Sell Books Like Stephen King: 16 Ways to Promote Your Book

So you’ve finished the long, painstaking task of writing your book. Congratulations! Now comes the long, painstaking chore of promoting it.

But don’t be discouraged. A little effort that’s channeled into various directions can build some strong buzz for your book – and maybe even land you a major book deal! Hey, even Stephen King had to start somewhere.

Here are sixteen ways that you can promote your book yourself.

  1. Give your book a Facebook page. This allows you not only to build interest for the book, but also to keep people informed of its availability as well as additional marketing efforts.
  1. Give your book its own Web page. With a cyberspace portal, you can encourage readers’ questions and comments, offer book-related services and swag, and create a “press room” where media types can get pertinent information about your book.
  1. Get everyone you know to write reviews about your book. Amazon and many other sites will display reviews of your book for all to see. So call, email, write, and VoIP all your friends, relatives, and peers and get them started writing reviews.
  1. Review similar books yourself. If you post reviews of books that are in a similar genre as yours, you can sign them with your name and “Author of…” – which will make people aware of your book as well.
  1. Send reviews to books and magazines. Both “short quote” and full-length reviews may pique the curiosity of professional book reviewers. But they won’t read it if they’ve never hear about it.
  1. Target radio stations, TV stations, or newspapers. Be available for interviews that any of these entities may want you to participate in. Even if it’s a 4 a.m. interview, it can still help promote your book.
  1. Target Web, TV, and radio talk shows. Get the name of a producer and send your marketing materials to him or her. You’d be surprised how hungry these shows are for fresh material.
  1. Go to conferences. Find a gathering or conference of people who would be interested in your book and set up a marketing table. For example, if it’s a book about gardening, seek out a garden club convention or meeting.
  1. Start a blog. If you already have a blog, be sure to incorporate aspects of your book into it. Otherwise, create a blog based on the topics covered in your book.
  1. Give away sample chapters. Either via a website, email, or blog, allow readers to download and/or read the first two or three chapters of your book. There’s a good chance they’ll want to see more.
  1. Read your chapters to a group of people. There may be reading groups in your area who would love to get a sneak preview of your book. Even reading to retirement home residents could pay off in the long run (after all, their book publisher son or daughter may come visit them later that week…).
  1. Start an email newsletter. Invite people to “subscribe” to a newsletter and send one out periodically centering on your book’s subject matter. But in these e-newsletters, you need to provide valuable content instead of just shilling your book.
  1. Leverage your email signature. Put your book’s title and/or website in your email signature. People might click on it just to see what it’s all about.
  1. Offer some of your books as prizes. From charity silent auctions to radio phone-in contests, giving away copies of your book could help boost your promotion efforts.
  1. Give away some copies. If you know of any key people in the publishing or media industries, getting them a complimentary copy of your book could go a long way toward building buzz.
  1. Always carry a copy of your book with you. You never know who you’ll start talking to in the checkout line, at the doctor’s office, or in the airport (and air travelers always need something to read on their flight, right?).

Chris Martin is a freelance writer who writes for numerous websites and is also a ghostwriter for several blogs. In addition, he is a struggling author, an accomplished voice actor, and an experienced sportscaster. Martin has also worked as a radio DJ, a traffic reporter, and a public address announcer for sporting events.

Image Credit: By “Pinguino” (“Pinguino’s” flickr account) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons