Writers, How Do You Advertise Your Book?

The Golden Sky
The Golden Sky

For the months of November and December, Daily (w)rite is being taken over by some talented writers who will dole out advice on writing, publishing and book advertising.

Today, Elisa Hirsch talks to you about book advertising, which is now part of a writer’s job, whether self-published or published traditionally.

So, take it away, Elisa!

How to Advertise Your Book

    Advertising is a huge part of being a successful writer.  Once, when I had a booming sewing business, I had someone ask me, “What are the most important aspects of advertising?”

     I thought for a moment.  “Well, utilizing the internet helps.  Then I’d say, consistency and reciprocity.  But most of all, I think you need to know your audience.”  Of course that doesn’t encompass everything, but those are very important aspects that I would like to write about today.

    In sewing, as long as I listed a new outfit each week and interacted with customers, I was sure people would come back to see my items and spread the word about my products.  I found my audience and joined groups where mothers loved handmade clothes.  I did that for two years straight, and my company became the fifth largest kids’ custom clothing business on ebay.

    The same is true with writing.  

    If you blog, write consistently.  Make it something interesting, whether it’s a snippet about your day, or how things are going with your writing.  When someone comments, go visit them.  Not only will you make friends, but you might end up finding great resources (such as goodreads groups, book blogs and bloggy moms) as well. It is not all about book advertising directly– if people get to know you, they might want to check out your book.

    The other things I mentioned are that you need to utilize the internet and know your audience.  


Book advertising
Hourglass Memories

  This is a great time to be a writer.  You have free advertising at your fingertips–take advantage of it.  For example, my novel “The Golden Sky” is about my little boy who passed away because of birth defects.  I know my main audience is families who have lost loved ones.  I’ve been able to join online support groups and find people who need reading material to help them through hard times.

    I’ve also researched google keywords to find out what titles I need to use in order to bring the right crowds to my blog.  Key phrases such as “infant loss,” “grief counseling,” “what happens when we die,” have been very helpful for bringing the right people to my blog.

    Several months ago, I worked on a children’s book with a friend.  She needed exposure, and I found out that “Rapunzel and Tangled” were popular search terms.  Since that would pull in the right audience, and I knew she was consistent, I helped her write a blog using those words in the title and the post.  She went from getting 300 hits a day to 1000 hits just from those key words.  

    So, on top of knowing your audience, being consistent and reciprocal, try using your resources, and find out the importance of keywords.

    Remember that the internet is your friend!  If you use it the right way, you can pull in quite a crowd.  Good luck with your book advertising efforts.

Elisa Hirsch Book Advertising
Elisa Hirsch, Author

Elisa spends most of her time taking care of four rambunctious kids who are better than green eggs and ham.  They’re pretty darn fun, but despite that, after she had kids, her boobs shrunk, she lost hair, but gained a greater sense of humor!
When she’s not scavenging through the vents, which her son (the Zombie Elf) thinks are the best place to hide things, she’s sewing, playing her violin, or writing.

If you’re a writer, how do you go about book advertising? Any tips to those who are setting out on the journey today?

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Add Yours
  1. Vikram Karve

    Nicely written. I fully agree that “Advertising is a huge part of being a successful writer” – I realized this fact when I published my first book, so I did use the internet (blogs and social networking) to promote my second book and got good results.

  2. Kevin J. Parham

    Elisa –

    Great post! I would like to offer a slightly different perspective about promoting one’s work. To me, advertising is a tool that traditionally requires some form of payment in return for a service that markets a product for sale. IMO, publicy is a more effective sales tool for a couple of reasons:

    1. If one is willing to work to generate positive publicity through a well thought-out promotional plan, it costs absolutely nothing to exploit, and potentially yields big dividends. (News stories, reviews, word-of-mouth, social media, sponsorships, event participation, etc.) These are all viable venues that are at our disposal.

    2. Advertising in and of itself is generally viewed with skepticism by the buying public; whereas hearing about a product from a trusted source increases the probability of a sale being made.

    You might have been referring to promotion versus advertising, and if so, I apologize for misconstruing your point. In any event, your suggestions are useful and I thank you for sharing them.

    Efficient and effective use of the Internet makes the whole world accessible to anyone with a good product, including us authors.

    Best of luck in your writing and publishing endeavors!


  3. James Ross

    This is excellent advice for anyone trying to sell a book that they have recently written – and for that matter, older ones that need promotion too!