marketing strategy tactics

Don’t Focus on Marketing Tactics at the Expense of Strategy

One of the hardest things to do—for any individual, organization, or business—is to define a vision and strategy. It involves diving deep into one's strengths and weaknesses, and understanding the market opportunities and threats. Talking strategy usually means dealing with uncomfortable realities, as well as risking disagreement with others.

Your No. 1 Secret Weapon: Writing Communities

Building a supportive network takes time and courage. It’s worth starting to cultivate community early on, even if your instinct or preference is to work alone.
bookbub ads

Using BookBub Ads to Support Your Book Marketing

Many authors use Facebook and Amazon to advertise their books. If you’ve tried these platforms without success or hesitate to spend the money, consider experimenting with BookBub ads.
book marketing swag

How to Use Swag to Support Your Book Marketing

Meaningful swag offers the reader something connected to the book and something that’s memorable—but you need something that doesn't break the budget.
Marketing Advice Roundup: Best of the Last Year

Marketing Advice Roundup: Best of the Last Year

I regularly read and report on marketing trends that affect traditionally published and self-published writers. Today I'm sharing the most useful articles I've found and shared thus far in 2018.
five levels

How to Understand Your Reader’s Level of Awareness to Grow Your Fanbase

Readers start their journey to find new books in a broad sense, but eventually gain experience and understand more about what they are looking for. By understanding the awareness level of a reader, we can better position our books and gain long-term fans.
book exhibit budget

5 Tips for Selling Your Books at Events—on a Budget

It can be challenging to make back the cost of your books and the price of a table when exhibiting at a book festival. So, finding cheap but cool things to use at book events is essential.
sound smart

Don’t Be Too Smart or Clever in Your Book Descriptions

Publishers and authors can use sophisticated language to describe books—to sound unique, clever and smart. But readers describe books in more direct ways.
Cai Emmons van tour

Pre-Publication Marketing: A Van Tour to Bookstores

Novelist Cai Emmons discusses how a van tour to meet booksellers in person helped her overcome her timidity toward book marketing.
nonfiction niche

6 Questions to Help Nonfiction Writers Find Their Niche

No matter how many books have been written about a topic, there is probably some important facet that has not yet been covered thoroughly or well. A key driver behind success is understanding how you fit into the existing landscape, what distinguishes your work, and why it is likely to appeal to a particular audience.
build traffic to your author website

10 Ways to Build Traffic to Your Author Website or Blog

This post was first published in 2012 and is regularly updated. First things first: an author's website, whether it gets
fear of public speaking

How Writers Can Overcome Their Fear of Public Speaking

Public speaking skills are more akin to musical or athletic skills than intellectual knowledge alone. Mastery does not take place simply in your brain; it takes place in your body, in the “doing” of it.
Christmas in July

5 Ways to Sell More Books for the Holidays  

I used to laugh at the “Christmas-in-July” ads until I promoted my first holiday-related book. We actually started the promotion in July, and July turned out to be the perfect time.
book marketing

The Psychology of Author Marketing

It’s one thing to know how to setup something technical like an advertisement, an email system, or your book’s sales page on Amazon. However, crafting them so a potential reader will take action is something else.
The Introvert’s Guide to Launching a Book

The Introvert’s Guide to Launching a Book

Unless you are Harper Lee, you are probably going to launch more than one book during your career. For the introvert, learn six ways to keep your head above water not just for your first book, but also for the long haul.
silence conversation

The Power of Silence in a Pitch Situation

Silence—or, in fact, just saying less—is an art that can be strategically practiced by authors who seek attention. It is also a critical strategy when trying to influence people who hear about new books all day, every day.

What to Look for in a Book Publicist—Plus Tips for Going It Alone

Hiring an outside publicity firm is a big decision, and knowing what to expect on the front end can help you make the right selection and get more out of the experience.
6 Reasons to Relaunch Your Book

6 Reasons to Relaunch Your Book

Book relaunches can take a variety of forms. If done right, they enhance your overall brand, as well as your book sales. Their first and foremost benefit is the new publication date. Having a new book opens up access to bloggers and media who might not have been available to you with an older book.
How to Become a Bestseller with Money, Luck, or Work (Mostly Work)

How to Become a Bestseller with Money, Luck, or Work (Mostly Work)

“If you build it, they will come” is the biggest crock of sh*t ever foisted. The second biggest is my own mental script: “If I write it, The New York Times bestseller list will come.” Nope. Wrong answer.
Why Blog—From the Writer Who Said Goodbye to Blogging

Why Blog—From the Writer Who Said Goodbye to Blogging

Sometimes going back is going forward—especially if you refashion the old, sloughing off what became untenable. This is why I’m going back to blogging. While every writer won’t find my reasons of interest, plenty of writers might want to explore their possibility.
launching a second book

Launching Your Second Book and Beyond: 4 Questions to Ask

Book launches are intense and can feel very high stakes, so use the time between them to take a step back and consider how to build a career over many years, and many books, to come.
how to get book reviews

The Essential First Step for New Authors: Book Reviews, Not Sales

New authors have no symbolic capital. They are not (yet) known for producing quality books that seduce readers. Is it possible for self-publishing authors to create symbolic capital? Absolutely yes, and many have. In today’s increasing online world of book shopping, it is book reviews that build symbolic capital.
affordable ways to master book marketing on a budget

4 Affordable Ways to Master Book Marketing

Keeping up with the latest book marketing trends and learning new tactics can be expensive. Couple this with the growing cost of self-publishing, and it’s important that we be economically shrewd in our endeavors. Here's how.
ebook giveaway strategy

How to Rock a Free Day Promotion for Your eBook

If you are an indie author on Amazon, in Amazon’s Kindle Select Program, you can use five free days to promote your ebook in exchange for three months of exclusivity. Many traditional publishers are increasingly doing free promos as well, and the competition is growing with thousands of free ebooks available every day. So how do you stand out?
marketing roundup

Best Book Marketing Advice for Authors: The Best of 2017

I regularly round up and comment on book marketing advice that have writers buzzing. Here's what sparked discussion in 2017.
Amazon optimization

Optimizing Your Books for Amazon Keyword Search

The more your book is optimized for search at Amazon, the more often it’s going to come up in searches, and—consequently—the more you’ll sell. Part of making your book more discoverable is understanding how to set your categories and keywords on Amazon, which is accessible to any indie author.
book launch for first time author

A Book Launch Plan for First-Time Authors Without an Online Presence

While it's not easy to launch a book without any kind of online presence, many first-time authors are in exactly that position. Here's a 4-step game plan.
stop doing

5 Things I’m Not Doing to Launch My Book—Plus What I’m Doing Instead

The gist of all marketing advice for authors essentially boils down to: try everything and see what works. Here's what didn't work for me.

The Angsty Relationship Between Writing and Sales

I have an uneasy relationship with sales because I came to writing through academic means, and academics still live with an idea of meritocracy as the way people get recognition for what they do.
market in your backyard

Don’t Know How to Market Your Book? Start in Your Own Backyard

When I hear professional publicists offer advice to authors, one theme that comes up again and again is: start where you are.
website or social media

What’s More Important: Author Websites or Social Media?

Social media is widely considered necessary by authors and publishers for book marketing. But is it as important as an optimized author website?
Mailchimp email newsletter alternatives

MailChimp Alternatives for Authors

Is MailChimp the best choice for your email newsletter? Here's a breakdown of the pros & cons of the three biggest email service providers that authors use.
How Time Zone Differences Affect Your Book Marketing

How Time Zone Differences Affect Your Book Marketing

Do you know what time it is in Mumbai, India? Knowing time differences in the countries where you sell books is key to social media engagement, and ultimately sales.
amazon ad 7

Using Amazon Ads to Sell a YA Novel: A Detailed Analysis

While Amazon sponsored ads haven’t been a marketing miracle, I also haven’t lost that much money—and copies of my YA novel have sold at a steady pace.
Andrew Rhomberg

Reader Analytics from Jellybooks: Crunching the Numbers to Improve Book Marketing and Sales

Reader analytics measures the strength of reader engagement with a book. This data helps publishers more effectively market and promote books to readers.
biographies of ordinary people by nicole dieker

Self-Publishing a Debut Literary Novel: The Actions, The Costs, The Results

A self-published author breaks down her expenses and resulting sales after promoting on social media and email, paying for reviews, advertising, and more.
hustle marketing

The Marketing Rule You Can’t Forget

When I work on a project—with clients, but particularly with my own writing—I start by acknowledging a blunt but important truth: Nobody cares about what I have made.
The Difference Between a Press Release and a Pitch (You Need Both)

The Difference Between a Press Release and a Pitch (You Need Both)

The two biggest mistakes in book publicity pitches: they are too long in length, and not pointed or provocative enough.
fomo marketing

5 Steps to Kick Your Marketing FOMO to the Curb

Marketing FOMO is more debilitating than distracting—and if you suffer from marketing FOMO, your marketing tasks will never be done.

How Do Books Become Bestsellers? (Can Authors Increase Those Chances?)

Is a book's success all luck, even if 'luck' includes hitting the right subject matter at the right time, or is it marketing—and can an indie author in any way compete with a publisher?
tall poppies

Author Marketing Collectives: An Increasingly Important Component of Book Promotion

Authors need help with digital book marketing—the kind of help that traditional publishers rarely provide. Co-ops and collectives can help fill that gap.
pitch media

How to Pitch the Media (Without Even Sending Your Book)

When you’re wooing the media, what you’re really trying to do is to intrigue them. To whet their appetites. Sometimes the best way to do that flows from remembering that less is often more.
Are You Clear About Your Writer Persona? Going Public by Design

Are You Clear About Your Writer Persona? Going Public by Design

As writers, we don’t always know how much of ourselves to share with the public. But it behooves us to create and curate an author persona—the public face for our work.
Friedman Amazon Author Central

How to Optimize Your Amazon Author Central Pages (Don’t Forget the International Pages)

Every author, regardless of when or what they’ve published, has an Author Central page. But many authors have not claimed theirs—which is a big mistake.
social media follower count

Stop Focusing on Follower Count: 5 Better Approaches for Improving Social Media Use

When I ask most clients what their goals are in hiring me, I usually get some version of “to get more followers and sell more books.” I encourage them to think both bigger and more deeply about social media.
online education

Using Online Education as a Pre-Publication Marketing Tool

In my latest column for Publishers Weekly, I discuss the potential of online education for book marketing, particularly prior to publication.
Using NetGalley and Goodreads

Case Study: Using NetGalley and Goodreads for Book Marketing and Publicity

Sarah Miniaci at Smith Publicity and Kristina Radke at NetGalley review the marketing and publicity strategies that can help increase your book's discoverability, word-of-mouth, and reviews, using NetGalley and Goodreads in particular.
amazon kdp select

Is Amazon Exclusivity Right for You?

There are advantages to selling ebooks only through Amazon, and makes most sense for authors who are just starting out or who are relatively unknown.
marketing roundup

Book Marketing Resources for Authors: The Best of 2016

Every year, I share hundreds (even thousands) of articles and reports on book marketing. Here, I look back on the best of what I found in 2016.
literary blogs and websites

The Best Literary Fiction Blogs & Websites

A list of the best blogs and websites focused on literary fiction and culture