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How to Promote Your Book: 12 Proven Tips to Boost Sales & Publicity

Updated: Jun 6

You’re an author who’s worked hard on your book. You wrote it because you have something to say, something valuable that will transform your readers' lives. But you’re not a social media celebrity or nationally recognized name and you’re struggling to get book sales.

 

It feels so anticlimactic—all that hard work and little to show. At best, you remain determined to promote the book but are uncertain about how to “move the needle” regarding sales. At worst, you begin to doubt yourself or despair that you’ll never recoup your investment.

 

Is there anything you can do to cause a significant increase in sales?

 

Yes. If you take action now, you can heighten the book’s visibility, increase its sales, and transform the lives of people who aren’t yet aware of your message.

 

You see, often, it’s not a question of the quality of the book but the quality of the marketing. Publishing houses are experts in publishing but usually lack the resources to effectively promote your book for all its worth. Thus, if you or your publisher don’t have the financial resources to hire a top-tier publicist, you must roll up your sleeves and make your book a bestseller. You can do that by thinking like a publicist.

 

Like a publicist, you will need to work hard to get the word out. More importantly, you must work smart so your efforts are efficient. By doing so, you maximize your book’s sales potential. Therefore, we offer the following twelve “pro tips” for publicizing your book.

 

  1. Build an author platform. In today’s market, a book’s viability has more to do—at least initially—with the author than the book. Publishers judge a book’s potential sales more by the author’s platform than by the book’s content. What’s more, prospective readers are more likely to buy a book whose author has a known platform. Thus, an author should begin building a “platform” that includes, at the very least, a personal website, a landing page for the new book, and at least two active social media accounts. In so doing, you can market yourself to the media as an expert or influencer.

  2. Create a media kit. Create a basic media kit, including (1) a full-size photograph of your book’s front cover; (2) a brief profile of yourself, including 3-4 sentences about yourself as well as contact information and social media handles; (3) a brief summary of your book; and (4) 5-10 suggested questions an interviewer could ask you during a radio, podcast, or TV spot.

  3. Pitch yourself to media outlets. A media pitch is a brief email or letter explaining why you would be an excellent fit for a specific radio show, podcast, or print outlet. Include or “attach” the media kit you created. A good pitch is concise, direct, and persuasive. When writing the pitch, put yourself in the shoes of the editor and producer; craft a pitch that lets them see why their target audience would benefit from reading your book.

  4. Remember that media outlets and personalities need you. Without authors and book publicists, media outlets and personalities would have a much more difficult job. Their shows depend on authors to provide material. Make your pitches with confidence because you have good reason to be confident. Consider personalizing your pitch by researching which topics your media contact/outlet has recently covered, which topics they often cover, etc.

  5. Know the media outlet’s audience. Research various media outlets, editors, producers, and personalities. Find the opportunities that are a good fit for your book. Think about the kind of pitches, guests, and story ideas they want. Media contacts will respond to your outreach if you make their job easier. Thus, you should clearly define the audiences your book could best reach and match your media pitches with those audiences 

  6. Consider offering a giveaway. Many media outlets like to use guests who give free books to audience members during the interview. Giveaways, which prompt call-ins, texts, and audience participation, are the perfect way to generate interest in your book.

  7. Tie your book’s subject matter to news and trends. Media outlets and personalities like to hear from authors whose expertise is related to breaking news and current trends. Make a list of hot-button topics to which your book relates in some way. Set up a “Google Alert” related to those topics and your expertise; once you are alerted to an event or trend related to your book, pitch or re-pitch your book to selected outlets.

  8. Make your book stand out. What makes your book stand out from the crowd? Figure out the best answer to that question. Then, craft a paragraph or two explaining what makes your book unique and newsworthy.

  9. Be realistic. Although every author wants to see their book rise to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, very few books make it to that level. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve good book sales and help many readers with what you have to offer. Good things will happen if you work hard to publicize your book.

  10. Be persistent. Book publicity is not for the faint of heart. It involves patience and persistence. Don’t be disheartened if half or more of your pitches are ignored or rejected. Every author experiences rejection. That’s the nature of the game. Instead of being disheartened, be grateful for the positive responses you’ve received while continuing to pitch and re-pitch the book 

  11. Utilize social media. Publicize the book through your own social media accounts. Continue to offer quality content on those accounts, always linking the material to your book. Customize your content for each channel—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc. If you offer high-quality content and interact with other users, you will likely see an uptick in book sales and in the number of people who follow your accounts. 

  12. Enjoy the moment. Like any aspect of life, remember to enjoy the ride. You’ll never again get to pitch this particular book at this specific moment. Yes, you want to increase book sales and reap financial gain. But you can enjoy the moment even if your book is not a bestseller; after all, your book is helping people!

 

Want to elevate your book’s visibility, increase sales, and transform the lives of people who need your message? These dozen initiatives provide a sure-fire way to move the needle without depleting your resources.  

 

Now that you have a plan, it’s time to jump in and get started. However, if these initiatives sound like too much work for the time you’ve got available, we are here to help solve your problem. Schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can collaborate to boost your nonprofit’s visibility immediately.

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