“Getting a book published is 10% writing, 15% publishing and 75% marketing.” — the late Dan Poynter, self-publishing guru, lecturer and author


AMAZON ( controls 70% + of the online book market. Take advantage of the tools they have to help authors sell books ― customer reviews, Top Amazon Reviewers, “Look Inside” program, Author Central page, author bio and photos, author blog link, author videos. Important: Learn how-to pick categories, keyword strings, themes. Ditto for Kindle Direct Publishing (

BOOK REVIEWS – Reviews sell books. Beg everyone you know to put a comment about your book on your Amazon book page. Get blogger reviews. Check the annual Book Reviewer Yellow Pages (Amazon and Kindle); Google for blogs on your book’s topic. Contact a few a week.

CONTESTS – Enter them! Search for “writing contests” or book awards. Contest doesn’t have to be prestigious. Winning or being a semi-finalist is good PR. If you get a gold seal, slap it on all your handouts. See annual Writer’s Market for information on contests.

ELEVATOR PITCH – Memorize a 15-second pitch and a 30-second pitch about your book — just in case someone asks what you’re up to. Focus on your book’s title, theme, and benefits to readers. Google for pitching tips. You’ll get multi-uses out of pitches and book descriptions.

EMAIL SIGNATURE – Create a little “ad” for your book at the bottom of your e-mail stationary, perhaps including a logo, blurb, or graphic. Add a link to your Amazon book page, website or blog.

HANDOUTS: People love handouts ― bookmarks, postcards, business cards (with the book cover on one side and purchase information on the other). Try or

NETWORKING – Go where the authors go. Join things. Meet people who are in the writing world and many will end up helping you and vice-versa. Sign up with writing groups and organizations; attend workshops, panels, book fairs, library talks, book signings and publishing events.

SOCIAL MEDIA – Facebook has 1.3 billion users (NYTimes 9/18/17). There’s also Twitter. LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat and more. Overwhelming? Just pick one or two to do consistently. Keep your shares about your work, not your personal life.

PRESS RELEASES (NEWS RELEASES) – Email a press release for each book-related event, such as a book launch, book signing event, or contest win. Google “free press release sites.” Send out one at least every two weeks.

WEBSITES – Websites, while important, aren’t a must. You can set up a one-page landing page instead (check out or use your Amazon’s Central page. If you have a free blog, you can set up a static front page to be your “website” page.

Online Media Kit

Paper press kits aren’t being done much anymore. They are being replaced with online media kits and even one-sheets (see sample below):


The “One-Sheet” – Get it all on one page!












This is only the beginning but you’ve got to start somewhere!