Five Keys to Effective Book Promotion

The number of people in this world who actually enjoy selling is limited; however, your book will not sell unless or until it is promoted.  As harsh as that sounds, the intention is to help you understand the importance of creating book marketing strategies that keep you involved in getting your message to the world – to the readers who need to read what you have taken the time to write. The following five keys are a start in the right (write) direction – if you can only manage a small portion of them you are still ahead of many other authors who fail to embrace the value of what is possible when self-publishing.

I  The Selling Frame of Mind

Mary Kay has been a premier in the direct selling industry for many years – a part of the success of the company was training representatives to always be selling whether in the checkout line at the grocery store or in the park watching a child’s baseball game.  That frame of mind applies to being a successful author as well!  Always have a book with you and shamelessly promote your work at every opportunity – it is a natural part of self-publishing.

Create positive excitement by sharing the book with friends and peers in exchange for providing a review you can use in your marketing.  Once your book is listed with Amazon, encourage them to post a review there; another quick and easy way for them to help promote you is by posting a review on their blog.

Once you consider self-publishing, marketing collateral becomes an important part of your budget; business cards and bookmarks should feature the front cover of your book, your website’s address, and one of those reviews/testimonials.  When your budget allows, postcards being sent to every new person you meet as an effective networking follow-up can also be very effective.

The list of marketing collateral is actually endless for the creative mind.  The important point, however, is to embrace the fact that you should always be in the frame of mind to sell.

II  The Great Quest for Book Reviews

The more quality reviews you can obtain from readers, the more books you will sell.  That is a simple fact; securing them is the more difficult task involved in implementing your book marketing strategies.  If you follow the previous suggestion to exchange complimentary copies of your book to friends and peers for a positive review on Amazon, you have taken the first giant step.

Send copies of your book to organizations who regularly offer book reviews; some will, of course charge a fee, but if your budget is limited – at least send copies at least to those who offer this complimentary service.  Take time to use the hyperlinks below to research the services before making the decision as to which will best serve your marketing needs.  You will find the number of copies to send, the fees required, and other important information that will make your book review submission a success.

  1. Book Review
  2. Midwest Book Review
  3. Kirk US Discoveries
  4. Forward Magazine
  5. Light Word Review

Other high quality media prospects will also want a copy of you book and a “sell sheet” that outlines your personal information and your website sales page.

  1. Local newspapers.
  2. Specialized magazines read by your “target” audience.
  3. Local libraries
  4. Universities and colleges which may be appropriate to a particular subject or course that is regularly taught.

III  Press Releases

Many new authors fail to tap into the power of effective press releases – not knowing how to write the release nor who should receive the release.  If you have any hesitancy in doing this yourself, consider padding your budget to turn the task over to a fee for service provider such as for a one-time blast, or who can, for a monthly fee, connect you with the reporters who are looking for the kind of expert you have become.

When it comes to designing your book marketing strategies, the broad exposure found through using press releases should not be discounted.  Even though you may have to spend more than you initially anticipated, more ground is gained by going to the top of the ladder in the beginning and have the sales of your books pay for other marketing as you continue to sell your book.

IV   Tap into the Power of Online Promotion

With the power of technology, and the number of people online today, your book marketing strategies will not be complete without generating awareness for your book – driving traffic and converting sales.  After you have all the eCommerce functions of your website in place, complete a few of the following:

  • Create a “listmania” of books similar to yours (including your own title, of course) and list it on Amazon.
  • Create a simple video promoting your new book and your area of expertise to post on YouTube.
  • Engage the services of companies who run Virtual Book Tours – saving time and travel and tapping into a much broader audience.
  • Research sites that also serve your target audience, but which are not in direct competition, and suggest an exchange of links.

V  Paid Advertising


When you have more time...

If your budget is seriously restricted – simply place this on your wish list!  There is an old adage that when you have more time than money – time is what you spend.  With that in mind, remain open and creative to the myriad of ways that you can draw attention to your book, but don’t discount the value of advertising when you can well afford it.  Spend your budget wisely to keep it under control and to maximize the results.  Book marketing strategies are never more important than when deciding where to best spend your advertising dollars.  Using the following sequence will help you achieve that goal:

  1. Online advertising, such as Google Ad Words, or banner advertising on your website.
  2. Print publications that reach your specific target market.
  3. Book Trade Catalogs such as Ingram or Baker & Taylor who offer paid advertising in trade catalogs which are delivered to bookstores and distributors.

Monitor your advertising results carefully and don’t tie yourself into any long-term contract. Any time you are paying for marketing and don’t see positive results fairly soon,  pull the ad and place your budgeted dollars in an area that is performing.

This is a lot of information!  Are you in overload?  If you could have just one question answered that would help you take that first step, what would that be?  Send that question to me via email and let’s get you moving forward in the right (write) direction!

Anna Weber… always the Author’s Advocate |  always the Literary Strategist

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