How To Market Your Book So It Sells Like Hotcakes

how to market your book

Publication day is one of the most exciting days for any author — whether they’re publishing their first book, or fifteenth.

It’s the BEST. Everything is finally done.

You’ve spent months writing, editing, polishing… days poring over cover designs and interior layouts…  excruciating hours getting all the sales listings just right…

And the moment you get to put that book in front of real people, who will pay actual money and spend their own time to read it?

There’s nothing like it. You feel this overwhelming rush of pride, excitement, relief… and anxiety. 

No matter how good the book is, no matter how many times you’ve checked and rechecked that everything is ready — you STILL hear that faint voice in the back of your head that it might not work.

It happens to me, to every author I’ve ever worked with, and to every author I’ve ever heard interviewed.

It’s completely normal, and there’s only one remedy.

Marketing.

The only way to shut that voice up is to market the book with the same focus and enthusiasm that you brought to actually writing it.

Here’s exactly how to market your book so that you can feel confident you are doing everything in your power to make it shine (and sell):

  • Tell your email list about the book in advance of publication. Get them excited about it, and if you have enough time, set up a pre-order campaign on Amazon. This will help the book launch with a strong sales velocity, which will help keep it showing up high in the search results.
  • Share samples of the book on your blog and as guest articles on any appropriate websites.
    Make sure you include a paragraph at the end of the article that includes a brief bio, a note that this is an excerpt from YOUR BOOK: TITLE HERE, and a link to a landing page where they can opt in to be notified when the book is available.
  • Set up a bonuses page on your website that people can access when they pre-order or purchase your book. You can either include a link to the page in the book itself, or send it to people when they send you confirmation of their order.
    This incentivizes them to both order and share, since they’re getting even more value than they were expecting.
  • If you’re particularly good at a type of marketing already, work out how to add your book into the mix and double down on that.
    For example: if you have a great system for Facebook ads, set up a landing page on your website where you can either capture an email or start retargeting the user, and then market the book to them as you would any other product.
    If you’re great at email marketing, set up a launch campaign. If you do affiliate campaigns, set up a campaign that way. Find a way to work your book into the marketing systems that are already easy for you.
  • Organize a podcast tour. Not only are podcasts evergreen — they’re online forever unless the host decides to delete them, which is rare — and many shows have dedicated listeners who tune in for every episode.
    Those folks trust the host, and so if the host is promoting your book, the listener is going to be primed to get a copy.
    Plus it’s a great way to demonstrate your expertise, grow your authority, and polish your speaking skills.
  • If you’re comfortable on social media, do a series of live video streams on Facebook and/or Instagram. You can record videos and share them on YouTube and LinkedIn.
    Link all these back to the book page on your website so that you can add those new viewers to your audience, and then direct them to purchase the book.
  • Share parts of the book’s content on LinkedIn and in any professional associations you might be part of. Many professional publications are starving for content, so a good-quality extract is a welcome pitch for many editors.
  • Don’t forget about traditional media! Local outlets are often completely forgotten in publicity plans now that the internet is so powerful… but if you get in a few local papers, on local radio or TV, you can then use that to ‘snowball’ your way up the chain, getting into bigger and bigger publications as you prove your value with each new feature.
  • On publication day, email your network individually. Reach out to each person you think is relevant, and let them know you’ve just published a book.
    Share briefly what it’s about, and invite them to share it (with a link you provide) with their audience, if they think it’s a good fit. Some of my best coverage has come from this by-hand approach.


(You can also find a template for this email in How To Write This Book, which lays out the whole process of writing, publishing and marketing business books.)
You can pick and choose which of these strategies you use.

Realistically, it depends on the time and resources you have available. But the more of them you can do well, the better — and this is not an exhaustive list.

If a creative idea to promote the book springs to mind, I say GO FOR IT. Partnerships, events, giveaways, competitions — there are any number of ways you can promote your book.

Don’t forget to start marketing as early as you can, and remember that you can keep on promoting it long after the publication day has passed!

In fact, if you do it right, your book can become the ONLY piece of content you need to promote for a long time to come, because it will be enough to get people into your audience and for them to start engaging with you.

P.S. Want event more tips about how to market your book and make sure the final product is as amazing as possible? Click here to check out ’10 Things I’ve Learned from Writing 20 Books.’