Marketing your book – Self-publishing resources

Bookshelves photo with text box saying Resources for Book Marketing for Self-published writers

Marketing your self-published book requires the opposite focus of writing a book. Writing is inward focused, but marketing means turning out attention outward and sharing your newly formed creation with the world. Many self-published writers have trouble with this reorientation for various reasons. Some are reluctant to promote themselves (which they must do if they want to promote their book), some are simply shy, others are overwhelmed by the huge amount of book marketing advice.

Where to start your book marketing campaign?

Generally, you should use your strengths and start by focusing your marketing strategies in those areas. Next, get someone to assess what your weak points are, then fix the easy problems first (e.g. replace a bad author photo, or a poorly designed book cover), then make a timeline to tackle more difficult obstacles (e.g. fear of public speaking, or needing a new website). You can also go to writing workshops and events to talk to other writers about their marketing experiences. If you have difficulty organizing tasks, find a tool that works for you to track tasks, ideas and deadlines. Some people like paper journals or big wall charts they can see everyday, others prefer online tools (e.g. Workflowy –– see review of it and other similar tools here).

Book Marketing Advice for self-published authors

ALLi – book promotion page
Creative Penn – promotion tips
Paul Jarvis – book launch check list
PW – building and using email list to market your book
Greenleaf – your Amazon Author Central page
David Gaughran – digital book selling basics
Judy Cullins – book promotion 101 articles
10 authors – book promoting mistakes
BookBub – New release promotion examples

Author Photos and Bios

Anne R. Allen – How to write an author bio
StandOutBooks – Examples of good author photos
Jane Friedman – Why authors need a professional photo

Author photo checklist: 
  • Does the photo look professional? (don’t look like an amateur, get a professional photo done, or at least try to get one that looks somewhat like a pro photo)
  • Will your clothing look dated in a a few years? (don’t wear trendy fashions, don’t wear anything distracting, keep things simple, wear solid colours)
  • Is it simple? (don’t use distracting props, don’t use props that many writers are tempted to use — laptops, bookshelves, typewriters etc.– because this usually will not look professional)
  • Does the style of the photo fit your genre of book? (if you are writing noir crime fiction, don’t come across with images and a colour scheme more fitting to a romance novelist)
  • See the list of links above to get more ideas and tips
Book Marketing Companies

Cameron Publicity (UK)
IamSelfPublishing (UK)
Smith Publicity (US)
StandOutBooks (UK)
Book marketing services are also offered by self-publishing companies

Self-Published Author Marketing Experiences

Melissa Leong Self-publishers can’t afford humility
Mark Dawson (UK) Build a fanbase and use Facebook ads
David Penny Facebook ad experiment
 on hiring Cameron Publicity
Beverly Ackerman self-publicity a major time investment
Steal My Book! – Peter Montford  piracy as publicity —
Diana Stevan – Ask your library to host an Indie-Author Book Fair 

Social Media for writers

Why do writers shy away from Twitter?
40 hashtags for writers
Twitter etiquette for writers
How authors use Instagram
Q College Digital Advertising Courses (Victoria BC)
Goodreads – Author Promotion
Promotion for Writers who hate Promoting

Share samples of your writing

Wattpad – Building an Audience
Wattpad – Revenue for Writers
Canelo – Online publisher
Big list of minimalist online writing platforms

In this video, Matthew Ashdown, talks about his experiences in coaching new authors and how authors sometimes get in their own way when it comes to marketing.

Did you find any of the resources listed especially helpful? Do you have an idea for a resource that should be listed? Please send an email!

Note: Links and information are for research purposes and do not replace professional advice. Accuracy of third-party websites cannot be verified and links do not indicate endorsement.

Updated March 2017