Easy Ways Promote Your Book for Beginners (Even if you feel lost)
I was smiling so hard my cheeks hurt and I’m pretty sure if you were in the room with me you could feel my energy beaming.
I was an author. I wrote, designed and self-published my own book. Me, an author.
I ordered a box of copies, did a little happy dance and well, that was about it.
I won’t lie, I actually had it easier than most authors. First, I went to art school for advertising and was the founder and creative director at a marketing agency – I was tech savvy, had years of design experience and had already helped dozens of authors market their book. I definitely had a solid “in.”
But when it came time to actually do something with my book I really had no idea what to do. Looking back I made some big mistakes right off the bat.
First, I wrote a children’s book, which is cool (if that matters), but it had absolutely nothing to do with what I was doing with my career or where I wanted to go. My goal wasn’t to be a children’s author. My plans weren’t to throw in the towel at my marketing agency and begin a book tour as a children’s book author.
Next, I made the dumbest mistake I could. I wrote more children’s books. Again, still pretty cool, but what was the point if I wasn’t going to promote them?
Luckily, I got a few of them into some local stores and sold over the “250 copies most authors ever sell” and a couple of them sell a handful every month on Amazon, but I really didn’t set myself up to promote myself as I should have. Like an author.
I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did. I want YOU to not sell only a handful of books.
Here are easy ways to Promote your Book for Beginners – even if you feel lost and have no idea what to do.
1. Promote a Book that Makes Sense
If you are going to put in the time to promote a book and work through these steps you have to promote a book that makes sense for where you are right now, and where you actually want to go. For me, promoting a kid’s books when my goals were in marketing made no sense (you’ll see more of why later).
Your efforts need to be focused. Our goal is to have you known for your book – your area of expertise, so we need to make sure your book is in line with your goals. Your book needs to support you and your efforts, not confuse people. (Always remember if you confuse you lose).
Here is an example. Imagine you have a clogged up drain, a bad one. Like your house is in peril if you don’t get this sucker fixed and the resale value is going down as we speak. You find a plumber and he rushes out to fix your drain.
You are amazed, as he is unlike any plumber you have ever heard of. He is on time. He leaves the area cleaner than when he started. He uses all-natural ingredients to clear the clog. He gives you great advice on what to do if this ever happens again, and even better how to prevent it. He is kind, courteous and likable.
He looks professional, his uniform is clean and professional, heck, his work van parked out front your house is even legit and shows that this really is his profession. He’s not just a handyman.
This guy was made to be a plumber.
On top of everything, he sets up a time with you tomorrow to follow up, just in case you have any questions. He leaves a magnet to put on your fridge, just in case you ever need him and leaves a few of his cards if you wanted to refer him to anyone in the neighborhood.
Then before he leaves, he reaches in his pocket and hands you another business card. A pink one. You look down and it says Dave’s Cake Decorating. “I also work as a cake decorator, so if you have a birthday, wedding or special occasion coming up, think of me for a unique and beautiful cake.”
Do you really want great plumber Dave (who you love by the way) to create your sister’s wedding cake?
If Dave decided clogged drains are in the past and he is now going 100% into cakes then he has a great story (a hook) that would be memorable and fun. But Dave can’t do both – at least not well. And you can’t either. And we want you to crush it with your book.
Once I wrote a book on marketing, a book that aligned with my goals and my current situation I was able to promote it in ways that got me clients and opportunities I couldn’t have imagined. And you can too.
2. Claim your title of Author
If you want people to know that you wrote a book you have to tell them. Seems simple enough, but because it’s simple it is easy to miss completely.
Here are places to state you’re an author:
Add Author to your name on all your Facebook profile (Author Dave Smith) or even add the name of your book (Dave Smith – Author of Ultimate Cake Decorating Secrets). Add this to your about section as well on both your personal and Facebook business page.
Check out this Facebook page. If you saw her on Facebook you would have no doubt what she does. And if you were into Epic Urban Fantasy you would be very excited to be friends with her. How many opportunities might you have lost because you didn’t claim your title? This page goes one step further (and you can too – see the next one.)
Make your Facebook Cover Photo About Your Book
Your Facebook cover is prime real estate to showcase you and your book. Both the above and below examples do a great job of doing just that.
You don’t need any special software to design your cover photo. You can go to canva.com and choose a Facebook cover from their templates and design one right there for FREE. No design experience needed. (You can check out the Author Exposure Inner Circle complete tutorial series on designing anything with Canva including Facebook graphics, book covers and more.)
On your email signature
I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve got from parents of kids my kids went to school with that saw what I did from an email that was sent out. Once I started using my full email signature on all my emails I started getting more clients.
Most people don’t know what you do unless you tell them, and that includes that YOU wrote a book. Let your email signature do the work for you.
I found this old email signature I used a few years back. It got me clients and had people email me questions about my book often. And note my book hadn’t even come out yet.
Add to LinkedIn
If you don’t have a LinkedIn page you need to get one – even if you only use it as a place to showcase your expertise, experience, and your book. If you do have a LinkedIn account be sure to update it to include your book and add the title of Author to your name and profile.
The best part of LinkedIn – aside from the fact that it is free, is that it is searchable (people can find you on LinkedIn itself) and is also indexed by search engines. This means if someone Googles your name your LinkedIn profile page will come up (Facebook’s privacy does not do this) and people will see that you are an author.
Add to Alignable
I honestly don’t use Alignable that much, but I do see a lot of activity there (people connecting to me) and if I search my name on Google my Alignable account comes up very high. This makes it a great (FREE) place for you to list your achievements, your experience and YES your book. Create a free account and make sure you include the title of author.
Add to your Website
If you have your own website make sure your book is prominent and that you are using the title of author on there. If you work for a company, be sure to add your book to your bio and author to your title if you are able to. (Ask for permission if necessary).
Create an Amazon Author Page
This is a free service by Amazon that allows you to create your own author central page that makes you searchable on Amazon. You can not only list your books here but add a bio, links to your website, events, blog posts and more.
This puts you on the playing field with every other author – even the big ones. It is an awesome tool and it is easy to set up. Here is an example of Denise Duffield Thomas that uses many of the features for her books. You can do some research and see what other authors are doing and model after them.
Create Your Goodreads Account
Another great free author account that you can add your bio, your books, connect with fans, add a blog, links you your website and more. This is another place where you can see what others are doing to get ideas of how to set up your page. Here is an example.
3. Give Your Book Away
You may be thinking “No, Torie I need to sell my book to make money as an author! Please don’t ask me to give away my masterpiece.” I get it. It seems counter-intuitive, but it works to promote yourself. If you have an expert non-fiction book giving away your $10 book could easily book you $100 or $1000 clients, so start giving it away.
For fiction writers, you usually have more than one book or more on the way, so giving away a book will get people interested and can make them life-long fans – just be sure to give it away to your ideal client (don’t give your BBQ book to your vegan neighbor).
Your books can make you more money on the backend than selling them outright will so don’t be afraid to give them out especially if you are looking for clients, speaking engagements and joint venture opportunities.
You have homework. I gave you a handful of effective, easy to do, FREE ways to start promoting your book today. I mean it, right now. If you are not sure where to begin with getting your book out there, and you are clueless about book promotion these are where to start.
If you want more ideas you can check out Creative Ways to Promote Your Book, that are all totally doable for ANYONE, regardless of where you are starting, how much money you have or your technical ability. These are a good next step.
If you need more help, head over to the Author Exposure Blueprint where we teach you how to promote your book with tutorials, tools, and resources. In there you will find training on setting up your LinkedIn profile, your Amazon Author Profile, how to design anything in Canva and so much more.
If you have any questions check out our free Author Exposure Community on Facebook. It’s free and open to everyone. I’ll see you there;)
ABOUT TORIE MATHIS
Torie Mathis helps authors become more successful by teaching the strategies and skills to promote their book and to create a buzz-worthy personal brand. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your mentor to creating the business+ life you love. She has cracked the code for creating a lucrative, independent business + an amazing lifestyle.