You’ve been marketing your book like crazy all over social media to find that the only buyers are, well, people you know. And while that’s a good start, it’s not going to pay the bills. So, what are you doing wrong?

Your Cover Is Crap

The truth hurts, and a lot of the time, this is a true statement.

Why? Because “don’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t actually apply to books.

If your cover isn’t catching readers’ eyes, then they’re certainly not going to take the time to see if your writing is worth reading. You could have a cheesecake under a pile of poo, but no one’s going to touch it.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a book cover is worth however many you have inside it.

You want to be taken as a professional writer? Have a professional cover.

Spellcheck Doesn’t Count as Editing

Spellcheck is a good start, but it’d better not be your “editor.”

If a reader opens to or previews the first page of your book and finds a mistake, do you think they’re going to keep reading? Nope. If you don’t have a human reading your book, things will be missed. And humans aren’t perfect, so they’re going to miss things too. But it takes a real person to say, “Hey, that character who had blond hair in chapter two is now a brunette. Did you mean to do that?”

You needed a professional editor. Your mom doesn’t count. Neither does your best friend.

Steven King has one. You think you’re a better writer than he is?

Hire an editor.

You Don’t Have a “Look Inside” Option

If you didn’t include a “Look Inside” option on your book’s Amazon listing, you’re basically telling people your book sucks and you don’t want them to know until they buy it.

Bad idea.

When browsing books in a brick-and-mortar bookstore, readers have the opportunity to look at your opening page. Just because your book is online doesn’t mean this can’t happen.

The description of your book (often called the “hook”) is what gets their interest (after the cover, of course), but what seals the deal? An opening page they don’t want to stop reading!

Not having a “Look Inside” option doesn’t allow readers to see your skills in action and doesn’t give them the opportunity to get sucked into the world you’ve created.


Your book has no or very few reviews, and the ones you do have were clearly written by your family and friends. These aren’t the people you want writing your reviews. Know why?

They love you. Therefore, they’re not going to write an honest review.

Am I saying your book sucks? No, but they wouldn’t tell you if it did.

You need people who won’t be biased writing your reviews. And don’t pay someone just to write an Amazon or Goodreads review.

Give out free copies to people you don’t know, and ask for an honest review in return.

Brooke Payne

Brooke Payne

Book Editor at Jera Publishing
I have always had a passion for books. It was, therefore, no surprise when I decided to obtain a B.A. in English from Kennesaw State University. I have experience as a freelance writer, a proofreader, and an editor. It's a three-way tie between which I am more passionate about: writing, reading, or editing. I've recently finished my first novel, and I try to read at least one book a week, but I love editing and helping someone’s dream become a reality. Since my heart lies with all three, you can rest assured that I put a piece of it into every work that comes across my desk.
Brooke Payne

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