This is a guest post by Richard Joseph

You did it. You've published your novel. Your baby has been launched on the necessary platforms, and you are waiting with your feet kicked back as the sales just roll in.

And then you wake up from your fantasy and get to work on the marketing. Self-publishing doesn't just end when you have published your novel; the work has just turned into a different beast—the beast I would like to call Marketing. And if you don't know what you're doing you may as well be trying to dig a hole in quicksand.

So, you go onto your social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and even the fancy schmancy Google Plus, and you talk about your book and promote your book and talk constantly about how people can buy it. A week later you look on your sales count and only two people have bought it. One of them is your mom.

What did you do wrong? You have your platform, you have your social networks, you even have the book…what could you have possibly missed?

While self-publishing itself is a learning process that is often learned the hard way (although, really, it doesn't have to be), there are a few steps you can take to make sure you are marketing your book right and doing so with as little irritation to your social networks, blog followers, and readers as possible.

All for (almost) free, too.


1) Create buzz.

You have sent your baby to the critiquing wolves so much that it barely looks the way it used to, but according to your beta readers, it's a fantastic novel with an exciting plot and rich character development. You even paid a professional to design the cover and have read so many books on formatting that you are in the middle of writing your own book on formatting.

But wait a minute before you hit that publish button. Set out a future date when you will hit that magic button of glory, and let the marketing begin.

Start creating buzz about your novel. Reach out to the bloggers that you know would be willing to talk about your book and ask them to do a little work for you in the marketing realm (don't forget to offer them a free copy of the book, of course; remember, bloggers like freebies.) Give them a taste of your brilliant novel a little at a time, and ask them to publish their posts on the date of (and several days after) the day you publish.


– Cover reveals

– Novel excerpts

– Character and author interviews

Yes, all of this before you published the book. Set out a goal for yourself to get at least 10 bloggers with a minimum of 500 followers to talk about your book. More if you have the stamina for it. Don't get deterred if one says no; just move onto the next. Don't get deterred if one of them flakes on you too; just get another round of “buzz talk” going.


2) Get your book reviewed.

Do some research and figure out the bloggers that do book reviews. Write down at least 20 blog addresses and their contact information and reach out to them for book reviews. Also reach out to the people you contacted for your book buzz and ask if they would be willing to do a book review as well to post on their blog.

There are a variety of networks where you can post your offer for book reviews on sites like NetGalley , Bloggerdise , Business2Blogger, just to name a few. Some of these networks may require a fee for you to list your book, so be prepared to spend a little money (remember, I said “almost” free).


3) Use your own blog.

If you haven't started a blog yet, now is the time. While there are many articles out there that will instruct you on the how, why, and what-to-do of a blog, this article isn't one of them. But just in case you need that type of article, make sure to check out the ProBlogger’s blog on how to get started.

But let's assume you have your own blog, and your own platform.

On the day of your book launch, have a giveaway for your readers that one can receive a copy of your book. If you do decide to run a giveaway, let it run for a week or two, and promote it on a variety of networks, such as Contest Chest, Product Sweepstakes, Giveaway Promote, and Contest Girl, to name a few.

Not only giving a book is a good idea, but make sure to create little trinkets in honor of your new novel. Use a site like Promotional Promos to create unique gifts and trinkets that feature your book's title with your name. Give these items away to your readers (and even prepare a few of the smaller items to give to your book reviewers as a little extra something they get with your book).


4) Use social networks…sparingly.

Yes, you want to create some social network buzz about your book launch, but use social networks a little at a time. If you are tweeting every hour about your book, you will not only irritate the heck out of people, but you will also lose a lot of followers. Set a schedule for yourself to tweet (or status update) twice a day about your book in the morning and at night around the time of the launch, and cut back significantly once the promotional period is over.

Of course, if you have a price drop or receive a new book review or appear as a guest blogger or something along those lines, pick up the promotion again…but only when you have something new to say.

Promise? Okay, good.


5) Sign up with Triberr.

If you haven’t heard of Triberr, you should know it. Triberr is a part of an ongoing blog promotion where you sign up to get your blog posts tweeted (and even shared on Facebook and LinkedIn, if you are part of the right tribe). Ideally, you should sign up with Triberr well before your book launch (and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a guide you can take a look at), but even if you just signed up, within a short week or two you can be part of several tribes that promote your posts via Twitter (and you must promote theirs, of course, to stay in the virtual sandbox).

Once you have blogged about your book launch, your post will be sent out on a variety of networks thanks to this amazing service (yes, free—although there is a paid account you can get if you want a little bit of extra help).

This may seem like a lot of work right now, but think about how much time you have put into writing your novel. Don’t you want your baby to have as much chance as possible out in the world of published books? Remember, it’s a scary world out there, but with the right amount of time and preparation, you can get the sales you can be proud of (without irritating the heck out of everyone).


richjosephAbout this post’s author:

Richard Joseph is author and brand manager for, leading online supplier of promotional items. You can find Richard on Facebook and on Twitter.

About the Author

  1. Great post. Liked some of the new contest sites mentioned. I’d love to follow the author on Twitter. Twitter handle?

  2. Excellent article! As a self-published author myself, I wish there were articles like this around when in 2006 when I first began. I am going to link to this article from at least three of my blogs. I too, would also like the author’s twitter handle? Thanks Mr. Joseph and Thanks Emlyn and Happy New Year!

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