Marketing Your Self-Published Book Doesn't Have to Be Hard

In the beginning of every career, there is a time when you have to pay your dues from the bottom rung – or near the bottom at least. As writers, because of the solitary nature of our craft and the fact that we may not exactly enjoy having to mingle at parties and chat-ourselves-up online, there is this challenge in figuring out a way to market our work effectively and inexpensively, while not necessarily having to do it ourselves.

I started to consider this issue when a member here on The Market List commented that she would like to be able to have someone else do the marketing stuff (without having to lay-out massive sums of money) and be left alone to write her next book instead. I think every writer might enjoy that scenario.

The problem is however, as a NEW writer, you simply do not have the luxury to connect with only a handful of people and hope they'll go out and do the work of promoting your book word-of-mouth and via social networks. You have to do the initial work yourself. Your fans will have nothing to share with other readers if they don't get the chance to know you a little bit first.

As a self-publisher, you also don't have the marketing department of some mega-publishing house to promote your book. So the best way to avoid having to market your own book, is to get a publishing contract with a big-house book publisher.

If that's not an option for you however, you're going to have to put-in at least a few hours toward getting your book sold. It doesn't need to be expensive or time consuming though. Here are a few tips to help minimize the time (and money) you spend marketing your self-published book. They are all either free or very inexpensive and will take you less than a few hours a week to accomplish.

Have flyers made-up and leave them everywhere: coffee-shops, bookstores obviously, community boards, church boards. For the bulletin boards I'd suggest the kind with the tabbed bottoms so that people can rip off the title and perhaps where to download your book (with a discount/coupon code?).

Think local – check church bulletins, local magazines and newspapers, the library are all great places to find book clubs. Consider volunteering to speak at some of the functions and remember you're not there to promote per se, as much as connect and share what your book is about.

If you haven't already, give every single one of your friends and family a copy of your book with the link to the review section and suggest nicely that they give you a review. No one will judge you if you have to beg some of them.

Make sure you have a press kit for your book. If you don't know what that is or how to make one, you can find a some information HERE 

Use every quick and free online resource you can find. That means, entering your website into online directories, posting to writers forums, and creating press releases and events for release dates. Pushing your book on your own social media is a given, but remember to ask your friends and family to share it on theirs as well. And, I know you have a website or you wouldn't be reading this because book promotion online doesn't work without a website.

Carry a copy of your book everywhere, not just for handing it out, but for leaving it behind, and make sure a few of them are signed and bear an "Autographed Copy" notice somewhere on the cover. One of the best ways to get your book out there is to give it away. Consider a contest on your website where subscribers win a free copy or a discount.

If you were savvy enough to get the book written, you will have no problem marketing your book with the free and semi-free tools that are available all around you. If you'd like more information or to open a dialogue for some ideas, leave a comment below.


  • Posted by Patricia Ross
  • January 8, 2015 6:26 PM PST


  • Admin and Amethyst Creek like this
  • Amethyst Creek
    Amethyst Creek Do you have any additional thoughts that would help those of us who have published in the electronic format only?
    July 30, 2015 - 1 likes this - Report
  • Patricia Ross
    Patricia Ross Hi Amethyst, Sure. I have loads of articles posted about everything from using Amazon's platform, to going solo with electronic publishing. If you don't see what you're looking for though, please feel free to ask me for a specific topic directly and I'll...  more
    July 31, 2015 - 1 likes this - Report


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