The Best Way to Promote Your Book

...and four ways to use that tool

One of the hardest things about being an independent publisher is promoting yourself.

I was talking to a friend at lunch today, and she was telling me how amazed she was by what I do–that writing an email is hard enough for her. She couldn’t imagine how I not only write, but I help others as well. I started to wave her off. “Pooh, pooh, what I do is nothing!” I started out not wanting to promote myself, but I stopped in my tracks.

My friend and I had a conversation about me trying to belittle what I do, and I came to this conclusion: Not everyone can do what we do as writers. It may appear easy for us–don’t send me hate mail you and I know we sometimes sweat blood over our books and it really isn’t easy at all. But we are good at it, and other people are not.

We tell great stories that need to be read.

And those stories aren’t going to be read by anyone if you don’t tell people about them!

So how can you tell people about your stories or your books without feeling like you are a snake oil salesman?

You have other people tell people about your book!

This is by far the best way to promote your book.

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Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about how other people can promote your book for you:

  1. Connect with readers on Goodreads who read your genre. Be fun and genuine and let them know about your book. Then after they read your book they may talk about how awesome you are on Goodreads and their other social media outlets.
  2. Get bloggers who have a similar audience as you to write a review about the book. You will reach new readers this way; my book sales always pop after a blogger writes about me.
  3. Collaborate on projects. Be a guest speaker, a guest blogger, or a co-presenter and include your book information in your bio. This gets your name in front of new people who will trust you because they trust your partner.
  4. Enlist cheerleaders. Gather a group of 10 or 20 friends who are social media influencers (i.e. they have a large following), and enlist their help in spreading the word about your book. I train on this concept specifically in my marketing coaching because it is one of the best ways to promote your book…but the short of it is this: give them logos, graphics, and verbiage (and a free copy of your eBook of course), and ask them to commit to sharing those items with a few nice words of their own in their social circles. You’d be surprised how many people will help you if you ask!

As the author, you have to initiate a conversation about your book, but you don’t have to be the only one talking about it. Get other people talking about it too! This way, more people than your family and close friends will hear about the book. And the more people hear about it, the more people will buy it.

What about you? How do you tell people about your book?