There are many ways to market your book. One of the most promoted is to use your family and friends. That is a great way to get started, but too many authors rely on them to do the majority of the marketing. That can backfire if you aren’t careful as there are 3 reasons you shouldn’t use them as your main marketing plan.
The majority of our family and friends are pretty limited in connections. That’s not saying all of them are, but do they all have enough reading friends who read the genre you write to support you? Probably not.
Every person has a small group they have connections with. Granted, the point is to have them connect with each one so each of them can then spread the word in their small group of connections. But not all will do that.
In my family, many do very little online. That limits their connections right away. Those online rarely talk books or interact with people in groups. Severely limited there. Only my online friends that I met through the love books are the connections that really help a lot.
Also, they have to understand how to use those connections. I had several family and friends who loved my books and went on and on about them except online. Never did they talk about the book or promote it. They figured they did it by telling me what a good job I had done. The average person doesn’t understand marketing nor do they want to. Family and friends might love you and want to help you, but really putting the time in to do it might not be top on their list of things to do this week.
There can be quite a bit of bias when it comes to helping you with your book. You want their promotion of your book to be honest. Sadly, most people will tell you how it will be the next bestseller when in reality they hardly could finish it. You don’t want that. Because then they are promoting your book in a dishonest way.
A friend of mine published a book that was not fully edited. While there was potential in the story, it was really hard to follow as it had not been tightened up. Her family went on Amazon and began giving it five star reviews left and right. They wanted to help her out which was very good of them. But…Others who bought the book on those reviews left bad reviews as they felt they had been misled. You don’t want that.
Being biased can be good as they will help you no matter what, but it can also backfire. You want them to be honest as well. If they post a review, have them put constructive criticism in it and don’t rate it a five star. Many readers don’t trust five star reviews. They look closer at the two to four stars.
Can Get Too Personal
Family and friends can get a bit too personal at times. While their biases can go overboard in helping you, there are some who can undermine your success by telling everyone too much about you and/or your book.
Think about it. Most people cannot do anything without talking too much. Do people need to know how your personal life was while you were writing the book? If you want people to know, then you’ll tell them in an interview or guest post. You don’t want your family and friends sharing needless information.
Also, you might find someone not too kind in sharing your books. Even family can be harsh. One author friend had a brother who went online and posted bad reviews of his book. Why? Well, several years ago he….Really? Get over it. But it happens.
By all means look to your family and friends to help market your book especially if you are a new author and just getting started. Offer to make suggestions on how to help you. But look beyond your family and friends. Research marketing techniques and implement them. Family and friends are great cheerleaders but rarely do they drive the bus of success as well as you might think.