Saturday, 4 February 2017

Book Marketing for Beginners, 8 Hints and Tips

Have a blast signing books

The usual blogger is not able to post today. I know a lot of writers struggle with finding time to market their books so I am rejigging a post I did for a different blog. This is from two years ago when my first book was launched. I have found time and time again the same principles work.

If you are about to launch your first book, or are even writing your first book, I can assure you it is a heady feeling. It is also a whirlwind ride. In the midst of all this euphoria I also had to bear in mind that somehow or other I had to let the public know that my book was out and readily available. Now that was a sobering thought. So what have I learned about marketing in the midst of all the fun and excitement. I thought I would write this in order to help others.

1. Gradually build the level of interest.

Having been reading about writing and marketing for some time, I was aware that marketing starts long before the book is hot off the press. It is important to build up excitement and anticipation so that people are waiting for it's arrival. The minute I started writing the book it was out there in the stratosphere. I told people almost right away that I was writing a book. However, I also retained a level of mystery. When people asked what the book was about I merely said it was a murder mystery set in Dundee. I announced slightly more every now and again to keep the levels of interest and anticipation high. By the time I revealed the cover and the title many people were already waiting for the book launch.

2. Engage with readers and other writers on a personal level

During this time I was building up a rapport with both readers and writers. I helped others wherever I could and reviewed other authors books on my blog. I didn't do this with any sense of expectation that they would be there for me, but because I genuinely wanted to support them. I wanted to help good writers, and review books which readers would love. When the book was ready to launch several people said they would announce the book on their blogs. Through this I learned about the genuine kindness of writers and the level of support they give each other.

3. Be Bold and get yourself known in the local community

Being a fairly confident person I approached Waterstones in Dundee and asked if they would host my book launch. To my surprise they took a chance on an unknown author and agreed. Following this I then invited as many people as I could think of to the launch. I think Waterstones were a little worried there would be no one there. Then they were worried there would be too many people there. The photograph below will show you how it went. As they say a picture paints a thousand words. I had a blast.

4. Do the best job you can

I was fortunate to have a professional Photographer, Karen Wilson of Gingersnap Images, Dundee, at the Launch. Karen is a friend of mine and very kindly agreed to do the photographs. I then shared these on social media, not saying buy my book, but saying what a great time I had at the launch. Another of my friends also worked for STV and arranged an interview for me. I learnt a lesson here that people are genuinely nice and always keen to help. 

5. Don't forget we live in a real world and so do readers

Since the launch I have arranged events at local libraries, done a signing at a Christmas Fair, approached other Waterstones in Scotland to carry the book, approached CLC Bookshop Dundee to carry the book, arranged a signing at a local coffee shop and arranged a signing at a local Book Fair. In the current climate of technological wizardry it is easy to forget that a physical, as well as a virtual, presence is important. 

6. Build a buzz and keep it going

When shops have been carrying my books I have taken pictures of them on the shelves and posted them to social media. If I'm writing then I post the odd picture of where this is happening. Again, no overt buy my book, just a photo journal of my journey to publication. 

7. Remember you are a real person not just an author

The most important thing I have learnt is, be real, be yourself. It would be so easy to get caught up in the persona of an author and forget that I'm a real person. My friends, and readers, want to know me, not just my books. 

Build a buzz

Finally, it also helps if someone famous photobombs your photograph. As I'm signing books, in the photo at the top, you will notice Benedict Cumberbatch in the background. I told you writing was fun, and even the marketing and promotion has been a lot of fun.

If you are new to being an author and marketing I hope my experience has helped you. I am not claiming to be an expert, I'm learning all the time, and will pass that on to others where I can. Since the original post I have written a book on marketing for authors jam packed with hints and tips on selling more books. You can find out more and grab a copy through this amazon universal link

With that thought I will leave you with a question. What are your hints and tips for marketing for authors? Answers in the comments please so we can help each other. 

About the Author


 Wendy H. Jones is the author of the best selling DI Shona McKenzie Mystery series of crime novels set in Dundee. Killer's Crew, the fifth booking the series was released in November, 2016. Dagger's Curse, the first book in her Fergus and Flora, Young Adult Mystery series was released on 10th September, 2016.  She also has one non fiction book, Power Packed Book Marketing: Sell More Books.


  1. Thank you for this Wendy. It's good advice. Bless you.

    1. Thank you Lynda. Glad you found it helpful

  2. This is very helpful Wendy - so good to have all this advice in one handy blog post, and I will follow your advice with my new non-fiction book which will be coming out in the next few months!

    1. Glad it helped. All the very best with your new book

  3. Very helpful, Wendy.

  4. A reminder to keep up the outreach. Thank you.

  5. Thanks for this - especially the hints about building an interested following!

  6. Thanks for this, Wendy. I need to be BOLDER! Is there a tablet I can take?...

  7. Replies
    1. You're welcome. Glad you found it helpful

  8. Thank you Wendy, that's a very timely reminder. I'm just updating my author website too, so that I can direct people to it.

  9. I've never quite heard it put as "Gradually build level of interest," but it makes complete sense. Also the personal touch is important, although that takes a lot of time. Great post.

    A Writer's Path