How Ready Are You to Market Your Book?

Every author wants the book they put so much time and effort into to succeed, and a vital part of that success is getting the book out there: securing media coverage, growing your audience, and gaining new readers.

Enter Smith Publicity, the leading book marketing agency whose mission is to make good things happen for authors. After 25 years of marketing books, the expert team at Smith Publicity thoroughly understands the book promotion process and what it takes to be successful. We work with publishers and authors like you each and every day to make books newsworthy, secure meaningful media coverage and maximize that coverage for lasting impact.

The most successful book marketing campaigns happen when the author is as prepared as possible to market their book. So … how ready are you?

About the Quiz: The Book Marketing Readiness Quiz helps you define areas of strength and improvement, clarify your goals, and ultimately determine how ready you are for book marketing and what you can do to ensure you’re set up for success. While some aspects of the quiz are more geared to non-fiction, there are many questions that apply for books from all genres.

Scoring: The quiz is divided into five categories. For each question you answer “yes,” give yourself one point. At the end, the category (or categories) with the most points is where your readiness is strongest, and the category (or categories) with the least points are the areas to focus on improving before you either move ahead with marketing your book, or during an active book marketing campaign.

The Quiz

Your Author Website

  •  Do you have a website solely devoted to your author brand/book?
  • Is your website branding consistent with your overall author brand (i.e. do you use consistent colors, fonts, etc.)?
  • Is your new book listed prominently on your website with links to pre-order or purchase on every page?
  • Do you have a professional-looking headshot?
  • Do you have an area on your website designated for sharing media coverage?
  • Do you have a newsletter, blog, or any other sign up option to start building/growing your email list?

 Social Media Presence

  •  Are you consistently active (at least three new posts, etc. a week) on at least one social media platform?
  • Are your social media platforms branded consistently with your website and other pages?
  • Do you regularly engage with your followers (asking questions, promptly responding to comments, etc.)?
  • Do you stay abreast of current social media trends?
  • Does your author website and/or websites link to your preferred social media accounts and vice versa (social media platforms link back to your websites)?
  • Have you researched which social media platform is best for your book?

Media Positioning

  • -Do you keep up with current events and news?
  • Are you prepared to comment on current events or news that may be related to your book, expertise, background, etc.?
  • Have you identified your unique selling propositions (i.e. what sets you apart from the competition)?
  • Have you done a competitive analysis of books similar to yours to identify how they are being marketed and what type of media coverage they have secured?
  • Are you aware of related holidays, awareness days, seasons, etc. that could be beneficial as a hook for pitching the media?
  • Do you have experience talking about your book and its message(s) in public and/or had media training?

 Your Network

  • Do you have an existing network of professionals, fellow authors, and/or fans or supporters?
  • Do you have a plan to cultivate and expand your network?
  • Do you have a newsletter focusing on you as an author, your book(s), events, media coverage etc. that you regularly distribute?
  • Have you developed an email list of fans and others interested in your book?
  • Do you connect with and communicate to your network at least one time a month?
  • Are you a member of any industry/professional development/ author organizations?


  • Do you have the time and energy to invest in book marketing (i.e. you can be flexible when it comes to scheduling potential interviews, you can make time for a weekly check-in with your publicity team, etc.)?
  • Do you have a short list of ideal media outlets you’d like to target, based on your specific book and background?
  • Are you willing to write byline articles, op-eds and opinion pieces if the opportunity arises?
  • Are you willing and able to travel for worthwhile media opportunities, if necessary?
  • Are you committed to open communication and brainstorming with your publicity team and to consider all ideas presented to you?
  • Are you prepared to regularly amplify media coverage received by sharing widely (reposting, retweeting, sending the link to your newsletter subscribers, etc.)?


Congratulations! You have completed The Book Marketing Readiness Quiz. Give yourself one point for each question you answered “yes” to. Tally up the points in each category: the category with the most points is your strength, and the category with the least points is the area in which you could most improve.

Your overall readiness score is determined by how many points you received:

Between 25-30 points: Ready for Book Marketing

It’s time to call Smith Publicity and get started! Your author platform is well-developed and strong, and you are willing and ready to be a collaborative partner in the book marketing process.

Between 19-24 points: Near-Ready

Your author platform is strong with few areas for improvement and you are actively working on the areas that still need strengthening. Now is a good time to contact Smith Publicity to discuss a timeline for marketing your book.

Between 13-18 points: Laying the Foundation

You have a solid start on developing your author platform and a good sense of the direction for further improvement. You will be ready to discuss your book marketing plan soon.

Between 7-12 points: Actively Building

You have identified your areas for improvement and are actively building your author platform in order to have the strongest foundation to begin marketing your book.

Under 7 points: Getting Started

You’re just getting started with building your author platform and preparing yourself for the book marketing process. Your next step is to create a plan for expanding your author platform according to the results of this quiz.


For more information about what book marketing services Smith Publicity offers and whether we may be a good fit to partner, please contact vasb@fzvguchoyvpvgl.pbz.