The Top 5 Myths of Publishing a Book

(Know this BEFORE Marketing)

Congrats! You’ve written a book! Give yourself a pat on the back, because the majority of people who want to write a book just let that goal sit on their bucket list and collect dust.

But now that you’re done, if you think you can sit back, relax and enjoy the success, think again. Writing a book is only the beginning. As authors ourselves, we know the ins and outs of publishing (sometimes we even learned the hard way) and we’re here to debunk some myths in book publishing so you can set up realistic expectations and enjoy a faster route to success.

Myth #1 – My publisher will promote my book

Prior to your book’s release, most traditional publishers will put your book on NetGalley, which allows consumers to request your book for free so you can collect early reviews. Additionally, traditional publishers will promote your book in their catalog, which is given to libraries, bookstores and schools. The majority of traditional publishers have a dedicated PR department to handle these tasks, but keep in mind the small ratio of publicists to authors in a traditional publishing house. When it comes to hybrid publishing, publicity is usually an add on service. In both of these cases, and with self-publishing, publicity is up to the author because a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work well, as everyone’s needs and goals are different. Hiring a publicity firm like Expound Publicity ensures an author will receive a custom plan to generate exposure in front of targeted audiences. Our book publicists provide author marketing support and promotion services even before the release date of a book!

Myth #2 – If I have great reviews on Amazon, my book will generate sales

Amazon reviews are important to consumers when deciding whether to purchase a product. However, when it comes to books, which are subjective, consumers, librarians and teachers often look to third-party accredited sites for unbiased reviews. That’s why it is important for authors to receive at least (3) professional reviews prior to marketing their book. Don’t get us wrong – it is nice to have reviews on Amazon, but many times, those reviews are biased as they are completed by family and friends, which many times goes against Amazon policies.

Myth #3 – My books don’t need to be in stores if they are on Amazon

Selling your book on Amazon is essential for authors, as Amazon is the top online marketplace globally. With the advent of Amazon Prime, the ease of the one click purchase feature and simple return policies, customers prefer Amazon when buying most products. But that does not mean authors should ignore traditional bookstores. The author-bookstore relationship is essential. Being in bookstores helps authors gain exposure and solidify their brand image in the writing community. This is especially true for local authors, whose books are often highlighted on retail shelves and who are asked to come in for readings and signings. You can’t get those perks with Amazon!

Myth #4 – My book will go viral and sell itself

While every author would love to think that their book will go viral, very few do. In fact, most of the books that go viral on a social media platform enjoy success that’s short lived. That’s why it’s important to create a customized and integrated marketing plan for your book that helps lengthen its shelf life.

Myth #5 – Marketing to other authors will create exposure

The author community is a wonderful place that can be extremely supportive. Author groups are great for trading ideas and editing. But authors are not your target audience. In many cases, they are actually your competitors!

An author’s target audience is the intended audience who has vested interest in the subject or theme of your book.. Here’s a tip – learn as much as you can about your target audience prior to publishing your book. Know where they receive their information (is it on Facebook? In a magazine?), their buying patterns (do they purchase seasonally?) and product preferences (do they like hardcovers or paperbacks?). Hitting the right audience allows word of mouth to spread, which keeps momentum alive for authors.

Looking to market your book? Contact Expound Publicity to schedule a custom consultation.