I want to point this out because one would think this is rather fundamental, but it’s not. It really, really isn’t.
Other writers are not your customers.
Let me say it again, louder for everyone in the back: OTHER WRITERS ARE NOT YOUR CUSTOMERS!
Will other writers buy your book? Sure, sometimes they will. Sometimes they’ll pick it up on KU to read it and help you out (I do this a lot).
But I see so many writers completely miss this basic fact. So much of Twitter, for example, is writers following other writers on Twitter, tweeting about their new releases to other authors, retweeting other author’s sales posts to other authors, and no one is getting anything out of it.
This also applies to posting your book in author and marketing groups on Facebook. That is especially egregious. Most groups have a rule about it. But barely a week goes by without someone doing it. In that case, you’re likely to get booted from the group. I promise no one in that group will buy your book from that post. Jonny Andrews of Author Platform Rocket (which can be a goldmine of good info for indie authors, btw, even if you don’t use their services) regularly mocks people who market their books in his marketing group. Everyone hates it, it doesn’t do anything for you, stop wasting your time!
As shown by the two examples I gave, there are different levels of this. It can be helpful for other authors to know about your releases and help share them. Networking is a huge help in many ways.
But pay attention to your circles on whatever social media platform you’re on. Sometimes, more than annoying other people, it is disheartening for you. You spend all kinds of time pushing your book on various platforms and getting nothing in return. Does that mean your book sucks? Are you going to be scraping in pennies forever?
Not necessarily. But you’re not targeting people who are going to buy your book. Other authors don’t have the time or money to buy your book, they’re writing and trying to earn money on their own writing!
Social media is great for many things. Especially Networking. But not always great for cold-selling books.
Now, do you have services? Editing, cover art, formatting? Do you have a non-fiction book that authors might find useful? Then sure! Sell that to other authors all you want. You’ll have better luck if you market smart and not spam everyone with it. But in that case, they are your customer base. They’ll buy from you. It’s all good.
The more you think about who your audience is, the better you’ll do in many ways. Putting your book in front of the right person is a big part of the marketing battle, and that includes thinking about whether you’re constantly marketing it to other authors or not.