News room: 5 Marketing tips for authors who 'Don’t Do Marketing'

5 Marketing tips for authors who 'Don’t Do Marketing' by Jessica Barrah

We’re getting a few emails at the moment from authors who claim they ‘don’t do marketing’. So how can you promote your book if you have no previous marketing experience? Although marketing sounds tough, all it really means is letting as many people as possible know about your book. Different authors will do this in different ways – and there’s no ‘right way’ of doing it.

Here are our five easy tips to help your book get the attention it deserves, in a way that suits you.

1. Get to know your book

You know your book inside out, but perhaps only in terms of writing it. You need to get to know it from the point of view of a reader, choosing whether to buy or not to buy your book.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What’s your book about?
Is it in a particular genre?
Is it like any other popular books?
Do you write in a similar style as any other successful author?
Who do you think your potential readers are?
What kind of people are they?
What other books would these readers like?

Once you know the answer to these questions, you’ll can visualise much better how it will sit in the marketplace.

Find out more about identifying your audience, and creating your ‘author brand’.

2. Metadata Matters

For people to find your book online, you also need to get the metadata right. Metadata is simply “data about data”, and includes all the information about your book that isn’t the story itself. That’s the book cover and title, the traditional blurb, and the tags that make it easier for search engines to find it.

Getting these right will make your book talk for you, letting readers know what it’s about before they’ve looked inside.

Now you’ve got to know your book better, it will be easier to design your cover. You’ll know its genre, and create your cover to fit in with other similar books. These days that means designing a cover that also looks good as a thumbnail image online.

Click here to find out more about metadata.

Click here to find out more about cover design.

We also have some Pinterest boards about book covers which you can find here.

3. Elevator Pitches

An elevator pitch just means pinpointing the essentials of your book, and finding a way to get that across to others in an economical way.

This is not ‘Dragon’s Den’ – you don’t have to be in a lift with the CEO of a major publishing house. It can actually be fun trying to get your pitch stripped down to the bare bones. Try writing an elevator pitch as a haiku! It will also help you when you’re writing the blurb on the back of your book, and of course, when people ask you what your book is about, you can tell them in a concise and professional manner.

4. Get Connected

Writing a blog can be a great way of connecting with people – with other writers as well as potential readers. You can write about your writing process, about the progress of your book, your self-publishing journey, or about your life in general.

There’s lots of information about how to write a blog on the internet, including this one:
How to Write Great Blog Content

You can create your blog for free on platforms such as,, Medium or

It’s just another outlet for your writing – and the things you write about can even turn into a book, as they did for authors such as Julie Powell whose blog eventually became the film, ‘Julie and Julia’.

5. Get Social

Some people constantly use social media to tell the world what they are up to. If you aren’t so keen, you could rope in friends or family members who love tweeting or sharing things on Twitter and Facebook to publicise your book.

Of course, you can also get social in the real world. Tell your friends and family to pass on the news that your book is coming out. Make flyers for your book, and leave them in places such as libraries and local book shops. You can ‘network’ at book events to meet potential readers, or people that might be able to help you with your book.

Read our ’Beginner’s Guide to Networking for Authors

However, keep in mind that you can ‘network’ anywhere – it’s just basically chatting to people and being friendly. Let everyone you meet know about your book – shop assistants, hairdressers, even people you meet on the bus … it all helps!


Hopefully by this point you’re feeling positive about marketing. You might want to read more about it in our advice pages, or even download our CompletelyNovel marketing guide here.

You don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with. Just try and think of marketing in a different way, and it won’t seem so daunting. As a writer, you are already creative – try using that creativity with your marketing, and you won’t go far wrong.

Further Reading

How to Pitch a book to a Journalist

What is an author brand strategy?

What Is Metadata And How Can It Help Me As An Author?

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Written by
Jessica Barrah
Published on
Marketing, Books, Authors, and Self-publishing