10 Ways to Market Your Book

These book marketing tips are for self-published authors, traditionally published authors, and writers not yet published. These ten ways to market your book will fire up your journey to the bestseller list.

10 Ways to Market Your BookIn The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living, Peter Bowerman discusses book production, distribution, marketing, promotion, publicity (through one’s own website, the Internet, radio, article writing, bookstores and blogs), Amazon, spinoff businesses, and an entire chapter on the controversial so-called “revolution” known as “POD publishing” (print-on-demand).

Before the tips, here’s what a book editor says about marketing and writers: “We’re looking for authors who will work hand-in-hand with us and find promotional opportunities for their books,” says Pamela Krauss, editor at Clarkson Potter. You don’t just need a great book idea to get published — you need to find your own ways to market your books.

And here are ten tips for marketing your book…

Book Marketing Tips

“If you really want your book to fly, you need to know that the reality of the publishing business is that publishers print and distribute,” says David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber. “The author has to be willing to market their book, because no one else will.”

1. Create a brand name. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen is The Adventurous Writer (that’s me!). Jack Canfield is Chicken Soup for the Soul. What’s your handle, your shtick, your brand name? Pick something that appeals to you and projects the image you want for your writing career or company.

2. Repeat yourself. “Repetition is key to creating a brand names,” writes Kremer in 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. “If you decide to try to establish your company name as a brand name, repeat it in all your ads and feature it on the covers of all your books.”

3. Find creative ways to use your business cards. I love this tip for marketing your book: on the back of your business card you could print a brief book excerpt, your book cover, the table of contents, the characters, a rave review, or your elevator pitch.

4. Leave your business card in unexpected places. Leave your card with the tip for the waitress, in the envelope if you pay your bills via snail mail, in library books, in the change room at your gym, or in the bathroom at parties. Be generous!

5. Give talks at all types of places: libraries, writer’s clubs, garden parties, churches, book fairs, colleges, schools, civic groups, senior citizen’s groups, PTA’s, chambers of commerce, businessmen luncheons, workshops, conferences, cruise ships – anywhere that welcomes speakers.

I interrupt these book marketing tips to share a quip:

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  • “That’s how you get a bestseller – one interview, one bestseller at a time,” – Og Mandino, author of The Greatest Salesman in the World.  Successful writers have to take it one step at a time!

6. Blog about your book sales – and share your marketing tips. An even better tip for marketing your books is to blog about your book as you write it – like Gretchen Rubin is doing with The Happiness Project. This tip is perfect for writers not yet published.

7. Specialize in your topic. The more specialized you are in your genre or field, the easier it’ll be to keep writing and selling books. Specialization allows you to market your books together and build a strong network.

book marketing tips

“10 Ways to Market Your Book”

8. Set a marketing budget before you get published. This is a “you have to spend money to make money” book marketing tip! “Have a clear plan of how you intend to spend your advertising dollars, reserving the major portion for your prime markets and media,” writes Kremer in 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. “Word of mouth is still the most cost-effective way to advertise your books, but set aside at least one-third of your marketing budget for promotion and publicity.”

9. Create relationships. Whether you’re marketing your first or fifty-first book (though if you’ve published 51 books, you probably don’t need to spend much time marketing!) – remember that successful writers create relationships with readers, freelance writers, reporters, magazine publishers, book sellers, book clubs, bloggers, teachers, etc. George over at Tumblemoose is a master of creating relationships and community (in fact, I’m going to ask him to write a guest post for me right now).

10. Get comfortable with media interviews. My first two radio interviews were horrible because I was nervous and not having fun — and I expect my first couple of television interviews to be almost as bad. But if I want to be a successful writer, I need to get comfortable doing live interviews. For media interview tips, read 7 Tips for Television Interviews for Writers and 10 Tips for Doing Radio Interviews for Writers.

If you’re looking for an agent, read 6 Query Letter Tips – How to Find a Literary Agent.

Do you have any thoughts or tips for marketing your book? I welcome you below…

Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books

Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back She Blossoms Laurie Pawlik
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back - to help you walk through loss into a new season of life. I share glimpses into my life with a schizophrenic mother, living in foster homes, teaching in Africa, and coping with infertility. Woven through the book are practical, encouraging Blossom Tips to help you grow and flourish!

How to Let Go of Someone You Love She Blossoms Laurie Pawlik

How to Let Go of Someone You Love - Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart After a Breakup. Do you feel like you'll never get over your broken heart? This ebook - available immediately - will help you heal. It's time to let go of what was, and embrace what will be.

When You Miss Him Like Crazy She Blossoms Laurie Pawlik

When You Miss Him Like Crazy - 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup! You miss him desperately right now, but you won't always feel this way. This warm, comforting ebook will give you the tools, encouragement and strength you need to move through the pain and start blossoming - today!

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13 thoughts on “10 Ways to Market Your Book

  • Michael Williams

    Hi Laurie, I’m a Christian Poetry Writer, Author, & Speaker. Please check out my website. My dream is to be seen world-wide. I write simple easy to read poetry. Even little kids can understand. REAL IMPORTANT!!! I write with messages to teach the reader things. LOVE WHAT I DO!!! I speak at churches, or anywhere I’m invited to. THANK YOU, GOD BLESS

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Demicha ~ Thanks for your comment, and best of luck with your client! I hope she succeeds with her book publishing company 🙂

    Sammie ~ Thanks for your book publishing tips. I really like the idea of thinking of your book as a “product” — and not your “baby.” After all, how do you sell your baby??

    Marketing my ebooks is one thing I’m very, very bad at. I’m just not motivated to advertise or promote them, other than to list them in the sidebar of my Quips and Tips sites. I’d rather be writing than promoting my ebooks…which is why writers hire PR people, I guess!

  • Sammie

    As a first time novelist in search of a publisher I created a marketing strategy and that is not the same as a list of marketing ideas. Whereas traditional modes of promotion should be exercised given the economy it is more important than ever to created marketing concepts outside of the box. I would like to offer others four of my rules that helped me to create a journal of promotional techniques. 1. If you really cannot think of ways to promote reconsider how you perceive your novel. I believe a writer can create more methods of advertising if they look at their novel as a product rather than ’their baby’. 2. It does not matter how small the amount but start a savings now–even if you are still writing your novel— to use as a budget for marketing. 3. For every marketing concept you create, from it create another one. Using this method from one idea, I’ve developed several ideas thus a journal of marketing strategy, rather than a list of ideas. 4. Marketing for a novel should begin shortly BEFORE its published. Be aggressive. If you start marketing after your book is in your hand, you are running late. :O)

  • demicha

    This is great! One of my client is starting her own publishing company for the Arts and finishing her first novel. I’m new to the world of book marketing, so this is very helpful. Best wishes!

  • Laurie PK

    Glad you liked this post, Hobosic. Hope to see you around Quips & Tips more!
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..8 Ideas for Blog Posts or Magazine Articles at Halloween =-.

  • Laurie PK

    Hi Broderick,

    Please don’t copy the whole article to your blog. Instead, I’d prefer if you took the first 2 or 3 tips for marketing your book, and then linking back here. If your readers want the rest of the post, they can come here. If not…they still get the gist of the article!

    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..A Freelance Writer’s Spreadsheet for Invoices and Payments =-.

  • Val Wake


    Thanks for that. I lost your address which accounts for the delay. I am not a natural blogger. It seems to take a special mind set. I have explored a number of blogger sites, WordPress and Blogger.com but they need so much care and attention, taking up time I don’t really have. I am also worried about Spam. I have had to change my emai address twice. I am in touch with a blogger in Yellowknife, John Mutford who has chosen my title as a prize in his Canadian Book Challenge. You are right about finding a Canada based publicist. I have already approached Raincoast books. They seem to have a problem with me being based here. I thought I had a publicist with Jim Carney, brother of Pat, but it was not his line of country. I did send Pat Carney a copy of the novel but did not hear back. Do you know what Steve Hume is doing? He thought he might lose his column at the Vancouver Sun.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Val Wake

  • Laurie PK

    Great to hear from you, Val — and from halfway ’round the world!

    I tried Authors Den once a couple of years ago, but not to market or sell my books. Rather, I was trying to increase my Suite101 exposure. As I recall, it didn’t really help….but I didn’t give it much of a try!

    Definitely, it’s difficult to get your books in Canadian bookstores when you’re in Australia. Have you considered hiring a publicist or book seller, here in Canada? I think Raincoast distributes books, but I don’t know what their policies are.

    Another possibility is creating your own blog or website, apart from Authors Den. There are so many writing blogs around! — so you’d have to make yours different somehow…for some writers, that’s tough to do. Other seem to have no problem carving out their own little niche.

    And thirdly, have you tried Twitter? It might help with book sales, and it’d definitely connect you with other likeminded folk (though it does take time to find your “twibe”).

    Let me know what you think of these book marketing possibilities!

    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog ..8 Tips for Breaking Bad Writing Habits =-.

  • Val Wake


    My wife who is a BC girl used to spend her holidays on Bowen Island. My novel White Bird Black Bird was published by Booksurge and is available on Amazon.com. It is about the start of the aboriginal rights movement in northern Canada and is based on my experience as a CBC News reporter working out of Yellowknife. Your marketing tips are interesting. On my walks along our coast I hand out a Booksurge card about my book to fellow walkers. Only one Canadian bookstore has agreed to accept my novel on consignment. Its the Yellowknife Book Cellar in Yellowknife. I have tried very hard to get the book placed in other bookstores but from this distance it is difficult. Steve Hume, the author of Simon Fraser, and I worked together in Yellowknife during the 70s. I saw Steve in 2007 and thought he might be able to help in placing my novel but it didn’t work out. Steve lost his Mum at a critical time and he was also working on the Simon Fraser book.
    If you have any thoughts I would be interested to hear from you. By the way Authors Den is a total waste of time for selling books but it does make a useful website reference.

    Val Wake
    2/6 Harbour Lane
    Port Macquarie
    NSW 2444

  • Tumblemoose


    Thanks for the kind words and the shout out. Looking forward to getting you that post a little later today!

    It’s kind of funny. Whenever you mention “marketing” to writers, most will get this dull glaze form over their eyes, the mouth opens slightly and drool starts forming at the corner of the mouth.

    With that said, these are very cool, unconventional and easy marketing tips. Who couldn’t do these? For that matter who wouldn’t want to?

    I employ some of these, but I’m going to work on using them all!
    .-= Tumblemoose´s last blog ..Is your writing blog a success? =-.