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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:

  • “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…

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14 thoughts on “10 Ways to Market Your Book”

  1. Hi Laurie, I’m the author of a novel, ‘Emilie’s Burden – A Woman Struggles for her Rights.’ The book is based on the true story of a woman who had to fight against the U.S. Government & the Office of the Attorney General. Her battle went all the way to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and ended up changing U.S. laws related to domestic abuse & duress. I’m hoping that the book will help women who’ve been affected by domestic violence and psychological manipulation by an abusive husband or partner. I’m a former volunteer counselor for a local women’s shelter on the Central Coast of California. I’m looking for ideas to promote the book, which is now available on
    Thanks. DJ

  2. 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

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    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!

  4. 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)

  5. 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!

  6. 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 =-.