71 Insanely Useful Book Marketing Ideas For Self-Publishers
Your book is finally written, and it’s freakin’ amazing (if you say so yourself).
You’ve sent it off to the editor for a spit and shine.
You’ve created a kick ass cover that looks, well, bestseller-worthy.
You’ve uploaded that sucker to Amazon, and you’re just waiting for the dollars to start rolling in and the readers to start punching in 5 stars and rave reviews.
But instead of that lovely sound of “cha ching,” all you hear is radio silence. Crickets. The vast void of nothingness.
“What the . . .?!! Why is no one buying? Did I upload this thing right?”
Could it be that maybe you forgot something — something kinda important? Something that’s a tad bit awkward and, um, uncomfortable?
Could you have neglected to market your book? Did you let anyone know you’ve published?
I know. You’re a writer, and writer’s write. They don’t hustle their wares like a used car salesman. They don’t beg people to read their works of art or try to entice them with (yuck) markety marketing. How vulgar.
Ok, so you sent an email to your grandma and your book club. You told the lady at the check-out counter and maybe even mentioned it to your Facebook friends. You did your part.
But did you really, I mean REALLY market the hell out of your book?
Please tell me you don’t expect Amazon to handle that for you. Please tell me you don’t think readers will just find you auto-magically. Please, please tell me you didn’t spit over your shoulder, click your heals together, and wish upon a star that your book will sell itself.
I’m sorry to break this news, but we self-published authors have to get our hands and feet dirty in the messy business of promoting our own books. No, it’s not glamourous. It’s not part of our craft. It might even be an anathema to your artistic soul.
However . . . it must be done. But only if you want people to buy your books. Otherwise, don’t worry about it. 🙂
For most writers, marketing isn’t a “natural” skill. (I don’t know if it’s natural for anyone.) In fact, most serious writers are loathe to draw attention to themselves or try to cajole someone into reading their books.
Fortunately, book marketing doesn’t have to be spammy or wheedling. It you view marketing as a service to your readers, maybe it won’t be so hard to learn the necessary skills.
If your book is good (and of course it is), and if your book offers something valuable to your reader (and of course it does), then you are simply informing your potential readers about something they will find worthy. It’s all in the presentation, and that’s what we’re gonna talk about today.
Here’s the facts ma’am: you’re a self-published author, and ain’t nobody gonna market your book for you. It’s up to you and you alone (unless you hire a big, fancy marketing firm — but if you can afford that, then you don’t need to be reading this post).
So let’s review how you can market the sheer hell out of your amazing book and get those dollars rolling in — without selling your soul.
Here are 71 book marketing ideas to light a fire under you:
The Low-Hanging Fruit
1. Write killer Amazon sales page copy that sells your book by focusing on the benefits to the reader.
2. Buff up your Amazon author page to make it more about the reader.
3. Focus on your print book back jacket copy by buffing up on your copywriting skills.
4. Add your new book to your author profile on Amazon.
5. Offer your book at a discount (or free) through KDP Select.
6. Get some initial book reviews during launch week.
7. Promote your free book offer on free book sites.
8. Contact your personal network.
9. Promote on your social media accounts.
10. Ask friends to share your book on social media.
Your Blog and Email List
11. Write a blog post about your book, and be sure to add keywords to the post related to your book topic.
12. Send out an email to your subscriber list announcing the book launch and special offer.
13. Create a landing page on your blog where you promote your book in detail.
14. Create banner ads promoting your book for your blog.
15. Create a special promotion or book giveaway for your email list and/or blog followers.
16. Ask your blog followers to review your book.
17. Write guest posts for other blogs related to your book.
18. Offer other bloggers advanced copies of your book.
19. Send an email excerpt of your book to your list.
20. Respond to email questions and blog comments about your book.
21. Send out a “last chance” email to your list.
Social Media Marketing
22. Ask other bloggers to send out tweets.
23. Create a Facebook Live event or video about your book.
24. Create a contest on Facebook.
25. Create a series of image posts with book quotes for Facebook.
26. Reach out to Facebook groups related to your topic.
27. Create your own Facebook group.
28. Create a Facebook fan page for your books.
29. Create a book trailer to post on YouTube, Facebook, and other social media.
30. Ask readers to send you images of them holding your book and post them on Pinterest and Facebook.
31. Make a series of teaching videos around your book topic to post on YouTube.
32. Run Facebook ads to promote your book.
33. Share ideas and advice on LinkedIn groups related to your book topic.
34. Create a Slideshare presentation about the topic of your book and link to the book at the end.
35. Create image quotes from your book to post on Pinterest and link to your book.
36. Write “tweetable” quotes from your book sized for Twitter and tweet them during launch week.
37. Do a giveaway promotion of the print version of your book on Goodreads to build more awareness around it.
More Marketing Ideas
38. Write a press release announcing your book and post it on PRWeb.
39. Create a virtual book tour around your book with several blogs related to your topic.
40. Reach out to podcasters to suggest they interview you about your book topic.
41. Post excerpts from your book on Scribd.com, the digital subscription service.
42. Put a link to your book in your email signature.
43. Host a free webinar related to your book topic and offer your book at the end.
44. Reach out to your local newspaper and pitch a story related to you and your book.
45. Do the same for local radio and TV programs.
46. Start your own podcast related to your book topic or self-publishing.
47. Offer your services as a free speaker and sell your book during your talks.
48. Create an online reading group that you host.
49. Build relationships with other authors with whom you can promote your books.
50. Gather testimonials to put on your book sales page and your blog.
51. Create a free lead magnet (an ebook, guide, quiz, mini course, etc.) related to your book promote on your blog and build your subscribers.
52. Set up book readings at local events and bookstores.
53. Write an “elevator pitch” about your book that sums it up in a few words or sentences.
54. Make sure you have a professional author photo taken.
55. Consider writing a book series to keep readers hooked.
56. Attend book conferences and events to network with authors and readers.
57. Write a “round-up” post with quotes from 20-30 authors who have blogs and ask them to promote the post.
58. Hire someone from Fivver to promote your book on free book sites.
59. Add a “Hello Bar” at the top of your blog to promote your book.
60. Create a pop-up ad on your blog to promote your book.
61. Contact BookBub and BuckBooks to see if they will promote your book in their newsletters.
62. Highlight social proof on your blog, book sales page, and author page by showing the logos or a list of places you’ve appeared or been interviewed.
63. Ask friends to host an in-home book party for you.
64. Print flyers about your book, and leave them or post them in your community or wherever you go.
65. Could your book be sold in bulk to a related business or organization? If so, start making calls to suggest a purchase.
66. Make changes to your book title, cover, or marketing copy quickly if you see they aren’t working.
67. Continue to send content-rich, useful emails to your readers, and mention the book within the content.
68. Offer merchandise on your blog (like t-shirts or mugs) that promote your book.
69. Utilize publicity services like Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
70. As you publish additional books, create your own bookstore page on your blog.
71. Analyze the marketing techniques that afford the most results. Put 80% of your efforts behind the top 20% of those ideas.
Hey Authority Pub readers! We’d love to hear what book marketing ideas have worked for you. If you’ve used any of these successfully, or if you have some techniques we haven’t listed here, please share them in the comments below.