Some authors spend little time promoting their books, while others treat it as a full-time business. At Collective Ink, time and time again we observe that those who do little or no promotion tend to have the least success – while those who are successful are always promoting. Our bestselling authors market and seek out opportunities 365 days a year.
Whether you're struggling with your marketing or firing on all cylinders, we offer a comprehensive list of activities, top tips and inspiration, to empower you to market your book over days, weeks, months, and longer. If your book is an incoming release, taking following this guide will ensure a robust and healthy campaign. If it is an older release, following this guide will help attract a new audience — even if your book was launched ten years ago!!
The guide is divided into one-off and general, daily, weekly, monthly, and long term actions you can take to let people know about your work. This is to get you to see your marketing as a regular habit. These are all suggestions, you can do the weekly acitivities monthly, the monthly activities weekly, or in whatever order you want!
Set the bar high. Set yourself a minimum sales target. As a general rule of thumb, we need to sell 1000 copies of a book to make a profit on it. How many copies are you aiming for? How about shooting for a bestseller list? Set your target and go for it!
Do you want more book sales? How many of these activities can you integrate into your promotion? Are you ready to level up your marketing? Read on!
Build an email list
(With thanks to Clare Mackintosh – sign up to her awesome email list Book Club here.)
If you are going to choose one marketing tool to promote your work, it should probably be building an email list.
- People who sign up to your email list are your most loyal readers.
- Your mailing list isn't subject to the vagaries of Facebook algorithms, which decide which of your followers will see your latest posts.
- You own your mailing list data. Build up a FB, Twitter or Insta following, of course, but if those platforms go bust, you lose your audience. Not so with your mailing list.
- Despite appearances, people don't sit in front of social media all day, but they *do* sit in front of their inbox. A well-timed newsletter (breakfast/lunchtime/evening) can be a pleasant distraction, not an intrusion.
Top email list building tips
- Don’t worry about numbers. No one knows how many people are on your list. Three very engaged subscribers are just as valuable as one hundred less so.
- Use a specialised email sending service like Mailerlite or Mailchimp.
- Make your signup link prominent on your site.
- Sell it to people. Don’t just tell people to “sign up to my newsletter”. Show them the benefits of what are you offering.
- Grow your list by offering giveaways. This could be in the form of a novella, free chapters and teasers, articles of interest around the subject of your book, deleted scenes, research notes & photos, character studies, books you've read, TV shows you've watched, a tour of your desk, your writing method, another author's content, or what's trending on Twitter...
- Stick to a schedule. Most people do monthly.
- Don’t spam people! Continual "buy my book" emails will lead to unsubscribers. Spam is a big problem these days and if you get repeatedly reported for email abuses, you can get into trouble with your internet provider and may affect your Google ratings
In addition Substack has made it very easy to create a mailing list and charge for your email. Many established journalists, with pre-existing audiences, have moved away from mainstream publications and eaern their money writing directly to their audience.
- If you think you have something to say, and could charge for it via a regular newsletter, then this option could be for you.
- Building an audience from scratch is very hard, but not impossible.
- Substack is not the only way to do this. For example, you could work with a web coder to implement such a service on your WordPress site. But Substack makes it EASY.
Encourage pre-orders and online reviews before you launch
Pre-orders are important: they count towards the first week's sales, giving a crucial signal to publishers and booksellers that a title has momentum.
Online customer reviews in places like Amazon, Hive, Apple, Google, Powell’s , Barnes & Noble, Blackwell’s and Waterstones now have more effect on sales than print reviews by professional journalists. Readers tend not to buy books without good reviews. The minimum for "legitimacy" is variously put somewhere between 10 and 20. Amazon is increasingly the main online space for reviews, particularly for debut authors. Hit a certain amount of reviews on Amazon (some people say 50, some 70) and Amazon's algorithm will promote your book more widely on your site.
- Make a (long) list of people in your network – fans, readers, friends, family, colleagues, and ask them nicely to pre-order your book. These people are likely to buy.
- Write to the same list and encourage them to leave (honest) online reviews too (especially on Amazon). Amazon accepts reviews after your publication date, so the first week after publication is a great time to post reviews.
For Amazon, the dream situation is that someone buys your book from them, and then leaves a review about it. This means it is an "Amazon verified purchase" review. Amazon say: An "Amazon Verified Purchase" review means we've verified that the person writing the review purchased the product at Amazon and didn't receive the product at a deep discount. Amazon values these reviews more highly, and is more likely to promote your book off the back of them."
When you get good Amazon reviews, tell the world. Share on your social networks, quote from them, add them to your website. Likewise, when you hit milestones (50 reviews, 75, 100) share the good news as well.
Hold a book launch
Hold a launch event, online, or in-person. Celebrate! You deserve it! Make sure you have hard copies to sell at your launch (you can sign them all) and offer easy buying info to virtual attendees.
Tips on holding a virtual launch event:
- Keep it short and sweet. People have virtual meeting fatigue. We say no longer than one hour.
- Divide your event into short contrasting segments of no longer than ten minutes. This gives variety and stops people switching off.
- Use guest speakers to talk and interview you.
- Read from your book.
- Make it multimedia. If you have a book trailer, play it. Think how you could use music or video to enhance the talk.
- Invite the audience to ask questions.
- Use a service like Eventbrite to manage your invitations.
- Encourage attendees to pre-order or buy your book!
- Advertise your event via email and your social media networks,
Tips on holding an in-person launch event:
Booksellers and event organizers are keener than ever to invite authors to participate in promoting and selling their books. Bookstores are more interested in you than your publisher so pop in and tell them you'd like to hold an event and see what they say. We would advise that you take your book along to your local library and talk with the librarians, and see what opportunities they have. Libraries, like most of the public sector, are cash strapped. They will not buy a book from you directly if you walk in with one, as they have proper acquisition channels to go through. However, they may have opportunities for talks to your local community. Read the advice of The Society of Authors in the UK advises on how to run events in schools, libraries, universities, festivals and elsewhere at: http://www.societyofauthors.org/guides-and-article.
Be prepared for this...http://lithub.com/what-to-do-when-no-one-shows-up-...
Contact National Media
We've observed that authors that pitch national media directly and personally tend to yield more positive results. David Ditchfield/Shine on, Claire Waters/Raising Faith and Agi Heale/Generation Panic are examples of authors who have contacted national media and received in-depth coverage of their book and life experiences.
- Brainstorm ideas. Consider any human interest angles that make for a compelling story.
- Create a hit-list of national media to approach – Newspapers, T.V., Radio and Magazines.
- Research the best person to send your email to or contact the media platforms helpdesk for assistance.
- Keep your pitch short and to the point, we suggest max 200 words.
- Give your pitch an attention-grabbing headline.
- Don't forget your contact details.
- Do not send any attachments at this stage, as your email may end up in the spam folder and missed.
Tips on sending a Press Release
Make it personal, from you – this can generate consideration and a sense of personal support in others, inspiring them to read it. Never attach a press release as a separate document, always put it in the body of an email.
Make sure you include:
- A strapline to grab attention.
- Book Title, Author, Publication Date, Imprint.
- Book Cover Image.
- ISBN and price for different formats, paperback & ebook.
- Back Cover Copy or Description.
- Author Bio including earlier published books, and online links, if current.
- A personalized paragraph specifically aimed at the contact, acknowledging who they are and why they may be interested in this title specifically. Keep that brief and to the point, add a link to the book page on the imprint website too.
Don't fill your press release with unnecessary details. Make it easy to read, direct, non-repetitive and easy for the contact to say YES to supporting you.
Tips on sending publicity emails
- Target individuals with similar interests to your own.
- Make use of personal contacts.
- Put the hook in the subject line. Don't lead with the book. Lead with the hook or the story, what that book will do for people.
- Keep it short. 200 words max.
- Your approach should be personalized, relevant to that particular contact. Look at their website and see what topics they cover and tailor your email accordingly. If you mail merge, it will show.
- Get to the point. Be upfront about what you are asking for straight away.
- The other person will be busy. What’s in it for them?
- Be careful with the salutation. Do not mush it in with the rest of the email. Be polite and respectful – “Dear Joe…” Don’t use “Hi” and never use “To whom it may concern.” Do not CC: contacts.
- Remember to mention your book(s) and include a short biography and the metadata e.g. format, ISBN and price. Send your own photo or book-cover picture when it is requested. Include your phone number, address and any website/blog.
- Don't request a read receipt.
- Don't type in capitals.
- Check before sending.
- Don't use URGENT or IMPORTANT.
- If something comes of it, send a thank-you note.
Are you based in the Europe or the UK, or promoting your book in Europe or the UK? Remember, GDPR legislation says you are not supposed to send someone a sales/mailing list email unless they have specifically said they want to receive it. Rules in the USA are less severe, but if you send out unsolicited sales emails you run the risk of being labelled Spam by big email providers like Google and Microsoft and your email address effectively taken out of action – if that happens, it's a difficult process to reverse.
Build an author website
Create an author website if you don’t already have one. A website is a static place to hold information about you and your book. At a minimum, it should hold the following:
- Home page – all your writing activities, with links where applicable.
- Book page(s) – if you have more than one book, keep them on separate pages; they should include the following at a minimum – book cover, title, author description (linked back to biography), metadata, buy links
- Endorsements and reviews.
- Links to articles/interviews/events associated with your book.
- A blog – for communicating continually to your audience. This is not about selling your book, but about an ongoing dialogue.
- Your author bio.
- Links to social media, if you have them.
Great examples from our authors:
We recommend that you have a look at other authors in your genre and see how they go about using their website.
Think about and define your author brand
Your author brand is:
- How you present yourself to your audience.
- How your audience perceives you.
- How your audience perceives your writing.
Why your branding should be consistent
Your audience needs to know what it is getting from you with everything that you put out, whether that be a:
- Social media feed
If you brand yourself well, people know what they are getting before you open your mouth. If what you put out in terms of marketing and social media is too inconsitent, you’ll have trouble building an audience.
When you write your next book, think about your brand:
- Know what you write. There is genre ...and then there is emotion. What does your reader want to feel? Do you provide that emotion, and more?
- Know who reads it. Yes, we are all individuals. Yes, we all hate to be pigeonholed. But demographics are a powerful way of understanding your “typical” reader (though no one would consider themselves typical - in that, we are all the same).
- Understand what other interests your typical reader has. They might be political views, leisure interests or sporting activities. “Offer what they want but give them what they need”. Ensuring you fit into a recognizable niche is not about selling out to be a faceless interchangeable drone – it is so that the reader can find you easily. But only by actually providing them with something slightly different, challenging, and beautiful will you make an impression. Tempt them in with the comfort of familiarity, and then blow their mind.
- Respect your reader. Present your book in the accepted convention of that genre, and though you will—and should—push at boundaries, don’t end your romance with an unannounced zombie bloodbath or turn your literary paean to the futility and hopelessness of being 21 years old into a rom-com in chapter 11.
- Build trust. Avoid short cuts, and people who specialize in them. It’s not a zero-sum game – the more you give to your community, the bigger a piece of it you get back.
- Add buy links to your online presence. People act on impulse, so make it really easy for people to buy your book with clickable buy links. You can also add them to your personal email signature, website and social media accounts.
How do I know what a good personal brand looks like?
- It starts with your cover(s). Your cover(s) should reflect your branding consistently.
- What you write and how you write it is all included in your branding, whether you write with humour, or sarcasm, this is all the package that is you.
- Consider how you already present yourself online. How can you intergrate what you write to your online presence? How can you use what your readers expect in the way you use social media? Are there ways you could do it better?
- Look at what other authors are doing in your genre. Make sure your visual presentation is relevant to your genre. Look for a consistent colour scheme. Which colours do you favour? Is there a colour palette that matches what you do? Apply that across everything you do.
- Stay authentic and don’t put pressure on yourself to be anything you are not!
Announce your publication date
When your Publication Date arrives, announce it to your networks! This is an exciting event!
Make a book trailer
Make a book trailer to post on your social media, share to your Facebook groups, your YouTube channel and include it on your website. Always look for varied ways to attract people’s attention.
Encourage readers to pre-order your book
A couple of months after your publication date is set your book will appear on Amazon and other trade retail databases. When that happens, encourage your readers to pre-order! This will aid the efforts of the reps and boost visibility; the best time to elicit pre-orders is in the two or three months running up to publication day.
Announce your cover with a cover reveal
When your cover is finished announce it via a cover reveal. This is an event in itself, something to get excited about!
Join Amazon Author Central
Once you see your book is listed on Amazon you can join Amazon Author Central. This is a fantastic resource for helping build your profile and promote your book.
Join the GoodReads Author Programme
The GoodReads Author Programme is mostly free to use, and allows authors to take control of their book(s) profile on the site, and offers the possibility of paid promotions, including the opportunity to give away a free copy of their book (or multiple copies) to a genre-specific audience. We recommend that you only give away a maximum of three books, and be aware of the postage costs for the countries that you include in your promotion. There are reports from US authors who have had to pay huge costs to send books to winners outside the country, along with the hassle of filling in customs forms. In our experience, we have never seen a Goodreads giveaway have a noticeable impact on the sales of a title. There is also no guarantee that reviews will be forthcoming. Goodreads is a community of book lovers, so it's a great place to connect with potential readers and other authors in your genre. You can participate in discussions, answer questions, and share updates about your work.
TOP-TIP: Think Big! If you don't ask, then you will not get. Be confident with your book. One colossal opportunity could make a monumentally life-changing difference.
Source and contact a YouTube ASMR channel. Many ASMR creators will read books to their audience to help them relax. ASMR is a considerable boom industry, with millions of people worldwide using it for relaxing and sleep aid. Having your book featured could be huge for sales.
TOP-TIP: If you support the media you work with (via interviews, blogs etc.) by sharing their work to your online platforms, there is an increased chance they will ask you back.
Post daily on social media
Post on your social media accounts daily. Make sure you post on a Friday or a Sunday when social media activity is at its highest. Post to all your accounts in unison for extra impact.
- Use hashtags. When you tweet or use Instagram hashtag # relevant words.
- Tag influencers. Why not try and gain the attention of a relevant celebrity, endorser, influencer or media platform by using the @ function on Twitter, Instagram and Linked In?
- Ask your friends and family to support you by sharing your posts with their friends.
- Share your Facebook posts to the Facebook groups you are a member of.
- Link back to your book on the CI website. Your book’s page includes links to multiple buying platforms such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and links for international markets. This way, it does not matter if a potential reader does not have an Amazon account, live in the U.K., read on Kindle only or prefer smaller book platforms like IndieBound. This way you offer easy ways to purchase your book.
TOP-TIP: Please be mindful to follow the community standards on the social media platforms you are using.
Blogging is a skill and should be treated as seriously as you do your book writing. Your blog can be seperate from your website or it can be a part of it. It can be a place to share your news, casual articles or it can be a serious medium for the serious thing you have to say.
If you are a non-fiction writer, you will likely have an area of expertise (which you may work in or do workshops and talks about). Therefore, blogging about this area of expertise is often a good idea and can help build your brand. You could blog about frequently asked questions in your field, news items or things in the media related to your subject, or you may have a cause or message you wish to promote.
Blogging for fiction writers is tougher – it needs some creative thinking to find a blogging subject that will compliment your creative writing.
Some ideas to base your blog on:
- The genre you write in
- Other books in your genre
- Other authors in your genre
Incidentally, by linking to other authors in your genre, you can potentially cross market and share your fans/audiences, thus being mutually beneficial.
Be consistent and stick to your subject matter. It takes time to build an audience. Hence, we suggest you start this activity early – as soon as you have a publishing contract. The journey to publication can become part of your blog. Remember this is a tool, not a means to sell your book. In fact, you will quickly lose followers/readers if you only post ‘buy my book’ blogs.
Make sure you link your blog to your social media. Post your blogs to your social media feeds. Again, as with websites, a little research of how other writers in your genre do things would help you get ideas. If you don't have your own blog, you can write for people who do. Blogging has become very popular, and book bloggers are prolific.
You can create and design eye-catching social media posts on platforms such as Canva or Book Brush very easily.
Top-Tip: When writing a blog and posting to your web or blog site, set a readership target. If you blog every week and only reach a few dozen people, it will not benefit you. Once your blog is on your site, share to your social media accounts, any Facebook groups you are a member of, upload to blog sites such as Tumblr and Reddit and add it to any newsletters you plan to send out. Authors whose blogs reach over 1000 readers per blog find a significant increase in sales and interest in their book.
Share your reviews
Post a favourable review of your book on your social media. This could be from a media contact, an endorser or an Amazon or Goodreads review. If the perception is that your book is good, people will likely wish to find out more.
If you do the above every day, you will develop quite the following and contact list over 365 days!
Broadcast live on social media
Hold a weekly live broadcast on your social media channels. Talk directly to your following, hold a Q&A, update people on any book news and offer a giveaway competition – offer the chance to win a signed copies of your book. People buy from people so get to know your following.
Write an article and pitch it
Write an article about your book, then source and contact relevant newspapers, magazines, bloggers, websites.
Tips on pitching an article to a publication:
- When you pitch an article, get to the point. Max 200 words (if you can). If you write an article on spec to send to a publication, don't write too much. 1200 words is a good length.
- Tailor your approach to the publication. Think: “What do the readers of this publication want to read about?”.
- Follow the submission guidelines. They are there for a reason.
- Be respectful and polite.
Why publish articles?
PR News says, "In very basic terms, a press release is some newsworthy information about your business or product that you submit to media outlets for publishing. On the other hand, Articles are those writing that gives readers useful information about a specific subject in that you have expertise."
Publishing articles, online and in print, do not necessarily translate directly into any sales, but they can:
- Be a time and cost-effective means of promotion.
- Help establish your name.
- Build your reputation as an “expert” in your field.
- Lead to further openings, and even regular columns.
Where can I publish articles?
- Traditional newspapers.
- Major subscription magazines.
- Niche, small magazines.
- Local newspapers.
- College Alumni readership.
- Online only magazines.
- Online only blogs.
- Your own website.
- Social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, etc.).
TOP-TIP: An excellent way to build followers on most social media platforms is to follow other people.
Extracts, generally, are harder to pitch, but if you do your homework, and match your writing to the publication, they can be an effective way of promoting your book.
Extracts work in the same way as articles.
How to prepare an extract
- Title your extract appropriately: start with “An extract from title by author”.
- End your piece with a short biography, where you can list your published books, and your online links. Add ISBNs for ebook and print, price, page extent, and publication date if that is still ahead. The magazine editor may not include it all, but leave it to them to edit down rather than add it in – or the book itself might not get a mention.
- Include your book-cover graphic and headshot in your pitch (high-res if it is a print magazine). Magazines often like to publish an author photo and short biography alongside the extract.
- Do not put copyright notices on the extract. To editors, it signals the work of amateurs distrustful and paranoid about having work stolen. Copyright notices are not necessary for protection.
- Feel free to cut, edit and amend your extract to make it appropriate for the publication.
- You might need to write a short lead-in and a lead-out to modify your extract so that the end result is an article with a beginning, middle and end. If so, you can title your piece "Adapted from title by author).
- CAUTION! If you prepare your extract by copying and pasting from your final text PDF, then you will likely have to reformat it, as italics, bold fonts and other bits and pieces won’t be copied faithfully!
The vast majority of articles written for papers, or extracts taken from books, involve no payment.
- Academics write to get known amongst their peers and improve their career prospects with citations, popular authors write to promote their books.
- In the middle, there is a tiny cadre of journalists who can earn decent money from writing for national magazines. Which can be substantial, but you need to be in that kind of loop already. It never hurts to ask if there is payment though, and an average rate for most non-nationals is around $100 for every 1000 words.
- Ask for credit to be given: title, author, publisher and if they can include the imprint website.
- The length of the extract does not really matter, unless it is getting to be 10%+ of the book.
- On the timing, it is obviously preferable if it comes out around the time of publication or later. But better to have the word being spread around rather than not spread at all.
Pitch yourself as an interview opportunity
Reach out to a media contact such as a magazine or blogger, influencer or endorser – and offer them an interview. Or reach out to a Podcaster, Radio/T.V. Presenter, New station or Youtuber and suggest you go on their show.
Whether the audience is a few dozen people or hundreds of thousands, a radio, podcast or web interview is a fantastic way to connect to people in a personal way. The adage of people buy from people is in full effect here.
It’s vital that you make the most of an interview when it happens.
- Test your equipment and software. Do not leave testing your equipment and software to the last minute. Once you have confirmed a date and time with the host/producer of the show, make sure you have a fully working mic, headphones and ensure you have created/updated your Skype address if asked for one at least 72 hours before the interview. More shows are asking for a Skype address as a point of contact. Skype has a useful audio testing feature to help you test your equipment. Some of our authors have lost interview opportunities at the time of interview as they could not be heard, their mic was cutting out or they had not updated their Skype so were uncontactable. Be prepared, test your equipment, so you can relax and focus on the interview.
- Ensure you are in a quiet, distraction-free zone. Radio and podcast shows are the theatre of the mind. The listeners will visualize your experiences and words to create a picture that draws them into who you are and what your book is about. Make sure there is no noise in your location, no TV or radio in the background, that the show of the show is not broadcasting out of your PC/Laptop/ Phone as that will cause an echo. Make sure your mic is not rubbing against your clothes or face or and that you are not breathing heavily into it. Familiarize yourself with your mute button should you need to cough or sneeze. Anything like this will distract the listener and they will tune out. Make sure your phone is off and ask that no one in your vicinity disturbs you.
- Get the start time correct. As an author, you may be offered interviews from all over the world, from different time zones and you may find yourself with a golden interview opportunity in the early hours of the morning. Make sure you confirm with the host/producer what your time zone is in relation to theirs! There is nothing more disappointing than waiting up for an interview to find the interview is actually at a different hour, different day or you have missed it altogether.
- Be enthusiastic! An average interview will last around 45 minutes so make sure you are prepared, engaging and enthusiastic. A listening audience will always connect to someone upbeat as opposed to someone who sounds bored, uninterested or tired. Radio show hosts have cut interviews short for authors that relied on one-word answers or had little to say. You have one shot to make an impression and regardless if there are a few dozen or a million listeners if you come across as dull they are less likely to want to buy your book. Some interviews will spawn other opportunities from other shows and producers! So always be mindful who could be listening and make sure your interview is on point and engaging.
- Be prepared. When you start to market your book, prepare eight talking points/questions that you and can talk about Some radio shows and podcasts will ask for eight to ten questions/talking points upfront but if they don't then make sure you are comfortable and confident with your own material and you have experiences, theories, talking points to bring up during the interview. Remember, there are tens of thousands of authors and publicists in the world sourcing interviews, so really highlight areas of interest. Did something happen that prompted you to write this book? Human interest stories will help with their pitch. Podcasting, T.V., Web and radio show hosts and producers are less interested in the writing process but more about YOU and the story behind your book.
- Talk about your product not other products! Try to shy away from talking about other books and products. These opportunities are about YOU being able to discuss your book to a platform of listeners that may buy your book, follow your work, visit your website and join your social media platforms. Make sure you FOCUS on your book. Some authors have had wonderful opportunities to discuss and promote their book but discussed other authors’ books instead! This didn't benefit them at all and the opportunity has passed. This is YOUR time to shine! This is your spotlight so make the most of it.
- Refer to your book by its title at all times! Try not to refer to your book as "Book". Try when possible to refer to your book by its full title as this will help listeners remember the name of your book should they wish to buy it but also if listeners are tuning in halfway or near the end then they would have missed the host's intro so it’s always good to keep referring to the title of your book.Instead of , “I wrote this book after an event that took place in…” Say, “I wrote Premonitions after an event that took place in… Instead of, “It is available on Amazon, Kindle, through Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold.” Say, “Premonitions is available on Amazon, Kindle, through Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold.”
- Write down a checklist of points you need to ensure you cover during the interview. Here’s a good starter list:
- Release date (If applicable).
- Where people can contact you: Website, social media, email (if you have none of these refer them to www.collectiveinkbooks.com).
- Your publisher: Collective Ink (People all over the world can visit www.collectiveinkbooks.com for information on your book, your author profile and where to buy your book).
- Any upcoming events/signings where potential listeners can visit you.
- Where your book is available from: Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold or visit www.collectiveinkbooks.com for more information.
- Your objective will be to connect to as many people as possible and direct them to your book, your website and social media sites.
- 11. Always thank your host for the opportunity!
- Drop an email to the host/producer after the show thanking them for the time and suggest that if they ever need a guest to reach out directly to you as you would be happy to guest again. Some of our authors are regulars on some of the top radio shows and podcasts in the world due to how engaging and motivated they were in their initial interview.
- Share the link. Share the link to your interview with your publicist, on your social media platforms, email the link to friends and family, embed it on your website and support the show and yourself as much as possible by getting that interview out there. Be prepared, be confident, be engaging, be interested and connect with the listenership! Above all enjoy the experience! This is a wonderful way to connect to potential readers and cultivate new followers and supporters.
Pay for some book promotion
Use platforms like Fiverr.com to source paid-for book promotion services from as little as $5. These services (gigs) will offer different ways to promote your book. Please research and check reviews before purchasing any services. You can contact most sellers directly and create a bespoke gig that suits you and your budget
Arrange a review drive
Using your social media, friends, family, and followers, other authors with your publishing house, ask readers to leave reviews on Amazon, GoodReads or whichever platform they have used to read your book. Reviews influence the perception of your book and can trigger algorithms such as Amazon’s to promote it. This could be guest blogging on each other's websites, introducing a media contact, or arranging a book promotion project together.
Offer signed copies as a giveaway promotion
Offer media companies a signed copy of your book as a giveaway promotion. .
Ask endorsees to share their words
If someone has endorsed your book, contact them and ask if they could they share their endorsement with their following, whether this is through their social media, newsletter, website or all of the above. This could have a considerable impact on sales for your book.
Use special dates to promote your book
Use anniversaries and dates of interest to promote your book on social media/your newsletter/your blogs, etc. For example, you could use the 1st anniversary since launch, 5th anniversary, World Book Day, Women's Writers Day, World Book Day, Mental Health Awareness week or Halloween, etc.. Remember to use the relevant hashtags on social media as well!
If you're short of ideas, there are many websites with a list of special dates and awareness weeks.
Create a podcast or YouTube channel
Create a podcast and/or YouTube platform to discuss your book and to interview relevant guests.
TOP-TIP: Like blogs, there is little value if you produce content that only reaches a dozen or so listeners or viewers, so continually strategize how to reach and build an audience. Share your content on your social media, newsletters and website.
Source awards relevant to you and your book and let the CI awards team know on the Award Submissions Forum.
Hold a live book reading
Hold a monthly live book reading on your social media channels. Give your followers a small taste of your and discuss the fundamentals and motivations. Read some of your top reviews at the end and encourage viewers to buy.
Hold a monthly online event
Hold a monthly online event and invite your following, media contacts, influencers, endorsers, other authors and key people relevant to your books. It could be a mixture of a book reading, Q&A, discussing topics relevant to your book and a giveaway as a thank you to one lucky attendee.
Approach local bookshops
Email your local bookshops and ask them to stock your book. If your book has a specialist topic and there are specific bookshops or retailers to match, contact them also.
If you have guested on podcasts, radio shows or any platforms to talk about your book, then contact them every six months with a new set of talking/interview points and ask to go back on the show. Our bestselling authors are regular personalities on the shows they guest on, which is a superb way to build a following and sell your book.
TOP-TIP: When being interviewed, never refer to your book as ‘the book’ but by its full title as this can ensure people listening remember your book’s name, and some people may have joined the interview late.
Create promotional materials
Design promotional materials such as leaflets, posters, postcards and bookmarks. Ask to display them in your local bookshops, libraries and cafes. A local bookshop giving out your bookmark with every book sale could be very beneficial. Vistaprint offers a good printing service.
TOP-TIP: If you have guested on any interview platforms, had an online article published or featured in a blog, share these links regularly on your social media. Not everyone will see them the first time you post them.
Contact your old school, college or university
Ask if could you conduct a talk and Q.A to the students on the process of writing a book and tips and advice for getting published. Ask for local media support to cover the engagement/event. This is a great way to motivate, inspire and educate a younger local generation while speaking about your book.
Hold a book signing
Contact local bookshops, libraries, book groups, and institutions and ask to hold a book reading event
Take part in a conference
Research and contact any conferences or events you feel would be beneficial to promote your book.
Hold a multi-author event
Organize an event with other CI authors (Live or online) to promote your books and work together to raise each other's profiles, following and book sales.
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