Authors, not sure where to start with book marketing? Start here.

I have worked with lots of authors during my time at HarperCollins and also with the authors who are part of my Lounge Marketing membership. What I hear over and over again is that authors aren't sure where to put their marketing efforts, what they should spend their money on, how to use their time most effectively and which resources and experts they can trust.

I worked at The Bookseller for 5 years, where I wrote opinion pieces about book marketing, innovation and publishing strategies. I also ran the industry awards, conferences and events. I have observed book marketing trends over the years and am a judge for the Book Marketing Society. I am a total geek for the book industry and work right at the heart of the industry. I hope my knowledge of the industry, the influencers and services available to authors will help your choices. Everyone I link to from Lounge Marketing are experts that I would recommend. 

If you're an author starting out, this is for you. I've tried to include the most frequent questions I hear from authors and give you some guidance through all of the options available to you. If you find this post useful, then do sign up for my FREE book marketing newsletter.

 

1. What can I do before my book publishes?

You do not need to wait to have your book published to start getting your house in order. During this time you can get yourself into a strong position. You'll need some basics, this is often called your Author Platform, this includes your website, your Amazon presence, social media accounts and your author newsletter.

Building your author marketing platform - Lounge Marketing

What to Include in Your Book Marketing Strategy - Ingram Sparks

A definition of author platform - Jane Friedman

What is an Author Platform - The Balance

Finding Your Ideal Audience: A Step-by-Step Guide - Your Writer Platform

How to Title a Book: What Do Good Book Titles Have In Common? - Reedsy

How to set up your Amazon Author Central account - Reedsy

 

Elements of your author platform

a. What makes a great author website?

What Should I Put on My Author Website?- John Burke for Ingram Spark

Blog post ideas for author websites   -  Lounge Marketing

 

b. How do I use social media?

Social media is a relatively easy way to start connecting with readers, bloggers, agents and booksellers. You do not need to have a presence on every social media platform, that is unrealistic. Concentrate your efforts on 2 or 3 that suit you and your readers best.

Twitter for authors - Lounge Marketing

How authors join Goodreads - Goodreads

How to Set Up a Facebook Page for Authors - BookWorks

How to Use Instagram As An Author Plus 10 Ways to Grow Your Account Organically- The Creative Penn

24 Instagram accounts for book-lovers - Lounge Books

Instagram Hacks- Hootsuite blog

25 Creative Ways Authors Use Images for Social Media Marketing- BookBub

 

c. How do I maximise my Amazon presence?

Writing effective blurbs by author, Kerry Wilkinson - Lounge Marketing

How to Write a Killer Author Bio - Reedsy Blog

How to Write an Amazon Book Description That Sells - Reedsy Blog

Choose The Right Categories And Keywords for Your Book - The Creative Penn

 

2. How do I create a great cover for my book?

If you are designing your own cover, I encourage you to spend a lot of time getting this right. Your cover must work hard for you, it must reflect the quality of your book and should entice people to choose your book. This is the number one mistake I see indie authors making - poorly designed covers. If you can hire a professional cover designer, then I highly recommend you do.

How to Choose the Right Book Cover Dimensions - Reedsy

How to create a compelling book cover- The Creative Penn

Top 7 Resources to Design Your Own Book Cover- Reedsy

Why authors should never design their own covers (without help) - Lounge Marketing

5 Ways a Book Cover Could Hurt Sales — And How to Fix It - BookBub

 

3. What should I prepare for my book launch?

The Art of the Book Launch (video) - April 2018 Ask ALLi Beginners' Self-Publishing Salon

11 Ways to Promote Preorder Books that Drive Real Results - BookBub

6 Steps for Creating a Social Media Campaign that Drives Your Book Launch - Book Marketing Tools

 

a. Should I organise a book blog tour?

Find bloggers to work with on the Lounge Marketing blogger list - Lounge Marketing

How to Set Up Your Own Online Book Tour - Book Marketing Tools

Online Book Tours and Why You Should Do Them - Book Marketing Tools

Online PR - How to Locate and Pitch Bloggers - Stephanie Chandler, Non-Fiction Author Association

 

b. How do I get press coverage?

Creating an Effective and Timely Book Publicity Plan - Reedsy

A Step-By-Step Indie Authors Guide for Attracting Media Attention- Book Marketing Tools

 

4. What should I spend my marketing budget on?

Promote Your Book on a Budget - Aer.io Blog

 

a. Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)

Cracking the code - Successfully Using Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to Boost Book Sales (video) - Brian Meeks for ALLi

Learn how to use Amazon Marketing Services- Free course from Dave Chesson's Kindlepreneur

 

b. Facebook ads

Book Promotion & Marketing: Facebook for Authors - ALLi (video)

Book Marketing: Facebook Advertising For Authors With Mark Dawson - The Creative Penn with Mark Dawson (video)

 

c. BookBub and other ebook offer emails

BookBub Ads for Beginners with Adam Croft, part of ALLi Indie Author Fringe

 

Book Marketing resources I recommend

The best book marketing podcasts - Lounge Marketing