Nobody Cares You Wrote a Book

Maybe "nobody" is a bit of a stretch. But here's a harsh truth for authors: most people really do not care that you wrote a book.

You just published a book. You're excited. You want to shout it from the rooftops. I get it. So tell your friends and family. Share the news with your writer's group. Mention it on your personal blog even. But don't run around making this same old generic "I wrote a book! I wrote a book!" announcement everywhere you go.

It's a common book marketing mistake, especially with first-time authors. And it makes you look like an amateur.

The problem isn't that you're telling the world about your book. It's that you're going about it in the wrong way. So instead of those generic "I wrote a book!" announcements, here are some things you should do instead:

  • Give people a reason to care about your book. Tell them what's in it for them, not simply that it exists. This is Marketing 101 folks. Talk less about your product (even if it feels like your "baby") and talk more about benefits to your target buyers.
  • Do something genuinely newsworthy or tie your book launch to something bigger than the book itself. Unless you're a big-name author, the fact that you wrote a book is not news. Send non-newsworthy press releases to the media, and don't be surprised if you get blacklisted before you have a chance to make a good impression.
  • Build your fan base and street team early in the process. Then, when your book is launched, let others help you spread the word. As a reader, it's much less obnoxious to see a writer's fans talking about their new book than to see ruthless self-promotion from the author everywhere they turn. And yes, you can build a fan base even before your first book is published. Focus on that author platform.

None of this is to say you should never issue announcements. But it's a warning to be more cautious about how you deliver them. The next time you're tempted to tell the world about a new title, triple-check your announcement copy and ask yourself, if you were reading this same announcement from some other author you weren't already a die-hard fan of, would you really care? If the answer is "no," it's time to test something new.

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