Promotion Ideas Tips

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How can I promote my self published book for free?

Free Self Publishing Promotion

Article marketing is an excellent way of promoting a self published book for free. It consists of writing short articles (400-500 words) and uploading them to an article directory such as or Each article has a resource box at the end, where writers can put links to the resources they want to promote. A good tip is to use the title of the book or the relevant keywords as a link that takes readers to the sales page for the book.

Are author book signings a good way to market and sell books?

Author Booksignings

Are author book signings an important part of a book marketing plan? In one word, yes! Author book signings generate publicity about your book. Most newspapers will print small announcements of author book signings and, even if you only sell a few books, you are reaching new customers and booksellers who may recommend your books to others.

How can I use social bookmarking to promote my self published book?

Social Book Promotion

The Internet has many new features that can be used for self-promotion. One of these is social bookmarking. This is like putting bookmarks or favorites online, where they can be shared with others. A key aspect of this is tagging, which means assigning keywords to the bookmarks. Each bookmark can have several keywords. This would work well for the sales page of a self published book. Social bookmarking attracts huge amounts of traffic to tagged websites, so it is an excellent way to get a buzz going about a new self published book.

How do I promote my book using other spin-off products?

Excellent Book Promotion Idea

A good book marketing tip to promote your book is to create and sell "spin-off" products using illustrations, quotes, and concepts from your book. You can self publish these spin-offs too, creating more interest in your book while you create extra income too. Some great ideas include:

  • Selling mousepads with your favorite quote from a portion of your book
  • Mini-posters with your book cover or photograph printed on them
  • Coffee mugs with your book cover design or a favorite saying from your book engraved on them

*Giving away promotional materials can help create interest in your book, and keep the book fresh in the mind of your reader or bookseller.

Why is your book different?

Why is your Book Different?

When marketing a book, you must convince readers, reviewers, and public relations people that your book is different and unique. If you don't know why your book is different, then neither will they! Here are some questions you might consider addressing when describing your book:

  • Why your book handles an old topic with a new twist
  • How your book serves a market other books in the category do not
  • If your book isn't exceptionally different—why did you write it?

Your book has to have a reason for existing, so make sure you let readers and others know just why they should read your book, and what they will get from it. Your book needs to be new, different, fresh, and exciting, so make it so!

What can I learn from the street people about sales?

Learn From the Street People

Sell! Sell! Sell! When you want to get your book out there, you have to focus on the obvious—selling the thing! Book marketing is all about sales so become a sales person (at least for a while). When you are at an event (fair, book signing, promotion, etc.) remember these tips:

  • Be proactive—if a potential reader tries to walk by, don't let them! Try to engage them in a conversation.
  • Give the people something (food, sticker, bookmark, whatever). People love to get things for free!
  • Make sure your book cover is in clear view—and displayed neatly and nicely.
  • Look approachable—smile, for goodness sake! No one wants a book written by a grump!

* Don't wait for them to say they want the book—assume they already do. Once you've had a conversation about the book, close the deal. Instead of asking if they want the book, say something like “Who would you like me to make the autograph out to?” or “Would you like that gift wrapped?”

Should I put together a show or discussion about my book's contents?

Develop a Show or Discussion Around your Book

If your book lends itself to a reading, it may also lend itself to developing a slide show or multimedia presentation that you can offer to interested groups. For example, imagine a local author who is an expert on barns, and wrote a book about old barns. He puts together a slide show with pictures of old barns and offers it to historical groups, farming groups, and other interested people in the area. As part of his book marketing, he always has copies of his books on hand for sale after the show. What's your niche? Try making an interesting slide show about your book.

How to I promote my books myself, by having an autograph party?

Hold an Autograph Party!

Autograph parties or book signings are a form of book promotion not open to producers of other goods or services. Bookstores, both chain and independent, stage these events to draw potential customers into their stores.

*Have as many book signing in as many different locations as you can—they are great publicity. And, getting to know your readers will create a connection that will make them more likely to buy a book from you in the future.

Who do I sell my book to?

The World is your Store Front

When you have published a book yourself, always remember that every person you come into contact with is a potential sale when you are marketing and promoting your book. I know a poet in New York who sells 50-60 books per day in the subways and streets of New York. Everywhere you go and every conversation you engage in, make an effort to bring up your book. The more you get the word out, the more it will spread—this will make it more likely that you will sell copies.

Should I donate some of my time to local charities or non-profit groups?

Donate your Time to Charity, Too

Another great book marketing idea that many people overlook is donating some of your time to a local non-profit group or charity. It will not only help the group and make you feel better, but it can also generate publicity for your book. For example, if you wrote a book about pets, donate time to your local Humane Society. Edit their newsletter, and always include a bio with your book's information. Donate some books to them to sell.

*Many people will patronize those who donate to charities, so you help your cause and your book at the same time.

What is the ABC of marketing a book?

ABC of Books

Look to the movies for great marketing tips! There's a great motivational sales speech in the movie "Glengarry Glenn Ross." During a presentation to a group of real state salesmen, Alec Baldwin tells the group that the secret to sales is "ABC" (or Always Be Closing). This also holds true for the self publisher when marketing and promoting your book.

*Never miss an opportunity to sell your book. Everyone wants a copy of your book, they just may not realize it yet—that's your job.

How can I get the media to help promote my book?

Get The Media Involved

How do you get the media involved in promoting your book?

  • Schedule any radio, TV and newspaper interview that you can arrange to promote your book
  • Send copies of your book to local radio personalities, newspaper book reviewers, and anyone else that might help you promote your book
  • Let the media know you are willing to be interviewed whenever they need help with the topic of your book

* This is a great, ongoing book marketing tip, because if you become an expert in this topic, journalists will continue to call on you when they are reporting on anything to do with your book's topic and your field of expertise.

How can I promote my self published book for free?

Free Self Publishing Promotion

Article marketing is an excellent way of promoting a self published book for free. It consists of writing short articles (400-500 words) and uploading them to an article directory such as or Each article has a resource box at the end, where writers can put links to the resources they want to promote. A good tip is to use the title of the book or the relevant keywords as a link that takes readers to the sales page for the book.

Should I give my book away in a contest?

Create a Contest for Your Book

Marketing a book is as creative and complex as writing a book. A creative book marketing technique is to offer a contest or promotion that includes your book. People love to win something! You could give away a copy of your book on your web site to encourage people to visit and register. This helps generate interest in your book and will help you develop a mailing list for future promotions, too.

* Also try bartering some of your books with a local merchant for a gift certificate, and give that away. Contests are fun and aren't that expensive to create.

How do I utilize trade publications when promoting my book?

Marketing to Trade Magazines

Another great ongoing book marketing tip is to write articles for newspapers, trade, and association magazines. These articles should always:

  • Mention the book you self published
  • Cover the topic of the book
  • Include a small section of the book to get readers to want to read more (and hopefully buy it)

*Also, look to previous clients and customers for networking, in order to properly promote and market your self published book.

Do I need to spend lot of money preparing a press release to market my book?

Don't Spend a Fortune on an Effective Press Release

Some people think they have to hire an expensive PR firm to help market their book. However, there is no need to spend thousands of dollars with a PR agency on an effective press release. You can do your own effective book marketing quite easily.

Contact online press release experts for help with writing and distributing new book press releases. They will fine tune your release and make sure it gets to the right media—all for much less than a conventional PR agency.

How do I promote my book using the media and the airwaves?

Interview on a Radio/TV Show

As part of your overall book marketing plan, do a radio and/or TV interview, promoting your book. The audience for these types of programs is so expansive that you can't help but gain the attention of potential new readers. It is also a great idea to let your readers actually hear your voice rather than just read your words—this will help them to feel like they know you better.

* During an interview, remember to mention the name of your book periodically throughout the show—listeners and viewers are likely to tune in and out throughout the program so make sure they hear the name of your book.

How can I use bookmarks to help sell my book?

Bookmarks and Other Promotional Printing

Often, bookmarks and postcards make excellent marketing tools. After you have your bookmarks printed, ask your local bookstore to put one of your bookmarks into every book purchased over a certain time period (or include them yourself before you deliver your books to the bookstore).

*Hand out bookmarks and postcards to friends, salespeople, libraries, and other retail stores. These are small book marketing reminders that are quick to hand out and stay in the person's memory.

Where are some places besides bookstores where I can sell my book?

How to Do Street Marketing

Another good book marketing tip is to sell your self published book right on the streets of the town where you live. You'll have fun meeting people and you could make some money promoting and marketing your self published book at the same time. People are also more likely to buy something from someone with which they have something common (one successful poet sells 50-60 books per day on the streets of New York, where he lives).

*This is also a great way to market a self published guidebook or travel guide to your local area.

Should I try to get some famous people to write a quote recommending my book?

Getting "Blurbs" or Quotes for your Book

Many self publishers overlook one important and valuable book marketing tip: get quotes from famous people or experts for your book promotion. Quotes help make a book more credible, and often help boost sales. If you don't have any famous contacts, try looking online to find agents and publicists in the specific field you need. For example, if you write a real estate book, look for moguls like Donald Trump or other big names to give you a short quote about the book you can include in the marketing material and in the short book information on the back cover.

Why should I target regional magazines when I promote my book?

Using Regional Magazines

Don't overlook regional magazines when promoting your book. Send review copies to the regional book editor, and ask them to review it. Many regional magazines like to showcase local authors, so they will help you when you are marketing your book.

*Also let the editor know you are available as an expert in your subject matter if he or she needs help in the future.

Do I need a business license?

Getting a Business License

Do you have a license for that? If you are selling a self published print book, chances are your city, county, and/or state will require you to have a business license. If you are selling your books retail and collecting sales tax, then you will need a license. The best thing to do is check with your city, county, and state to find out their requirements. This is another thing to think about when you decide to self publish your book.

How do I utilize book fairs to promote books myself?

Try a Book Fair

Another excellent tip for marketing a book is to hold a book fair! Book fairs are where publishers traditionally show their self published books. There are several different kinds of book fairs, including:

  • Fairs for bookstore buyers
  • Fairs for libraries
  • Fairs for the general public
  • International fairs
  • Local fairs

Why should I print extra book cover design copies?

Print Extra Copies of Book Covers

Another savvy book marketing tip is to plan ahead when you print your books. Print extra book cover designs during your print run and don't have them folded. Later, these extras can be made into posters, trade show displays, and brochures to help market and promote your book.

*It costs very little, so be sure to let your book printer know when submitting your order that you would like extra covers printed and not folded.

Should I hold a book reading for my book?

Hold a Book Reading

Many bookstores will promote author book readings that really help with marketing a book. At a reading, standard procedure is to read an especially interesting or compelling section of your book to an audience. This may sound daunting, but many authors find they come to love book readings, and sharing their work with an interested audience.

*After the reading, make sure you have a supply of your books to sell and autograph for the audience.

Why do people say "NO" when you are trying to promote your book?

Getting Your Feelings Hurt

Don't be a softie! Book marketing tip: Sales is not the place to be if you have a sensitive ego. One person's "no" just gets you that much closer to the next person's "yes." Don't take the word "no" as a personal assault. The person is not really rejecting you—they are rejecting your product (your book).

*Don't take it personally. Go onto the next prospect when marketing and promoting your own book.

What is the Book Market Map and how can it help me market my book?

The Book Market Map

You wouldn't go on a cross country road trip without a map, would you? Then don't leave home without a book marketing plan, either. The Book Market Map will serve as the centerpiece of your whole book marketing plan. If you don't know where to start, try consulting a marketing specialist.

Brian Jud, a well respected marketing professional specializing in independent publishers and special sales, has developed a Book Market Map that lays out thousands of specialized outlets for who should be selling your self published book. You can find the map at

Does NO ever really mean YES?

Book Marketing Ideas

Don't take no for an answer. Here's a book marketing idea that comes straight from sales training: when promoting your book, if someone tells you NO, assume they did not understand your question. It often takes a NO to get to a YES—keep this in mind as you try to sell your book. Find out why they said no, and try to get them to say yes instead.

Should I donate books to charity auctions?

Donate Books to Charity Auctions

Book marketing is not always just about selling books, it is about generating continuing buzz about your written words. You want to keep your name and your book's title in front of people as often as you can.

*It is a good idea to donate books to charity auctions. Does your local library have an annual auction to raise funds? What a great time to donate a book! You'll help the library raise money, and people will remember you book as it is auctioned off.

How do I get someone to write a book review about my new book?

Book Reviews

Extra! Extra! Read all about reading my book! Find people from the local media who do book reviews to review your latest book for their magazine, newspapers, and newsletters. Honest book reviews are more believable than advertising, and definitely more affordable.

*Ask around and see who is in charge of writing book reviews in the local media, and send them a copy of your book, or your book press release.

How do I use direct mail advertising to promote my book myself?

Direct Mail Advertising

Direct mail advertising provides you with the opportunity to get your complete sales message to a specific potential buyer. But, you must be very selective in your choice of lists and you must direct the message in your cover letter toward the type of person on that list. Visit the main branch of a public library in a large city, go to the reference desk and ask for the Direct Mail List Rate & Data.

This directory lists every mailing list available together with its size, how it was assembled, the various ways it can be broken down (just male, by income level, geographically, etc.), its source, and much more. There are also many companies who deal with direct mail lists online, so search for "direct mail lists" to find these book marketing services.

*Direct mail is very cost restrictive for the published. Unless you have money to burn, there are more efficient ways to get to buyers.

How can I use social bookmarking to promote my self published book?

Social Book Promotion

The Internet has many new features that can be used for self-promotion. One of these is social bookmarking. This is like putting bookmarks or favorites online, where they can be shared with others. A key aspect of this is tagging, which means assigning keywords to the bookmarks. Each bookmark can have several keywords. This would work well for the sales page of a self published book. Social bookmarking attracts huge amounts of traffic to tagged websites, so it is an excellent way to get a buzz going about a new self published book.

Should I try to syndicate a column in my subject area?

Syndicate your Writing

Syndicating your writing is not easy, but if you can develop a syndicated column from your subject matter, you will generate continued publicity that will help in repeatedly marketing a book. A column helps establish you as an expert in your field, and gives you an audience interested in your particular subject. For example, if your book is on interior decorating, you might write a column offering quick and easy design tips, or designing on a budget. Marketing a column can be as much work as marketing a book, but it can be very rewarding!

Why is ongoing book marketing important for my book?

Ongoing Book Marketing

Ongoing book marketing is probably one of the most important aspects of marketing your self published book. It's all about you and your relationship with your book. You wouldn't leave your house without your keys—don't leave without your book, either! You'll soon see that sales opportunities arise in the strangest places. It only takes one book in the right hands to make the difference. Good luck!

Should I create a marketing plan for my book?

Creating a Book Marketing Plan

Market! Market! Market! There are many services both online and off that will help you create a specific book marketing plan. "On Target: The Book on Marketing Plans" by Tim Berry and Doug Wilson can be downloaded free at: If you like what you see, you can also purchase the book with marketing plan software to help you create your own dynamic marketing plan for your book.

*You need a specific book marketing plan to help you target your markets and make sure you don't overlook any market that is right for your book.

Should I write articles about subjects other than my book?

Write General Articles

You don't only have to write articles that deal with the subject matter of your book. Try writing general articles for other magazines, too. Not only will you add to your credibility as a writer, you will still get a chance to market your book to the readers.

*Include an author bio with the article that includes your book title, or mention the title in the article as a general resource.

How can I use national events to help market my book?

Tie your Book to National Events

There are hundreds of national holidays and celebrations that you might be able to tie your book to (this can result in the sale of more copies). For example, if you wrote a book about families, you might want to try promoting it during Mother's Day and Father's Day. If you wrote a camping or backpacking book, try promoting it on "National Trails Day" (the first Saturday in June).

*Look for a national tie-in to your book, and create a marketing plan that includes specific marketing for that national event.

Should I barter with others for my book or for services?

Bartering for Promotion

Bartering is good! Sometimes you can barter your book to help with book marketing. Other publishers or vendors may barter services for some of your books, and you may be able to barter some of your books with book sellers or shops in trade for some of their merchandise.

Should I target special sections of the newspaper when I market my book?

Newspaper Special Sections

Paste information about your book all over the newspaper! Here's a book marketing tip you might not have thought of: If you managed to get your book reviewed in the newspaper, target other special sections to make sure your book receives full coverage. Many newspapers print special travel, food, gardening, and holiday sections. Try to get your book highlighted in sections like these and reach an entire new group of newspaper readers.

Should I market my book in my old hometown?

Market in your Old Hometown

If you moved away from your old hometown but still have contacts there, you might want to do some book marketing there as well. Some people may remember you from your childhood, and be interested in your book, and your book may even include a tie-in to your old hometown.

*If you do a book tour, you might want to make a special stop in your old hometown to do a little special book marketing to old friends and neighbors.

Why should I mail out post cards and contact customers about my book?

Mail Flyers Promoting Your Book

Psst! Want a book marketing tip that really works? Try printing post cards for your book. Post cards will offer continuous marketing, long after you send them out. As you've probably noticed, post cards advertising various things, are everywhere and there's a reason for this—it really works. Flyers are cheap and easy to make so you can make a large amount of them with minimal effort. And, there are unlimited places available where you can put post cards:

  • Put them up around your area
  • Mail them to people that you know in other areas and ask them to post them
  • Include post cards about your self published book in the information packets you mail each month
  • Mail out post cards promoting your book to the thousands of names you have listed in your database
  • Send thousands of post cards to bookstores everywhere and ask them to distribute them

*Call any former clients and customers, offering them an opportunity to buy advance copies for their sales force once the book publication date is announced.

What are premium sales and why should I target them?

Market your Book as a Premium

If you wrote a book for a specialty audience (gardeners, artists, gourmet cooks, photographers, etc.) try creating a book marketing plan that includes companies that could use your book as a gift or premium for their clients. For example, if you wrote a book on gardening, market your book to gardening tool manufacturers or garden stores.

*This is an often overlooked market that can result in numerous sales for the right book.

How do I use press releases to promote my book myself?

Send Out News Releases

Utilize the press. Something to remember in your book marketing plan is to keep sending out book news releases about your book. Send out news and press releases to different newspapers, magazines, and online zines. Editorial matter tends to be more believable while advertising tends to be viewed with skepticism. Do not spend money on advertising when you can use the same effort and spend less money to send off a news release. Send them out every month to the same group of media players.

Are there other places to market my book?

Look Beyond the Bookstore

Traditional bookstores only account for about 52 percent of book sales. So, while marketing through bookstores is a good idea, look for other ways for marketing a book, too. Try thinking outside the bookstore box and ask gift shops to carry your travel guide, gourmet shops to carry your cookbook, and home improvement stores to carry your how-to gardening book.

*Booksellers can be a good marketing idea, but remember, they are not the only source for book sales.

Can I really work alone all the time?

Are you up to Working Alone?

Do you think that one really is the loneliest number? Most people in the self-publishing business wear many hats. Their businesses are small, and they handle the production, the sales, the bookkeeping, and everything else about their business (usually on their own).

*If you don't enjoy working by yourself, without the support group of a "day" job, then self-publishing may simply not be for you, or it may only be a part-time job for you.

Why should I write articles highlighting information in my book?

Write Articles About your Subject Matter

Most authors will tell you "don't write for free," but when you are marketing your book, the rules change. It's a great idea to write articles for local and regional publications that highlight information from your book. For example, if you write a history book, you might want to write an article about one historic happening in the book.

*Most magazines will allow you to place a "tagline" of information at the end of your article, where you can include your book's title and where it can be purchased. Voila, you have some free book marketing!

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William Pirraglia