View Full Version : What is the WORST book marketing advice you followed?

July 12th, 2019, 10:04 PM
While giving a talk about book marketing yesterday to a local author group in Houston, I was asked about the WORST MARKETING ADVICE that I ever followed. I responded that I’ve had mixed results from using online ads. I found that Google Ads (pricey!), FB ads, and Goodreads ads were not cost effective for any of my books. While those ads increased traffic to my author website, and/or connections on my FB author page and Goodreads platform, they did NOT result in noticeable book sales. On the other hand, Amazon ads have been successful for my books (39% of my 2018 total sales came directly from these ads).

To be fair, some authors (e.g., Mark Dawson) have had huge success selling their books with FB and other online ads, while others have seen little or no sales results. The bottom line is that you don’t know whether a marketing tactic will work for your particular books until you try it. From that perspective, I’m glad that I tried various online ads so that I could discover which ones (if any) worked well to promote my books.

I’d love to hear from other authors as to the WORST marketing advice you ever followed and why you think it failed for your books. Please share below so we can all benefit from your experience.


Ralph Rotten
July 13th, 2019, 01:12 AM
I never really got any marketing advice. I started my self-pubbing at the dawn of Indies, when they still called it POD publishing, and there was no discussion of marketing.
Twas the dark ages for Indies.
I had to figure it all out by clicking on successful books and every link that led to that book.

But I have heard some bad advice, like the guy who insisted that expanded marketing was good because it got you on library lists and such.
Problem is...expanded marketing raises your cover price so high that your book screams Vanity Press, and no one will buy it, no matter how many lists it is on.
(I am referring to Amazon's expanded marketing option. Nook has one too, but it is not optional.)

I've heard lots of people who thought it was a good idea to publish their book without using the presale feature. That was some bad hat.

and there was something else I saw in a forum today...
" While those ads increased traffic to my author website,"
Shouldn't those be sending traffic to your book on Amazon? That's where the market place is.

July 13th, 2019, 09:23 PM
I feel I came in mid-party to advice, where most had tried and tested the ways before me. I listened to a host well-known authors in my genre who'd already been through it, and to be honest, they've not offered any bad advice. *touch wood* Facebook sells exceptionally well for me, and it's my main platform, I think the only regret is that I didn't do it much earlier. I joined FB two years after being published. Lol, I remember one of the first PMS being: Hey, Pyke, you don't do social. What you doing here, then?

And I've not stopped messing around on FB since.

So I guess the only gripe with advice I have is: sitting on it and not acting. Authors usually tell you something for a reason, so don't waste time ignoring it.