book marketing

30 Awesome Book Marketing Ideas

Ann O'Brien

Ann O'Brien

January 26, 2023

For most writers, coming up with book marketing ideas can be challenging. However, authors can use a surprisingly wide variety of book marketing strategies to market to potential readers. So to help you jumpstart your book sales, we have a categorized list of 30 book marketing ideas that you can use right now to promote your current, upcoming, or future books.

Book Marketing Tips — Get Your Book Details Right

1 Choose the Right Genre for your book. Nothing turns a potential reader off more than picking up a new book in their preferred genre only to find that the story is really something else. Not only will you build reader confidence with an accurate genre label, but you will also be able to make sure that your book’s cover reflects the genre correctly so potential readers will be intrigued with your new offering in their preferred genre.

2 Craft a Meaningful Book Description so potential readers will want to pick up your book or select it from online retailers. Take a look at other book descriptions to mimic the feel of descriptions for books in your same genre.

3 Hire a Professional Editor so that your book looks perfect when it goes to print. Nothing turns a potential reader off more than a book with spelling, grammar, or formatting mistakes. This small investment can ensure that your book will look great, and readers can focus on your interesting content instead of little errors that foster negative impressions.

4 Get Help with Your Book’s Cover. Some printing companies provide expert book cover design help, a must for self-publishing authors since the cover is the first look at your book that can make or break a reader’s interest.

5 Figure Out What Makes Your Book Unique so you can use that in all of your bok marketing strategies. This detail, plot twist, or unique character or voice in your book can become a fun talking point on social media, or it could become a tagline for your marketing materials. Finding an angle that sets your nonfiction book apart from others might be more difficult, but authors should always focus on their own expertise or what unique experiences they have had that make their writing special.

6 Research Your Book’s Market so you can make sure that you have described it correctly, have it positioned effectively with the best keywords and phrases, and that your book’s cover design flows well with other books in the same genre.

7 Polish Up Your Sample Chapter. Since the first chapter of a book is often used as a sample to get readers interested in a book being sold online, spending extra time making sure yours is a perfect representation of your writing ability and the book’s contents are well worth the time and money you may invest in it.

Book Marketing Strategies — Connecting with Your Readers

8 Work to Understand the Target Customer who would most likely want to read your book. Develop a profile of who would most likely like your book’s content and then use their habits and preferences to guide your book marketing choices.

9 Create a Hypothetical Reader to keep your book marketing focused on who is actually reading or might read your book. Figure out where this reader would go for reviews and how they would learn about the topic. By creating a fictitious hypothetical reader, it is easier to accurately market to them so developing a persona or two complete with names, jobs, and habits like social media choices or literary favorites can help you make realistic marketing choices to capture like-minded potential readers.

Book Marketing Steps — Preparing for Sales

10 Set up Retail Storefronts to get ready for your book’s launch. Secure your Amazon bookseller, or other retail links so you can prepare for upcoming sales.

11 Make Book Sale Links Easy to Use on Your Website. Create simple navigation on your website for readers to buy your book.

12 Plan In-Person Sales Events to meet potential readers for book marketing and to sell copies in person.

13 Choose One Popular and One Less Common Category to describe your book to retailers and readers. By spreading out the categories that your book can be found in, it can more easily be found by those in the popular interest category while still giving the book a greater chance at becoming a category best seller in the less-common category.

14 Look Into Niche Market Descriptions to add to your basic genre description. Online and in-person retail sales will categorize books into two categories but adding more (especially on Amazon) can help your book to reach more people through their own searches for books that match their niche interests.

15 Research Keywords to use to describe your book. Not only will these be the SEO terms that will help others find your book and social media content but the keywords will help online buyers on sources like Amazon connect with your book. Look at other books in your same genre and categories as well as look at the keywords being used by the most popular books right now so your book will populate in searches for those books (as long as they actually fit your book).

16 Maximize Searches for Your Book’s Content by Using Keyword Phrases in addition to single or paired keywords. Describing your book with longer phrases will help your book to pop up in even more searches, increasing the number of potential readers that may see your book.

17 Update Your Descriptions regularly. When sales slump or stagnate, swap out tired keywords, phrases and book descriptions with new, fresh ones that correlate with the current hot sellers and topics.

Book Marketing Tips — Engage with Readers

18 Create an Author Website to bring attention to your personal brand. The site can be a landing page for online sales, provide an author’s bio for readers to learn about you and your writing, and be a place for you to provide insight into your writing process and upcoming projects and fun extras like behind-the-scenes details about current books to entice fans to visit the site.

19 Write an Author Bio that you can use on your website, on sites like Goodreads or Amazon, and on social media platforms, tailoring it to fit each site.

20 Create Social Media Accounts for your personal brand as well as your book. Use these to promote your book’s launch, provide links for selling the book as well as provide an avenue for connecting with readers and fans of the genre, book topic, or even non-literary tidbits. Be sure to link all profiles to your author’s website so fans can follow you.

21 Interact with Potential Readers on Social Media regularly. Create interactive polls or ask readers questions to engage them in dialogue. Use the 3-1-1 rule: for every three book or content-related social media posts, include one that is personal or non-book content and then also include one more that is humorous or newsworthy without being too controversial. By showing your personality along with book content on your social media platforms, readers will become more connected to you as an author.

22 Create Contests or Q & A Events to engage fans and potential readers on social media platforms.

Employ Traditional Book Marketing Strategies

23 Build Email Marketing Lists so you can stay in contact with your fans and potential fans. Create a pop-up window on your website to encourage fans to leave their email address so you can stay in touch. This list will be critical when you are launching a new book, have in-person events to promote your book, or want to build interest around an upcoming project.

24 Create a Lead Magnet that will entice readers to join your email list. The lead magnet might be a discount, a chapter from an unpublished book, or another compelling draw that will spur potential readers to stay connected to a new author.

25 Write a Newsletter that you can send out to your email list group. A newsletter is a great way to stay in contact with your fans as well as help to keep your name and book title(s) familiar to your readers. Newsletters are a great place to break hot news about a new character, future books, or even drop a chapter from a new book to garner interest.

26 Use Freebies and Promotions to encourage potential readers to connect with you and your brand. Provide a time-sensitive promotion on social media or in a newsletter to encourage readers to buy your book or offer a past book or publication as a freebie when the newest book is purchased. Cross-promote these on your social media platforms as well as in your newsletter and on your website.

27 Buy Ads on sites your Hypothetical Customer regularly visits like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Get Your Book Read

28 Set Up Advance Copy Readers or ARCs. Having reviews available for potential readers to discover right when your book is published is critical to its success. Readers like to see what others are saying about a book, especially from a new or unknown author so ARCs can help you make sure you have a few initial reviews. Professional readers, other authors, or a trusted professional can provide the needed reviews, but you will want to print early copies for them if possible to use this book marketing idea.

Book Marketing Strategies — Grow Your Brand and Learn From Other Authors

29 Connect with Other Authors through social media, by joining conferences, or attending genre-related events. Not only can you learn about books and topics that interest your potential readers, but you can also learn about book marketing ideas from other successful authors.

30 Create and Maintain a Goodreads Author Page. You can link social media here as well as your personal website as well as interact with readers on this heavily used book site.

When you’re ready to print your book, make sure to check out Publishing Xpress. You can get an instant quote by checking out our online calculators.

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