Book marketing: what REALLY sells books in the modern marketplace?

book marketing,book,marketing,writing,reviews,blogging,Alana Munro

Proper book marketing can take your book out
of the wilderness and into the best seller list

In this guest article, Australia-based author Alana Munro shares her advice on how to market your book successfully in today’s marketplace…

Most weeks I receive similar emails from authors with this urgent question, ‘Alana, I see your own book was a success, can you make my book a bestseller too?’

This is a tricky question to answer. Successful book marketing depends on so many factors. I try to absorb the book information presented to me and ask myself some fundamental questions:

  • Is the book actually a good read?
  • Is the book properly edited?
  • Is the cover eye-catching and professional?
  • How’s the blurb?
  • How many reviews does the book have and what are the reviews saying?
  • How’s the author’s blog looking?
  • Does the author know who their market is?
  • Does the author have a clear understanding of what their market demands?
  • What’s the author’s social presence?
  • Is the author able to handle my recommendations and advice?

So you can see, there is no clear answer to this popular yet difficult question.

Book marketing success first relies on the author achieving the basics. You’d be amazed at how many authors don’t spend time on the basics or lack awareness of my above queries.

Too many authors write a book and think their job is done

But, in a modern market place, the author has much more to consider.

What I’ve noted is that many authors are good at writing books but some are pretty average at book marketing. To sell your book, you need to treat it as a business.

You need to use your creative talents to market your work. If you can write a book (huge achievement!), you have the ability to come up with practical and resourceful strategies to target your potential readers. It just takes a bit of imagination, time and research. If you have written a book – you have all these ingenious skills already.

Are you ready to tell the world about your book?

Here goes. Let’s do this!

Start your book marketing early

If possible build up interest in your work before your book is published. Identify who your potential readers are and be aware of what interests these people. Follow these people. Connect with them now.

Then on your blog and social media – post content that will engage your followers and interest them. Focus on growing your followers and maintaining their loyalty early on. You’ll be on the right track to building your potential readers.

Obtain quality book reviews

book marketing,book,marketing,writing,reviews,blogging,Alana Munro

Check out Alana’s best selling book here

Send book bloggers and book reviewers a free copy of your book in exchange for a fair and balanced book review. A favourable book review is persuasive and powerful.

You may need to send out about 300 emails (maybe more) and most will ignore you or be too busy. But don’t be upset, focus on achieving at least ten quality, fair and unbiased reviews.

Commit to the challenge of book marketing

Marketing your book is not dropping the odd link about your book on Facebook. The biggest challenge many authors find is the realisation that book marketing takes a huge amount of time and effort. It can be mind-boggling, time-consuming, annoying and exhausting. Try not to let it overwhelm you. Take it day by day. A little bit every day.

Commit to spending at least 30 minutes a day sharing your blog content, supporting other bloggers/authors, sharing interesting links, following interesting people and replying to messages. Write it in your diary, or stick it on your fridge. Just as you have a book writing schedule, you need to have a book marketing schedule and stick to it.

Grow your online community

Join online support groups, mingle with other authors, and share your experiences. Help other authors by sharing their blog content on your own social media, and leave comments on their blog.

Do what you can to support other people who are chasing the same dream. Writing can be very isolating so it is vital to reach out to other creative people – if only for your own sanity and theirs!

Stop trying to sell – focus on connections and content

Too many authors spam their social media with, ‘buy my book!’ This strategy very rarely works. People just turn off. You need to ‘gently guide’ people to your work, via your interesting blog content and engaging social media shares. People will like to ‘discover’ your work on their own terms.

Create an interesting blog with easy links to your book. Good book marketing practice is about targeting the right people and intriguing them by offering them something worthwhile. Give your followers something to tasty to bite into: don’t just throw them the odd crumb.

Remember: book marketing can only achieve so much

Authors have to ensure books are polished, the book is actually a good read, there’s a market for the book and the most important factor – authors need to keep developing their marketing skills as much as their writing skills.

In today’s competitive book market, authors need to be creative in both their writing talent and their marketing strategies.

Good luck!

book marketing,book,marketing,writing,reviews,blogging,Alana Munro

Alana Munro

Alana Munro, is the bestselling author of Women Behaving Badly – Exposing the Truth about Female Friendship. She also runs her own book marketing company – Reach for the Stars Book Marketing. You can find out more about Alana by visiting her popular blog which brims with inspirational posts, life advice and support for creative people –

photo credit: Florin Gorgan via photopin cc




  1. Good advice, similar to what I heard from Laurence O’Bryan last weekend so I know it’s solid! Thanks for the re-enforcement.

  2. Great to hear from you Arletta – glad you liked the article. Alana really does know her stuff!

  3. Hello Suzan! Excellent guest blogger and post. It is very helpful. I used to be one of those naive writers that thought once I wrote the book my work was done. Luckily, I joined Google+ and the writers group ‘Support A Writer’ started by Alana Munro that taught me otherwise. I’ve still got a lot to learn about marketing, but I’m learning more and more each day. Thank you for this awesome article Alana (I’m book marking it!).

  4. I’m getting really close to being able to start talking about the book. Excited, but also nervous. 🙂 Dead on about making connections. And the bonus is meeting so many interesting people!

  5. Great advice. I particularly liked your focus on “building connections” and finding your target audience. I think those should be the goals of successful book marketers. You need to make genuine connections with people and build lasting relationships. That will at least give your book a fighting chance.

    • Hi MJ – Alana has got it right, as you say. Much as the traditional publishers try to maintain their mystique of the 19th century, marketing books is pretty much like marketing most other products and services. The online environment, especially, has given us authors a superb opportunity to do this successfully and with publishers’ lamentable lack of skill in modern marketing techniques, we authors need to do it, and do it well, as Alana advises.

  6. It is really very effective and important job of a writer. In this way a author develops his marketing skills as well as writing skills also. So it is very necessary for a writer to sell his book.


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