How to Promote Your Self-Published Book with Confidence and Style

authors header image

Explore Author Services

Remember that spring when grifter shows flooded the networks? The buzz around the Tinder Swindler and Theranos unleashed a tsunami of conversations across the media. That’s the power of skillful promotion. Marketing takes work; publishing houses have entire departments dedicated to it. If you want to promote your self-published book, this becomes your job. 

Of course, you don’t have to go it alone—for the strongest start, ask an expert to create a marketing package. Meanwhile, here are some key areas to consider if you’re ready to channel P. T. Barnum. 

Establishing your personal brand

Years ago, if an author joined an online forum, it was like seeing Daniel Radcliffe shopping at Whole Foods. Now, a writer needs to think about their brand and how to shape it to cultivate a buzz. Without an online presence, it’s going to be tremendously difficult to make a big name for yourself in the modern digital world.

Polish your social media ways

If you’re active on social media, you can use your favorite platforms to engage with your audience and draw in new readers. On Instagram, you can post about your books and creative process but also about non-writing events, such as cool vacations. This allows fans to get to know you better as a person, which will help them connect with you and could increase their admiration and loyalty. 

On Twitter, writers often comment on interesting news and articles—break out your best witty responses to gain internet prominence and grow your fanbase! Video-based social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok continue to grow in popularity. When bestselling novelist Xiran Jay Zhao aren’t discussing books, they’re making videos about everything, from Yu-Gi-Oh to Chinese history. 

If you’re upping your social media, remember cross-promotion. Link to your posts or videos on Twitter or mention your Instagram on TikTok. People are partial to different platforms, but you can redirect traffic around a bit.

Blog it up

On a personal blog, you can post updates about your work and create buzz around your upcoming books, be it with contests, previews, or giveaways. Think creatively. If you like music, what playlists do you write to? What are your favorite books in your main genre? Regularly releasing high-quality, interesting posts is a great way to stay at the forefront of your readers’ minds and keep them excited about your upcoming projects.

If you’re not into blogging, consider a personal website to engage your audience. If your upcoming book is a sci-fi horror story about genetic engineering, highlight recent genetics-related articles in the news. Generate momentum well before your book launches. Some authors offer snippets from unfinished books, free short stories, and merchandise. Whatever you do, just make sure you’re active and continually provide content to and interact with your fans.

Join forums and sites

There are plenty of online communities and websites about everything literary. You can take part in the conversations and chime in on threads relevant to your books. Fans would be thrilled to have you, the author themselves, join their conversation about your books—after all, you’re the authority on the matter! 

Other bloggers or podcasters might be open to interviews and collaborations. If you think outside the box, you may even be able to secure appearances on podcasts or blogs that don’t relate to literature but to particular topics you write about. Be prepared to return the favor, which is more great material for your blog. Always promote your guest appearances on your social media. Everyone appreciates reciprocity. If you’re not sure which blogs would best fit your brand, you can hire a blog promotion specialist to create a well-researched list. 

Rouse the readers

Have interesting covers

You need an eye-grabbing book cover. It’s going to appear in thumbnail-sized previews, amid pages of similar books. It’s the first thing any potential reader sees, and you want to entice them to look inside your book. If investing in a Photoshop course isn’t practical, don’t worry: You can collaborate with a cover designer to create artwork that’ll make your book stand out. Since a stunning cover is so crucial to promotion, it’s absolutely a worthwhile investment. 

You’ll also need a concise, catchy description known as a blurb. This appears in online stores and recommendation lists. Summon your inner carnival barker to come up with 150 words about your book’s biggest draw and who should 1-click buy. You don’t have much space to work with, so make every word count. A glowing review might provide good quotes to include.

Garner the reviews

Reviews reflect hype and interest, and people want to see what all the fuss is about. You can politely ask bloggers, influencers, or people who’ve covered your previous books if they’d be interested in reviewing. You can also pitch your book to influencers who haven’t reviewed your work before—just make sure it’s their genre or there’s some other reason why that particular person should be interested in your book. Get your reviews in order long before it hits the shelves, too. It’s best to have a stack of reviews ready to go on release day as it suggests your book’s already drumming up interest.  

Promote strategically

An author needs a firm grasp of where and how to sell their books—the nuts-and-bolts side of promotion. Study how your favorite successful books have been marketed.

Diversify your channels

Amazon may be a commercial powerhouse, but it’s not the only game in town. If you use Amazon KDP but also branch out to Kobo, Barnes & Noble Press, and Apple Books, you’ll cover most of the U.S. eBook market. Don’t restrict your sales to a single platform when there are so many options out there. 

Other ways to expand your reach are using aggregators like Smashwords, which provide access to certain Netflix-style internet libraries, including Scribd and 24symbols. You can also get familiar with subscriber services like BookBub and, which promote certain books and offer discounts. 

Understand your available tools

The publishing and sales channels you traverse will offer a range of marketing solutions. KDP provides snazzy tools for self-published authors, such as advertising options and access to expanded distribution, which exposes your book to certain stores and libraries. Apple Books has similar tools, letting you create reader promo codes and adjust prices based on individual countries. 

Self-promotion may be demanding work, but there are tons of resources out there that make it way easier. However, everything has limitations. With Amazon KDP Select, you sell exclusively on Amazon for 90-day terms. Apple Books requires an Apple device to publish. A service like BookBub provides exposure, but you have to discount your book to appear in the Featured Deal emails. It’s good to make a list. 

By studying what makes good books successful, you have a roadmap for your own success story. It takes work to promote a book, but if you feel like you need more hands on deck, you can always contact a promotion professional to help with a marketing package. It might seem like a gargantuan task, but it’ll pay off to see your book become a hit. 

Explore Author Services