Ten Ways To Publicize Your Book You May Not Have Thought Of

You’ve tried putting your book on all the usual sites, getting reviews and talking about it on forums and still you aren’t getting the sales you imagined. What can you do to improve this situation? Here are ten lesser-known insider ways to publicize your book.

1. Engagement, engagement, engagement


It’s not going to be enough to rock out a load of reviews and post your book on all the usual websites. It’s akin to spreading your wares very beautifully on a market stall that nobody can see. You’re going to have to get in deep with forums, groups and reading clubs and start leaving relevant and informative comments about how you found writing your book. You’re going to have to spend time signing up to websites and learning how to comment. Soon enough you’ll see your traffic go up if you leave good information for others. Try Linkedin, KDP forums and Goodreads forums for a start.

2. Go local

New Texture authors, San Diego, 2013
New Texture authors, San Diego, 2013 (SPR’s Henry Baum sitting on the left)

There must be a ton of local fairs and markets near your house every week. Find out about special events such as Over 50s events, book fairs and school fetes. Having a stall will not be anywhere near as expensive as at a national book event, and you’ll make a local network to expand on. Offer candy, signings and free literature such as zines can draw people in to consider purchasing a hard copy of your book. Alternatively, run a “free coffee and cupcake” day at a local cafe to get folk interested in your book.

3. Twitter Amazon hashtag


There are many Twitter hashtags to consider using every time you talk about your book online (Here’s 100 of them), but adding #AmazonCart to your Amazon linked tweets means that if someone replies to that tweet, your book will be added automatically to their cart. Adding #AmazonWishList will add the book to their wishlist.

4. Giveaway Swap


Contact an author who is also releasing their book and do swapsies. You can make up a nice bundle of free books if you connect with several authors at the same time, and you can all run the news at the same time on all websites, social media and to friends. Very nice!

5. Incentives


You can use incentives such as prizes (100th Facebook fan gets a free book etc.), signed copies and free stuff your sort of readers might like, and run a competition. Goodreads giveaways are brilliant also: just sign up to give away copies of your book and let Goodreads sort the winners. All you have to do is have hard copies available for mailing.

6. Share a teaser book


How about giving out your book as a special teaser edition, and add a discount voucher or hidden extras on your website to encourage the purchase of the full book? Extras could be a book trailer or an author interview, or another book you have written. You can send this out to your mailing list or link it out on social media. You can add it to uTorrent or Bit Torrent. You can write into your local paper and advertise your free book via a link on your author website.

Amazon and Kindle Promotion Codes through CreateSpace

To generate a Smashwords coupon, log in to your account.

  • Click “Manage this book’s coupon” on the right-hand menu.
  • Choose a percentage and an expiration date.
  • Once you’ve created the coupon, you can access it from your dashboard.

and make it into a PDF, epub or .mobi file before sharing it far and wide. Use Mailchimp to build a really good mailing list.

7. Guest Blogging


Guest blogs are an art, but if you can find websites looking for free content or writers you can submit articles and gain great exposure. SPR for instance looks for well-written blog posts about books and writing (not a vanity piece hawking your book) with links to your work and websites added. Click here if you’d like to submit something for us to take a look at. It’s amazing to me we have nearly a quarter of a million readers a month, and yet maybe only three of these aspiring writers writes a blog post! It’s all about engagement nowadays, and carving a writerly presence online is key.

8. Promo Swap

How about mentioning your fellow author’s book launch online in exchange for them mentioning yours? It’s very easy to hook up with other self-publishers on forums and social media, and many will be pleased you chose to contact them!

9. Think tiny


Sometimes a book sale can happen one on one. Telling each individual who seems interested about your book, and then having a card with your author website on it at the ready can be a great way to sell books. At parties, school fairs, talking to staff in shops, bars, restaurants and in the doctors’ office can lead to sales. A word of warning: Don’t be a book bore. Pick your “victims” carefully, and only talk about your book if asked further about it once you intially get to mention you just wrote a book. Have a small blurb ready in your mind, pitch it, then present the card “for if you want to take a look.”

10. Think niche

Did you write a science fiction book? Hold a meet and greet at a local science museum. Got a book about baking? Give a demo in your local bakery. Contact groups and societies that are concerned with your subject matter and offer to give a talk. Sign up to HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and start to network with hundreds of TV, radio and newspaper journalists who need an expert on just about anything on a daily basis. If you are really savvy on something specific, you may well find yourself on TV!


  • Hi my name is Rae Elliott and I’m an emerging (self published) author. I recently published my Science Fiction novel “Fractured” as an ebook on Amazon, although I started it as an audiobook-style podcast on itunes. I read your article on ten ways to publicize your book that you may not have thought of, and let me tell you I hadn’t thought of many of them! It was really informative and helpful, especially for a little ol’ sprouting author like myself looking to gain more followers. So far progress has been really good and steady but these tips I know will help boost the likeliness of “discovery” and sales. Thank you!

    feel free to check out my blog site at http://www.raeelliottbooks.com

    Thanks again!

  • This is really great advice!
    May I provide an extract and link to it from our blog on Readers in the Know?

  • Great blog post. I’ve shared on twitter and with mywana group! I think I’m doing everything you suggest for my debut book Ghostoria: Vintage Romantic Tales of Fright. Have you done any ads with Goodreads or Facebook? Any luck?

    ~ Tam Francis ~

  • I think all of your ideas are good. I brought my books, Too Cute to Kill and Main Street Murder, to my career coaching booth at a local womens expo. People were very interested in the books. I plan to do more of these kind of events. I don’t think the Amazon Cart is a good idea unless you warn followers what a reply will do. I don’t want people to think I’m tricking them. My brand would never recover.

  • Great post. I would add if you’re a college alumni, you can contact the editor of the alumni newsletter and let them know you have a book out. Also, some college bookstores have a section specifically for current and former students. I’m a college student, so when I finish my book, I plan to use all the college resources available, including their bookstore.

  • Great information. I like James W. Lewis comment, “contact the editor of the alumni newsletter and let them know you have a book out. “. Most all of your ideas are good ones and I plan to use several.
    My website homepage for my newly self published book is http://polestarpublications.com/sample_pages

  • Rose Marie Dunphy

    Great article with concrete suggestions. Some I’ve used and others were new to me.

    I’ve written 4 books. My links are below the titles.

    -THAT FIRST BITE – CHANCE or CHOICE, nonfiction about eating disorders using the 12-Step Program of AA to heal from it.

    -ORANGE PEELS and COBBLESTONES, a novel based on a true event.

    -CIOTTOLI e BUCCE D’ARANCIA, the Italian translation of the above novel

    THE SCENT of ITALIAN COOKING, a cookbook of Italian recipes handed down for generations, with many photos of foods and the Italian landscape.

    My links to the books:

    The Scent of Italian Cooking:

    Ciottoli e Bucce D’Arancia:

    Orange Peels and Cobblestones:



    Thank you,
    Rose Marie

  • Hi everyone, first time here but what a great article. I’m happy to say that I’m currently covering 50% of the suggestions here. The rest will be implemented in the coming weeks, great advise.

    Since May my company http://www.viddapublishing.com/books.html have put out 11 kindle titles focusing on Health & Nutrition and Green Eco Friendly Lifestyles. We will also be publishing some Natural History/Wildlife & Children’s educational books later in the year. Please feel free to check out some of the titles if interested.

    Our initial 4 titles all hit No1 across Europe and the US during our Amazon free promotions (it means we were doing something right) but we have found it difficult to get people to leave reviews even when they’ve praised our work on the social media. Since then we’ve been concentrating on getting product in our store and on Amazon so that we have something to sell during our month long launch in August. From what I can see success in Kindle is more of a numbers game. Don’t expect to retire on one or two books, pick a niche and produce content. If you have 30 books in your catalogue and the sell 10 copies each per month (we intend to do a little better) that’s 300 sales and all the time these sales are cross promoting and driving traffic through your brand. Eventually you should have a title take off and then the algorithms of Amazon will kick in and you’ll start to be featured on the ‘Recommended by Amazon’ lists.

    The majority of authors/publishers will be disheartened with the whole Kindle process unless they’re very lucky and they have a big success, a great percentage drop away very quickly. Don’t expect instant success, stay the course. Everyday keep chipping away, like anything you only get out what you put in. After all Amazon is a monster and all any of us need is a small slice of the action to make it all worth while. You need to be at the dinner table to be served a slice of the pie.

    Anybody who’d like to cross market their books with us if they are in a similar niche please feel free to drop me a line.
    John Hodges