The book launch is over, but the job of marketing your book never ends. If you’re stuck for book promo ideas, this article is for you. We’ve gathered together some of the best book marketing ideas as reported by 1106 Design authors in their Author Stories.
If you’d like to read the author’s full story on the 1106 Design website and discover more best book marketing ideas, simply click on the author’s name.
Matt Bloom, author of Hello, My Name Is Bunny! London:
Matt is the author of the children’s illustrated chapter book series Hello, My Name Is Bunny!, which he co-created with his wife, Shelley Simmons-Bloom. Their latest book in the series is Hello, My Name is Bunny! London. Here is their book marketing strategy:
- We’ve built a highly engaged social following for Bunny via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, with nearly 19,000 followers in total, and we’ve grown sales through them.
- We leverage online reviews from our website, we have email marketing, and we enter every appropriate award opportunity.
- We participate as vendors in cat-related shows and book festivals, and have built relationships with bloggers who’ve reviewed the books very favorably.
Sonia Panigrahy, author of Nina the Neighborhood Ninja:
Nina the Neighborhood Ninja is an illustrated book for young children about an everyday girl superhero who uses her brain and her muscles to complete rescue missions.
Sonia hired a person with a background in children’s publishing to help get reviews, as reviews are valuable for gaining credibility. In addition, she reached out to bookstores and organizations to get more exposure and distribution, and she does many book readings in schools around California and beyond. Her long-term plans include building a business around Nina, along with recognition of being a prominent author with widespread distribution.
Glyn Haynie, author of When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir and other memoirs:
Honoring the men of First Platoon, especially those who did not return home, was Glyn Haynie’s inspiration for writing When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir, which recounts his experience as a nineteen-year-old in the Vietnam War.
To market his book, Glyn uses Facebook and his author website, and relies on family and friends telling others about the book. Glyn’s book has over two hundred reviews on Amazon and as of July 2019, continues to sell well. Says Glyn, “When I’m out shopping with my wife or travelling, I give anyone wearing a veteran’s hat or who looks interested a business card and a bookmark.”
Glyn has also created an audiobook for When I Turned Nineteen, which is available through Audible on Amazon. He followed up the success of his first memoir with two more books, which are linked together by his Amazon Author page.
Yvette Benavidez Garcia, author of Tango Mike Mike: The Story of Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavidez:
Written with her 4th-grade students in mind, Yvette penned an easy-to-read book about her father, Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavidez, that would inspire children and encourage them to never give up.
Yvette has an interesting story to tell about marketing her book, which she started doing on social media, including her Facebook page, personal blog, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. As her father has a huge following, she marketed to all of his followers and wrote to several magazines and area newspapers and asked them to do a story about the book.
Then came the viral video. Recounts Yvette: “A friend of mine posted the cover of my book on a video that he posted about my dad. Little did we know, but that video went viral after people shared it on their Facebook pages and has had over 14.9 million views combined so far. So, with that one post, my book got huge press.
Bruce Bernstein, author of You Gotta Have Heart:
You Gotta Have Heart is young adult fiction inspired by Bruce’s decades-long interest in the martial arts and his deep familiarity with New York City. Bruce made sure to receive several independent editorial reviews before the book was finalized. He published these reviews on his website and also on his Amazon book page, where there’s a special section for authors to add editorial reviews.
In addition to editorial reviews, Bruce advertised and ran promotions in various magazines, ran Amazon ads, used various eBook promotional services, did a Goodreads giveaway and more to get the word out.
Shary Williamson, author of The Woodland Elves series of illustrated children’s books:
Shary is a retired school teacher. Her children’s books are based on the magical elfin world that she and her husband created in their backyard for their five young grandchildren to enjoy. There are currently four books in the series. When it comes to marketing her books and other products, Shary says she lives by the motto, “Plan your work, then work your plan; an idea can take your imagination by storm but you must have a plan to carry it out.” Advises Shary, “No one else can market your book the way you can. Go for it!” Here are some of the marketing activities Shary has undertaken:
- Created accompanying CDs of music
- Created a card game for the books
- Skype calls with classrooms around the world
- Created the Woodland Elves Trail tour in Marion, OH
- Launched her books at the local library
- Created video “news reports” of elf sightings, so convincing that someone actually contacted Shary to find out more!
- Spoken at schools, service organizations, libraries, and churches, both locally and around the US and beyond
- She is on the radio as often as possible and has had numerous newspaper articles written about the Elves.
In addition to selling the books on Amazon, the books are sold through Shary’s website, local bookstores, the bookstore in the local library, and at many local businesses that support the elves such as florists and gift shops.
John Leifer, author of the Commander John Hart trilogy:
The three books in the Commander John Hart series of thrillers promise to keep readers on the edge of their seats. John took a smart, four-pronged approach to book marketing:
- He sought out reputable reviews.
- He leveraged his online presence via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- He entered (and won!) several awards.
- He undertook “… every other type of shameless promotion I can think of!”
Summary of the Best Book Marketing Ideas
We hope you’ve drawn some inspiration from our authors’ best book marketing ideas.
If forced to summarize the strategies that work well, we’d have to say that while an author website and a social media presence are vital, these efforts should be supported by the personal touch. Glyn handing out cards to veterans is a great example, as is making a point of attending book fairs or events related to your genre.
Reaching out to traditional media such as radio, newspapers and magazines with your unique story is a great strategy. Reviews are crucial, especially advance reviews and endorsements that can be used at launch. And of course, while counting on luck is not a marketing strategy, going viral on YouTube helps!
Above all, be creative, be yourself, be brave, and tell your story. People love to meet authors and believe it or not, want to hear from you!