How To Market Yourself As An Author And Writer

Promote Yourself As An Author

Selling books is hard work and also a very good way to alienate yourself as an author.

Social media is full of self-published authors trying to flog their ebooks. What most of them achieve is to be ignored or unfollowed.

Learning how to market yourself as an author is a far better way to be successful.

And in the end, it’s a better way to promote your books.

Promote yourself and not your books

I have received many comments and messages asking about the difference between promoting and selling and how to build a social network and following.

So I thought I might share some of my ideas and approaches to author and book promotion here.

I have to say from the outset though that these are methods that work for me.

They are not necessarily a set of rules that you have to follow.

The other point I must make is that building an author platform involves a lot of time, patience, and hard work.

You need to learn how to promote yourself as a writer, and not as a bookseller.


Original social profiles and bios

I see so many poorly written author bios on social media. This is almost always the very first thing people read about an author.

Yet so many give very little thought to this short piece of text.

All too often, they are full of clichéd expressions and quite honestly, boring.

Author of a book, International Bestselling Author, Award-Winning Contemporary Romance Author, and so on. Quite honestly, who would want to follow? And are they honest?

However, this one does attract attention: Will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making things up and writing them down. This is the short Twitter profile of Neil Gaiman.

Think carefully about the short profiles you use on social media and the longer version used on retailers, websites, and blogs.

Tell people why you are extremely interesting and why you are worth following. Forget the clichés and be original.


Blogging is a must

For me, this is the most important part of author promotion.

Blogs take a lot of time and effort, but the long-term rewards are far, far greater than any other means available. It is the very best vehicle available for people to find you.

Every post tells a story and exposes your character and personality as well as your knowledge and opinions. It also opens the door to discussion and debate.

But the key benefit is in an often forgotten fact. Every single post adds to your Search Engine listings.

My personal author blog has over 1,000 posts and a large proportion of them are listed on Search Engines. Almost 65% of my blog visitors come from Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

Over the years it has built from almost no visitors to a current average of around 4,000 visitors per month.

The mistake a lot of author bloggers make though is to view their blog as some kind of daily diary or journal.

Publishing posts about family, pets, and rants and raves is not a good idea. Publishing a short story, a poem, or something interesting and relevant to books or writing is a much better idea.

Successful blogs are clearly focused and build a reputation on a particular topic. Keep your blog articles focused on your writing and books, and the themes that are in your books. You can also guest post on other blogs.

Good blogging is the same as good freelance writing.

You need to post quality articles regularly, often, and on topic. As a tip, Search Engines prefer articles that are longer than 1,000 words, so avoid writing very short posts.


Use a Facebook Page

It’s a must of course. However, using your personal Facebook profile as your author image is not wise.

Again, you want to be known for books, not babies. Use a dedicated Facebook Page as an author and like your blog, keep it informative and on topic.


Use multiple Twitter accounts

Yes, Twitter really is a monster.

But it indispensable now as a means of finding new followers, bringing traffic to a blog, attracting interest in your writing, as well as building a usable social platform in itself.

Keeping on topic again is key.

One of the benefits of Twitter is that you can have multiple accounts.

I use this ability to separate my personal account from ones I use for writing and book promotion. Each one is focused on different topics.

So when I do want to do some book promotion, I have a number of possibilities and don’t need to litter my own personal Twitter account with my book links.


Use a website to list your books

Old fashioned now perhaps, but it can still be important. It is the place where you can have pages of information and buy links for all your books.

I direct all my book promotion back to my website because it has the full book description, reviews, book trailers, and multiple book retailer links.

I never link back to one retailer such as Amazon. What if the person interested in my book doesn’t have a Kindle but has a Nook or iPad?

Or what if they are only interested in a paperback version?

Linking back to a web page allows for all of these choices for potential book buyers.

You can also use universal book links to ensure potential book buyers are offered their preferred book buying choices.


Always be on your best behavior

The last item, but it is probably the most important one.

Ranting, raving, arguing, SHOUTING, and generally being a pain in the neck, even just every now and again, are all great ways to undo all your hard work.

When one thinks about the image of an author, these are not what people expect. Ignoring bad book reviews, idiots, trolls and all manner of provocation is the only way to retain a good image.

The elements listed above are just some of the ways you can help build a credible reputation as an author. That, in the end, is what self-promotion is all about.

Sell yourself first, think like a freelance writer, build your authority, and book sales will follow.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

8 thoughts on “How To Market Yourself As An Author And Writer

  • August 25, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Thanks for the helpful advice. :) — Suzanne

  • August 25, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Thanks. Very helpful.

  • August 24, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Great blog! You gave me some things to think about. I definitely need to update my Bio page :-)

  • August 24, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you so much as this is an area I have been struggling with.
    About the blog, thoug–my blog has two pages (not that I have any control as to which one the posts are posted on; it’s the free version). One page is for general topics and reblogs from other great sources. The second page is for my travel posts, which I try to do weekly during our travel seasons.

    I have many interests that I think might appeal to other people. How do I just choose one?

    • August 24, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Hi Aleta. I would suggest using for your blog. It’s free too, and much more flexible.

  • August 24, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this valuable advice. I will be sharing this post.

  • August 18, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Yes, yes, and yes. What great points! I’m just now in the ‘promote myself’ mode and learn so much from blogs like this.
    Thanks, Angela!

  • August 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Very nice article. I wrote something similar in my blog a couple of days ago, about the importance – in the long term – of a strategy that is based on content that is useful for your followers and potential readers. I se no other way, if you don’t want to spam your followers (and that’ll probably backfire on you… unfollowing is very easy, these days)

    About the last part, the “best behaviour”, I cannot agree 100% though.

    As a general rule, I can answer with “best behaviour” to bad critics or trolls without problems.
    But one thing they must do: respect my work.
    If they don’t, I must tell them. Not for me – I mean, they already insulted me, probably, what else? – but for the pride of the entire category of writers and workers.
    Respect is a must, always. If they don’t know it, you must learn it.

    That said, even in those situation, never ever resort to insults, never argue with them. Use irony, use facts, write a single, short answer that is educated, but goes straight to the point. And if they insist, simply ignore them.

    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience”


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