Writing and Publishing

Does the Thought of Marketing Your Book Make You Squirm?

This blog is about writing. An important aspect of writing is marketing what we write, first to get it published and then to get it to read. I don’t talk much about promotion because, like many authors, I don’t like to do it. What do you think about when it comes to marketing your own book?

When Robin Mellom told me she was thinking about self-publishing her next YA book, Perfect Timing, I encouraged her to do it and promised I’d help get the word out. Thankfully it’s much easier to “market” someone else’s book than your own.

Robin Mellom's book Perfect Timing

Here are some easy steps we can do to promote another author’s work (which we can later apply to ourselves when the time comes). Consider these seven options:


We can blog about the author and the book. This can be direct or indirect. Even a brief mention with a link can help. We can also post a review of the book on our blog.


We can review the book on Amazon. While every author wants five-star reviews, a book with only five-star reviews is suspect, so give an honest rating. Perhaps more important than the rating is the actual review itself and especially the headline we give it.

If you spot another review that is favorable, mark it as “helpful” so more people can see and read it. More Amazon reviews mean more exposure to prospects by Amazon and more people likely to buy the book.


On Goodreads, we can first flag the book as one we “want to read.” Then, as we read it, we can post our progress. When we’re finished, we mark it as “done.” Each of these steps shows interest in the book and helps other Goodreads readers to discover it.

Of course, we can also write a review on Goodreads. Some book-marketing gurus think Goodreads is more important than Amazon.


We can make status updates about the book and the author. For example, “I can’t wait to read Robin Mellom’s new book Perfect Timing” or “Perfect Timing was a real page-turner.” Of course, include links and even the cover.

We can also follow the author; then “like” or comment on his or her updates. With Facebook, the more likes and comments an update receives the more people who will see it.


We can tweet about the author and the book. Use their Twitter handle and book hashtag. We can also follow the author and retweet their tweets. All these efforts increase their reach on Twitter.


Technically with Pinterest, we’re only supposed to post our own images or ones we have the right to post, but what author would object to us pinning their cover? The more places it appears, the better.


Although we think about using social media for marketing, we can also go old-school and talk about books in person with our friends and family.

Marketing Your Book

Try some of these options to help your friends promote their books. Then when it comes time to market your own, it will be a bit easier.

I wish you the best in marketing your book.

And please check out Robin Mellom’s new book Perfect Timing.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s book: Successful Author FAQs: Discover the Art of Writing, the Business of Publishing, and the Joy of Wielding Words. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book Successful Author FAQs for insider tips and insights.

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, publishes books about business, customer service, the call center industry, and business and writing.

6 replies on “Does the Thought of Marketing Your Book Make You Squirm?”

Sounds good and easy! I like the steps, Peter.

Have helped some friends launch. Have another one to do. I wish I had more time to do more books.

Al best!

YES! To all of this! And thank you for being so supportive. I’m so glad I self-published it. Thanks!!

Thanks Peter. You gave me some more ideas. I met Betty Jones who wrote Child Abuse: Through The Eyes of a Child. I was interested in the book because she had aged out of foster care having never been adopted. That was a side of adoption I don’t know much about so I bought it. After that I found out she was giving a speech at a church right down the highway from my dad’s where I grew up. I went to hear her speech & then introduced myself afterwards. She & I had been chatting on line before the speech. Talked a lot with her that day, Went to a coffee shop a few days later & asked if they might want t do book signing. When I told her I did that she asked if I could come up with more ideas on how to spread the word. She has a signing in Cali that she wants me to go with but I am on dialysis now so hard for me to travel. Anyway, thanks for the ideas

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