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Out-of-the-box Book Marketing Ideas for Self-Published Authors

February 17, 2021 (Last Updated December 17, 2020)

Marcy G.

Nothing beats the creative control you get with self-publishing your own book. You set the tone, decide exactly how you want it to look, and publish it just the way you want it, without having to jump through hoops set by a traditional publisher.

But self-publishing your book means you have to self-market it as well which can be daunting. But just like your book was a labor of love, your marketing can be, too — and you can tailor it to your own personality, interests, and strengths.

Here are a few tips if you want to get creative with your book marketing.

Create a Place to Communicate with your Audience, Fans, and Ideal Customers

It’s a good idea to make sure you have the basics in place before you go wild on trying something new. That means you’ve established your:

   Email list and newsletter

   Press release to local news outlets

   Author website with info about your book

   Social media profile for your author presence

If you haven’t yet, get started on those elements. You could set up your author page first, and then use that as a link when you create your social media feeds (such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter).

Be sure to invite people to sign up for your mailing list, because establishing your email list is important for reaching people who are already interested in what you have to say.

Writing a press release will alert relevant news outlets that you are publishing a book, giving them a way to contact you in case they’d like to interview you for a story.

Clever Ways to Build Awareness and Promote your Book

With your website and social media established, you have laid the groundwork to build buzz around your book. You want to grab attention with something new and different and invite people to buy your book and engage with you.

Here are some things you may not have tried yet to bring attention to yourself as an author and allow you to promote your book, discuss what it’s about, and entice new readers to check it out.

Be a Guest on a Podcast

Podcasts have been skyrocketing in popularity, and that’s a trend not likely to fade soon. Offer your time as a guest on a podcast in your field of expertise or your genre of writing and be sure to let people know where they can find your book.

Create Your Own Podcast

Or, take it a step further, and create your own podcast. This gives you complete control over the product and can help in market your next book, too.

Raise Money for a Cause

Combining your marketing with raising money for a good cause may make it more likely for people to participate, and it will help you do a good deed, as well.

Register on Goodreads

If you haven’t yet, be sure to set up your author page on Goodreads and make sure people can leave reviews of your book. Readers are always looking for their next read, and Goodreads is a popular way for them to find new books. Make it easy for potential readers to discover you.

Set up Your Amazon Page

Another important thing to do if you haven’t yet is to set up your Amazon seller’s page. This has the potential to open up a wide new market for your book, so it’s an important step to take.

Create a Street Team or Fan Club

You probably have a couple fans already (even if they’re related to you!), so why not create a street team or fan club? These are people who can help you spread the word, because they are enthusiastic supporters of your work. They can post cards or flyers around town or get active on social media and forums. Be sure to reward them with free books or even merch - see below.

Sell Merch

Is there a message in your book that would look good on a T-shirt? Have you created lovable characters that beg to be put on a mug or tote? Creating and selling merch not only provides another stream of income, it also acts as silent word-of-mouth advertising.

Arrange Readings, Signings, and Tours

These are traditional tactics in an author’s marketing push — but there are ways you can think outside of the box. Why not host a theme night, a Zoom reading, or a costumed, socially distant tour? Use your imagination and readers will find you.

Boost a Book Club

Connect with book clubs and offer your book as a selection. Better yet, work up some thoughtful discussion questions that members can use as they discuss your work.

Create a Workbook

You could use the discussion questions you created in the tip above to write a workbook that operates as a standalone companion to your book. This could offer added value, especially if your book is non-fiction or how-to.

Hold a Contest, Raffle, or Giveaway

Find an irresistible draw (new AirPods? A wine gift basket?), and create a contest, raffle, or giveaway to attract readers. For example, offer raffle tickets to people who have bought your book to give them a chance to win.

Join With a Special Guest

Why not collaborate with an exciting name in your field or genre? Such a pairing could be powerful, even greater than the sum of its parts, helping each of you spread awareness and accomplish your goals.

Connect With an Influencer

Or, you could connect with an influencer, such as a popular Instagram account in your field or genre and let them try your book in exchange for an honest review. YouTube is another great place to find influencers to connect with.

Make Videos

Don’t underestimate the power of creating your own videos. You can do a whole series discussing your book, its contents, even your behind-the-scenes process. Videos are a great way for readers to connect with you personally.

Submit Thought Leadership Articles

Depending on your field of expertise, you may get a lot of traction by submitting thought leadership articles to leading publications. This gives you a chance to reach a slightly different audience and introduce them to your ideas. Be sure to include a link pointing to your author page so people can find your book!

Book Marketing Key Takeaways

Hopefully, you’ve found an idea or two for marketing your self-published book that you haven’t tried before. Remember, book marketing is a marathon, not a sprint — start before you’ve published, and carry on long after your book has been printed.

Ready to print your book? 48 Hour Books can help! Give us a call to begin the process. Reach us at 1-800-231-0521 or contact us online. And if you’d like a deep dive on how to self-publish your book, order our Ultimate Guide to a 48 Hour Book to see the steps (and the quality!) for yourself.

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Comments

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Robert Jennings February 01, 2021

What would be the cost for the things listed above?

48 Hr Books February 01, 2021

Hi Robert! A lot of these ideas can be done for free! We recommend establishing a promotion budget based on your needs. For example, if you are building a website, depending on the platform you are using, this may produce a monthly cost. If you decide to create merchandise, this is something you would budget for as well.


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