Self-Promotion Advice for Authors

Author Promotion Can be Successful and Tactful

Self-published authors explore different ways to promote their books.

Self-promotion, for most authors, is a daunting proposition. It can be a cringe-worthy endeavor with fears of embarrassment, ego-deflation, and awkward moments. Author promotion in the form of telling people how great your book is doesn’t come naturally for many people. The traditional wisdom is to let others say how good you are, or when it comes to book marketing, that your book is excellent. For many authors, the need to market their books while avoiding self-promotion is the chief reason to hire a book marketing firm.

But even as book publicists, the best approach isn’t telling media how good a book is, but instead showing or presenting information that exemplifies how good it is. You’ll never, or at least rarely, see a professional book marketer say or write, “this book is great!.” Instead, we highlight compelling and newsworthy elements of a book and draw an editor, book reviewer, or producer in and persuade them to take an interest.

Even if you have a publicist, book marketing is a team effort, so some elements of self-promotion will be necessary. Yes, you may be hiring a professional. Still, publicists need you to be a partner, someone willing to confidently engage media and skillfully talk about your book via broadcast and podcast interviews or conversations with print and online media.

4 Quick Tips for Author Self-Promotion, With or Without a Publicist

  • Maximize the power of social media. Online social platforms enable you to engage with potential fans and readers to gently market your book more easily than speaking personally to someone. Be active, connect, and give followers a reason to be interested in you. Also, social media is not a place for heavy-handed self-promotion – it’s about promoting your book and yourself by providing information and giving something to people. You don’t tweet “My book is great! Buy it now!” Instead, make meaningful connections by offering something – whether it’s excellent information from a non-fiction book or fun contests related to your novel.
  • Remember that you market yourself every day. We get hung up on the term self-promotion, but in reality, whether at work or in daily life, we all do things to try and make people like us, and like to be around us. We’re all natural self-promoters. When talking about your book, it’s no different.
  • Write, write, and write. One of the easiest ways to bring attention to yourself is by writing – we’re not talking about your book but on blogs and other online platforms. Even if you’re writing about something not directly related to your book, if you provide good, useful, or entertaining content and put your book in your bio, you’ll have people interested in you.
  • Stay away from topics like politics and religion! It’s the Thanksgiving table rule – expressing opinions about politics and religion will inevitably offend someone, and there are right and wrong places to discuss these topics. Example: You may be someone who doesn’t like the President, or you’re a hardcore conservative; it doesn’t matter – keep your opinions offline. Unless you’ve written a political or religious book or having strong opinions on specific topics is part of your brand, keep personal beliefs to yourself on social media and any other public forum. Remember that you will offend someone and that perhaps even large segments of your potential book-buying market may feel strongly enough to not buy your book because of what you’ve expressed.

by Dan Smith, CEO & Founder of Smith Publicity Inc. in Cherry Hill, NJ

[Image via Self Promotion is Not a Crime at]