How To Successfully Market And Promote A Book

Promote Your Book Successfully

If you are a self-published author, there is often some confusion about the difference between how to market and promote a book.

In essence, marketing should start after you’ve written your first draft and well before you publish.

Promoting occurs after your book is published and available for purchase.

To give you an example of how marketing works, allow me to entertain you with a very relevant short extract from one of my favorite authors.

What is marketing?

This is what Douglas Adams wrote about marketing in chapter 32 of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

“Well, you’re obviously being totally naive of course,” said the girl, “When you’ve been in marketing as long as I have, you’ll know that before any new product can be developed, it has to be properly researched. We’ve got to find out what people want from fire, how they relate to it, what sort of image it has for them.”

The crowd were tense. They were expecting something wonderful from Ford.

“Stick it up your nose,” he said.

“Which is precisely the sort of thing we need to know,” insisted the girl, “Do people want fire that can be fitted nasally?”

“And the wheel,” said the Captain, “What about this wheel thingy? It sounds a terribly interesting project.”

“Ah,” said the marketing girl, “Well, we’re having a little difficulty there.”

“Difficulty?” exclaimed Ford. “Difficulty? What do you mean, difficulty? It’s the single simplest machine in the entire Universe!”

The marketing girl soured him with a look.

“Alright, Mr. Wiseguy,” she said, “if you’re so clever, you tell us what colour it should be.”

To take a hint from the passage above, book marketing is about where you will make your book available, what the title will be, and deciding on your target reader demographics.

And, of course, like the wheel, deciding on what color your book cover design will be.

Clearly, all these tasks need to occur before you bring your book to market and can be defined as your marketing strategy.

Once your book is published, it is too late to market your book.

It’s time to promote your book.


What is promotion?

Promotion is what you do after you publish your book.

It can be passive and long-term or, in the case of advertising, aggressive and short-term.

Promoting a book is best described as the process of encouraging potential readers to take an interest in your book by methods such as content marketing or offering a free copy.

Advertising, on the other hand, has the sole purpose of encouraging a potential reader to immediately click the button and buy copies of your ebook or printed book.

This is not restricted to paid pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Social media marketing campaigns are also often designed to call for instant action.

Another key difference is that advertising can become very expensive.

But you can put effective long-term book promotion in place for very little outlay.

Don’t think that one is better than the other, though, because the world would stop spinning if there was no paid advertising.

However, the key to successful book promotion and marketing campaigns is understanding how to achieve a balance and use both passive and aggressive techniques in unison and within your budget.


Write, market, promote

what is marketing

Write, market, edit, market, proofread, market, publish, promote.

These are the 6 basic top-of-mind steps when it comes time to market and promote your book.

Judging by the popularity of articles related to book promotion on this site, the last word, promote, often proves to be the most challenging for new authors.

One important step that many new authors forget to take is to start marketing well before they consider publishing.

To save from repeating previous advice articles, here is a short list that you can read before I move on to more passive forms of book promotion and book marketing.

What’s The Best Way To Promote My Self-Published Book?

20 Easy Ways To Promote Your Book For Free In 10 Minutes

Book Promotion Links You Probably Don’t Know About

Now, let’s look at other ways that you can effectively market and promote your book, mostly for free.


Become a guest writer on relevant and popular blogs

You might be surprised how easy it is to get your writing published on a blog with a lot of traffic. This is because high-traffic blogs usually have and need a lot of content.

Look for blogs that invite people to write a guest post for them with a Write For Us page. You rarely find it in the main menu, so hunt in the footer of sites. You could also try a Google search.

While your own blog is essential, you may not be getting a lot of visitors.

By writing for a popular site, with links back to your site, you should see an increase in your own blog’s traffic, which will help your personal branding.

As the saying goes, rinse, and repeat. The more articles about you, your writing, and your book that you can get published on high-traffic sites, the better. In fact, it is one of the very best book promotion means you can get. And it’s free.


Comment on other blogs

While not as effective as guest articles, adding your comments to articles can help spread your name and increase your social media footprint. You can also get backlinks to your blog or website.

Book blogs are a good place to start because there is a better chance of connecting with readers. On writing blogs, you will naturally find mostly fellow writers.


Use Pinterest

I’m a big fan of Pinterest because it takes up absolutely none of my time. But I get a decent amount of traffic from it. Just create a couple of boards and add images from your blog posts and articles.

Pinterest is all about eye-catching images. If you have great images on your blog and terrific book covers, give it a try.


Use landing pages

I wrote an earlier article about publishing landing pages, and since then, I have been tracking the analytics for my new pages.

Interestingly, while some work and some don’t, which is normal, the few that do work, work brilliantly well.

Finding out what images, text, keywords, titles, and SEO descriptions work best requires trial and error. However, it is time well spent in building valuable organic traffic.


Invest in promotion, not advertising

Buying PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Amazon Ads is a very expensive way to sell books.

Depending on which PPC service you use, the cost per click can range between $0.35 and $3.00.

For a $2.99 ebook, this could well be pouring your hard-earned money down the drain. Although you can have some success, you will most often lose money on your campaign.

When it comes time to market and promote your book, it’s far better to buy long-lasting and cost-effective book promotion.

Many blogging sites offer economical paid promotion in the form of sidebar banners or text links that will continue working for you in the long term.


Facebook likes

Facebook Likes are a good investment for long-term promotion because people who Like your page rarely disconnect.

You can build a good following for a modest investment.

On average, if you pay for Facebook Likes, the cost is approximately $0.10 -$0.15 per Like.



If you are ready to publish your book, you should work hard on its marketing and understand how to position it and reach your target readers.

Have you started building a mailing list? Your email list could prove to be a great way to promote.

However, if you have published your book, it is time to develop your long-term book promotion strategies.

Concentrate on what you can do today that will last and still work for you in one or two years’ time to sell copies of your book.

If you understand when to market and promote your book, you will have a much better chance of success.


Related Reading: What Is A Book Sales Funnel And Why Do You Need One?

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