12 Mistakes Authors Make in Connecting with Readers
The whole idea of “building a platform” and “marketing your book” is to get people to read what you’ve written. Whether you’re traditionally or self-published, connecting with potential readers is crucial. There are many good ways to do this (although it’s not necessarily easy), and plenty of resources to help you. Today I want to point out the most common mistakes I see authors making in the effort to connect with readers.
1. Not creating a plan or strategy for connecting with readers, but remaining completely haphazard.
2. Not understanding who your reading audience is.
3. Trying too hard to “sell” rather than gather a reading community.
4. Spending too much time on the blog, when that might not be the most effective way to gather a community. (Many author blogs are read by other authors.)
5. Trying to do it all yourself, i.e. failing to crowd-source.
6. Focusing on places authors hang out online, rather than readers.
7. Not getting any social media coaching or doing any serious study of it.
8. One-sided communication on social media: failing to engage with fans and respond to them.
9. Not using social media to its fullest potential, i.e. neglecting Facebook campaigns, Goodreads promotions, Pinterest engagement, Twitter chats, Instagram stories.
10. Trying to do too many things in the attempt to connect with readers, rather than choosing a couple of avenues that suit you, and becoming expert at them.
11. Not using the special topic, era, genre and content of your book to locate and engage readers.
12. Ignoring opportunities for local, in-person appearances (book signings, book clubs, writing groups, school visits, workshops, library readings and local area meet-ups.).
Are any of these areas problematic for you? If you haven’t marketed a book yet, what do you anticipate will be the hardest part?