7 Ways to Successfully Market Your Book Online

by Chris Brown on Friday, December 12, 2008

Are you an author who has spent hours and hours writing a book?  Then editing it? And finding a publisher?  Maybe you thought the work was done when you finally got it printed, but now you know, the work of promoting and selling your book has just begun.

Here are 7 ways to grab people’s attention, spread the word and promote your book ONLINE:

1) Make a webpage of your book.  Be sure you have a buy now button.  If you haven’t set up a merchant account, you can use Google Checkout or Paypal to help you with the transaction.

2) Ask for quotes from people who will influence your readers. Put those quotes on the back cover of your book and on your webpage. Here’s an example of that for the Back to Basics by Deborah Chaddock Brown (By the way,  this a great “how to” marketing book that I had the privilege to read before it was published and give her a quote.)

3) Make a video and post it on YouTube with a Link to your web page. This video, while very funny and clever, forgot to put the website address at the end, so I’ll give it to you now. By the way, I bet this becomes a best seller.  Great timing for a book like this!!  The Good Book  The Credit Card Funeral

4) Send a email to everyone on your email newsletter list to tell them to watch the video. (Don’t have a enewsletter list yet? Time to start building one!)  Here are 12 ways to build an email newsletter mailing list.
5) Get a Twitter account for the book and send “tweet” teasers. You can use some of the twitter applications to find people who “microblog” about your subject matter and send them a “direct” tweet with a shortened hyperlink to your page. Like all social media, it’s best to build a relationship first… no one wants direct junk tweets any more than anyone wants junk spam email. Work to build a reputation on Twitter for your subject matter.  Here’s a link to FLYLady’s Tweet about the video shown above. I think you’ll have to have a Twitter account to be able to open/read it.

6) Write an electronic press release.  Publicity Hound Joan Stewart is the go-to-person for learning about press release writing and she has a great way to write press releases for the electronic media.  Her free email tutorial “Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases,”  spends an entire week on search engine optimization.  Check out her November 2008 post of 26 ways to market an ebook for those authors who know how to do it in the “real” world, but are a little bit baffled by the whole online experience.

7) Hold an on line book launch party with prizes! In February 2008 Tammy Lenski had a great way to build the buzz with her online book launch virtual party for her new mediation book.  She has a great launch strategy for marketing a book on line

Other posts about promoting your book online:

Chris Brogan: Promoting Your Book Online - Oct 2008 I met Chris at SOBCon ’08 in Chicago. If you don’t subscribe to his blog, now is the time to click the chicklet to get his RSS feed.

What am I forgetting??  Please comment below and let me know of other great links to help authors who are learning the whole web world of book promotion…

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Rolv Heggenhougen December 12, 2008 at 8:38 am

Companies seem to ignore the single largest online branding/advertising venue available: their own regular external emails. Why not use these emails to market the senders company?

You have a website.
You send emails.

Why not multiply your sales-staff by “wrapping” the regular email in an interactive letterhead?

No other marketing or advertising medium is as targeted as an email between people that know each other (as opposed to mass emails). These emails are always read and typically kept.

Deborah Chaddock Brown December 13, 2008 at 1:08 am

Chris, first off, thanks so much for plugging my book Back to Basics. You have compiled a great list here and I’m still working my way through to publicize my book.

Rolv offers a great idea as well - I need to change my auto signature on my emails to let people know about my book.

Great stuff. Thanks!


Chris Brown December 16, 2008 at 7:08 am

Great ideas are often the simple and easy to implement. Isn’t that how hotmail and msn mail got their email service really cranking? Thanks so much!

You know I love your Back to Basics book! And I’m looking forward to your next book as well.


Tammy Lenski December 16, 2008 at 11:55 am

Chris, thanks for including my book and book launch in your list! If folks have questions about this and want to leave them here, I’d be happy to answer them here as well.

Happy holidays to you,

C.F. Jackson December 30, 2008 at 12:47 am

Hi Chris,

Great posting for any author or
writer to implement and get started

I’d like to add owning your domain
name/URL… I’ve seen many authors
with make shift website addresses,
which makes it difficult to brand and to
maket oneself.

It’s a small yet powerful element that
is often looked over every single day!

Again, great posting…

Continue to make it happen!

Won’t Be Denied,
C.F. Jackson
The Authority Site For Authors & Writers

Teena Hughes November 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I do a lot of social networking with social media, and there are many ways to leverage your book.

All of the examples above are fantastic, but I’d do one step forward on your own book’s website.

* allow people to leave comments, and reply as soon as you can
* create a page for FAQs - what do people ask you most about your book? answer them on this page
* keep adding pages to your book’s website - don’t leave it at Home page and Contact page - search engines will NEVER find you
* write one or two info pages - per week - about different things in your book e.g. if it’s travel book, focus on one idea per page
* you’re not giving away the contents of the book, but the internet is based on free info, so build up a rapport with your visitors by offering great info for free on your site
* encourage people to sign up on each page of your site
* create a PDF of 5-10 pages of your book - a ‘taster’ - give that away for all subscribers
* post quizzes on your site about your topic to encourage interaction
* build your mailing list by offering great tips (or focus on a chapter heading) once or twice a month as a newsletter
* ask subscribers to tell you about their story (related to your book) and post them on your site

All of this creates additional content, and if you SEO your pages, the search engine robots will come by often to see what all the activity is about :-) Trust me, this one WORKS!

This may not be suitable for a book, but on one of my websites I give away a free gift each month, name drawn from the list of subscribers. The gift has a perceived value of $35, and because it’s free, friends tell friends tell friends. This could be juicy tips as a PDF which is ‘not in the book, not on the website, secret info only an insider would know” (for example).

Hope this helps someone, and thanks for all the great tips above!


Teena Hughes November 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm

… sorry about typos, I was in a hurry to tell you all this!

Teena! :-)

Chris Brown November 22, 2009 at 7:36 am

Wow! What great ideas and information. Thank you for sharing them. Would you mind if I made another follow up post about how to market a book online? Just want to make sure no one misses your ideas!

Teena Hughes November 22, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Hello again Chris,

I found your site when a friend asked if I had ideas on how to market a book online, and although I hadn’t speciifically done that, I knew there would be experts who did. On my first search your site jumped out of the search engine results and was the first I clicked on :-)

Thanks for your tweet; so pleased you enjoyed my tips. I have a website & hosting business and try to help my clients improve their SEO and website rankings by doing all the things I mentioned above. I think of websites as gardens, if you tend them regularly (adding content a few times per week) and shower them with love, they’ll grow and thrive.

If you build a website and never touch it (like buying a plant which you forget to water), it will fade away to nothing and will never be seen by anyone else.

I have another website where I write about one of my true loves - the city of Paris - and thanks for dropping by and tweeting Chris at http://A-Night-in-Paris.com

The website where I have a free offer for subscribers is my handpainted silk wearable art and interior design collection. Subscribers go in the draw each month to win a handpainted silk chiffon scarf - http://AbfabDesigns.com - word of mouth spreads and it’s great to get people interacting online.

Just like this post - it’s so great there are lots of people writing fabulous comments, which encourages sharing and discussion. Thanks Chris for a great website and for being so helpful!

PS - if it’s not ok to put links in here, just delete them - thanks! :-)


Terri Kirby Erickson July 17, 2010 at 7:26 am

Thanks so much for the great advice! I’m still looking for marketing ideas, even though my book, Telling Tales of Dusk, was released in September, 2009. It was #8 in poetry book sales on Amazon in Feb. of this year, so I’d love to get it back to those heights! Thanks again, Terri Kirby Erickson, http://terrikirbyerickson.wordpress.com.

James Baird December 20, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I am interested in marketing my book online

full info at www dot happinessgenes dot com

April Pickering July 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I am looking for ways to market the book. I just received my first shipment.

Chris Brown August 6, 2011 at 6:45 am

Best of luck to you with your book. Hope that my post was helpful to you. I just checked out your website and am wondering how much the book costs? I see a PayPal button, but many folks may not be willing to click it, if they don’t know the price.

Winnie Thuku-Craig November 14, 2011 at 9:34 am

Thank you for your advice. My first book Broken To Be Made Whole has been in the Kenyan market for a year now and it has done well so far. A month ago I made it available on amazon. It is a bit hectic for me because I feel that I am marketing to a community that does not know me at all and they maybe a bit biased about african authors. How can you help me break through this barrier?

Winnie Thuku-Craig.

Chris Brown November 26, 2011 at 10:20 am

Hi Winnie:
One of the best ways to become known is to have your readers review the book. You may want to ask your blog readers to take a minute to write a review, if they’ve read your book. Best of luck to you marketing on Amazon.

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