If you’re a new author or marketing yourself is difficult for you – i.e., it doesn’t come naturally to you, you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed out about the prospect, and so on – then this is the guide for you. We want to offer a low-stakes, low-effort way to get into a marketing mindset that won’t leave you crawling up the walls with anxiety and worrying about how many impressions your posts are making.
As with anything, marketing is a skill you can learn! Remember that practice does indeed make perfect, and mistakes are a part of the learning process. Don’t give up on your marketing, as even small steps will take you towards your goal!
Tips to get into the book marketing mindset
Research the marketing marketplace – there are lots of options out there when it comes to book marketing. Books, articles, entire blogs, and, of course, classes – as well as options to hire and work with freelance marketers. Check out Reedsy’s professional book marketing services.
One of our suggestions is to see if an indie author you admire, read, and/or are familiar with has any kind of marketing guide available. Authors such as Joanna Penn, Sacha Black, and more are both successful authors who share tips, tricks, and words of advice on how to market and succeed in selling your titles.
Start small, short, and snappy – in the beginning, keep it simple. Aim for simple posts, focusing on your book covers or sharing single quotes from your titles. Keep captions brief and to the point, directing people to the appropriate links where they can find and buy your books.
Work your way up to more elaborate marketing aspects, such as posting videos, paying for advertisements, or submitting your book for review. From there, you can then work up to reaching out to bookish influencers, reviewers, or even getting yourself on a podcast. Basically, keep it simple at first, and add more marketing aspects over time. And, on that note…
Pace yourself – its best to pace yourself when beginning on your marketing journey. Do things one step at a time. Make sure not to schedule too much in one week – or even one month. Focus on times that work best for you. Do you enjoy posting once or twice a week? Great! Every day might be too much for you in the beginning but consider posting every day when you are nearing a release day.
Alternatively, you can also focus on only one social media platform at a time. Give Instagram a break while you focus on Twitter, or turn to TikTok while only posting a handful of times a month on the others. Whatever you do, make sure it’s well-paced and planned out in order to keep yourself from getting burned out, confused, or missing deadlines when marketing.
However, don’t be so strict with the schedule! If you feel inspired to make a marketing post ahead of schedule, go for it. If you don’t have the energy or inspiration to meet a deadline, push yourself, but don’t do anything you are truly incapable of completing. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
Like everything else, scheduling and keeping a regular marketings schedule is a skill that takes time to learn and requires practice. Ease yourself into it and focus first on hitting key dates such a preorder launch, release day, and so on, before worrying about daily posts or advertisement periods.
Post only what feels true to you – as mentioned in previous posts and podcast episodes about author branding, make sure you do what feels best for you, and is true to you as a person. Following trends and emulating others will only get you so far. You will ultimately feel less pressure and more engaged in marketing if you post what you want to see, what you think looks or sounds good, and what you like!
Pivot to a more writing-focused approach – if posting on social media becomes too much, try a slower, less visual approach, such as writing a monthly or biweekly newsletter. A newsletter or email list is an extremely effective way to market your book.
Of course, you will need readers first and foremost! Unfortunately, though, that means marketing the fact that you have an email list… or does it? Include links in your eBooks, and make a pop-up or dedicated page on your website for the newsletter. Keep a link to it in your bios and mention it in your other posts, regardless of whether they are about the newsletter itself. These frequent and omnipresent reminders of your newsletter will help you get names on that list even if you don’t have a dedicated marketing space for said newsletter.
Take it behind the scenes – work on setting up advertisements and applying for promotions through Kobo Writing Life’s promo tab. This way, you are getting marketing work done without having to be the face of your books! Behind-the-scenes work must be completed by all indie authors, of course, but taking a break from social media and newsletters and the like and doubling down on advertisements, promotions, and tracking sales can really help you in your marketing journey without overwhelming the social media side of your marketing schedule.
Or take a class – if you love to learn, consider taking a marketing and/or publicity class specifically for indie authors. There are plenty of opportunities out there to learn how to market. Check in, again, with an indie author you admire, read, and/or are familiar with, and see if they offer marketing classes as part of their writing business roster.
Find a community – lastly, if you need support through all of this, turn to your writer community! Join groups, forums, and even in-person organizations if applicable and find others who are on the same marketing journey as you. Attend indie author conferences and build connections there. Remember, you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed, worried, or apprehensive about marketing. Finding a community to support you and efforts, and for you to support other indie authors in kind, is beneficial for everyone – including your readers!
Are you new to marketing? Looking for a place to start? Here are some more resources from our blog: