50 Ways to Market Your Book
Presented by Christine Tate at the 2018 Christian Authors Festival
For information about upcoming Christian Authors Festivals, contact Christine Tate at firstname.lastname@example.org
To Market Effectively:
Know your target audience. Demographics are important.
Create a marketing plan and stick to it.
Recognize that marketing plans vary from genre to genre and even book to book. What works for one author or book may
not be as effective for another author or book.
Do something, no matter how small, to market your book every day.
Keep marketing efforts centered on God. You’re representing Him.
The Field of Dreams (1989) approach does NOT work. If you build it, they will not come. The internet is not a magical sales
fairy. You must market your book to be successful.
Success takes EFFORT.
To succeed, you have to do something. Anything. Just start.
“None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
-Thomas Edison Statement in a press conference (1929), as quoted in Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry
Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel & Charles Lindbergh (1987) by James D. Newton, p. 24.
The Bad News: Only 20% of authors will ever sell 100 books. This is probably because most authors don’t spend much time marketing after their book is written.
“On the bright side, if you can sell 100 copies or more of your book, you’re in the top 21% of the publishing industry.”
“Out of at least 1.2 million titles published by the entire industry over the course of a year, almost 80% sell fewer than 100
-The Motley Fool
The Good News: You can beat the odds. But to beat the odds, you need to study and know your marketing data.
Writing for profit is a business and you need to know your business inside and out. Knowledge is power.
Marketing data can help you identify your demographics to help you succeed.
Sales data tells you what you did right and what you did wrong. It can also show you trends on which you can capitalize.
Know your numbers. Track how many books you are selling through which avenues and which marketing campaigns yield
the strongest results.
Important information and trends can be revealed by knowing your numbers.
Common marketing excuses:
“I want to market my book, but I don’t know what to do.”
– That’s why God brought you to this seminar.
“I don’t have a marketing budget.”
– You don’t need a large budget to market your book.
“I don’t have time to market my book.”
– Then don’t waste your time writing a book.
FREE Marketing Ideas
1. Put your book cover and purchase links in the signature portion of your emails.
2. Participate in online chat forums using your book cover as your avatar. Select forums that relate to your target audience (i.e. www.cafemom.com is a large online community of women who are moms).
3. Make your book available on a variety of sites. Submit your book yourself to a variety of sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Lulu and GooglePlay. You can use an aggregator to do it for you such as Smashwords or D2D. (*NOTE: If you use an aggregator and later choose to do it yourself, you may lose some reviews in the process.)
4. Link your blog, Twitter or book trailer videos to your Amazon Central page.
5. Create a website for your book at a free hosting site such as www.webstarts.com. If you all ready have a website, update it to keep it fresh for search engines.
6. Connect your website to a web ring.
7. Optimize the key words for your website to give it a better rank in search engines.
8. Start a blog at a free hosting site such as www.wordpress.com. If you already have a blog, update it.
9. Generate a Facebook page for your book.
10. Open a Twitter account, develop a following and send tweets on a regular basis.
11. Set up a Pinterest page featuring your book.
12. Set up a StumbleUpon page for your book.
13. Develop a mailing list.
14. Solicit opinions in online groups such as “Which cover option do you like best?”.
15. Design a crowdfunding campaign.
16. Do a Thunderclap campaign.
17. Participate in a podcast as a guest.
18. Network with potential readers by finding groups on meetup.com and attending get togethers. Offer to be a guest author for a meetup.com Christian book group.
19. Write articles for as many online and offline publications as you can. Your book will be referenced in the “About the Author” byline.
20. Be a guest blogger for sites like Book Daily Authors Blog.
21. Partner with another author to write an endorsement quote for them to use on their book cover with credit as “Jane Doe, author Book X”. Whenever anyone reads the quote on their cover, they’ll be introduced to your book title.
22. Join a writer’s group and network with other authors.
23. Arrange speaking engagements for yourself at seminars, conferences and nursing homes to do readings or speak about a topic as an expert.
24. Promote your book on community pages for readers and writers at Lulu.com or Facebook pages that are devoted to shameless author promotion.
25. Start an author discussion at Goodreads.com using their Ask an Author feature.
26. Hold a giveaway on www.Goodreads.com.
27. Set up interviews for yourself to be interviewed as an author on someone else’s blog by pitching your book to bloggers who blog in your area of interest. If they don’t do interviews on their site, ask them if they would be willing to do a book review on their site in exchange for a free copy of your book.
28. Add a page to your book asking readers to leave a review about your book on the site where they purchased the book.
29. Offer your book free as an ebook for a 5 day Kindle promotion.
30. Write a series. Potential readers are more likely to purchase from authors they don’t perceive as “one trick ponies”. If they like your work, they’ll come back to purchase your other books. You can also list your other books in each book promoting cross-book advertising.
31. Post free classified ads for your book on various online sites like Shepherdsguide.com and Classifiedads.com.
32. Contact local Independent Bookstores and arrange for them to carry your book(s) on a consignment basis. Offer to do periodic author book signing appearances in their store.
33. Ask your local library if they do meet the author events or have events where authors can read their books to the public.
34. Produce visual content about your book or topic to post on Vine, Instagram, YouTube, public access TV, or to distribute as a podcast.
35. List your new book accomplishment in the Alumni Updates section of your alma matter.
36. Pitch yourself to local radio and TV stations.
37. Participate in the annual ebook giveaway at Smashwords.com.
38. Ask your friends to host a book party in their home for you.
39. Start an email newsletter to stay in touch with friends, family and fans about your book progress, updates and releases.
40. Use social media to run promotions. Ask your followers to share your Facebook page. Encourage followers to do this by offering a prize to a random winner.
41. Submit your book packet to catalogues who might be interested in carrying your book.
42. Maximize your social media presence by using social media management sites like Hootsuite or Buffer.
43. Share free content and sample chapters of your book on Wattpad to generate word-of-mouth buzz.
44. Post flyers for your book on local community bulletin boards.
LOW BUDGET Marketing Ideas
45. Attend local Book Festivals, Conferences, Expos, Craft Fairs, Church/Holiday bazaars and other Events (nominal participation fees, cost of setting up a booth/display).
46. Get rid of used copies of your book by participating in Book Crossing at www.bookcrossing.com (the cost is the price of one of your books).
47. Print bookmarks using your book cover as the image and give them away like candy.
48. Wear a T-shirt with a large image of your book on the front and back, then go for a long walk in the park.
49. Leave business cards or bookmarks with your book image in places where your target market will find them. If your target market is women, leave them on sink counters in women’s restrooms or at the nail drying station in a nail salon. If your target market is parents, leave them on shelves near the toy section at Wal-Mart.
50. Always put a business card with your book image in the bowls of business card drawings that many businesses have sitting by the cash register.
51. Generate book reviews by giving copies of your book to friends and acquaintances. Ask them to support you by leaving an honest review of your book at your favorite review site.
52. Purchase Fiverr, Facebook and Twitter promotions for your book (www.fiverr.com). Fiverr starts at $5 for a basic promotion and usually has additional add-ons available for an additional fee.
53. Donate a copy of your book to multiple library branches.
54. Create a video book trailer for your book. An example of a book trailer is Nikolas Larum’s book trailer for Gypsy Spy which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiSvyz37Lao.
55. Run a fan contest where readers can submit names for a character in your next book. The winner will receive a free copy of your book when it comes out.
56. Offer a drawing on your website each month for someone to win a free copy of your book by signing up to be on your mailing list.
57. Attend and participate in writer’s conferences such as those held by the Hampton Roads Writers Association.
58. Enter writer’s contests.
59. Release your book(s) in audio and large print versions.
60. Search for an agent to help you with foreign rights distribution.
PRICEY Marketing Ideas
63. Join trade organizations such ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), CBA (Christian Booksellers Association), CSPA (Christian Small Publishers Association) and participate in marketing programs they provide (i.e. CSPA offers ICRS Exhibit representation, the BookCrash Review Program and catalog inclusion for $90/year dues plus program fees).
64. Attend National Book Events such as ICRS (International Christian Retail Show), CBA Unite, NRB Proclaim 17 convention or Book Expo (BEA).
65. Purchase email addresses to send out emails for a PR campaign.
66. Use Survey Monkey to design a survey around your book and purchase survey respondents.
67. Buy radio or TV ads.
68. Put your book on a billboard.
God’s Marketing Advice for Authors
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6
25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
God’s economy is different than man’s economy. If you want to receive, first you have to give. Give away your books, give
away your content with content marketing, give your time and give your efforts toward marketing the message God gave
you to share with the world.
12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
You are not an island and God doesn’t expect you to market your book alone.
Don’t be too proud to ask for marketing help when you need it. We all need a little support from time to time. There is
strength in numbers. Form relationships with other authors to mutually strengthen and encourage each other.
11 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Ecclesiastes 11:1
God expects you to make an effort to do your part marketing your book. “Cast thy bread upon the waters…" After you have
made the effort to “cast your bread”, God will reward your marketing efforts “…for thou shalt find it after many days.”
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:6
In the end, God rewards your marketing efforts with His blessing of increase.
Give God the credit and glory when you experience sales and marketing success. The results of your marketing efforts are a blessing from God. Success is not achieved through your own efforts. Remember, it is God who “gives the increase”.
When God blesses the work of your hands, remember to thank Him and give Him the glory.