Indie Authors: Book Promotion Tools and Tips

By Volkan berber (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Volkan berber (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
Marketing is a crucial part of book publishing. If no one knows your book is out there, how can you expect people to read it?

With that in mind, here’s a compilation of tips and tools that can help you with your book promotion efforts.

Book Promotional Tools stresses four components of a book marketing plan: promotional tools, groups, street teams, and blog tours. Tools include free and paid options, such as and, you can find groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google, street teams are comprised of your raving fans, and blog tours are lots of work but worth it.

BookBub also shares some helpful promotional tools, such as Canva, to create ads and social media images, Pay with a Tweet, to encourage word-of-mouth marketing, and HARO, for interview opportunities.

BookMachine also shared insights on a survey that found the best book promotional surveys. Best services included BookBub, KindeBookPromotions, Ereadersnewstoday,, and

Kate Tilton also shares a list of sites to promote free books.

If self-promotion sounds icky to you, then Publisher Weekly‘s list of ways to promote yourself should help. Ideas include weekly Twitter chats, meetup groups, and contacting your alma mater.

And if you’re feeling blocked, The Book Designer shares some tips for how to overcome it.

Social Media Marketing

In social media news, BookBub recommends posting pictures of books in cool settings, sourcing photos from fans, promoting deals, and hosting giveaways, all on Instagram.

Another idea is to use Books Go Social Daily, a site where readers can vote for books and win prizes.

For people who don’t have a lot of extra time to devote to marketing, Tony Riches has a blog post that talks about how to connect with people who have audiences and can help.

Book Launch

Planning a book launch is also important. Think Creative Collective lists 15 ways to generate buzz, including creating a waiting list, supporting charitable causes, and starting challenges for people to complete.

According to Tim Grahl, there are four types of successful book launches, which includes best seller, influencer, list, and long term. Each one involves a different set of steps to implement.

It’s also good to know people’s motivations for buying a book, in order to come up with an effective marketing plan. With that in mind, Andrew Rhomberg shares 8 reasons people buy books on Digital Book World, which includes wanting to be entertained, informed, looking smart, and buying on impulse.

Also on Digital Book World is Chris Syme’s three-step test for sellability, which includes taking into account the buying process and the sales funnel.

For a checklist of what to do when preparing for a marketing campaign, see BookBub’s “98 Book Marketing Ideas That Can Help Authors Increase Sales.”

Digital Book World also has a list of ways to make your toolkit as strong as possible for book selling, which includes having pre-orders, using affiliate programs, and knowing trends.

Molly Greene also has a list, which includes advertising, creating boxed sets, and getting books into libraries.

And Medium shares a one-page checklist of what you need for marketing, including having a position in the market, adding value, and always testing.

For nonfiction books, there’s also Epic Book Launch, which is expensive but works, according to Archangel Ink.

Also keep in mind that timing is important, especially for campaigns involving magazines, radio, and other media channels. HuffingtonPost recommends 4-5 months.

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared June 2016.


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