5 Marketing Tools for Book Authors

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I learned the hard way: when you publish a book (self or otherwise) YOU are responsible for marketing it.  But marketing a book isn’t like marketing potato chips. There are different channels and tools to use. With the increase in electronic books these days, there are some new resources worth looking at.

open book

1. Turn Paper into Digital

By simply making your book available via Kindle and other ebook resources, you expand the reach of people who can buy and read your book. Kindle books are remarkably easy to market: all  a customer has to do is click a link to download. This makes your work easier than having to convince them to drive to the bookstore to buy it. Kindle Direct Publishing provides a comprehensive guide to help you format and market your Kindle book.

2. Use Amazon to Your Advantage

It’s hard to remember life before Amazon, isn’t it? Many authors don’t realize the amount of tools available to them, just on their book’s page. If you’re self-published, you should have access to fill out your book’s description and details, as well as tags that relate to the book. The cool thing about tags is that as other people search for books with these tags, they’ll find yours. You can also start discussions that may draw in others who are looking at your book.

Listmania is another great tool for authors. With it, you can create a list of related books, such as “Must-Read Small Biz Books” and include your own. “So You’d Like To…” is another useful feature. If you’re an expert in, say, baking organic pizzas (and have written a book on it), you can create a guide that discusses the topic and recommends books to help readers.

And don’t forget reviews! Amazon shoppers look to see what others think of books, so encouraging your readers to review your book on Amazon will help sell more.

3. Check Out Author Marketing Club

Author Marketing Club, a new free service created by Jim Kukral, aims to help authors who don’t have a clue how to market their books promote it through various tools. The service is also available for readers who want access to new and free releases.  As Jim says:

“You can’t just throw your book up on Amazon and hope and pray.”

His site includes tools that get authors’ books in front of readers, a forum to connect with other authors, and free landing pages for books. There are also videos to help with uploading a book to Amazon.

4. Use GoodReads to Promote

If you haven’t checked out GoodReads, it’s worth a look. Think of it as Facebook for book lovers. You can share what you’re reading, review books and look for suggestions. As an author, there are marketing tools at your disposal. You can create an author bio and list your books, conduct a book giveaway, or give a Q&A on your books. Many people use the site as a way to discover new reads, so this is a good audience to be in front of.

5. Connect with Bloggers

Bloggers review books. By getting several respected bloggers to cover your book, you can be introduced to their readers and find new customers. Find bloggers who cover your topic and reach out to them and offer a review copy.

In addition to these suggestions, blogs and social media are a great way to find new readers. Remember, just like marketing anything, book marketing requires long-term dedication, and begins before your book is even released.

Book Photo via Shutterstock

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Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.

11 Reactions
  1. Hi Susan! These are some really great tools for authors to market their books online. I wasn’t aware of the GoodReads website but I’m glad that I came across your post.

  2. Thanks for linking to us, Susan!

  3. Hi Susan,

    Nice find–I joined Jim Kukral’s Authors Marketing Club earlier this week.

    Jim’s doing a fine job with his digital books and digital book marketing tools.

    You are right about the marketing; it’s up to the authors.

    The Franchise King®

  4. Susan,

    These very unique resources are extremely useful and can enhance the author’s ability to market their books further. I can’t tell you how many authors I read or hear complain about balancing their marketing effort. Moreover few posts provide solid solutions; Very glad that yours does so.

    Thank you for sharing these.

  5. Thanks for the article.

    (By the way, the blue pop up bar on this web site is extremely obnoxious.)

    • Hi Alan, The slide up bar only shows up twice, and then not again. Also, you can close out of it. We made the “close” command quite visible with a red X and the word “Close.” If you don’t like it, all it takes is to close it out.

  6. Peter Desmyttere

    Hi Susan,

    thanks for the great tips!

    We’ve just started publishing our marketing e-books for entrepreneurs and start-ups at bluemarketingbooks.com and will definitely have a closer look at the resources and platforms mentioned in your article.


  7. Never heard of good Reads. This will help my clients. Thanks a lot.

  8. Hey Susan! I’m curious how a person would go about adding a resource to it. I’ve created a platform that solves one of the biggest problems that authors face – getting their books in front of those who want to read it and think it would be a great addition.

    With that said, I’d like to introduce Book Sprout. It’s for authors to reach their readers right on their modern reading devices. It has the same premise as a mailing list, only on steroids and completely built from the ground up with authors in mind. Here’s a bit of what it does:

    – Increase sales by reaching 100% of your followers whenever you release a new book or run a deal.
    – Reach readers via mobile notifications on tablets/phones/kindles, something that wasn’t possible for authors until now.
    – Access to data that’s specific to authors and critical in making big decisions (such as whether or not to participate in KDP Select).

    Since it’s still a very new platform, I’m offering authors who join now the opportunity to use it for free forever! If you want more details, feel free to ask me here or head over to https://booksproutapp.com/publisher and check things out!

    I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!