Hitting publish and waiting for sales to roll in can be a very harrowing experience – especially when your KDP sales platform stays awfully quiet. Don’t worry though: you are not the only one to whom this happens. Almost 80% of authors publishing via Kindle Direct Publishing doesn’t make more than $100 off their book.

Really? Yes – really. Especially when authors choose to do everything themselves – from editing to covers and marketing, it seems sales dwindle after the first few days. There are a few reasons why this generally happens: the editing, paint.exe cover and most of all – Marketing.

Here are 3 book marketing mistakes that are actually hurting your sales!

1.    You market to EVERYONE!

Not long ago, I was talking to an author who tried her hand at Facebook Marketing. She complained that actually – Facebook Marketing did not yield the results she was looking for and only managed to make 4 sales out of a $120 campaign. That is $30 per acquisition (which is A LOT).

Now, we had a look at the lady’s Facebook Advertisement account and even though her adverts were well designed and very engaging, she chose to advertise to almost everyone. And although you are right: everyone with half a mind and the ability to read can buy your book, it is important to draw out an intended audience.

Let’s say, for instance, that we are marketing Bridget Jones’ Diary. We could market it to everyone, but we’re not going to. We want to use our money purposefully want to bring our Price Per Acquisition down (by a lot). So, we are going to draw out our customer profile. In other words: you will have to ask yourself who your customer is, what they do, what they like to read, their gender, their age, where they live etc.

For Bridget Jones’ this would (for instance) be: females between 25 and 35 (or even 40) who live in the UK ( you can even run a test with only targeting females in London), who like to read cosies and like to watch romantic comedies. They will probably be part of the middle class and be interested in author A, author B and author C (authors who write in the same style and genre as you do).

By marketing to specific targeted audiences, you are talking to people who have affinity with your product and are open to purchasing your book.

Would an 18-year-old man in Mumbai who is interested in Xbox games and The Rock movies buy your book? Probably not. So be more specific with your targeting and advertise to people who would actually buy your book!

And this literally applies to EVERY aspect of marketing.

2.    You are constantly selling

In social media marketing, there is something as “the 80/20 rule”. This rule basically dictates that social media marketing is 80% engaging with others and 20% selling.

We see so many authors who bombard groups and people and feeds with their sales pitches. Buy my book, my book is now available, please purchase now on Amazon…

Let’s be honest… how many sales did you make off that? Not many, huh? Did you know that disregarding this 80/20 rule actually hurts your sales a lot? People will think it is too pushy and it will hurt you building your author platform. In your career as an author, this author platform will be your bread and butter, the bigger you can grow it, the more you can sell. But by just pushing sales pitches down people’s throat, people will think the only thing you care for are sales.

So how do you solve this? Well – respect the balance of this 80/20 rule. You will want to engage first and sell later. You will not even want to sell to everyone you engage with. You need to form a relationship with people before they are ready to buy your product.

We will also see this in the corporate world, where corporate businesses use copy and blog posts to help their customers and build a relationship before- at the end of the sales funnel, they go for the (hard) sell.

Engage with people, help readers, talk to people and be interested in your readers. When people are ready to buy your book, trust me: they will!

3.    You think you can do everything by yourself

It is easy to think you can do everything by yourself. I mean: how hard can it be? Posting on social media, writing to bloggers, selling your book. Easy peasy!

But when it comes to the crunch we often see that authors have difficulties juggling promoting and marketing their book with their daytime job, writing a new book, family and hobbies. This means that marketing efforts are often very inconsistent which will render previous marketing efforts useless or might cause a decline in sales and thus the all-important Amazon Ranking.

Be honest with yourself and ask for help where necessary. Saving money on marketing efforts might actually put you out of pocket more than when you would have hired a service or virtual assistant.

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