Congratulations, you’ve written your first book and published it. Now all you need is some book promotion ideas. Self-promoting can be a scary thing.
After all, it takes tons of courage to put yourself out into the world. Yet with the right tools, marketing a book can be easy and less terrifying.
If you’re wondering how to promote your book and need a place to start, this article will teach you how to market your book through social media, networking, collaborations, and other various avenues.
How does one market a book?
How to market a book comes down to how you persuade potential readers to buy and read your book. When you have a strong marketing plan it’s easier to increase your book sales and earn a profit as an author.
According to Tagari.com, the average author can sell between 250 to 300 books in the first year for non-fiction books. However, you can sell more than the average if you have a good plan in place.
A common marketing strategy that some authors use is presales. It is one of the more common book promotion ideas because it can create interested readers before a book is published.
But it’s not a necessary process if you understand how to utilize other marketing avenues.
Book promotion ideas: Which avenues to use to market a book
When it comes to marketing a book there are an array of possibilities both online and in person. Here are 8 different book promotion ideas to try.
1. Tap into your personal network
Indeed.com defines a personal network as a group of people who support you in different endeavors. Within this network, you have relationships that are mutually beneficial.
For instance, your personal network can consist of co-workers, former bosses, mentors, and people you’ve met at conferences. A personal network can also be close friends and family.
In order to successfully tap into your personal network you want to make sure you are well connected. You can do this by ensuring you stay in contact with people by adding them to your social media or email list.
Building solid relationships with people in your network will make promoting a book easier. Along with helping you build your confidence to take on other marketing strategies.
2. Write a blog
An SEO-optimized blog is a good way to attract a new audience. It also can be used in many different ways when it comes to marketing a book.
Create a blog on topics related to your book
Whatever the theme is for your book you can generate blog topics around that theme. For instance, if you wrote a financial book on how to pay off debt and create wealth, you can write blog posts on avoiding debt and budgeting.
Create a “ behind the scenes” blog for your book
Behind-the-scenes blog content can consist of how you got into the creative process to write your book. Say your book was inspired by a vacation you took to Italy. You can use a blog to share more details about that experience abroad.
Add additional resources to your blog
Additional resources are like added bonuses to your book. They can be anything from extra worksheets to additional insights on the characters, and more.
3. Make a landing page
Out of the many book promotion ideas, a landing page is a high conversion strategy. This is because a landing page is a dedicated page for your book that focuses solely on marketing and selling your book.
Here’s what you have to know about setting up a landing page.
Anchor your page to your book cover
When setting up your page you’ll want to make sure that your book cover is displayed front and center. You can also use the colors of the book cover when designing the layout.
Use social proof
On your landing page, it’s important to have testimonials and reviews of your book. Your landing page is also a great place to include endorsements which you’ll read about later on in this article.
Include a great description
Create a book description that draws readers in and makes them want to know more. According to unbounce.com a good description will solve your customer’s needs and share what distinguishes you from your competition.
Include a strong call to action
Make sure you have an obvious call to action that leads viewers to purchase your book. This could be a buy now button that has a direct link to the various places your book is available for purchase.
Along with the previously mentioned features, you can also add different elements to your landing page to further entice your audience.
Elements are things like a chapter preview, a YouTube video about your book, or a Q&A section.
4. Market your book through social media
Social media is one of those book marketing ideas that almost every author has tried. You probably have made a few posts about your book but perhaps you aren’t seeing significant results.
Here is how to better leverage this virtual space.
Although Facebook might seem like the grandpa of social media, Statista.com shows that it is still used by millennials ages 25 to 34.
In addition, personality-driven content seems to do well in this space. To see results, try consistently posting at least once a week. If people are engaging with your posts, you can work up to creating an author page and then using Facebook ads to promote your book.
YouTube is a great place to market your book if you are comfortable with video creation.
One strategy that many authors use when marketing a book, is hosting live readings. During these sessions, authors can read a specific part of their book, such as the climax, and leave audiences on a cliffhanger.
This is how Netflix has gotten you to binge-watch entire seasons.
You can also use these live readings to engage with viewers and directly invite them to purchase your book.
If you are a little camera shy you can still use YouTube by creating a video trailer or video summary of your book. You can use images, scenery videos, and animation to describe your video.
LinkedIn is a great business and networking resource for authors. Because of its more organic algorithms, it’s easier for posts about your book to get noticed.
In addition, you can use the article sections to write content related to your book.
You can even join different author groups on LinkedIn to network with other professionals in the field.
Instagram is a visual medium. You may be thinking about how to promote your book on such an aesthetically-focused platform. The key is to create eye-catching photos or visuals about your book.
You can do this by simply taking pictures of your book against aesthetically pleasing backgrounds.
You can also use Instagram to host a book giveaway. To do this you can create a giveaway post, and encourage people to tag, comment, or license the post. Those that engage with your content will be entered into a drawing for an opportunity to win a prize such as a free signed copy.
If you’re looking for something more simple, you can instead post different quotes from your book to engage potential readers.
Although Pinterest can fit under the umbrella of social media, it works more like a search engine. This highly visual platform is a great way to bring organic traffic to your book, website, and landing page.
If you’re wondering how to promote your book via Pinterest, Evergreen Authors suggests creating a professional profile. With your profile, you can create beautiful eye-catching pins based on themes related to your book.
To help you see success on the platform it’s important to study your analytics and see which posts are getting the most clicks.
5. Build a promotional or book launch team
Promoting your book will take time and effort. If you don’t want to be a one-person marketing team, then consider getting some outside help.
A promotional team can consist of friends, family, professionals, and people in your personal network that are willing to help you implement some of your book marketing ideas.
Here’s how to put one together.
Utilize your network to build your team
Reaching out to your personal network for support can be utilizing your retired parents who are in need of a new hobby. It can also be reaching out to your Gen Z cousin who could use some work experience to put on their resume.
When reaching out to people you know, think about who has the time, and the skill level to help you market your book.
To create an equal exchange you can offer a service in return for help with promoting your book.
Find a personal assistant
A personal assistant can be great if you know how you want to execute your book promotion ideas but don’t have the time to do it. You can hire a personal assistant, assign them marketing tasks and focus on other areas of your life.
Hire outside support
If you feel really overwhelmed, hiring outside support such as a marketing specialist, or a PR agent can help ease the burden of marketing a book.
6. Be a guest on a podcast
Being a guest on a podcast is one of the book promotion ideas that is simple to implement. Plus, it can help expose your book to a brand-new audience. To become a guest on a popular podcast, try out these techniques.
Create a list of podcasts relevant to your book theme
It’s a smart idea to have a list of 10 different podcasts ranging from very well-known to lesser-known. Then pitch all of them to increase your chances.
Pitch the podcast
Pitching a podcast includes introducing yourself to the podcast host or the media team and telling them why you would be a great guest for their podcast. You can make this introduction by sharing how your knowledge and experience will benefit their listeners.
You’ll also want to send along your media kit with a photo of you, your bio, a description of your book, and links to your website.
Be a phenomenal guest
Once you land your spot you want to make sure everything goes well. In order to do this make sure you have the right equipment for recording, a strong internet connection, and you record in a quiet place.
In addition, make sure to be yourself and have fun in the process. Remember many of the listeners may not know you, so being authentic can help create a genuine connection.
Say thank you and keep on pitching
Showing gratitude towards the host after recording the podcast can create strong relationships for the future. It can also lead to positive referrals.
Along with that, it’s important to keep pitching other podcasts to get your book out to as many people as possible.
7. Get key endorsements
Book endorsements are one of the book marketing ideas that can easily be overlooked.
Endorsements are not to be confused with reviews. Instead, they are written statements of support or approval by influential people.
When Oprah discussed that The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates had a huge impact on her, that was an endorsement. Because Oprah, an influential person, says a book is great, so you’re interested in buying that book because Oprah endorsed it.
For your book, you can find influential people in your circle to endorse your book with these steps.
Seek endorsement from relevant people
This means, if you wrote a romance novel, don’t try to get endorsements from a mystery novel author. Chances are your audience won’t value the opinion of someone that doesn’t write about finding love.
Build a rapport
Asking for an endorsement is like asking for a favor from someone you don’t know that well. It’s similar to asking your boss for another two days off when you just got back from vacation.
In order to receive an endorsement, the other person has to take time to read the book and then give you their honest opinion. This is time that you’re not paying for because that would be unethical.
So to increase your chances of getting an endorsement start building a relationship with your intended endorser. Show interest in the work they are doing. Try to meet with them in person.
Once you’ve built a rapport it’ll be that much easier to get the endorsement.
8. Partner with organizations
Working with other organizations is helpful when marketing your book because it helps you to connect with other readers. By partnering with libraries and other book-related venues you can connect with people who love reading.
A great way to partner with a library when promoting a book is to do book readings. This can be great for authors of children’s books. You can offer to read your book during storytime to engage potential customers.
Bookstore readings and poetry nights
Similar to a library reading, for those with more adult books, you can do a live reading at your local bookstore. During this event, you can set up a display with your book so that people will be ready to buy after your reading.
Another opportunity to share your book with the world is to read a few pages of your book during a poetry or open mic night.
Book clubs can be very useful for promoting a book because they can guarantee you readers. You can search for local book clubs in your area and send a free copy of your book to the leader of the club. If they like it, your book can be the next book they read.
Tips to market your book
Now that you have a bunch of book promotion ideas on how to market a book, here are several tips to remember to make the process easier.
Update your bio
Having an updated bio on your social media platforms, and your website that says you’re an author and has a link to your book is a simple way to increase book sales.
In addition, when you’re reaching out for endorsements or trying to get on podcasts, it looks more professional to have your author bio updated.
Mention you are an author at networking events
Whether you doing a podcast interview or a networking event, it’s important to mention that you’re an author.
Yes, you may feel nervous as a first-time author, but don’t let that stop you.
Even if your full-time job is as an accountant, you can proudly mention that you’re an author as well.
Always have a copy of your book on you
The consumerism world runs on instant gratification. That’s why Amazon has the buy with a 1-click button.
Having a copy or two of your book on you can lead to an in-person instant sale. When you're having a conversation about your book, and someone wants to buy it, you'll have a copy ready for them.
You can also generate interest by simply passing your book around at your next social gathering.
Everyone loves freebies. And they are a great way to promote your book.
You can offer freebies such as a tote bag, a free Q&A session, and free consultation, to select purchasers of your book.
If your book has great cover art you can offer a free t-shirt with the same design, with a purchase of your book.
Forums are online discussion boards where people ask questions and discuss topics of mutual interest.
They are a great way to introduce your book to like-minded individuals.
Some popular forums to use are Quora and Reddit. With these and other forums, answer questions and add value before promoting your book. When you’ve established respect and authority people will naturally want to know more about the work you do.
Goodreads is a book lover's website where you can find reviews and recommendations on popular books.
Their author program is free to join and allows authors with published or soon-to-be-published books to create an author profile.
This profile allows you to provide a link to your book, engage with readers and provides other tools on how to market your book.
Offer book teasers
Book teasers are essential like movie trailers but for books. They give readers an insight into the story and reveal just enough to hook people in. Yet they leave out enough information to keep people interested.
Book teasers can come in written form, graphics, posters, or video form. If you need book promotion ideas for your social media platforms, try creating book teasers.
Don’t try to sell to everyone
A big mistake when trying to learn how to market your book is trying to sell to everyone. This is the wrong move because the truth is not everyone is going to be interested in your book.
Very similar to how some people like thin crust pizza and others like deep-dish pizza, people have their preferences.
Trying to get someone who’s not into your book genre to read your book can lead to bad reviews. Not only that, marketing your book to the wrong group of people can simply be a waste of time, energy, and money.
Get positive reviews
Positive book reviews can help you promote your book without you doing any work. Positive reviews are especially important on platforms such as Amazon, as they are considered in their ranking process.
HARO also known as Help A Reporter Out is an excellent resource to get your name and book out to bigger media platforms.
The way it works is that journalists and other media professionals send requests to HARO looking for expert advice, opinions, and quotes. When you sign up for an email you can respond to reports looking for information to add to their articles.
If you are cited in an article you can request that your website be linked to the quote. This can lead to people clicking on your website.
Choose the book promotion ideas that work best for you!
When it comes to promoting a book, reach more people by having a strong promotional plan.
Whether you choose the social media route to market your book, or you build a promotional team, make sure you choose a book promotion idea that you can commit to. Similar to the writing goals you set when writing your book, you can set marketing goals as well.