Book Marketing

Marketing is the process of enticing potential customers to take an interest in your products and/or services.  Your customers may include readers, wholesalers – e.g., bookstores and specialty stores – anyone who buys the book from you at a discount and on-sells it, family and friends, publishers even literary agents.

Create awareness is the key point here.  Creating awareness requires time.  Your profile needs to be out there which will, in turn, increase the sales of your book.

Have confidence in your product.  Your customers like to know about you.  Understand that while you are selling your product or book, you are also selling yourself as an author.  Understand this, don’t overlook this.  A signed copy of your book or a chance to meet in person an author is a delight to a reader.

You, the author, are the best salesperson for your book.  This is the proven key to your ongoing success. Afraid are you?  What an earth are you afraid of?  We can often feel out of our comfort zone when faced with new challenges.  Jump over that fear factor!

Its all in the planning.  Start your staged marketing plan today.

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If you’re new to Your Writer Platform, this is a brief outline of the process and what it is about:

1.  You wrote and published a book.  Let the world hear what you have to say.

2.  Providing you with the most extensive, practical process providing the steps for easy implementation.

3.  Regarding your writing career as a business, and you as a professional.  Published book needing developing of your public visibility and authority.

Having the tools, hacks and skills to build your currency as an author is both powerful and necessary.

4.  By developing and maintaining a platform that works for you around the clock you can continue with your writing.

Connecting and Learning

Your Writers and Marketing Platform connects and you with others who are either writing or buying.

What’s a Writer’s Platform Campaign?

For those who aren’t familiar with the Campaigns, read on.

The Writers’ Platform-Building Campaigns are sure and proven way to link writers, aspiring authors, beginner bloggers, and published authors together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms.

The people are those who genuinely want to meet others, pay it forward, and make connections with other bloggers or book readers and buyers etc.  This gives you a viral connection (some starting out, some established) who you know are in the same position or who are interested in you and what you may have to say or offer.  You can make friends, find critique partners, get support in your writing etc – basically, it’s up to you.

For those bloggers who are just starting out (and even those who’ve been blogging for a while), a Campaign gives you a head start in finding other like-minded bloggers to connect with.  The added bonus is that these Campaigns truly are also a lot of fun.

Embrace in the learning.

Attend seminars, watch videos, invest in books, or other sources of information, learn from others. Educate yourself.  As the saying goes Google it.  You will be surprised.  Some Google pages may not hit the mark.  Some you may take too well.  Some may have snippets you can take notes from.

If you haven’t embarked on a career with sales in any form then this is something you should work with. Educate yourself in this area.  Sales require a certain type of communication.  It is a practised art.   I don’t consider myself for one moment a good salesperson.  I live to love and care, so, therefore, my sales totals are very limited by my own barriers.  But that does not have to be you.  I have not learned the art of mastering the art of influence.  By chance or from the heart I will gain sales.  I love to show care by showing interest in others and helping others with their goals.

Book Promotion and Publicity

Average bookstore shelf life these days is just four months unless you publicize your book avidly.  So this month, in no particular order, a list of ways to publicize your book:

Create a holiday around the book’s theme or title. (See  Create a contest that ties into the book.  Email all your friends.  All of them.  Write syndicated articles on your topic and submit them to online article banks.

Send articles on your topic to other websites in your niche. Try sending some of those articles to your local newspaper.

Join an online social networking group, such as Facebook, and get involved in posting to a group.

Better yet, start a social networking group based on the topic of your book—for an example, see my Writing and Publishing group at for some examples)

Create a national or international association (see

Interest a Publishers Weekly local writer in your book.

Get active on Twitter ( or add some social bookmarking links to your website

Start soliciting speaking gigs related to your book.

Wear a button that announces your book.

Investigate and actively work ProfNet (

Promotional Materials

Your Profile- Build it.  Build your profile in your local community.  Posters, business cards and flyers placed at strategic places is one way to create attention to your new published book or business.

Have some business cards, ‘with compliments’ slips, posters, and invitations made (if a physical book launch is planned).   Bookmarks, postcards, fridge magnets, pens, flyers, rack cards, mousepads, bumper stickers, flyers with an order form incorporated in it and t-shirts also are good examples of promotional materials available.

Using visions and goals

All authors have a vision of success.  Define your vision and goals, as this will assist you in your marketing and promotion.  Success means different things to different people.  What does publishing success mean to you?  What are your goals for your new book?  What do you hope to achieve in the process?  We all have goals that are important to us.  Are you looking at personal, financial, and or professional goals?

Get your goals right then identify your market.  When someone asks what your book is about, tell them in words that will entice them to read it ( Influence).  As the author, only you will be the best person to sell and promote your book.  You make your book unique because, as an independent author, there is no better person to sell your new book other than YOU!

Now, focus on what really sets your book apart from the others.

You put the time into writing, so ultimately promoting your new published book is another part of the process.

Your marketing goals may focus on how many books you want to sell over a period of time.  You can work out how many that will be per month or week.  Review your marketing goals to ensure they are realistic.

  • TOTAL SALES TARGET 850 copies Sold by mid next year.


  • Personal
    • Develop my creative potential
    • Share my knowledge or story with the world
    • Entertain or educate readers
    • Become a recognized author
    • To have my books in libraries
  • Financial
    • Recover the investment
    • Make a profit from my book sales
    • Professional
      • Increase my business opportunities through the production of my book
      • Show my experience in a particular area
      • Use this as as a marketing tool

Write down your realistic goals: Personal, financial, and professional.  If you need help then seek professional advice.

Remember your 30-second elevator or lift pitch.  Picture yourself in a lift with a stranger and they have just asked you what you do for a living.  You then explain to him or her you’re an author of a book.  You only have 30 seconds really to grab their interest before they have to get out of the lift.  Have some fun creating the 30-second pitch that you can use in a lift or in any given moment.  Take these opportunities. shops etc.  Make it clear, simple, and powerful.

When marketing your book, you will be asked questions.  Answer them with pride and good vibes.

What is the purpose of your book?

  • • To entertain others
  • • To give spiritual knowledge
  • • To share your life experience
  • • To encourage and uplift

List the key messages of your book, how they are reflected in the book, and what the benefits are to the reader.  What is your key message?  Is it educational, food, exercise, spiritual awareness or is your book based on your own experiences and life events.  Or for pure entertainment such as fiction.

Self-publishing businesses have created good opportunities for authors, providing affordable ways for an author to publish their work.  New technology also opens up so many ways for authors to access new markets.


 Support can come from family, friends, workmates, social network forums, library groups, and book clubs.  A publishing consultant can be enrolled to support you also.

Research tells us that if we are lacking in an area of success in our life it is because of a lack of knowledge or self-esteem and or confidence.


Budget for all your marketing activities.  This is your investment.  Marketing is achievable with little money but will take your time.  When going shopping or taking the kids to school, consider what else you could do to market your book on your way.  Keep some extra copies of your book in your car as everyone is a potential buyer.  Reference books on budgeting.  John Smalls My Budget Mate Book is available for purchase through this site or website.

In the following links, we explore the key elements involved in building a staged marketing campaign and platform for your book.  Remember, as the author and the person with the most passion for your work, you will always be the best salesperson, marketing decision-maker, key promoter.  A marketing campaign can be solely managed by you cost-effectively.

Click on the links to view more expanded information on each subject.

Staying on track with your published book

What is a Book Title Information Sheet and what is it used for?

How Does Video Marketing help with my published book sales?

What is Social Networking and how will this assist me with sales for my self published book?

What is a Financial Forecast?


Be ethical, honest and reliable in every way throughout your journey.   You will lose your credit-ability fast if you go the wrong way here.

With your employer

An employer will spend money not only on your own wages but also thousands of dollars on marketing, labour and materials.   A business owner spends years in time and much money developing their business.  People will get hurt in the process.

The magic rule here is don’t steal the fruits from the labour from someone else, no matter how tempting and easy it may look.

Yourself as an individual

You may, like myself be a trusting and caring individual.  But in business this is dangerous.  It will be a hard lesson to learn in the long run if you don’t practice separating your emotions from your business dealings.  Under no circumstances must you take your eye off the ball.  Watch out for the sheep in wolfs clothing.

Online Selling Channels

Book Launch (Offline)

Taking photos will be useful marketing tools for later promotion.   Celebrate, enjoy and have enough goo promotional material as well as nibblies and drinks around you to ensure people are enjoying and communicating together and with you throughout the event.

Consider door prizes or entertainment to encourage people to attend – what you offer here depends on your budget and is an extra rather than something expected.

Offer a discount if two or more copies are bought or for the attendees of your launch.

Book Launch (online)

One way to do this is to create an Event on Facebook.  Invite all your Facebook friends and leave the event open to the Facebook community outside your list of friends, as you never know who may attend. Share photos from the offline launch, pre-recorded video, or just open the chat.

Make sure you have a clear image of the book cover, a solid description of the book, and maybe even a sample chapter.  The focus needs to be on securing sales.  This is easy enough to do by just offering them the same ‘special launch price’ or ‘two books for a special price’ example offer before you release the book to the greater community.   A signed copy will be a nice touch.

Run the online launch for a whole week if you can ensure you will maintain contact and responses.

Have an image created using the cover, book information, special online launch price, along with the planned date.

Facebook Book Launch

  1. Once a date is set, create an online book launch invitation four weeks prior.  Create a Facebook event.  Post the invitation to your friends’ and networks’ walls.
  2. Two weeks prior to the launch, send and post a reminder.
  3. Day of launch.  Post a welcome on your page to the official online book launch.  Inform them of the posts that will be coming (samples, specials, free bookmarks, how to purchase).
  4. Every three to four hours, create a new message you send to your friends and network.  Structure the messages as follows:
    1. Back cover blurb, special price offer, and how to purchase.
    2. Introduction or preface, special price, and how to purchase.
    3. Testimonial, special price and how to purchase.
    4. The first half of chapter one, the special price and how to purchase.
    5. Book Trailer.
    6. Review or another testimonial, special price and how to purchase.
    7. The second half of chapter one, the special price and how to purchase.
    8. Author Interview.
    9. Announce the end of launch so be in quick, special price and how to purchase.
    10. Final post to purchase at special price.
    11. Thanks and future order to be sent to email/ Facebook/website.

Following the completion of the Facebook launch, implement an 8-12-week Facebook (and/or Twitter, Pinterest, etc) strategy that will continue the on-going promotion of your publication.  Join and follow groups relative to your book topic and keep regularly connecting and sharing information about your book.  Spend some time at least 40 minutes a day to social media promotion for the next three months.

Reviews and Testimonials

Ask your readers to write reviews of your book and then follow up with them on your request.  The more people that say how much they enjoyed your book, the more likely you will achieve sales outside of your staged marketing campaign.  You can post these reviews on your web page and social media sites, other online sales sites, on the back of your book when you reprint, and on any promotional material you print out or email.  Reviews should be no more than a paragraph or two and should always state the reviewer’s name and location.  Maybe your reviewers might like to log into Amazon, Goodreads and other sites that list your book and post a review online.  People look at other readers’ comments.

Contact the media to alert them of your book release.   Try to find opportunities to be interviewed through local radio stations and newspapers.  You will find community support is one of the greatest advantages you will have, so capitalise on it.   Start locally, then your greater state or territory, country and international.  What you learn early with your local marketing will be invaluable when you reach international marketing.

Start with your local media; daily or weekly community newspapers, local community radio stations, and magazines are usually very interested in local human interest stories.  Have a press release made when you launch your book and have it sent to the media – in most cases your New Book Information sheet and an introductory letter will suffice.  Follow up with the local media by phone or email.

Many self or assisted publishing companies offer a ‘Press Release Package’ where they contract a media distribution company to send the press release to selected media.  Talk to your publishing consultant about this and assist in the final preparation of the release.

The best form of marketing is word of mouth. 

Event Marketing

If you are a business person or noted speaker, you will sell your book at your event.

Look for trade show opportunities to profile yourself and your book.

Craft fairs, car boot sales, street marketing, door to door selling, business events, market days, and other such community events are also a great opportunity to sell your book.

Remember to always have a copy or two of your book in your bag, car, office, etc., as you never know when an opportunity will present itself to make a sale.

Especially if your book is non-fiction, look for public events where you can attend and promote your book.

Have copies with you in your bag, car, office – potential customers can be around you in all directions. 

Specialty Retail Stores

 Consider specialty stores such as religious stores, fishing shops, museum shops, new age shops, gift shops, hardware, etc.  For example, a local school may be interested in taking your book if it is about a subject of interest concerning children’s learning.  Or a cake store if your book is about cake decorating. have copies of your Book title sheet always available when approaching anyone. 

Libraries and Bookshops

Most libraries and bookshops purchase through distributors.

Be prepared to give 40-45% discount direct to libraries and bookshops as this is what is expected and between 60% plus to distributors.

Once you get confident with the elevator or lift pitch you may be able to interest them enough that they take a look at your book.

Book signings are also a great promotional opportunity for both bookstores and libraries.  Have some posters made to hang up.  These signings can often turn out to be more successful than you would think.  A signed copy of any author’s book is treasured by the buyer so don’t write off the value of your signature.

When promoting to bookstores and libraries is be positive, polite, prepared and patient.  Respect goes a long way in this business so make sure you show it from the youngest staff member to the seasoned and experienced manager to the elderly customer wanting a signed copy.

Be positive! Polite! Prepared! Patient. Value your customer, from staff to management.

Book Distributors

Now we have reached the final point of call, the last step in marketing your book – the distributor. These are the dedicated teams of sale representatives who regularly visit the retailers and libraries to promote the latest titles they represent.

A distributor taking on the book is selling in bulk.  However, for many self-published authors, the marketing often won’t support the distribution channel that will achieve high numbers sold.

Take a look at the best-selling book of all time, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Granted, the author is long gone, but the publisher continues to make money from sales of this classic which has surpassed 200 million sales.  The Hobbit has sold over 100 million copies and this growing.  The Da Vinci Code has recently crossed over the 80 million marks, and a self-published book, named: The Celestine Prophecy has recorded over 23 million sales.  It is even more possible to create a self-published bestseller than ever.

Finally, there are mainstream distributors that focus specifically on bookshops and libraries but there are also smaller companies that have more defined and boutique markets so do some research and look for a distributor that is best suited to your book.

Expect to offer a 60-70% discount from your retail price and make sure the calculations work out for you.

People may buy if they here about the book:

  • Read about you and your book:
    •  In newspapers
    • On blogs, social media and websites
    • Hear about you and your book:
      • On radio
      • From others
      • They receive:
        • Flyers
        • Promotional information
        • They are invited to:
          • your website
          • social networking group
          • your book launch or signing

Keep up the communication.  You wrote your book now see it through.

Other resources on writing and marketing: Self Publisher Resources

You will need to write, email or call anyone you come in contact within the process.  After emailing or writing try to follow up within a week to see if they received your mail or have any questions.

Letter examples: You can change the words around to suit your own style but the principles should remain the same.  Be polite, respectful and ask the question.  Do the follow-up call within around a week.

‘To The Librarian,   OR  To The Person in charge of purchasing, OR  To The Owner,

My name is _____________ and I have recently had my book, _________________ published.  My book has been reviewed and accepted through other retail outlets.  Please consider my book as an addition to your library and hope that you take a few moments out of your busy schedule to review the information I have attached.  The book is retailing for $________.  I am offing a trade discount of 40% to libraries, bookshops and distributors.  I feel it will have strong local and national appeal.    I will call you in a few days to ensure this email reached you and answer any questions you may have.  I look forward to your response.

Regards, _________________


At the end of the day, how can you not realize your dream with all that we have to offer!

Self Publishing Success

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