Book Marketing Ideas for Self-Published Authors

how to market your book on wall shelf

Table of Contents

Do you need your books to outsell other books on Amazon Kindle and fly off of bookshelves to eager readers?

These easy book marketing ideas will help you get your book in front of your ideal audience.

How do audiences know a book is worth the time, and how are best sellers even marketed? Don’t worry if you’re a self-published author. You can control your book’s marketing destiny.

Cluttered book shelves in a book store

[Pixabay]

Unless you’re a celebrity or best-selling author, YOU will have to take care of all your marketing and book promotion.

You need to market your book to sell copies even if you’re under traditional publishers, though you’ll have sole marketing responsibility as a self-publisher. 

Self-published authors, rejoice! Marketing your book doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. In fact, it can be a lot of fun. And with our helpful guide, you’re sure to see a boost in sales. So get ready to start marketing your masterpiece today!

Book types and niches are diverse, so your marketing strategy should be too. There’s never one marketing method that suits all genres, so you’ll have to be strategic in marketing your book.

As a rule of thumb, use multiple book marketing ideas that are best suitable for your networks and target audience. There are many varying ways to boost book sales, and we’re about to cover the best book marketing tips of all times.

We’ll discuss everything, from using an author website, book signings, and readings, to social media accounts and online marketing strategies. Do you know how to do a book launch press release? We’ll cover that too. 

Whether you’re just starting or have been publishing for years, read on for some valuable book marketing ideas. But let’s get started with some book sales basics for your marketing ideas.

What’s Book Marketing vs. Book Promotion?

The main difference between book marketing and book promotion is that book marketing is the entire strategy and relationship you’re building with your readers, including book promotion.

Book marketing entails activities like building a website, creating content and reaching out to bloggers and reviewers. Promotion entails book sales driven by paid ads, sending out a press release, giving free copy offers, or setting up book signings. So, book promotion is just part of book marketing.

Book promotions are activities that create buzz around your book and encourage people to buy them. They can be anything from having book reviews written as a blog post, creating a book trailer for a launch or press release to hosting a contest for giving away free books. 

Book marketing is essential to the success of your book, and book promotions make your marketing even more effective.

Book marketing starts before you even write your book; it includes defining your audience, understanding their problems, offering a solution, and delivering on the promise. 

Book marketing entails getting people excited about your book. It’s everything, including:

  • Sending out copies to bloggers and journalists for their honest review
  • Writing guest posts on popular blogs in your niche
  • Creating a social media profile for your book
  • Engaging with potential readers for an active social media presence
  • Giving free books to hospitals, refugee centers, airports, schools, and public libraries

Book marketing should ultimately generate interest in your book and get people talking. The more people you can get talking about your book, the more likely they’ll buy.

Marketing strategies don’t sell outright as book promotions do. They’re more long-term goal-oriented. Promotions are timed and often entail discounts and give-aways to increase sales in the short term.

Please remember that book marketing doesn’t stop once your book is published. In fact, it should start the day you conceive of the idea and begin ideating the plot.

Ideally, start building your author brand long before your book is published. Thus, you’ll have a built-in audience of target readers excited about your book the day you launch it.

Do You Need Both Book Marketing and Promotion?

Yes! You need well-planned book marketing, and it would be most effective if it featured a few book promotions. Think of it this way; book marketing is the slow and steady race to the finish line. But book promotion is the burst of energy that gets you there a little faster. You need both! 

Book marketing is essential to the success of your book, but book promotions can give your marketing a much-needed boost.

Book promotions are an effective way to create buzz around your book and encourage folks to buy it. Still, consider that book marketing is essential to the success of your book, and don’t neglect it.

When Is the Best Time to Launch a Book Marketing Plan?

The best time to launch your book marketing plan is BEFORE you even write the book. You should be clear on your goals for writing the book. For example:

  • To build your brand.
  • To generate leads for your business.
  • To provide low-cost options for an audience that can’t afford your services.
  • To establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Your book marketing efforts will be scattered and less effective if your goals aren’t clear. 

Find Your Target Audience

The first step in any book marketing plan is finding your target audience. Who are you writing the book for? It’s much easier to create a message that resonates with your target market after identifying them. You can also tailor your marketing efforts to reach this group specifically.

For example, if you’re targeting stay-at-home moms, you’ll want to create content that speaks to their needs and interests. You might also want to consider running ads on websites or Facebook pages that cater to this group.

Another example is if you’re targeting retirees. In this case, you might want to create content that focuses on hobbies or activities retirees enjoy. You could also target ads to appear on the websites they’re likely to visit.

Target audiences flock to similar websites, and their habits are predictable. By taking the time to identify your target audience, you can save yourself lots of time and effort in the long run.

Determining your audience should even precede writing the book. Understanding the type of readers you’re addressing helps you to research better. You can study the unique beliefs, attitudes, and biases the audience may have.

Though it’s essential to weave such nuances in your book marketing copy, let your target audience influence the book writing as well.

Focus on What Sets You Apart

No two writers have the same style, even if they were identical twins raised in the same house and educated in the same schools. There will always be some distinction that makes each author unique.

 It’ll be easier to market your book effectively when you focus on what sets you apart from other writers. After all, why would potential readers choose your book over someone else’s if they didn’t know what makes your writing special?

You can request constructive book reviews to get an idea of how your work is being received. Are there particular themes or topics that reviewers seem to enjoy? These could be potential selling points for your book.

You can also use this feedback to improve future writing projects. Think about the elements that make your book different and focus on those when marketing your book.

Are you a subject matter expert?

Subject matter experts are often in high demand as keynote speakers and panelists. You can exploit such exposure to your advantage when marketing your book. Be sure to list your credentials and highlight your expertise in your bio and on your own website.

You can also use this information when approaching media outlets and event planners.

Book marketing ideas to build your credibility:

  • Head to your LinkedIn profile and pull some relevant recommendations.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to experts and celebrities in your industry and ask them for recommendations.
  • If you’ve been published anywhere, appeared on TV or been quoted in a paper, pull those out and feature those logos.

Do you have an interesting backstory?

A captivating and memorable backstory can make you a more relatable and likable person boosting your book sales. It can also help you stand out from the rest of the pack. When pitching yourself to media outlets, be sure to include your backstory.

You never know how it might pique their interest and get you an interview or feature.

Practical book marketing ideas to feature your backstory:

  • There’s a saying that your “mess is your message” don’t hide your obstacles and challenges, share them with your audience.
  • Create short videos that feature summary tips and messages from your book.

Do you have a large social media following?

Socially active writers often have a large and engaged social media following. Such an audience is a valuable asset when marketing your book.

Book marketing ideas to use on social media:

  • Use your social media platforms to share excerpts from your book, announce events, and run giveaways.
  • You can also use social media sites to connect with other writers and build relationships. These connections can come in handy when you need help promoting your book.

Is your book part of a series?

Book series are all the rage these days, especially in the young adult genre. If your book is part of a series, mention it in your marketing materials. It’ll let potential readers know they can expect more from you in the future.

Consider Your Market

The nature of the market in which you’ll be selling your book will have a significant impact on your marketing efforts.

Build a Reader Persona

A persona is a composite sketch of your ideal reader. This persona should be based on market research and your understanding of the people most likely to buy your book.

When creating a person, consider:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Income level

The more specific you can be, the better.

Find Out Where This Person “Lives”

A person should have a name, job title, and family situation. The Proto should also live in a specific place like a city, state, country, or even a neighborhood.

The more specific you can be, the easier it’ll be to find and target your ideal reader.

Book Cover

Your book cover is one of the first things potential readers will see; it’s paramount to make a good impression!

Your book cover should be eye-catching and reflective of the content inside. It should also be easy to read and understand at a glance. Consider hiring a professional if you’re unsure how to design a suitable book cover.

[Pixabay]

[Pexels]

Book marketing ideas for cover design:

  • Head over to Fivrr and find a designer to help you create a great cover design.
  • You can also use 99designs

Pre-Book Launch

As the launch date of your new book approaches, you’re feeling both excited and nervous. Are you excited because you’ve worked hard on this project and can’t wait to share it with the world? Are you nervous because you don’t know how it will be received?

The best way to attract readers way before your book launch is to loop them in early enough through book trailers and a glimpse of the work on social media. It creates suspense.

I always find it beneficial to share my writing process with my followers. It makes them feel more involved and invested in the final product. Every person who contributes to the writing journey deserves a free signed copy, and it’s also a shrewd marketing plan. 

By taking some time to promote your book before it launches, you’ll be setting yourself up for success come launch day.

Pre-book launches are a rewarding way to build anticipation and create some buzz around your book.

Here are a few book marketing ideas you can do to get started:

  • Reach out to your personal and professional networks, and let them know about your upcoming book.
  • Post about your upcoming book on social media platforms using relevant hashtags.
  • Submit articles or blog posts featuring excerpts from your book to popular online publications.
  • Produce your podcast interviews and webinars related to your book’s topic.

During Book Launch

A successful book launch is more promotional than marketing. Marketing is a long-term strategy designed to generate interest and sales over time. Launching a book is more about making a splash and creating excitement in the short term.

You’ll want to update your website and social media platforms with information about your book on launch day. You should also have some sort of free book giveaway or contest running to generate excitement.

And don’t forget to reach out to the media! Send out a press release, and follow up with:

  • Local news outlets
  • Radio stations
  • Podcasts
  • Popular live shows

The launch is your best chance to get some free publicity for your book.

Post Book Launch

Just because your book is out doesn’t mean your marketing work is done. Did you know that post-launch is when the majority of your sales happen?

Here are a few things you can do to keep the momentum going:

  • Submit your book for awards and contests.
  • Write guest posts and give interviews on popular blogs related to your book’s topic.
  • Give free books to hospitals, refugee centers, airports, schools, and public libraries.
  • Participate in online and offline book club discussions.
  • Arrange speaking engagements with a street team at local bookstores, libraries, and community centers.
  • Release more books in the series.

By staying active and promoting your book even after it’s launched, you’ll keep the sales coming for months (or even years.)

Use Your Author Website to Sell Books

Any serious author looking to make a career out of writing will want to have an author website. Why? Because your website is one of the most essential tools you have for marketing yourself and your books. And if you want to sell books, you need to be good at marketing.

Your own website should be the center of your online presence as an author. It’s a place where you can control the message about yourself and your work. An author website also connects with new readers, enabling you to build a fan base.

[Pixabay]

You can install and customize eCommerce plugins into your WordPress website and sell your books directly to more readers.

Your author website should attract readers and boost book sales by presenting your:

  • Other books
  • Book promotions
  • Published books
  • Own book
  • Next book trailer
  • Scheduled book launch
  • Free book offers
  • Book sales stats

How Do I Promote My Book on Social Media Accounts?

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools that can help you promote your book to a wide audience. But how do you go about promoting your book on social media? Here are some tips:

Create a LinkedIn Author Page

LinkedIn is an excellent platform to promote your book. You can create an author page on LinkedIn, allowing you to share information about your book with your connections.

You can also join relevant groups and participate in discussions to get your book noticed.

Use Twitter Hashtags

Twitter provides an unbeatable audience for promoting your book. You can use relevant hashtags to get your tweets seen by people interested in your book’s subject matter.

You can also follow relevant accounts and retweet their content to get your book in front of their followers.

Facebook Page

You can create a Facebook page for your book promotion and share information about your book with the Facebook community. You can also join relevant groups and participate in discussions to get your book noticed.

Post on Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are a wealth of leads and book marketing tips for authors. Seek out groups relevant to your book’s topic, and post about your book in those groups for more readers.

Avoid spamming the group, but rather provide valuable information and engaging discussion. Post native content that resonates with specific groups, and you’ll see your book’s reach expand.

Use Pinterest

Pinterest is another excellent platform for promoting your book. You can create pins that link to your book’s Amazon page and share those pins on relevant boards.

You can also join group boards, helping you get your book in front of larger audiences.

Utilize Goodreads

You can create a listing for your book on Goodreads and share information about your book with the Goodreads community. You can also connect with fellow authors and participate in discussions to get your book noticed.

Promote Your Book on YouTube

You can create a channel dedicated to your book and share videos about your book with the YouTube community. You can also collaborate with other YouTubers and participate in discussions to get your book noticed.

Establishing a Street Team

A street team is a group of dedicated fans who help promote your book. You can establish a street team by finding people who are passionate about your book and getting them to spread the word.

[Pexels]

You can also provide incentives for members of your street team, such as:

  • Exclusive content or merchandise
  • Book signings at book fairs
  • Honest editorial reviews for their work

Arm your content street team with book trailers and some free copies that they can use to attract readers in their networks or when attending a book fair.

Hire a Book Marketing Agency

You can also hire a book marketing agency to help you promote your book. A book marketing agency will have the experience and resources to help you reach a wide audience, getting your book noticed.

These agencies can also help you with:

  • Creating a book website
  • Developing a social media strategy
  • Organizing a book tour

You can also look into hiring a publicist to help you get media attention for your book. A publicist can help you get interviews, write press releases, and get your book reviewed in publications.

Hiring a professional book marketing team is an effective and hustle-free way to get your book noticed. However, it can be expensive. Do your research, and only hire a reputable agency that also gives honest editorial reviews.

Final Thoughts: 

So, you know what paid book marketers do. Self publishers in the indie author business need to know how to market their books too.

Start with your book’s website and social media platforms, and then branch out from there. Use creative marketing strategies, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. With a little effort, you can get your book noticed by the right people.

If you want to learn more about marketing your book, check out our course on Book Marketing for Authors.

Recent Posts