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How to Care for Your Book Baby: Marketing Your Book

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

Welcome back to the final lesson on how to care for your book baby. Today we’re going to be learning how to market a book as a self-published author. Although it’s one of the last steps in the publishing process, marketing is the step that will never end. If you want sales, you need to continuously present people with your book. Otherwise, they simply won’t know it exists. Here are some methods that you can use to market your book:

  1. BookTok: 

I know you’re probably tired of hearing me rave about my successes on BookTok, but I do it for a reason, and I want you to know just what you can get out of it. BookTok, for those of you who are new here, is a writing community on TikTok where people post book-related content. Many indie authors have found a home in BookTok and use it as a platform to market their books. They do so by following current TikTok trends or audios, or by creating original content and simply telling their publishing stories. The important thing to remember is that it isn’t about how many followers you have; it’s about how many friends you make. You can have 10K followers and not one of them will purchase your book if they don’t know you. Marketing is more than just selling your book. You have to sell yourself. You are the brand. By being yourself and making friends, you are guaranteed to sell some books through BookTok.

  1. Goodreads:

Even before you are published, you can put your book on Goodreads through the Goodreads Author program. This is quite a simple process that will have beneficial effects. You can accumulate an audience of readers when people add your book to their TBR (to-be-read) list or leave a review and rating about your book. Again, you must market your book so that people know that it is on Goodreads, but it is a good way to keep them interested.

  1. Bookstagram:

Another social media marketing technique is to make a Bookstagram on Instagram. A Bookstagram is essentially an Instagram account dedicated to books. I must tell you that Instagram is very different from TikTok. On Bookstagram, you must focus on building a community. People don’t always like it when you throw your book in their face on Instagram. Instead, focus on making friends. Although it is equally important to make friends on TikTok, I find it is easier for people to absorb your promotional bookish content on Instagram because it’s easier to watch videos than reading posts. This can also be seen in the success of reels as opposed to posts on your feed. So although it may be a slower rise, Bookstagram does allow you to make more meaningful connections with the writing community.

  1. Giveaways:

Hosting a giveaway is a fun way to both generate excitement about your book and to gain new followers. Once your book is published, you can make a video or a post about having a giveaway of your book on social media. You can give out signed copies or annotated copies of your book, the latter meaning that you would personally write on sticky notes inside of your book, essentially giving the reader the inner scoop. All that is required is that they follow you, like the video, share the video, and tag another bookworm in the comments. This way, you can boost the video and get the word out there about your book. I highly recommend doing giveaways because they are fun both for the author and their readers!

  1. Newsletters:

Newsletters are an ingenious way of keeping your readers’ attention. By having them sign up for a newsletter, you keep them engaged and anxiously awaiting your next releases. You can send out newsletters with information like the kind in this very article. Or you can update them on the process of your book and its sequel. This way, you’ll maintain a loyal audience.

  1. Independent Bookstores:

As mentioned in my previous article on publishing, indie authors are able to get their books into independently-owned bookstores. This requires two things. First, your book has to have its own ISBN. An ISBN number is an International Standard Book Number, and every book has one to identify it. Second, you need to make a deal with the bookstore. Most bookstores prefer that you make your book returnable, meaning that the books they don’t sell can be returned to you with credit. This is why it is important to also publish through IngramSparks; this self-publishing company has return capabilities. By getting your book into independent bookstores, you will be able to reach a wider and more local audience. 

  1. Chain Bookstores:

Finally, you can try to get your self-published book into chain bookstores such as Indigo. This is possible if your publisher/distributor (KDP or IngramSparks) has an established relationship with Indigo. If they do, you’ll be able to get your book onto Indigo’s website. Again, it is essential that books be fully returnable, have a Canadian price on the cover/jacket, and that they have their own ISBN. Chain bookstores are the primary place readers will go to look for books, so it is always an advantage to have your book sold at these places. 

Marketing your book is an essential and long-term step in the bookmaking process, but you will be happy you followed these steps in the long run. Good luck to you and your book baby, and happy writing!

My name is Serafina Piasentin and I'm enrolled in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor. Writing has long since been a passion of mine, and I specialize in fiction and poetry. I have won and been published in numerous short story and poetry contests and have completed a fantasy trilogy. I aspire to be an author and this opportunity with Her Campus allows me to take a step closer to that dream! A bit about me outside of my writing career: I am a lifeguard and I play the piano. I consider myself an ambivert and I love adventures and meeting new people! Feel free to contact me on instagram: @serafinaarose or email me @serafinapiasentin@gmail.com <3 I also have a blog where I post my poems, stories, essays, literary reviews and more! You can find me here: https://serafinaarose.wixsite.com/wordalchemy