Best Marketing Tips and Advice for Your Book Success

You’re NOT SELLING A BOOK you are selling yourself. Credibility and accountability are huge and you are building your career and introducing yourself to the industry, having a voice that SHOULD be listened to and a voice / message that others can trust. With over 3,000,000 books being printed yearly, WHY SHOULD ANYONE LISTEN TO YOU? You can’t market yourself unless you answer that. You should not even print your book unless you can answer that question.

Author Debbie Wilson with Paula Zahn before her interview on The Paula Zahn Show (episode #132)

More suggestions: 

EXPERT ENDORSEMENTS: Get endorsements from experts within your industry or recognizable names. This association will add professionalism to your name and work. They may want to help promote you or give you testimonials for your book also, inside the book or in promoting it.

MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Does your topic connect to breaking news? The media is interested in tying related topics to the news happening right now and may be open to your message if it’s related to current news. Contact the appropriate venue as an author with knowledge on the topic.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: Speak on your topic. There may be organizations linked to your topic or genre that are open to speakers. There are speaker’s websites where you can list your services. Hospitals, schools, churches, clubs and other organizations have classes, symposiums, etc, or there are conferences that may be open to having you help out. Keep a record of your speaking engagements, who your audience is and the number of attendees. Speak for free if you have to (some venues will not value you if you do not charge a small fee) and also look into teaching adult extended learning classes in your city.

BOOKSTORES: Be a friend to All bookstores. Never walk by a bookstore without going in and introducing yourself, and Be sure to have promotional materials on hand for each visit. Shake the hands of managers and employees and thank them for helping in the success of your book. A personal touch to those directly dealing with consumers may result in the suggestion of your book to potential readers. Gift stores that carry books are also in this category. Stores that suit your genera/topic may also be enticed to carry your book as one of it’s products.

PRESS KITS: Pull together a PRESS KIT early in your publishing endeavor. Your kit should include a one-page press release highlighting your unique direction and the benefit of your content, an author bio and perhaps a photo and a sell-sheet(or “Onesheet” as they are called in circles. See example below.) with book ordering information. You can even include extras, such as a jpeg of your author photo and book cover, an article detailing the key elements of your book and storyline, a DVD containing your media clips, and a mock interview with ten questions and answers that may be used for print media or an actual interview.

Example of “onesheet” created for author and speaker Marni Spencer-Devlin.

Volunteer for a local charity. Most of the time local charities can use an extra hand, especially if the person is a prolific and knowledgeable writer. Use your talents and skills to do something good.

Teach a class. Check with local colleges to see if they need a part-time English or writing teacher. Start your own writing club. Ask local churches and private schools to hire you on part-time as a co-op instructor.

Write articles for e-zines. there are many sources who will accept your “how to” and tie it to your “expertise” and subject that you write for and then post your site or buying info about your book below it. Read this for more info on how to write for ezines;

NEW SHELVES DISTRIBUTION is helping a few of my clients get seen:
Events: I have an author getting tons of success at , with event planners opening up arms to give her space at their event.

Book signings / readings at your local bookstore or library is a great idea if they are receptive.

author Debbie Wilson at one of her book signings. Retractable sign at left was designed by Lisa Hainline at

Associations that deal with your book topic may post your info or do a review on you.
Magazines are also looking for new material and may do a book review for you, like Precious Times Magazine (Marilyn White, on linkedin) does reviews and advertising for African-American women.

PRESS RELEASES to news organizations. (One client of mine got a call from Paula Zahn and went to do an interview in NY over her book about the murder of her sister many years ago and the capture of the killer.)

BLOG TOURS; many successful bloggers want new material on their blog and want the exposure so there may be book blogs, self-help blogs or any blog geared towards the subject of your book. Blog tours help exposure and also posting on forums linked to your genre or area where your demographic audience is going for information, linking back to your book sales.

BOOK TRAILERS: Book Trailer posted on YOU TUBE (and on your website, in email promotions, Amazon author page, linkedin, etc)

Amazon Author page profile
Amazon reviews of your book from friends and colleagues that have read it
Create a Listmania list on Amazon;

Link your Amazon Author Profile to Shelfari

Create a Goodreads author profile

Create a Book Marketing Network profile

WEBSITE / BLOG: Create a website and blog with keywords and creative content; regular blog posts, posting at least 1ce a day for the first month.

Ask for link-backs from websites that you feel would have the demographic of your audience.

(did we talk about facebook? do we need to ?)

WHERE IS YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC HANGING OUT? Go where your demographic is; if you do a Christian book, talk to Christian book distributors to get into their catalogs, ask churches that have bookstores to carry your book, If your demo. is bikers, take them to rally’s and pass your promotional card around, think about conventions on the subject or wherever they meet.

GIVE AWAYS & FREEBIES  Give a chapter away on your site or in other promotions like your book launch or another’s launch.  Another idea would be to approach people with products that are related to your genre, story or topic and offer a give away on one of THEIR promotions. Think creatively.

RADIO TOURS; there are tons of online radio shows now that the internet has opened this door and they are always looking for new people to interview. Fish’n4Souls and CAOT (Christian Authors On Tour) are 2 Christian sources so dig deep online to find where your material would fit and contact them.
BOOK REVIEW SITES area also looking for material so send your press release there.

Bookmarks designed by Lisa Hainline at

MARKETING MATERIALS: Be sure to to print up enough of these materials to hand out, leave behind and show of your work wherever you go (see us at Lionsgate Book Design if you would like quotes for any of these: bookmarks, postcards to mail out, retractable signs for your book signing or convention / event, posters, and promotional cards).

Keep thinking and ask the Lord to OPEN DOORS for ideas and places to connect.


ANOTHER EXPERT OPINON: Judith Briles heads up AUTHOR U  and also has a linkin author group under the same name. Author U is for authors who desire to self publish and want all the advantages of advertising, design, printing and much more. Author U holds workshops to attend and has many articles that are all so valuable that they just published AUTHORYOU- Building Author and Book Platforms, available on Amazon, a wealth of information worth every penny.  You can also hear Judith every thursday on Your Guide to Publishing Radio Blog

Judith Briles: WoW! Lisa has shared a homerun of information. FB makes me crazy with all it’s changes. My preferences are Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn groups … have you created a page for books under Companies–Add a Project (your book) under main page — actually collect emails for list building?

Create a media one-sheet–a little about why YOU are the one to write this book; if you are hooking media–it loves tidbits and quizzes–create one. If you want to do a quick survey, zip over to Survey Monkey, come up with no more that 10 questions and blast it out to your contacts or post on Twitter, gulp FB–you can tally up to 100 responses –then cite on one-sheet, “According to one of the many surveys conducted by the Jerry Andrews, 10 out of 13 people prefer ….” “Contrary to popular belief, the author’s latest survey showed that …..” Be creative … people have asked me—how did you get on Oprah … Time magazine … the Wall Street Journal …. (another gulp) the National Enquirer???? I learned how to create a hook for their audience and I pitched it directed to the producers and decisions and makers.

Newsletters and association magazines are HOT for hooking a book; finding who the editor is or key writers, always internally ID’ somewhere in the mastheads–contact directly–make sure you have the RIGHT name and it is SPELLED correctly … it’s a button pusher for editors. Getting a positive and supportive review can not only push sales, it can land a speaking gig–as in getting paid … and selling more books.


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