Advertising Your Book


Deciding how to advertise your book can be overwhelming. Many authors who self-publish have had success targeting their books to specific audiences and demographics, but just as many have done well with a blanket approach. Finding out what works for you may be a matter of trial and error.

Here are some of ways you may choose to go about advertising your book to potential readers.

1. Facebook

Advertising your book on Facebook can be enormously successful. Some authors, like Adam Croft, do most of their advertising on Facebook. As Adam said in an interactive Guardian discussion, “I’ve used an enormous range of audiences. I’ve spent six figures on Facebook advertising over the past few months and have something like 20 or 30 audiences running at any given time. I’ve done everything from tiny audiences to huge ones. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I’d say experiment and see what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to try something different, either. You might be surprised.”

The usual strategy for Facebook ads is to choose an author whose work you feel a kinship with. You target your book’s ads to people who already “like” that author’s work, or even a specific book. You can also specify an age range, or a group of associated likes and geographic locations.

More information on advertising your book on Facebook can be found in this Publisher’s Weekly article, “A Guide for Indie Authors.”

2. Twitter

While it isn’t a prerequisite, having an audience on Twitter can make it much easier to advertise your work there. There is a thriving community of writers on Twitter; start by following anyone whose work you admire, and make tweets and replies of your own to build up a group of interested followers.

As with Facebook, you can narrow and hone your advertising audience on Twitter using keywords, topics, and demographics. One advantage Twitter advertising seems to have is the ability to open up a conversation more readily with readers. Aside from advertising, you can use Twitter to organize read-alongs, book tours, and the like. It’s also a great way to learn from successful authors about how they spend their time and energy.

This Publisher’s Weekly article offers more information on using Twitter to advertise your book.

3. Goodreads

Every self-published author should be on Goodreads. Unlike “traditional” author websites and social media platforms, Goodreads offers a reputable place for you to share events like book signings and hold giveaways to get people talking about your book. Goodreads has over 55 million users, many of whom use the site’s recommendations system to find new things to read. If your book is successful on Goodreads, you can count on finding new readers who are willing to go out of their way to get their hands on a good book.

For more on using Goodreads to promote your book, read their post on joining the Goodreads author program, or this post from Author Media that also covers the use of Goodreads’s Listopia feature and more.

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