Promoting Your Book

growing through marketing image

As you know, being a writer doesn’t mean all you do is write. There is often research that needs to be done and always editing and revision. Authors – especially those who are not well-known and who self-publish – are also responsible for promoting their books. But even well-known authors market themselves and their work. Larger publishers will help and perhaps even reimburse expenses for book tours and pay an author for their appearances. As a writer, you should be prepared to handle this aspect of being an author even when you’re famous and can pay someone to take over this part of your work.

Marketing can be time-consuming so it’s good to start before your book is even published. And, you will have plenty of time to build excitement from the time your book is accepted by a traditional publisher until your work is finally in print. Many writers have full-time jobs besides writing, so you need to determine the best avenues to target with your limited time. I’ve included some suggestions below, but this is not an exhaustive list.

Social Media

Posting about your manuscript on multiple social media sites is essential to reaching a wide audience and most authors set aside time daily to perform these tasks. There are many places where you can post updates and snippets, character sketches or links to other published stories. Many authors build and maintain a following on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook but there are other social mediums that may be as, or more, worthwhile such as TikTok, YouTube and LinkedIn. You will have to decide where to focus your efforts based on your audience, where you already have a following, and the medium you are most comfortable with. Just a few general tips for using social media:

  • Don’t post the exact same thing on multiple sites.
  • Post often but more frequently around book release and appearance dates.
  • Be yourself and post personal things that you don’t mind sharing. People like to know something about the person who writes the novels they love.


This site deserves special mention because it is dedicated to book lovers and provides a place to share favorite books, to review books, create quizzes about books, share quotes from favorite books and more. It is a great place for an author to engage with readers and promote their work. You can even hold a giveaway for your upcoming book, if you can afford to pay $599.00. Most readers will leave a review in exchange for a free book. You can find an audience here and readers can find out about you with Ask an Author or viewing your profile. It is a match made in heaven. Plus, Goodreads says it has 90 million members. That is a lot of readers looking for their next good read! If you are not a member, what are you waiting for?!


This is a great place to write (and read) interesting, original and topical pieces. You can post new content as often or as infrequently as you wish. There will always be many readers looking for new ideas. Medium boasts 725,000 members with as many as half of those paying for unlimited access to free and premium content. It is free to write on Medium, but you can pay for a premium account if you want to earn money from your pieces that generate a lot of interest. This site also offers the ability to collaborate with other writers and readers on your work. Sharing and discussing ideas – and coming to new meanings – is how we progress as a society. Why not join the great discussion and build an audience at the same time?

Book Reviews

Some sites, like NetGalley, connect authors and readers so that authors can get reviews and readers can read new books for free. NetGalley charges authors and publishers to use their service. So, beta reading may be a better way to go to get reviews.

Beta Readers

Using beta readers is an excellent way to get honest feedback about your writing from readers who read prolifically in the genre and, ideally, to get reviews on Amazon. For more information, including how to get beta readers, check out this post on Reedsy.

Author Website

Create a website to share about your published works and upcoming publications, appearances, interviews, reviews and more. Some companies like WordPress will let you create a free site quite easily using one of their free templates. You just add the content. The downside to this is that free websites have ads and you have no control over the ads that are displayed. For about $50.00 a year you can have a site without ads. For an even smaller annual fee, you can have your own domain name and brand your website to you. Alternatively, you can hire someone to do this for you, but it can be expensive. There are many freelance web designers and WordPress designers. You can find some on fiverr.

Amazon Author Page

How often do you pick up a book and read the description, read the first few sentences, and look for the author photo and bio? All the time! Showcase all your books in one place and let readers know who you are with an Author page.


You can get some publicity by doing podcasts. There are many podcasters discussing books and authors who would be happy to talk to you. If your novel takes place in a specific country or community, you most likely can find podcasters who talk about those places. If your book is on a specific topic such as history, politics, or spirituality, find someone who podcasts on those topics. Think creatively about how to get the word out about your book. You can link to the podcast from your website.

Book Tours

Even though there have not been a lot of in person book tours lately due to the pandemic, it’s still worth discussing. Sometimes it seems like you need to be a famous author to get sent out on tour. Smaller publishing houses don’t pay authors and may not even reimburse authors for expenses incurred on a book tour. But, to many writers, this is one of the fun things you get to do when you finally publish a book. Don’t be discouraged if your publisher won’t pay you to do this. You can do book readings and signings in your community without spending a lot of your own money. But it doesn’t have to stop there. If your story takes place in New York City and you live in Maryland, why not take the train up for a book signing/reading/question and answer at a bookstore or library? It wouldn’t be too expensive.  If your story focuses on a particular group of people, such as Italian Americans, go to a city near you with a large population of Italian American’s such as Los Angeles, New Orleans, Chicago, and New York City. Focus on your audience. If your story is for middle grades, find local teachers who will arrange for you to talk to their students about your book. Here, too, a little creativity will take you a long way.

There are many ways to promote your book. Whatever ways you choose, make sure that you are getting results from your efforts. If one method is not very fruitful, try something else. It can take time to build a following on social sites and an audience of faithful readers. Be patient and kind to yourself. There is a learning curve and everything you do provides experience, so all your efforts are worthwhile. Please share in the comments how you promote your work and what you have learned from the time and energy you have spent on marketing.

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