Anytime I run across an article that offers some simple book promotion ideas that authors can easily implement to drive book sales, I always bookmark it to read, and when there are new, creative tips, I’m 100% game for sharing it with our followers.
Some of these book promotion ideas I’ve never even covered before, which really gets me excited, because I feel there’s a lot of repetition in this industry.
Yes, if everyone was nailing all their marketing and every author was wildly successful, we wouldn’t be repeating ourselves, but honestly, I know it can get frustrating to simply hear, “Do this better,” from a dozen different sources.
Because taking that next step to change things, or do something different, is when the real work begins!
Another reason I love sharing new book promotion ideas is because we’re all creating unique author brands and all have different strengths and different marketing and self-promotion efforts we’re drawn to (or want to avoid at all costs).
So let’s dig into these 15 book promotion ideas, and I challenge you to commit to trying two new things you’ve never done before!
Host readings on YouTube
This is a fun idea, but what if you don’t have a YouTube channel and don’t want to start one?
Then consider recording some video to use for other social media platforms, like Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, Goodreads, or even Author Central.
Video can work beautifully everywhere, not just on YouTube.
You can also repurpose video.
So something for Instagram, for example, can be repurposed for YouTube as well, or Goodreads, or Author Central – you get the idea.
Host readings in the park
I adore unique book promotion tips and this one is certainly new to me!
And it’s an especially fun idea if you’ve written something that lends itself to an outside venue, like a kid’s book, which could work really well for a park reading.
And you can promote your event using NextDoor too – if you’re not familiar with NextDoor it’s a lovely neighborhood social media connection site where folks post queries about home repair, upcoming gatherings, garage sales, and local events like craft fairs, etc.
Make a movie trailer
I love this one and it’s often popular with fiction authors.
But for non-fiction this gets harder, so you have to get creative, make it about your journey as a professional and how you gained all the knowledge you’re trying to share with the world.
Set up a story walk
This is such a fun addition to your book promotion ideas and actually pretty easy to implement!
So how does a story walk work? Well, each segment of your book would be featured at different, walkable locations.
And when you promote it be sure you let people know how far they’ll be going, if they have to visit all the locations to enjoy the event, will there be a prize if they do? Make it fun and engaging!
Just be sure this is a good match for your reader market.
So again, children’s books would be great for this, and you could work with your local schools to promote it.
Nature books, wellness or mindfulness books, fitness books, all great options as well.
And remember when I talked about NextDoor, you can use that site to promote it there, and it’s worth announcing it to your local social media influencers as well!
Create Facebook ads
I’m a bit on the fence about this one, mostly because Facebook ads are often done for the wrong reasons. Ads of any kind do well when you have an end goal and a deadline.
So, for example, running an ad that coincides with a limited time discount is a smart way to convert readers. But often authors just run ads to run them, with no clear goal in mind other than selling books – and that’s not specific enough.
You can waste a lot of money that way!
I’m a big fan of this tip – I’ve incorporated it into my own book promotion ideas as well, especially for new releases.
Because readers love fun, cool, branded swag!
Sites like Etsy and Zazzle offer lots of options, and Etsy artists are usually really open to custom orders as well, which is a bonus, and I use these special items as incentives to buy more books at speaking events I do (buy two books and get a free tote bag), and also as promo items when I’m launching a new book!
Just be mindful of shipping. We had an author who printed up mugs which is a fun idea in theory, but shipping mugs is hard and not all of them arrived in one piece.
Offer a free excerpt
This is a cool way to get more newsletter sign ups, too.
Offering a freebie like one chapter, or five chapters, is a fun way to let potential new readers sample your book.
And consumers love samples.
I also love the site Bookfunnel to manage free book samples and to help build your mailing list, but I also use Bookfunnel to send out review copies that can’t be shared, because using this site allows you to lock your content.
Launch a website
This one should be higher on the list than it was in the article I read, but I’m going in order.
I don’t really classify this as an addition to your book promotion ideas, but instead as a critical element of your brand’s foundation!
But they don’t have to be fancy or elaborate. I know many authors who have a one-page site for their first book that works just fine for them.
Giveaways of any kind are often a fan favorite with readers.
And you know the cool merchandise and swag mentioned earlier? That works well for giveaways, too, but so do books.
If you’re going to do a giveaway, make sure you have a way to collect email addresses so you can contact people after and add them to your newsletter.
In fact, why not send folks to your website to sign up – signing up for your newsletter automatically gives them a chance to enter.
And you can promote this on social media to rack up social engagement AND website traffic.
Create eye-catching graphics
Sites like Canva make this super easy and graphics are so important to everything you’re doing.
Whether it’s a giveaway that was mentioned earlier, or adding graphics to your social media posts, blog or newsletter – remember that the mind is an image processor and not a word processor, so well-designed graphics can help to convey your message faster than words alone.
Network with other authors
One of the biggest trends that’s come out in the last two years is partnering with other authors.
Whether it’s contributing to each other’s newsletters, sharing promotions, or combining efforts to promote limited time deals together, there’s power in numbers.
Start networking early with other authors by following them on social, commenting on their posts or even their blog.
That kind of virtual networking is a great way to build rapport.
And if you can attend any in-person events, I recommend that as well.
Offer signed copies
With the holidays coming up, this is a really special addition to your book promotion ideas bank.
I talk with lots of authors who want to sell more books from their website, and autographed copies are another great way to do that.
Personalized books make great gifts, whether it’s for an upcoming birthday or a holiday, so just be sure to make that angle really clear when listing an autographed or personalized book for sale.
I’ve done an entire podcast episode on this with my awesome co-host because newsletters are just that important.
Ideally you want to try and send out some news monthly, or at minimum seasonally.
If you’re doing well on social media and connecting with readers that way, you can get away with doing newsletters seasonally if needed. But if you’ve opted to not use social media for your branding, you need a monthly newsletter to make up for that lack of access.
I’ll link to the newsletter show below so you can give it a listen!
Run special eBook promotions
I love limited time deals on eBooks especially.
But again, the key is limited time deal.
So discount your book by $1 or more and keep it to 2-3 days tops because it pushes people to act immediately.
If you run a discount for a week or more, you’ll inevitably get people who won’t buy because they’ll tell themselves they’ll do it tomorrow. Spoiler alert, they’ll forget.
And if you can tie your limited time discount into another known holiday or seasonal event, all the better, since people are already paying attention.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of hopping on the next big thing just because it’s new.
Remember: social media sites, regardless of how fun they look, require work and dedication and every site that you layer onto your list of things to do, is another thing that pulls you away from writing more books or doing the kind of marketing that helps move the needle.
If you’re on Twitch and it’s working for your author brand, please, please comment below or email us some insight on your experience so far because I’d love to hear it!
Wrapping things up
The goal with all of these book promotion ideas is not to overwhelm you, but to help generate some ideas – if you only wind up doing the two things you wrote down, I call that a win.
The idea is to not do all the things, but to do all the things that matter, and it’s up to you to figure out what makes the most sense for your book, your reader, and your goals!
Here is a link to the original article if you’d like to check it out.