Marketing Basics for First Time Authors

Most authors strongly prefer writing a book to thinking about marketing. But the secret to getting your book in the hands of readers who need it is to learn and embrace a few basic marketing strategies that will make it simple and fun to attract new readers.

Marketing gets a bad rap. There are many “marketing gurus” who come off as sleazy or manipulative, but in reality…

Marketing is simply the process of connecting your book with the people who are going to love it and tell their friends and colleagues about it. 

Without marketing, your book could be lost in a sea of millions of other titles. That’s why marketing is essential to get your book noticed in the very crowded marketplace. It is what will help you sell your book and share your mission with the world.

The first step in marketing your book is to identify your target audience. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who needs to read this book?
  • What age group, gender, and interests do they have? 
  • What kind of occupation do they have?

Knowing your target audience will help you focus your marketing efforts and ensure that you are reaching the right people. For example, if your book is a parenting guide for men and women in their 20s and 30s, you will want to focus your marketing efforts on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, where the Millennial demographic spends most of their time.

Now that you have identified your ideal audience, it’s time to create a marketing strategy to help them get to know, like, and trust you, and ultimately buy your book.

Your marketing plan will be your guide that outlines your goals, target audience, and the strategies and tactics you’ll use to reach them. 

A word of caution: beware of cookie-cutter marketing plans that promise amazing results. Your book marketing plan cannot and should not be like anyone else’s because your book and message are unique. That’s why having an expert helping you craft a customized plan sets you up for success.

Include both online and offline tactics in your marketing plan, such as social media marketing, email marketing, podcast opportunities, book signings, and speaking engagements. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your marketing plan, either.

When your marketing tactics are tailored to your individual book, the more likely they are to be effective.

Let’s go a bit deeper. One effective marketing strategy is to build a strong online presence. This means creating a website and blog where readers can learn more about you and your book. Your website should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and must include information about your book, your author bio, and feature your mission prominently. 

You can also use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to connect with readers and promote your book. It’s important to remember that social media is not a place to shout “buy my book” in every post. Instead, it is a place to engage with readers and build relationships.

Be sure to share interesting content, respond to comments and messages, and be authentic and genuine in your interactions.

Another effective marketing strategy is to offer a freebie on your website. This can be a great way to generate buzz around your book and encourage readers to give it a try. Freebies, also known as lead magnets, not only help you grow your email subscriber list, they also help potential readers learn more about you by getting them into your customer journey in a low pressure way. 

Giveaways on social media are another good addition to your marketing plan. Your giveaway could be a free, signed copy of your book, or anything else you think your ideal audience would find desirable. You can also partner with other authors or book bloggers to offer joint giveaways or discounts.

Finally, never underestimate the power of real, top reviews. These are another important aspect of book marketing. Positive reviews can help you build credibility and authority in your industry. Be sure to encourage readers to leave reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and other book review sites. You can also reach out to book bloggers or reviewers and offer them a free copy of your book in exchange for an honest review.

You wouldn’t plan a party and forget to send out invitations. Book marketing is those invitations.

Having a solid marketing plan is your opportunity to throw a huge celebration with a guest list that just keeps growing.


This guest blog was written by Melanie Herschorn.  As a nonfiction and children’s book marketing strategist for authors, coaches, consultants, and speakers worldwide, she’s on a mission to support and empower her clients to build a business with their book as the foundation and to help them share their message with the world. To help you get started with your marketing plan, download Melanie’s Ultimate Book Marketing Checklist.  



About the Author

Christine Kloser

Christine’s book writing programs have served more than 90,000 people in 127 countries.  She’s also published 650+ transformational authors and has been on the Top 100 Amazon, USA Today and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists herself. She is the Founder and CEO of Get Your Book Done and Capucia Publishing.

Interested in working with Christine and her team to get your book written and published, schedule a call with one of our Author Success Coaches to see if we're a good fit to work together.


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