7 Mistakes to Avoid While Promoting Your Book on Social Media

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Daniela McVicker is a contributor to TopWritersReview. She has a master’s degree in English Literature, and she is truly passionate about learning foreign languages and teaching. Daniela works with students and helps them to reveal the writing talent and find their one true calling. Follow her on Twitter.


Promoting your book on social media can be a great way for you to cut down costs and reach an international audience. While you might have some experience in marketing, you will come to find that there are quite a few mistakes one can make when it comes to promoting their own work online.

Even if you don’t have a lot of experience with certain social media platforms, it is still possible for you to successfully run the promotion. If you wish to be more confident about promoting your book on social media, make sure to keep these mistakes in mind before you jump into it.

1. Starting the promotion too late

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to promoting your new book on social media is to wait until the last minute to start with the promotion. Reaching out to your target audience is not really possible in a short amount of time, and this can cause you to lose many potential customers.

In order to make the most of your online promotions, you should make sure to always start promoting your book online a few months before you publish it. Creating hype for it before it even comes out is a great way to get more people involved and interested. Don’t be this person: “I just published my book. Now how do I market it?” [CLICK TO TWEET!]

Pro Tip: Document the process of your book being written and published. Get your audience involved so they feel like they had a part in the book too.

2. Lack of creativity in your content

As a writer, people will expect you to be creative with your posts. This doesn’t only apply to the way you write and your written content in general, but it also applies to the audiovisual content you use in your promotions.

It’s always a good idea to create your own content for your promotions. Having an eye-catching visual style that will look interesting to your target audience can help you attract more potential readers. It will also help you cement your branding style and remind your audience of the artwork you have picked or created for the cover of your book. That’s brand recognition!

If you’re just posting the same stock photos with words on them day in and day out, that’s not authentic. It’s just the same ole thang. Vary your content! [CLICK TO TWEET!]

Pro Tip: What’s your style? Do you like moody, coffeehouse-vibe photos? Bright, white-background photos? Or do you like bright, vivid pops of color? Work on your aesthetic so people recognize your photos.

3. Spamming with too much content

Another common mistake you should try avoiding is posting too frequently on your social media channels. While you might be excited about your upcoming book, the rest of your online audience can easily get tired of seeing the same posts pop up over and over again.

Instead, focus on quality rather than quantity. Make sure you have put enough effort into your individual promotional posts and that you are making them look as attractive and interesting as possible. Don’t just post for the sole purpose of posting.

Pro Tip: Gary Vaynerchuk teaches the “Give, give, give, give, ask” method. Always give value first and foremost, and then make the ask (buy the book). What value can you give to your social media fans so they’re more apt to buy your book?

4.  Marketing without a strategy

Having a marketing strategy planned in advance will certainly help you keep better track of the performance of your posts. In most cases, you will be looking forward to gaining more followers, having your promotional posts shared further by your audience, and establishing better engagement with your online audience.

All of these points will help you achieve a higher number of sales and also keep better track of the results of your promotional strategy online. This will allow you to know what to repeat or not in a future promotion campaign and make it as successful as possible.

Pro Tip: What’s your marketing strategy? Are you going to use your email newsletter as a big tactic? Or Facebook ads? Or book bloggers? There are tons of marketing strategies out there. Do your research and implement wisely.

5. Forgetting your fans

A big part of successfully promoting your new book online comes from taking the time to interact with your audience. Well-written posts and eye-catching visuals might help you attract more people, but the only way to keep them around is with your character. [CLICK TO TWEET!]

This is exactly why you should try to take the time to reply to questions, DMs, and comments left under your posts as frequently as possible. There is no better promotion than being open and available to speak with your future and current readers at any time.

Pro Tip: Go back through some of your recent social media posts and reply to those comments. It’s never too late. Get in the habit of answering your fans. If you want them to engage with you, then engage back. Create readers for life by actually caring about them!

6. Dealing poorly with negative comments

Negative comments can be found on even the most positive of posts. People can always find something hateful to say about anything new they come across, and you should be prepared for the Negative Nancies during your online activities.

Responding to hate with kindness and patience will only help you gain a stronger online following. Your readers are bound to appreciate your grace, and you will see that many of your followers will come to the rescue and back you up.

Pro Tip: If you’re promoting a book that deals with a tough topic, how will you handle the backlash? How will you handle the negative comments? Consider preparing some boilerplate responses ahead of time. Or you could just not respond at all.

7. Posting on too many social platforms

Last but not least, another mistake to avoid is posting your promotional posts on too many platforms at the same time. On the one hand, posting on many different social media platforms can be quite helpful when it comes to attracting a bigger following.

On the other hand, though, it can put too much pressure on your shoulders, as you will most likely struggle to keep up with timing the posts correctly, having enough individual posts to share, and responding to every comment that comes your way.

The best thing you can do is pick one or two platforms you feel comfortable with using and simply focus on posting on them. If you run your own website or wish to update the rest of your socials, you can always pick a certain day of the week to just focus on handling these aspects of the promotion.

Pro Tip: Each platform is different. Facebook is different from Twitter. Twitter is different from Instagram. Pinterest in different from LinkedIn. So treat them differently. You don’t always have to post on every single platform every day. Some platforms do better with certain content, so prepare accordingly.

Promoting your book online doesn’t have to be an unreachable dream

Social media platforms can be rather intimidating and the pressure you will feel in order to successfully promote your book can make online promotions seem scary. It’s important to keep a positive attitude about the whole process and remember that above all else, you are trying to get your book the exposure it deserves.

If you manage to keep in mind and avoid these simple yet common mistakes many authors make, you will be able to create hype and attract more readers your way. Just remember to be yourself and take the time to communicate with as many new followers as you can, as these will be the people that will help your new book become a success.


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An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 300 books and has launched several Amazon bestsellers for her clients. Her award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, The Rotting (in Shivers in the Night), and The Suicide Tree. In her not-so-free time, she acts as organizer for the Yukon Writers’ Society, volunteers at the Oklahoma County Jail, and obsesses over squirrels. She lives in Oklahoma with her dogs, Chanel, Wednesday, and Baker.