Jan 10

10 Top Book Marketing Strategies

Top Book Marketing Tips

I say this a lot, but every author needs to know about book marketing, whether you’re self-published or traditionally published.

I want to bring this to every author’s attention, especially my children’s ghostwriting clients.

If you’re wondering if it’s really necessary to market your book, it is.

Well, it is if you want to sell your books. If you want to reach your intended target audience.

I would think most authors do.

According to Self-PublishingSchool.com, “Even if your book is the next Great American Novel, it won’t be a success if it doesn’t get into the collective consciousness of the public.” (1)

This means if people don’t know about your book, they can’t buy it.

Here are 10 of the most important tips to bring you and your books visibility and credibility, boost your mailing list, and boost sales.

Pre-Publishing Tips:

  1. Write a quality book.

This should go without saying, but with the ease of self-publishing it’s worth mentioning.

Do it right and write a quality story. Be sure to edit it and if at all possible have it professionally edited.

  1. Have an eye-catching book cover created.

Your book cover is the first thing a potential buyer will see. You don’t want it to look unprofessional.

Research book cover illustrators or designers. Check pricing and quality, and check their portfolios. Find one you like.

  1. Price your book effectively.

For this you’ll need to do some research to see what similar books in your genre are selling for. You don’t want to overprice yourself out of a sale.

  1. Use a ‘good’ book publishing service.

You want a service that will take your manuscript and cover and build your ebook and/or paperback files to be uploaded to aggregators (Ingram Spark) or distributors (Amazon).

Services like BookBaby.com and 1106 Design.com do all this. But you should do some research and ask around for other services.

Find one you’re comfortable with and one that’s within your budget.

Now on to actually marketing your book:

  1. You really, really, really need an author website.

A number of authors believe that having space on social media is good enough, but it’s not.

Remember when Google+ was around? How about StumbleUpon? What about Yik Yak and Vine?

Aside from this, new networks are popping up all the time, taking users from older networks.

You need your own author website as the hub to all your online activity.

And, you can create one for free.

Here’s an article that explains more the author website:
Why You Absolutely Need an Author Website

  1. You need to be on social media.

Ha, sounds like a contradiction, but it’s not.

There’s a difference between using social media as your everything and using is to generate visibility and website traffic, and sales.

Social media is a main source of visibility – it should be used to drive traffic to your website and to make sales. Marketing experts recommend choosing two social media sites to work.

It’s the adage, don’t go wide and shallow, go narrow and deep.

I would also recommend using YouTube. If you don’t have an account, simply create one.

Post weekly or bi-weekly videos centering around your book’s topic. Video is a powerful marketing tool. As you continue to post, you’ll eventually engage people and get subscribers.

Statistics vary on this, but according to Spark.Adobe, Instagram is the social media leader with YouTube then Facebook following. Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest follow Facebook.

To use social media properly, you need to post to your networks every day. If possible, multiple times a day. There are automated services to help you with this. You can post about your book’s topic, related interesting things, and about your book.

It’s important to remember the 80/20 rule, though. Give 80% entertaining or useful information and 20% promotion.

You should also share other users’ posts, and comment when time allows.

  1. Create an email list.

Email marketing is how you connect on a more personal level with your readers. It allows you to tell them about your new projects, services, and books you have for sale.

Just as important, it allows you to offer tips and help to your subscribers!

For more on email marketing, check out:

4 Tips to an Effective Subscriber Opt-in

Email Marketing – 10 Top Reasons to BE Doing It

  1. Get attention.

A. Connect with influencers in your arena. Query influencers to get a guest blog post on their sites. Just be sure you know what they’re looking for and pay close attention to their guidelines.

B. Similarly, look for people who do author interviews and/or podcasts with authors. Chances are they’d appreciate having someone new on their blog or show.

C. Contact your local libraries and let them know you have a new book out. You can also contact your local newspapers and TV stations. They’re usually looking for new content, especially when it involves a local author.

  1. Work on getting book reviews.

Book reviews help sell books.

Do some research on bloggers who post book reviews. Reach out to them and ask if they’d be willing to review your book. Just make sure your book is a fit for their site.

Ask people you know for reviews.

There are lots of other ways to get review. A great source for this is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically by Carolyn Howard-Johnson. It’s jammed-packed with useable tips and advice.

Be sure to ask whoever reviews you book to put the review up on Amazon.

  1. Get into book clubs.

The more visibility your book gets, the more sales you’ll make.

A great way to boost your visibility is through book clubs.

The article below has great tips on how you can go about doing this:

  1. Bonus tip.

Keep writing books. Don’t be a one-book author.

And, to help you with your publishing journey, author and acquisitions editor Terry Whalin has a very useful book. I read it and it’s worth the investment: 10 Publishing Myths by Terry Whalin

I hope these tips help you get your book visible and selling!

Need help getting your author platform off the ground or taking it up a notch or two?

Check out my 4-week interactive eClass through WOW! Women on Writing, Build Your Author/Writer Platform.


Nov 15

8 Must-Know Tips to Get Your Book Visible for Free

Are you thinking about writing a children’s book? Or, maybe you have one published already.

Well, unless you’ve written a book for ‘your eyes only’ or maybe your family’s, you’ll want to make your book visible. You’ll want as many people as possible to see what you’ve written.

This is especially true if you want to sell any of your books. You’ll want to actively generate visibility.

So, how do you do this?

Promotion, promotion, promotion…

Promoting your book is the only way to create visibility. And, as many have limited funds and can’t afford to pay a publicist or marketer, you need to look at strategies that are affordable or free.

In addition to the very basic strategies of creating a marketing plan which should include the book’s cover, how you’ll self-publish, and where your book will be sold, there are at least eight book marketing strategies that are free and sure to help create visibility for you and your author platform.

These tips are just as important if you’re traditionally publishing.

Eight FREE Strategies to Help Create and Increase Your Visibility

  1. Before your book is even published, create an author website.

I realize a number of new authors don’t want to be bothered with a website, especially if writing books isn’t something you intend to continue. But it does make a difference. It makes you look professional and it’s the place you will lead potential buyers to.

Let people know what your book is about. Maybe put tidbits from the book or books. Write about your writing, publishing, and book marketing process and experiences.

Preferably you will want to post to your site regularly even if it’s just once a month. You want it to be active for the search engines and for those who visit.

For more on why you need an author website you can read:

The Author Website – Do You Really Need One?

2. Create your own social media campaign.

This is where your website comes in handy. Post about your book and share your posts to your social media networks.

If you absolutely don’t want a website, at least post to your social media networks about your book.

Tip: If you use social media to promote your book, don’t forget to share other users’ content. Social media is about engaging others and making connections.

In addition to this, it’s a good idea to provide some useful information to users.

For example, my middle grade fantasy, Walking Through Walls, is based on an ancient Chinese tale. If I were to use social media just for promotion of my book, I’d post about things that relate to the book – maybe about dragons or the ancient Chinese culture of the time period of the book.

It’s about giving and engaging, not just promoting the book

Numbers 3-8 are tips for after your book is published.

3. Go to your local library and give the librarian a copy. Ask if she will carry your book. You can also ask if you can give a workshop or presentation on writing and/or on getting a book published.

4. Contact your local newspapers and ask if they will do a feature on you. Local papers look for local news. Having an author in the neighborhood is news. When my book, Day’s End Lullaby, became available, my local paper did an article on the book and on me. It was great exposure.

5. Join groups and forums that focus in the area you write. Social networking is a wonderful way to increase visibility. There are also many marketing groups you can join to increase your book marketing knowledge.

6. Post reviews of books you’ve read on sites such as Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Shelfari.

This is another useful marketing tool that will increase your visibility and build your author platform.

7. Submit your book to reviewers. This is a great marketing tool. Having good reviews to post on your site, and sites such as Amazon, is an important aspect to selling books, and selling books is what book marketing is all about.

People are influenced by the recommendations of others.

There are also sites like The New Book Review to post your reviews to. Just read the guidelines.

Get your friends and family involved too – ask them to read your book and post reviews to the above sites.

Be careful with Amazon though. Sometimes they won’t allow the review if you’ve posted to a number of other ‘review’ sites. And, sometimes they may stop a review if the reviewer didn’t buy the book.

Ask the reviewer to include a simple note at the end of the review explaining that s/he received a free book and the review is completely impartial.

You might also keep up with Amazon’s guidelines.

8. Create a signature for your emails. This signature is another means of allowing your platform to take root and create visibility for your book. Include your website’s URL, the name of your book/s, and maybe the sales page link.

You might also include your primary social media tag or URL to help build your network.

Use these tips and get started making your book visible today.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.


Self-Publishing: 3 Perks and 4 Warnings

What is an Author Platform – How Do You Build It?

Small Home-Grown Book Publishers – Good or Bad?

Social media sharing

Jul 26

6 Must-Know Book Marketing Basics

Book Marketing

As a children’s ghostwriter, I’ve written well over 300 stories for clients.

The thing I notice is that most of my clients don’t realize that simply writing a book doesn’t guarantee any sales.

It can be an excellent, high-quality book, but there are just too many books in cyber-space to be noticed. You’re just a tiny speck in the cyber sky.

So, what are some of the basic ways an author can bring attention to her book?

Let’s go over 6 of the basics.

  1. The very first thing is to create a quality book.

This means the story, grammar, illustrations (if applicable), and front and back covers, must be quality.

It might be tempting to forgo editing or go with a less than quality cover, but if you’re investing your time and effort into a book, do it right.

You may need to invest some money to produce a professional looking book that’s a quality read, but it will be worth it.

You will want to be proud to be author of your book.

  1. You should have an author website.

It doesn’t have to be a elaborate site or cost any money. You can create one yourself for free with sites like, Weebly, WordPress.com, GoDaddy, Blogger, Yola, and Wix. You can also do an online search to find others.

You can think of your website as your online home. It will be the home of your book.

  1. It can be a simple website.

The site can simply have a Home page or landing page with your book, the book’s description, book reviews (if you have any), and an image of the book cover and possibly the back cover.

You’ll also need to link to where the reader can buy your book.

This is a super-simple site, but at least you’ll have an online presence for your book.

If you need help creating your site, look for a web designer just starting out or maybe someone you know of, or someone who does it in their spare time.

If you have multiple books, you’ll want to create a webpage for each one. So, be sure whichever website builder you use offers that feature.

  1. Share your website.

Create little blurbs about your book and share (post) it on social media, linking back to your website.

It’s also a good idea to include an image of your book in the social media posts.

  1. Videos are powerful.

Even if you have a one-page website, include a video on it.

A video helps people get to know you and your book. It can be a simple 60 to 90 second clip about your book, or why you wrote it, or if applicable, how it will benefit the reader.

You can use your webcam on your computer or your iPhone.

You might even upload the video to YouTube and your social networks.

  1. Get reviews of your book.

Reviews are very powerful. They let people know that the book is a good read (hopefully it is). People buy books based on book reviews.

To find out how to get book reviews, check out Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s book: How To Get Great Book Reviews.

Taking advantage of these tips will help get your book noticed. They don’t guarantee sales, but without taking some form of book marketing action, you’re guaranteed not to sell any.

Get your book marketing strategy started today!


Along with being a children’s author and ghostwriter, I’m an author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

Build Your Author/Writer Platform

Karen Cioffi will show you how to build your author platform

This e-class is 4-weeks, in-depth, and interactive. It covers all the tools you’ll need to build visibility and traffic, and boost sales.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW to check out all it includes!

If you want to check out other author platform classes I offer, check out:

Writing for children tips

10 Tips to Hiring a Children’s Ghostwriter

5 Top Fiction Writing No-Nos

Writing – 6 Essential Steps to Publication