a title is one of the classic, disastrous book marketing mistakes most authors make and once you make one of these mistakes, it is baked into the permanent results you get from your book.

The problem is, because these are POST-INTERNET problems, most of the people out there just don’t really understand how the internet works. One of the few exceptions to that rule is Dave Chesson and his company Kindlepreneur. I’ve been using and recommending Dave’s software KDP Rocket for years and recently he did a podcast where he discussed why most investments authors make in marketing fail.

Dave messaged me and said, “you’re the only service I’d recommend because you do it exactly how I described the RIGHT way of doing book marketing services.” And here’s what he put in his show notes:


This is the one I mentioned and couldn’t think of off the top of my head at 9:40 on the show:

The Author Incubator:

So far, the only book marketing service that I feel positive about is: The Author Incubator. I’ve talked with Dr. Angela Lauria, and I completely agree with her process, level of dedication, and especially her requirements. To work with her service, you can’t already have a book. You start with her, and she works with you to write the book, publish it, and then market it. That way, her and her team know you’re going in the right direction and that the book is of the highest level and worthy of their marketing plan. I have great admiration for that and it fits some of the hesitations I had about marketing services. I will admit that I haven’t personally used her service, but, having talked with her, I think her service sounds the best and…well, she’s also a super smart book marketing gal.

If the time has finally come for you to get your book done, there are 3 classic mistakes I see non-fiction authors make all the time that I want to warn you about. The problem with these three mistakes in particular is that if you make any of them, there is no turning around from them.

Mistake #1: Writing an Unmarketable Book

Why do we only work with people who haven’t written a book? Because the truth is 80% of your marketing potential is baked into the book. Most people, frankly, write the wrong book because they write a book about what they want to say with no regard to what the reader needs to hear and when they need to hear it. I call this writing from your EGO instead of a SERVANT’S HEART. Here’s a hint, most people have 3-4 books in their head and they think it’s just one. If you don’t have a book coach or developmental editor to help you piece apart those ideas, your book will be unmarketable. If you write the wrong book, you will give it the wrong title, and then, no matter how good the content in that book is, it won’t get into reader’s hands, hearts, or change their lives.

Mistake #2: Writing a Book as a Group Project

These days you can’t turn around without seeing another book written by multiple authors all sharing a chapter on a single theme. You have probably been invited to participate in one of these group book projects. Usually they charge you a few thousand dollars or more and sell you on the idea that being in a book with the other people who are paying to be in the book will raise your profile and since there are multiple authors you will sell more books. This is not accurate. Multi-author books never sell well. They actually decrease the credibility of the authors participating partly because it’s so obviously pay-per-play marketing but also because there is no authority. The authority from the book is distributed among all the authors. It’s hard to get media and speaking opportunities from a group book and it’s nearly impossible to get clients from a group book. You are basically telegraphing to readers NOT to hire you.

Mistake #3: Failing to do Keyword and Category Research

We use KDP Rocket as one of our keyword and category research tools for each and every book we work on. It’s one of the most sophisticated tools we use and all but guarantees our books sell tons of copies and always make the Amazon best seller chats; but the reason it works so consistently is that we understand the keyword game from the inside out. Keyword and category research require a deep understanding of your buyers’ psyche. There are 2 types of successful authors – those who got lucky (very small percent of all successful authors) and those who know how to use marketing to reach readers (the vast majority). You can hire out a lot of marketing grunt work, but the one thing you can never outsource is truly knowing and loving your reader. That is at the heart of all marketing.

Writing a good book is essential to making a difference, but it’s only the table stakes. To make a difference with a book, you have to get it into people’s hands. The best book in the world can’t make a difference sitting behind an unclicked link on Amazon. Marketing is not something that comes after you write the book, it’s on every single page and in every decision you make about your book. There are lots of marketing experts who will take your money but if you haven’t written the right book, all of that effort and investment will be in vain. There is too much riding on your book to make these classic, disastrous mistakes.

1 thought on “Three Classic Disastrous Book Marketing Mistakes”

  1. Thanks for the tips, I always wondered what should I write that is my message? I wrote a few books but I know that their still a book that will truly reflect my message that I haven’t figure it out yet!

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