Facebook: Yes, Facebook is still relevant and remains an essential tool for marketing books and authors. Having a page lends legitimacy to you and your book. It’s another way to promote your book and everything that goes with it: events, giveaways, future projects, and more. It’s important to remain as authentic as possible on Facebook and to engage with your followers.
The wonderful thing about becoming an author is there are virtually limitless ways to market your book. You can garner media attention, use social media, and employ other techniques to spread the word.
Regardless of your budget or experience level, the 110 book marketing tips, ideas, tricks, and “insider tactics” on this list will help any author – remember, the best campaigns are unique, creative, and well-planned.
- Push your limits and be a creative marketer
- Get outside your comfort zone
- Put aside shyness about promoting your book
Keep in mind these book marketing ideas are meant to be a starting point. Personalizing and adapting them for your book’s needs is up to you!
Market Your Book with Your Website
Yes, you DO need a website for book marketing. It doesn’t have to be expensive or overdone. A clean, professional, and easy-to-navigate site is all you need. “Bells and whistles” might have been popular years ago, but they distract most visitors.
Just like you do when pitching media, give site visitors what they need as straightforwardly as possible.
Author’s websites remain the easiest way for media, readers, and valuable connections to get the necessary information.
- Create a website for your fans if you don’t already have one. If you have a WordPress site, try the plug-in called MyBookTable to help sell more books and earn money through affiliates.
- Utilize SEO techniques to make your site as visible as possible. Conduct test searches on Google to identify keywords that produce results related to your book. Review Google’s guidelines for search engine optimization to avoid penalties for your site.
- Write a compelling and interesting author bio.
- Include a ‘Store’ page, essentially an advertisement for your book.
- Consider some e-commerce options to make your book available to purchase from your website.
- Come up with merchandise related to your book(s).
- Host contests where your fans can submit entries for merchandise designs.
- Have pages on your author website for book reviews, FAQs, and testimonials.
- Make a ‘Discussion’ page for questions, comments, visitor-posted ideas, and promotional strategies authors have employed.
- Write an advice column on your site for aspiring authors.
- Add buttons to your website that take visitors directly to your social media accounts.
- Keep your site clean and easy to navigate (like we try to do with SmithPublicity.com); anything complicated can be distracting. It applies whether you’ve written a non-fiction book or a novel; simpler is almost always better.
Publicize Your Book Online
It’s no secret that much of where we work, connect, shop, and even gather socially occurs online; therefore, it’s not surprising that you’ll want a solid online presence.
Maximizing your online footprint and growing your virtual platform will make you visible in a competitive space.
Consider all the resources and options available to make the most of your marketing efforts.
- Have an online book tour and plan a cost-effective online campaign.
- Write a press release and distribute via newswires. Newswire distribution effectiveness is driven by the topic of a book, so consider the potential value of distributing.
- Create a monthly newsletter and ask fans to sign up; offer free book contests, etc. to encourage sign-ups.
- Consider whether pay-per-click advertising might be appropriate for your book.
- Submit your website to any related group, company, or organization website that has a website directory.
- Start link building by creating valuable resources and building relationships with site owners that would find those resources worth sharing.
- Research your competitors to find out what they’re doing to be successful that you’re not.
Use Blogs to Boost Your Book PR
Simple book promotion rule: Blogging rules!
Posting regularly to a blog, which should be easy to find via your website, is an excellent way for any author to stay connected with fans and active online.
Blogs lend an educational component to your platform, as they are an ideal way to share your knowledge with others. They are also excellent ways to call attention to your book and market it gently and tactfully.
- Create a blog and update it regularly with new, interesting content. Comment on anything that will interest visitors, and cover diverse topics including developments in the book industry. Here’s our blog!
- Respond promptly to comments and questions on your blog, and welcome any ideas offered in the comments.
- Add keywords to your posts and follow SEO “best practices” by including keywords.
- Be a guest blogger. It can be particularly effective for novel promotion when you show up on special interest genre blogs.
- Allow guest posts on your blog to reciprocate your book promotion efforts.
- Create an RSS Feed if you don’t already have one, and burn it on Feedburner.com. It will allow you to obtain statistics about your readers.
- Submit your URL to blog directories related to being an author, your book’s genre, etc.
Promote Your Book on Social Media
- Create a Facebook page geared toward you as an author – not your personal life. Please take a look at our Facebook page here.
- Give fans the option to post their book reviews, testimonials, comments, and questions to your Facebook page.
- Create an X (formerly Twitter) account to tweet updates about new books, book tours, book trailers, media coverage of you and your book, etc. For example, here’s our Twitter page.
- Provide fans with a hashtag for promoting your new book.
- Use X (formerly Twitter) hashtags for events, news, promotions, etc.
- Use Tweetables: Keep your eyes peeled for offers on my new book. I will try some new tips to market my book from @SmithPublicity. – Click to tweet. 101 Marketing Tips that w ill help you sell more books! – Click to tweet. These marketing strategies from @SmithPublicity really helped me as a new author. – Click to tweet.
- Create a LinkedIn page to connect to other authors and professionals in the writing world and related industries. LinkedIn has increasingly become the most popular professional networking platform. Remember that LinkedIn is searchable, so incorporate keywords people might search for on your main page. And, post regularly, more is better, but once a week is fine. View our LinkedIn page here.
- Create a YouTube account. Here’s what our YouTube channel looks like.
- Describe your channel and videos. Also, create playlists of your videos so the algorithm can understand them better.
- Link your YouTube videos on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Compile a series of short videos of you discussing topics related to your book. Make them informational, not promotional, and employ them in all marketing services and activities.
Sell Your Book on Amazon
Love it or hate it, every author needs Amazon! Some authors dislike how Amazon can discount prices, but remember; people want to buy books from trustworthy sources.
You may make less from each book sale on Amazon than directly selling them from your website, but you’ll make more money in the long run because more people will buy from Amazon, and few will likely buy from your website.
- Go to Amazon and register as an author. Be sure to create a compelling and robust author central page.
- Sell your books on Amazon; follow Amazon’s wealth of information and advice and incorporate ideas into your plan.
- Try to get fans to post their book reviews and testimonials on Amazon.
- Join Amazon’s affiliate program.
Work Your Network
In networking, whether the old-fashioned meet and greets or the cyber type, the principle remains the same: Make authentic connections with people, the type of people you want to know about you.
Book marketing with your network can lead to various opportunities beyond just spreading the word about your book.
- Attend book publishing events and writers’ conferences and distribute information about your book, business cards, etc.
- Offer to speak to your local chamber of commerce about a topic related to your book.
- Check for meet-up groups that relate to your book topic.
- Go to local and regional general networking groups – most areas have professional networking events for a wide variety of businesses, interests, hobbies, etc.
- Check for local activity clubs. You might be surprised how many there are, and these are great places to offer to speak to the group on a topic related to your group.
Use Traditional Book Marketing Tactics
The Internet is everywhere and affects everything, but believe it or not, there is life outside the Web.
In-person connections and conversations are still highly valued in book publicity, and there are many ways you can make the most of face-to-face time and other marketing collateral in the “real world.”
Just as there’s nothing else like turning the pages of a physical book, offline marketing opportunities can significantly contribute to your book’s success.
- Organize a team for your book launch.
- Contact a local bookstore or other venues about hosting a book release party.
- Go on a book tour.
- Design merchandise for your books and consider a targeted advertisement.
- Make business cards with your photo and addresses to your author’s website and social media profile pages.
- Speak at book clubs about writing in your genre – book genre marketing can be a surprisingly effective addition to your promotional campaign.
- Have book readings for your new book. Some possible venues, depending on your book:
- Retirement homes
- Elementary, junior high, or high schools depending on your target age group
- Coffee shops
- Community colleges
- Nearby universities
- Locally owned bookstores
- Rehab centers
- Google+ Hangout
- The setting (town, city) of your book.
- Community events (i.e. fairs, picnics, festivals)
- Have book signings for your new book.
- Contact your local paper and ask them if they’d be interested in interviewing you.
- Contact the local paper of the town your book is set in about interviewing you.
- Contact your local radio station and ask them if they’d be interested in having you on their show. (These radio interview tips can help if you get on the air.)
- Contact the local radio station of the town your book is set in about having you on their show.
- Create an affiliate program.
- Join an affiliate program.
- Partner with organizations, clubs, and other groups that support a cause like the one that your book addresses.
Do Things for Your Fans
People who love your book (AKA your fans) can be your evangelists, spreading the word about your book far and wide.
You want to build authentic relationships and cater to your fan base because they are your most important asset.
- Offer your devoted fans sneak previews of your new book.
- Offer fans advance copies of your new book.
- Have a page on your website for short stories, and add a new one every week or month, depending on your schedule.
- Promote each weekly short story on Facebook and Twitter.
- Host a contest for topic suggestions for your weekly short story.
- Host a contest for the best short story where the winner will have their story featured on your website.
- Link to the winner’s story on your social media pages.
- Have free book giveaway contests for your fans and website visitors.
- Celebrate your fans by featuring a Fan of the Month on your website and social media profiles.
- Host a contest for the best illustration of a scene from one of your books where the winner will have their illustration featured on your website.
- Link to the winner’s illustration on your social media pages.
- Host a contest for the best book trailer where the winner will have their trailer featured on your website.
- Link to the winner’s book trailer on your social media pages.
- Host a contest where your fans can submit a movie of them acting their favorite scene in one of your books and feature the winner on your website.
- Link to the winner’s movie on your social media pages.
- Host a costume contest around Halloween for the best costume of one of your major characters, where the winner will be featured on your website.
- Link to the winner’s picture of them in the costume on your social profiles.
- Create fan pages for the main characters in your book.
- Ask fans to post pictures of them reading your book.
- Get to know your fans better by polling them on their likes, dislikes, and opinions on your ideas for books or promotions.
- Write a book specifically for your fans.
- Write a book that your fans can customize by picking what happens next.
Try Creative Promotional Techniques
Marketing a book is more a marathon than a sprint; it takes time, persistent effort, and dedication.
Even if you hire a professional book publicist, you still need to be involved and help promotion with your own activities.
Sustained, well-planned, and diverse book promotion virtually always leads to positive things.
- Make a book trailer, or hire a professional to make one.
- Offer to write articles for a magazine related to your genre.
- Host a seminar for aspiring writers.
- Host a webinar.
- Advertise on a low-cost billboard.
- Become a featured content writer for some websites related to your genre, being an author, writing your first book, etc.
- Donate your books to places where your target audience is located:
- Elementary, junior high, or high schools
- Daycare centers
- Libraries in the town where your book is set in
- Community centers
- Senior centers
- Retirement communities
- Homeless shelters
- Local colleges
- Colleges in the town where your book is set in
- Children’s hospitals
- Utilize publicity services like Help A Reporter Out (HARO)