Should Authors Promote Books?


Recently, I was asked a basic question: should authors promote their books? Yes. Here are your options.

Options for Promoting Your Book

Basically, there are five options for promoting your book. Authors should choose from among these a unique mix of marketing efforts.
How to choose, what criteria will you use to decide what to include in your marketing plan?

2 Criteria for deciding on how to promote

Play to your strengths. Do what you like to do, what you’re good at.

Find your audience and play to their preferences, even if they aren’t your strengths. Where does your audience hang out and what media are they using? You gotta hang out there, too, and you gotta use the media they use.

5 Options for Promoting Your Book

  • Print: flyers and posters, ads in magazines/newspapers/specialized publications, sample chapters, direct marketing, newsletter, interviews, business cards, slogans/pitches
  • Audio: radio or online interviews, read samples of your work, give reader’s reactions and comments
  • Web: website and/or blog, email marketing, online ads, sample chapters, RSS, feeds, bulletin boards or forums, ezine or newsletter, affiliate programs, online contests, webinars, advertisements (from Craigslist to GoogleAds), ebooks, podcasts, vlogging, internet memes
  • Personal appearances: BEA, ALA, local library, bookstore signings, literary festivals, teaching, school visits, speaking engagements, seminars, conferences, asking for referrals, elevator pitches, personal PR
  • Social Media: Facebook, GoodReads, Twitter, LibraryThing,,; spending enough time to become part of the community; using announcements, contest, giveaways

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