social media marketing

Social Media Marketing: Effective Tips to Boost Book Sales

Ann O'Brien

Ann O'Brien

March 20, 2023

Developing a solid marketing strategy for your self-published book is a critical part of getting your book into the right reader’s hands. Your plan to connect with readers should include a book social media marketing strategy, since social media is one of the quickest ways to reach your audience.

But knowing which platforms are the best to work with and how to leverage each one most effectively is key to getting the most out of social media marketing. The four most critical platforms to use are Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram but each platform should be used a little bit differently to maximize the way you reach readers.

Traditional vs. Social Media Marketing

Every marketing plan should be diversified and not rely too heavily on one method of reaching potential readers. And with the overwhelming popularity of social media marketing, using these platforms to connect with readers where they are already spending their time makes the most sense when considering what types of marketing options to include in a campaign.

It seems like everyone is online, scrolling through social media feeds to see the latest news, what their favorite people are up to, and to interact with others who have similar interests. Authors can take advantage of the opportunities to promote their own brands and books on social media marketing platforms since this style of interaction only seems to become more popular with each passing year.

Unlike traditional marketing campaigns, when social media marketing platforms are used, the links provided and ensuing marketing content will be available forever.

Links to author interviews, an author’s website, retail sites stocking an author’s books, and all marketing posts can be accessed at any time, unlike traditional paid advertising that likely expires and goes away at a certain date.

The truth is that marketing campaigns should include more than one strategy to reach readers, and traditional components combined with book social media marketing will likely be a winning combination for most authors. By varying how a book is marketed, authors are likely to connect with more potential readers and grow their fanbase more quickly.


This social media marketing platform with the biggest reach to older generations is Facebook. Considering your book’s specific audience, choosing to promote your content on Facebook could be a necessity. Make sure that you understand your target demographic so that you can not only reach the right potential readers but also you will engage them where they are spending time online.

The Best Way to Use Facebook for Social Media Marketing

Smaller segments of your target audience can be found in Facebook Groups and your brand as an author can be promoted on a Facebook Page.

Groups: Search for established groups that cater to the genre, topics or themes that your book covers. Other well-known authors in your genre may also have a group as well. Join one or more of these groups and engage regularly.

When appropriate, reference your book’s contents or your expertise on the subject but try to maintain a 5-to-1 ratio of posting informative, relevant information to posting anything that can be considered marketing (links to your book). By engaging as an expert on a subject most of the time, you will build credibility with potential readers.

Pages: Create a professional page for yourself and populate it with an appropriate picture, a compelling bio, and links to your author page and a link to buy your book. Make sure that every time you interact with a group you are using your page to do it so those who are interested can instantly learn more about you, your brand, and your books.

And since the average age for Facebook is 34-44, posts that are inspirational, nostalgic, or funny will earn the most engagement.


A relatively short-form social media marketing platform option that was initially created to promote text but now increasingly includes media, Twitter is perfect for conversations.

Best Practices in the Twitterverse

  • Configure your professional account with a brief author bio and link to your author’s website and a retail link to your book.
  • Interact on Twitter using your professional account often to build credibility with others and stick to the 5-1 ratio when posting promotional posts.
  • Look for and contribute to book talks or genre discussions to build camaraderie with other authors, potential readers, and anyone interested in those topics.
  • Remember always to keep interactions professional and never post anything insulting or derogatory toward others since it will always remain a reflection of you, your brand as an author and your work.
  • Search your genre, topic, and other authors in your genre and follow those conversations using the hashtag feature. Make sure to interact with them regularly and use your professional account to follow potential readers as well as other authors.
  • Snag a Twitter handle for your book title to use with your professional handle.

Tik Tok

This video-based social media marketing platform is popular with social media users of all ages and authors can take advantage of this platform to connect with readers, grow their brand, and increase awareness about themselves as writers in fun and simple ways.

Hop on to #BookTok

  • Create a professional account and include a link tree with connections to your author’s website, your other social media marketing platforms, and a retail link for book sales.
  • For those authors who don’t want to be in front of the camera too often, consider creating a voiceover video. Read an excerpt from your book and combine it with a photo of your book’s cover to attract interest to your book or your brand.
  • Interact with users, follow other authors and potential readers, and follow hashtags that will help you connect with your target audience.
  • Since TikTok is often viewed on Instagram, you can create a video on one and post it to the other platform.
  • Using the #booktok tag will put your videos in front of millions of users, perfect for self-publishing authors seeking an audience.
  • Videos can be created as cameos with an author speaking directly to the camera and they can be filmed right from your smartphone.


This intentionally visual social media marketing platform is now shifting to more videos and selling, but it is still an ideal social media marketing platform to use for book marketing.

Using Instagram to Hype Your Book

  • Create a professional page with a brief bio that showcases your book and expertise.
  • Cross-promote your TikTok videos on Instagram reels occasionally to grow both platforms.
  • Develop short videos (reels or stories) to promote your book, your writing process and anything that can give readers a “behind the scenes” peeks. Pin these reels or stories to the top of your Instagram page by category so users can quickly access them, providing you with unlimited future marketing potential.
  • Each post should be tagged with hashtags that will connect with your target audience so search for your genre, topics, themes, or even locations within your book to define the right tags to include at the bottom of each post.
  • Provide a link to your book’s retail or your author’s website in the bio section to help readers find you quickly.

Making the Most of Social Media Marketing

While one of the biggest appeals to using social media is that it is free, you may consider investing in advertising or becoming a “verified user” to increase its impact on your book marketing plan.

Advertising can be shown to a very narrow target market to help you reach exactly the type of reader you need on both Facebook and Instagram. Running ads that promote your book with links to your author’s site or to sell your book can help widen your net when attracting readership.

Advertisements on Twitter work much the same, but now you can choose to become a “verified user” on this platform with a small monthly fee. This new option can help provide your account with credibility, perfect for new authors or those new to the social media game.

One way to make it easier to post consistently is to use a service like HootSuite. This social media support will help you plan your posts across all platforms and schedule your posts when you want them to. This frees up your time and helps you keep up with a busy marketing campaign.

Printing Your Book

Whether your book social media marketing campaign is up and running, or you are just thinking about using social media in the future, your online marketing will be pointing readers toward one thing: your book. And having a beautiful book for readers to buy will help you continue to build a fan base for your writing.

Partnering with Publishing Xpress will help you bring your manuscript to life with quality materials and construction, and our print-on-demand model means you can reorder copies of your book whenever you want when your social media marketing campaign takes off.

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