The Beginners Guide To Promoting A Book - Part One: The Essentials

book display

Marketing and promotion sometimes comes as an afterthought for many authors. They get so caught up in the creative process that they forget there is another layer to their job, which is the marketing and promotion of that book. Truth be told, marketing your book and writing starts before you even start clicking away at your computer.

I've been asked by many authors, "If you were writing a book, how would you set it up to have a successful launch?" So we decided to create our "Beginners Guide To Promoting A Book" series. It's going to outline the steps that you need to take in order to properly set up the release of a new book. Knowing it's good to have deadlines and parameters in place to guide you, we are going to set this up as a timeline so you know what you need to be doing and when.

Now, I know some of you might be thinking, "my book is finished so I can't do some of the steps prior to the release date," which is fine. Just start where you are at and as soon as possible. It's not the end of the world if you don't fall perfectly within this timeline.

Our first order of business is to talk about the most essential elements that need to be established FIRST. These are the foundation and base on which you will build your plan. Get these set up first and then you can get rolling on the other promotional aspects.

Ideally these three aspects would be set up or well on their way to being set up. If not, get started right away on:

  1. Your Website
  2. Social Media outlets (we suggest at least Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads)
  3. Your Distribution


Your Website

We have several posts on our blog that show you how to set up your website, which can be found below:

Your website is your main information hub on the internet, therefore it is the most important aspect of your promotional efforts. Get this rolling as soon as possible! While you wait for your website to be completed, get a page set up until your website is completed.

Social Media

We suggest getting your Facebook Page (NOT a Facebook profile - difference between the two can be found here), Twitter, and GoodReads accounts rolling as soon as possible. If you aren't familiar with how they work, sign up and spend some time observing to see how to best use them. You can also subscribe to our blog and newsletter for free updates regarding how to best use social media.


If you are a signed author with a publishing deal, make sure to get links from your publisher to stores that will be selling your book. This way you can have them on your website to direct fans exactly where they need to go to purchase the book.

If you are an independent author, you have many options available to you to sell your books online. Yes, you want to sell your book on your website, but don't limit yourself to just one form of distribution. (a division of CD Baby, which is the most trusted distributor of music for indie musicians) is a great resource. Obviously is another excellent option if you want to sell both physical and e-books. And setting up a simple store on your website with a Paypal account is something else you should consider.

Here are a few additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Don't focus on getting signed. While being signed to a major publisher was the end-all-be-all back in the day, not so anymore. What you DO need to focus on is building a solid and thriving fan base. This allows for the option to work with a publisher in the future so they can possibly help you expand your reach to new markets.
  • If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Remember that 99% of the time, the most worthwhile things in life come at a cost and are not easy.
  • Surround yourself with people that you trust and who are as passionate about your book and writing as you are.

NEXT TIME: We will break down the timeline so you can properly promote your book!

ACTION POINT: How long did it take you to get your website, social media and distribution set up? What suggestions do you have to share with other authors?

Did you find this post helpful? Do you want to know more about how to grow your audience, establish and online presence, and use online resources to sell more books? If so, subscribe to our newsletter! You will receive “The Author’s Modern Marketing Guide: 101″ for FREE when you sign up by clicking here!