12 Book Promotion Ideas to Increase Book Sales

As an indie author, walking the route of self-publishing requires book marketing strategies as much as writing. And the marketing work doesn’t stop. How else are you going to grow your readership?

I know the workload can feel like a lot. So here are 12 book promotion ideas to help you increase book sales. ↓

12 Book Promo Ideas for a Solid Book Selling Strategy

As an author, promoting your book is a vital step in getting your work into the hands of readers. With so many books being published every year, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

That's why it's essential to have a solid understanding of the best ways to promote a book. From using social media to connect with potential readers to crafting targeted email marketing campaigns to keep your audience engaged, there are countless book marketing ideas to explore.

1. Run a pre-order

A pre-order is the selling period before the official launch of a product, or in this case, a book.

Always start with a pre-order period. One reason: why wouldn’t you promote and collect orders as early as possible? The other reason: major stores like Amazon KDP (the #1 bookstore for self-published content) count sales on the first day of release. Authors love to boost their sales count on launch day and increase the chances of landing in bestseller lists… Aka more exposure!

Remember, your goal is to understand how to increase book sales, so start them as early as possible, even a year in advance.

2. Do social media

Most self-published books are in digital formats, like ebooks and audiobooks. And they sell in online stores like Amazon KDP where at least half of all self-published books get sold.

The audience for self-published books is online. Therefore, a good chunk (if not all) of your marketing work happens online. That’s why social media is the way to go.

Social media works great for not only getting discovered, but also for providing your followers with an easy way to keep in touch.

Billions of humans are active on Facebook, X [Twitter], Instagram, or TikTok – pick at least one of these popular platforms.

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3. Set up a website

To truly make a splash, consider creating a website that serves as a central hub for your readership, dedicated fans, and everyone in between.

This online hub is where you'll share updates on your latest book releases, behind-the-scenes insights, and exclusive content that sets you apart as an author. Think of it as your digital business card, showcasing your creative book marketing ideas and establishing your authority in the literary world.

To build your site, hire a website builder from Upwork or Fiverr. If you’re under a budget and want to DIY, Wordpress and Wix are reliable, affordable, and fairly easy tools. If not a website, try a blogging platform like Tumblr (entirely free to use).

With a professional website, you can do so much more than social media alone. You can share reviews, nominations, and awards that validate your work, selling yourself as a credible author.

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4. Start an email list

Trending marketing tactics may come and go, but your mailing list will always remain one of your most powerful marketing tools. For extra insights check this guide on how to set up a mailing list for authors. Email is a more direct and personable way to get in contact with your people (versus a medium like Twitter).

Develop your email marketing plan. Maybe you’d like to send a monthly newsletter with topics ranging from personal reflections to announcements on special sales.

The goal is to nurture your contacts into recurring customers via continuous communication. Add a sign up to my email list link on the back of your book, website, or social media bio.

This way, you can build a loyal following and create a solid foundation for your book promotion strategy, which is essential for learning how to promote a new book.

Email tools like Mailchimp can help generate a sign up link, design a newsletter, and maintain your list of contacts.

5. Use a reader magnet

Email marketing is one of the best ways to market a book. But how to encourage people to sign up?

Use a lead magnet.

A lead magnet is essentially a valuable resource that you offer in exchange for their contact information, such as their email address. The goal is to entice readers to opt-in to your email list, where you can nurture them with valuable content and eventually convert them into paying customers.

Remember not to focus solely on how to get book sales but more on how to foster a trustful relationship with your readership.

Some effective book sale ideas include offering a free chapter or a bonus scene in exchange for their email addresses. This not only helps you build your email list but also gives readers a taste of your writing style and content. By providing value upfront, you can establish trust with your audience and increase the chances of them becoming loyal readers.

See this list of creative reader magnet ideas.

6. Throw a launch event

After attaining all the contacts, follows, pre-orders, and buzz, throw a launch event to engage with your people.

To make your launch event even more impactful, partner with local bookstores to host your event. This can be a win-win for both you and the bookstore, as it drives foot traffic to their location and helps you connect with potential readers.

By incorporating bookstore marketing ideas into your launch event, you can increase visibility in your community or region, generate (local) media buzz, and ultimately increase book sales. For example, you could offer a book signing, reading, or Q&A session at the bookstore, and promote the event through your email list, social media, and local advertising. You could even join local book club meetings.

Whether in person or online, hosting a launch is a lovely way to celebrate the release of your book. Set your date and time, get creative with your itinerary, and invite your entire network via that email list, social media accounts, and whatever else you’ve got.

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7. Network and attend book events

On the flip side, join events thrown by other authors as well as industry get-togethers – online or in person. This is about getting involved, growing your network or writer community, and building your brand as an author.

If you need new book promotion tactics, consider incorporating bookstore promotion ideas into your communication strategy. Reach out to local bookstores, libraries, and literary festivals to explore opportunities for book signings, readings, and workshops. These events can help you connect with your target audience, generate buzz around your book, and drive sales.

🔥 Look up conferences such as 20 Books Vegas or Self Publishing Formula Live. Don’t miss the opportunities to meet new readers, industry experts, and possible business collaborators.

🔥 Join online reading and writing groups like PublishDrive’s Facebook group for self-publishing or Reddit’s Self Published Writers group. Show support; get support back. Some of the best book marketing ideas spring from synergies like these!

8. Run price promotions

A price promotion is a special sale that runs for a limited time, usually anywhere from two weeks to a month.

Promoting your book as free or for a discounted price is an effective strategy to increase book sales.

These types of book promotion examples can help drive sales and attract new readers to your work. By using the PublishDrive dashboard for price promotions, you can learn how to increase book sales and address your next sales strategies based on your sales analytics.

P.S. Schedule price promotions across multiple bookstores like Amazon with PublishDrive, the all-in-one self-publishing tool that helps with not just marketing but distribution and beyond.

Try PublishDrive Free

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9. Buy promotional spots

If you end up running a price promotion for your book, be sure to advertise the heck out of it.

Try promoting your free or discounted book on promotional newsletters and sites specifically curated for readers seeking these deals.

Freebooksy has over 368,000 users looking for free book deals. Bargain Booksy has over 277,000 users looking for titles priced $3.99 and lower.

To learn more about these paid spots, go here.

10. Try Amazon ads

Amazon is the mecca of digital books, a space you most definitely want to sell in. But is it worth spending money on Amazon ads? It was for author Karen Myers:

“See her drastic sales spike with Amazon ads? Authors achieve their highest sales when releasing new books. Then there’s a drop that stays down until the next release. Karen maintained and boosted her earnings with paid advertising. Before seeing results, it takes a bit of experimentation. But when done right, promoting on Amazon can be a powerful tactic.”

The cool thing about advertising on Amazon is that you can start with a budget as low as $5 a day.

To maximize your Amazon ad spend, it's essential to understand how to increase book sales on Amazon. By targeting the right keywords, creating compelling ad copy, and optimizing your book's metadata, you can increase your book's visibility and drive sales.

Now, authors have a new ally in the AI-powered Book Metadata Generator from PublishDrive.

🔥 The Book Metadata Generator, part of PublishDrive’s Publishing Assistant, is a standalone service that authors can use even if they don’t choose to distribute with PublishDrive.

It has its own pricing structure and payment system. When starting out, users will get 60 free credits, which means they’ll be able to create metadata for one book.

It generates suggestions for all your book’s metadata, from title, subtitle, and series to pen names, Amazon categories, BISAC categories, and more.

See how it works:

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11. Try Facebook ads

Facebook is another giant space for running paid ads. It’s still the largest social platform in the world, with 3 billion monthly users.

Succeeding with Facebook ads boils down to two things: 1) getting your targeting right and 2) crafting your ads just right. And when you get them just right, you can generate sales, followers, and more exposure for yourself overall.

Remember the earlier tips on executing a pre-order, book launch, or price promotion? Use Facebook (and Amazon) ads to boost your efforts.

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12. Get featured for free

If you don’t feel ready for paid advertising just yet or have been checking online how to promote a book for free, there are a ton of options to get into. See this list of 76 ways to promote your book for free.

There ya go, 12 book promotion ideas. Want more? Check out these other creative ways to sell books.

Book marketing for authors has never been easier…

You now know 12 ways to market a book. But how to boost book sales with PublishDrive? Watch this:

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