Happy INDEPENDENCE DAY, a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, as well as the anniversary of when I started this blog on July 4th, 2011– before I had “indie” (i.e. self-) published my book, The Therapist Writer: Helping Mental Health Professionals Get Published. I recently updated the book for 2018 so if you’re interested, please note that on Amazon the updated cover has a little blue triangle in the upper right-hand corner that says, “25 Book Marketing Ideas A-Z.”
To share both this day of independence along with the anniversary of my blog, I’m going to give you some book marketing ideas, one for each letter in I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-C-E D-A-Y. I know that leaves out a lot of letters. Guess you’ll just have to check out the book on Amazon or Kindle to find out what they are!
Now, let’s go, starting with I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-C-E
I is for Instagram — a photo and video-sharing site owned by Facebook which now has over 800 million users. Posts can be public or shared with specified others. People with services or products (like books) to sell are finding ways to do it here. Always do your homework and read all about it first. The same goes for all marketing tips.
N is for Networking – joining and attending groups, lectures, workshops, and seminars, where you’ll meet other indie authors involved in book marketing, can be energizing and inspiring and a much faster way to get new ideas and learn more about all things DIY.
D is for Discoverability – This has become an important term in the book-marketing field. How can anyone buy your book if they don’t know it exists? You have to find ways you can do-it-yourself that get you noticed. There is so much online and on YouTube about book marketing that it’s quite overwhelming. Just look!
E is for Elevator Pitch – Memorize a 10 or 15-second pitch about your book, what it’s about and how it helps and benefits the reader — just in case anybody asks you what you’re up to. Search online for “elevator pitch” for plenty of good tips.
P is for Pinterest – Another “hot” social media site. Users can search, upload,, sort, and manage images—known as “pins”—and then save them on their “boards.” Think of a topic and there’s a Pinterest board about it! With a “business account” (also free) users can promote their products (such as books). One cool thing is you can link a pin about your book to your Amazon book page, website, blog, or to an article. It’s your virtual storefront. You can use a program like Canva.com to create perfect pins.
E is for E-mail List – If you haven’t started an email list already, start one now. Collect emails of people who are potential book buyers. When you publish a book, one of the first things to do is send out a “book launch” letter to your email list — so you need a list! Give people an easy way to opt out or unsubscribe.
N is for Newsletter – Sending out a book-related newsletter used to be a hassle and a big expense. Now it’s all done electronically. You can use email programs such as Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, or MadMimi. Most are free for up to 1000 to 2000 email names. If your email list is small, it will cost you only your time.
D is for DIY – The more you do-it-yourself, the less book marketing will cost you. Publicists are still out there willing to charge you, but save your money to pay hired hands for the things you can’t do or don’t want to do, and do the rest yourself.
E is for Email Signature – Create a little “ad” for yourself at the bottom of every email you send out (try “stationery” section). You can hyperlink your urls to your Amazon website, blog, or website. This isn’t in-you-face advertising. It’s subtle. People can click on your links – or not.
N is for Newspapers – Even though many newspapers have folded (meaning there’s less space for traditional book reviews), there are many newspapers left and some are hungry for content. Think of all the “throw-away” papers just in your area. Search online for “newspapers” and you’ll get sites like: 50states.com/news; onlinenewspapers.com; thepaperboy.com, and more.
C is for Contests – Lots of contests out there to enter, but first make sure they aren’t scams. Go to the blog of janefriedman.com for her list of recommended and “safe” contests. If you win, place, or show in a legit contest, that makes you “an award-winning” author. Good for book marketing!
E is for Ezines – Ezines are online magazine. Today, most regular magazines have an online counterpart and it’s usually easier to have an article you write accepted there than it is in their paper version. Ezines have thousands of readers so it’s a good way to get the word out about your book. Some even pay a little. Try directoryofezines.com or ezinesearch.com.
Now for D-A-Y:
D is for Description – Your book description is one of the most important things you’ll write. You’ll use it on your Amazon book page and in your launch letter, and in so many other marketing pieces. Write a short, medium, and long description to have on hand. Embed keywords and phrases and include benefits to readers and potential audiences.
A is for Amazon – Amazon is not only an online bookseller and publisher (CreateSpace and Kindle), it is a world unto itself when it comes to helping you market your book. It offers many marketing features – keywords, customer reviews, the Author Central page, their “look inside the book” feature, foreign sites, and so much more.
Y is for YouTube – YouTube is a candy store. You can find videos about everything on this list and you can make videos about your book to upload to YouTube, even have your own channel. Videos can be nichy, specific, and detailed. You could even make a short video on how you got the idea for your book — and people would watch it!
Okay, Independence fans, that’s it for now. Get to your independent book marketing. There’s more hints, tips and ideas where these came from. Later.
© The Therapist Writer: Helping Mental Health Professionals Get Published by Sylvia Cary, LMFT, Timberlake Press – recently updated for 2018.