Publishing your book is just the first step…learn how to effectively promote your book like a pro with these pro tips.
Getting a book deal with an indie publisher is an amazing accomplishment. If you’ve done that, congratulate yourself and go celebrate. Not many people can do this.
But if you’re like most writers, you’re more of a writer than…well, a marketer.
That means you might not always have the answer when it comes time to promote your book.
How do I do that? How do I get actual real live people to pick up my book, read it, and potentially leave a review?
Well, there are a few ways to promote your book these days that make it even easier for you to get exposure for your book.
Here are 10 creative ways to promote your indie or self-published book.
1. Join Book Tok
TikTok is helping people from all walks of life go viral, whether it’s for their amazing tips, their cool dance moves, or their beautiful creations.
And #Booktok can help you promote your book and get your book some recognition.
If it’s good, it can only help increase book sales and reviews.
Get on #BookTok and see what other authors are doing to drum up sales and go viral.
Just make sure you deliver you very best work on #BookTok because I’ve heard from some authors that #BookTok can be pretty ruthless with reviews. Always put your best foot forward.
2. Create a Book Trailer (& Post on YouTube)
Video content is probably the highest-performing type of content out there right now. So, if you’re not incorporating any kind of video into your marketing, you should be.
How? You ask.
Make a book trailer to promote your book on YouTube.
But don’t just slap together random images and photos and add a musical track and think you’re going to magically get book sales.
It doesn’t work that way.
First off, if you’re not great at video editing, you might want to hire a professional.
If you dabble a little, try sites like Biteable, Canva, Vimeo, and Crello to help you create great video content for your book.
Make sure the trailer aligns with your story, your genre, and your target audience.
Take a look at some cinematic book trailers in your genre for examples.
3. Offer Free Copies in Exchange for Reviews
It might sound counterproductive, but offering free copies in exchange for reviews is actually a pretty smart tactic to promote your book, especially if you’re giving away copies you’re selling on Amazon.
Amazon boosts books with more reviews and ratings, so the more reviews you can get, the better.
Offer your readers (and potential readers) the chance to win a free copy of your book by signing up for your email list.
4. Create a Book Review Site And Promote Your Book on There
While there are already book review sites, such as GoodReads, that can help people decide which books to buy, there’s always the opportunity for a better solution.
Look at cabs. They were already a perfectly reliable mode of transportation that nobody really complained about. Then, here comes Uber and shortly, Lyft, stealing some of the market share.
Make your book review site bigger, better, and more unique and you might just give sites like GoodReads a run for their money.
Just be creative – think outside the box. Think about what readers really want (or need) from a book review site and make it that (but better).
You can also do more than just book reviews. You could sell book-related merch like t-shirts with funny phrases bookworms might enjoy.
This might be kind of a time-consuming way to promote your book, but if you’re into this kind of thing anyway, it’s really a win-win, right?
5. Do Readings on Live
Live readings of your book can help attract people to your content (and subsequently, lead them to buying your book). Choose an excerpt or two and go live on your social media channel with the highest amount of followers and engagement.
Pick a regular time of the day or week to go live with readings. Don’t be afraid to ask people to go check out your book on Amazon (or wherever it’s being sold) — after all that’s the whole point of doing this.
You can go live on Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, or even apps like Tagged.
6. Use Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads is a great way to find your target audience on Facebook. Unlike other ads programs, Facebook’s ad program is incredibly thorough and there are a lot of moving parts to it.
It helps to get assistance from someone that can help guide you through how to make a great Facebook ad — a successful one.
The last thing you want to do is spend money on an ad that doesn’t get you any sales. It defeats the purpose.
That’s why learning a little bit about Facebook Ads beforehand can help you create amazing, highly clickable Facebook ads that your target audience will thoroughly enjoy.
7. Join Forces with Other Authors
Oftentimes, authors will support each other by trading review for review (honest ones). Join a community for authors on sites like GoodReads. You can also join author communities on Facebook that do similar things. LinkedIn might even be worth a try.
Once you find a few groups, find a few authors you wouldn’t mind trading reviews with. Come up with an agreement about where to post the reviews, whether they should be posted if you didn’t like the book, etc.
These are details that should be worked out prior to reviewing any books or offering your book for review.
8. Use Your Email List (Or Start One)
Creating an email list is just as important for authors as it is for businesses. You want a way to connect with your audience and let them know about any new releases you have coming out soon or events you’ll be attending (and where).
That’s why it’s helpful to have an email list because you can just send out one email blast and everyone on it knows exactly what’s going on with you.
Use a free email marketing tool to begin and then gradually move your way up to a paid one with more features that’ll help you market better.
I recommend Convert Kit or HubSpot (there’s a free plan).
9. Do Teasers
In addition to live readings, you can also post teasers to your social media. Preferably in the form of video, but if you can’t, a static post will have to do.
Give your readers (and potential readers) a sneak peek of what they can expect to read in your book. If they can’t “look inside” on Amazon, this is practically the only way readers will know what they’re getting before they purchase the book. Unless, of course, someone they knew already has it.
Your teaser should be something that gives your audience a peek inside your book’s world, without revealing too much of the storyline (hence the name).
So choose a part of your book that you’re most proud of, but that doesn’t give away too much, and then start creating your teaser post or video.
10. Join the BookBub Program
BookBub is a website that gives people who love to read eBook deals on books in their favorite genres. Before I got a book deal, I would frequently get emails on eBooks that were on sale every week. All I had to do was choose my genres and now I get eBook discounts every week sent directly to my inbox.
Once I became an author, I thought to myself, “How can I get my book on BookBub?” Since I’d purchased books thanks to BookBub already, why not see if I can get my book on there to boost sales. And it was surprisingly easy to sign up for an author account (although you do have to wait for them to approve your author profile if you can’t find your name upon searching for it through their online system). So, for now I’m waiting. I’ll update once I’m approved.
11. Sign Up with Pubby
Pubby is something I recently discovered upon scrolling through my Facebook feed. The ad was definitely targeted to the right demographic because it stopped me in my tracks. The company is not a “paid review” site (because it claims it doesn’t pay readers in exchange for reviews), but it does allow people who love to read access to your content for free so that you can build up your reviews on Amazon.
Instead, they have what’s called a ‘snap’ system. Here’s how it works, according to their site.
If you’re liking how this is sounding, go sign up for an account.
Although it is $20 a month, they do offer a free trial of 10 days. And they say you can get a couple of reviews within a few days, so we’ll see. I’ll update after my free trial ends and let you know if it was worth it.
12. Leverage the Power of Twitch
You might not have known it, but Twitch isn’t just for gamers streaming their games to millions of viewers. It can also be leveraged for other things, which people are definitely doing.
Apparently, people are doing everything from gaming and music to travel and sports, Twitch apparently has several ways to keep you entertained.
According to the site, it’s “where millions of people come together live every day to chat, interact, and make their own entertainment together.”
Why not become a creator and carve out your own path in a sea full of sameness?
13. Use Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups has been a great source of information for me when it comes to several topics. I’m in a bunch of groups and some of them are groups related to writing and being an author.
Post links (when it’s allowed — some groups don’t allow this) to your own books in groups where people commonly share their books with other readers or writers.
I’m in a Children’s Publishers Book Group and I’ve shared my African American History Workbook in there and in a bunch of other groups and now I have 25 ratings and reviews!
Which isn’t half bad for a book I self-published last year (2021) and did barely any promotion on. I still get sales on Amazon regularly (almost every day) without doing really any more promotion. Twice, I’ve gotten close to 50 sales in one day, which tells me Amazon is also pushing my book (they tend to do that once your book reaches a certain amount of reviews or ratings). Guess they know they can make money off you at that point. 😅
Facebook Groups can be pretty powerful and word-of-mouth advertising can be even more effective. Lots of people shared my post (and who knows who else shared their posts…and so on and so forth).
14. Use Publisher Rocket
Publisher Rocket is a premium (paid) tool for authors that can help you get more sales on Amazon. I briefly considered using it before I got a book deal with a small/indie publishing company because of the supposed benefits.
According to the site, it “will help you get your book in front of more Amazon shoppers so you can spend less time marketing and more time writing.”
Here’s a breakdown of how it can help:
If you don’t feel like clicking or squinting at the screen, here’s what it says:
- Keywords (help you choose your seven keywords by providing you with a list of known words shoppers use)
- Competition (lists the books that rank on the first page of Amazon for a particular keyword so you can learn how to outrank them
- Categories (shows a list of all Amazon book categories along with how many books you need to sell to be the #1 bestseller)
- Amazon Ads (helps you effectively and efficiently create a large list of profitable keywords for your book advertisement campaigns)
15. Use My Book Marketing Checklist
A book marketing checklist can help you ensure you’re covering all of your bases when it comes to promoting your book. You want to utilize every appropriate channel you can to get your book in front of readers.
That’s exactly why I created the Ultimate Book Marketing Checklist (and a PLR version you can resell).
Go grab yours and make book marketing a little simpler.
What’d you think of these ideas? Have you tried any of them? Which one are you most excited about trying? Don’t be shy; let me know in the comments.
Affiliate Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links (at no additional cost to you).
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