Monday, July 31, 2023

23 Errors Authors Must Avert


When authors seek to communicate their book’s appeal, they need to honor some unofficial rules to make their message pop, persuade, and present well. Here are 23 pitfalls to avoid, whether penning an email, blog post, flier, press release, newsletter, web site, ad, or some other piece of marketing content:

1. Use words and phrases that seek to educate, inspire, enlighten, or even entertain readers. Don’t obviously “sell” and simply ask for a book purchase. Give them a reason to be drawn to you.


3. Come off as relatable to your reader. Sound like a real person, with empathy, sincerity, and personality.

4. Avoid duplication and repetition. Avoid duplication and repetition.

5. State things in a clear, logical, concise, non-jargony way. People need to understand what you are actually trying to say.

6. Share examples or tell brief stories to support and demonstrate your strongest points.

7. Avoid distorting facts, twisting statistics, or making claims you know are unproven.

8. Use bullet points, short paragraphs, and short sentences.

9. Don’t use textspeak — like 2 for two or u for you.

10. Avoid the use of emojis unless your goal is to not be taken seriously.

11. Write with their needs or desires in mind. Do you fill a demand or a fantasy? You must.

12. Have you found a strong statistic/poll/study result, famous quote or factoid to help legitimize your message?

13. Do you reference third-party validation for yourself or your book? Do you have a testimonial or book review to affirm you are legit and worth listening to or reading?

14. Have a design element that supports but doesn’t distract from reading your message. Do the visuals, font, background, colors, and margins help present your message — or distract from it?

15. Remember that reading words can be powerful but what gives them an even bigger bang is to hear them and to see images that tell a story. If possible, sprinkle in audio, video, photos, or illustrations that help round out your story. People learn in different ways. Engaging more senses is better. Multimedia messages get retained better than just reading words.

16. Make sure your content is relatable and truly speaks to the type of person you seek to win over — in your tone, main points, examples, etc. If the reader feels like you can’t identify with and understand them, there will be no love connection.

17. Don’t overload your message with links that take them in 50 directions.  Just provide one link or action step that you want to lead them to.

18. The psychology and emotional state of mind of your reader has to be taken into consideration when writing a message to them. Anticipate and imagine how they may need to feel or think in order to buy into what you are selling. Write only for them. Think like your reader. Trigger their emotions.

19. Include a time-sensitive offer: a discount, buy one and get one free, guaranteed money back, a free download, an exclusive ofer, etc.

20. Use targeted keywords and buzz words, as you must play the SEO game. See Ubersuggest or Semrush for ideas.

21. Invite them to refer others to you and provide incentives or compensation for doing so.

22. Don’t write for everyone: only your targeted reader. The overwhelming vast majority of people will never buy or read your book. That’s right. Less than one percent of one percent of Americans will likely buy your book — and that comes out to nearly 34,000 sales! Only say push-button items that appeal to your narrow target and seek to win them over even at the expense or dismissal of virtually everyone else. Align yourself with certain values and sell people on them.

23. Provide benefits, not features. Tell them what they will gain as a result of reading your book. Identify why they should care.

Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  



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