While writing is inward focused, marketing means turning your attention outward in order to share your new creation with the world. Marketing your self-published book requires the opposite focus and effort of writing a book. Consequently, many self-published writers have trouble with this reorientation for various reasons. Because some writers are new to self-promotion they have a difficult time with all their marketing tasks. Other writers are simply shy, while others are overwhelmed by the huge amount of book marketing advice and don’t know where to start.
Where to start your book marketing campaign?
Generally, you should use your strengths and start by focusing your marketing strategies in those areas. Asking someone to assess what your weak points are. Make a plan to fix the easy problems first. For example, replace a bad author photo or a poorly designed book cover. Finally, make a timeline to tackle more difficult obstacles such as fear of public speaking, or needing a new website. It also might be especially relevant to go to writing workshops and events to talk to other writers about their marketing experiences.
Due to the large number of marketing tasks you’ll have to juggle, it’s important to find a good organizing tool. This will help you track tasks, ideas, and deadlines. Some people prefer paper journals or wall charts while others prefer online tools. Workflowy is a useful online organizing tool (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
Author photo checklist:
- First, does the photo look professional? Make sure that you don’t look like an amateur. Try to get a professional photo, or at least try to have one that looks somewhat professional.
- Second, check your clothing. Will what you are wearing look dated in a a few years? Furthermore, don’t wear any with distracting patterns. Keep your look simple and wear solid colours.
- Third, have you fallen into the ‘writing prop’ trap? Most of all you’ll want to try to avoid using cliché writing props in your photo. These props include such things as laptops, bookshelves and typewriters.
- Fourth, check to see if your style of photo and your look fits your genre of book. For example, if you write noir crime fiction, it might look odd if your author photo has a style usually associated with a romance novelist.
- Lastly, check the list of links listed above to see examples and to get more ideas and tips to improve your author branding.
Book Marketing 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
Lesia Daria 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
BC BookLook is the website for BC Book World News. They invite BC writers to submit their information. Click here to submit and read their guidelines.
Finally, in this video, Matthew Ashdown, talks about his experiences in coaching new authors. He explains 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