Subscribe to our
Free Newsletter!


Writing Tips for Fiction Writers!


2 free books from!

Top 20 Marketing Tips!

It's not always the best-written book that makes it to the top of the best-seller lists, it's often the best-marketed!

But you're a writer, not a marketer - right?

Wrong. You are responsible for selling your book, regardless of which publisher has chosen to put your work in print. Nobody knows as much about your book as you do. And nobody wants to see it sell as much as you do. So, obviously, you're the logical choice for the position of marketing manager for your work!

With that thought in mind, I asked the following question of the members of some popular writing communities: The-Write-List and Earthly Charms Promotions. Their answers could help you on your way to a best-seller!

What is the best marketing tip you personally would recommend for writers aiming to increase sales of their work?

1: Present your readers with a properly edited, professionally presented book. Be sure it contains an excellent story with remarkable characters if it's fiction. Be certain you have answered questions and covered the subject matter in a clear and concise way if non-fiction. Give your readers something positive to tell their friends about. Oh - and subscribe to Fiction Factor!
Lee Masterson -
2: Name recognition is invaluable to a writer. Short of creating a national scandal, becoming a movie star or appearing on the Oprah show (now that she's ended her book club), wide scale promotion is hard and expensive. My advice? Learn to give an entertaining interview and appear on local TV shows or radio stations to start with then work up to larger markets.
If that fails... show up to book signings in a coffin, like Anne Rice.
Tina Morgan -
3: Get your name out there. Do anything and everything you can to create name recognition of you and your book. Oh, and you must have a Web site.
Natalie R. Collins -
4: Be sure to publish the book cover and a chapter or two on your web site. The advantage of the bookstore is that readers can pick up a book, see the cover, feel the weight of it, and read excerpts. You can give your readers a virtual bookstore experience by providing as much information about your book as possible right at their fingertips.
Peggy Tibbetts -
5: An obvious marketing ploy I'd recommend is an attractive website plugging the book and the author, and also offering related writing links (regularly updated) to help garner more interest and return visits. To attract visitors to the site in the first place, post clickable banners at a variety of banner exchange sites - and anywhere that deals with writing and books.
Another way to promote your books online is to submit them to websites that provide free reviews. If you can obtain a stunning review, it can only have a postive effect on buyers, especially if placed on the front or back cover of the book. Also, it's another way of getting the word out to the public about your book/s. Two such sites are: and
Wendy Peterson -
6: The best marketing tip I have is to ALWAYS have a copy of your latest book with you, as well as plenty of postcards and/or bookmarks. Then FLAUNT it. I use the picture on the back of my book as a picture ID. If they say it doesn't have a number, point to the ISBN. They may not accept it, but they've seen the book!
Janet Elaine Smith -
7: I have three:
1. Become a member of, ask for help then follow it.
2. Write an e-mail to Jim Cox, Editor, Midwest Book Review, asking permission to send your book for review.
3. Get a website.
Dennis J. McGowan -
8: Ičve pursued this question for a year and herečs a few suggestions.
1) Think outside of the box.
2) Get your book reviewed. This is a top priority. Since hundreds of books are ahead of you, offer to review books at your favorite book review site. After youčve reviewed a few books request yours to be reviewed. Your book will be placed at the head of the pack.
3) Contact your local public and private schools. Volunteer to present at their Author Day. They need you and you get exposure.
4) My publisher offers any school up to 40% of book sales at E-Book Fund Raisers. It takes perseverance, but a few contacts will mean sales.
5) Find out where your community is having a street fair and get yourself a booth to promote your books.
Michael Thal -
9: Get a free site at Authors Den ( I have more hits in a week there than I have in a year at my domain website. The premium package which isn't free has tripled my traffic as well.
Marilynn Byerly -
10: I once read a statement in an email, which I enlarged, printed and posted above my computer. It captures the essence of what makes a successful author: "If you don't submit work work and risk rejection, you are already rejecting yourself..."
Heide Kaminski -
11: In our society, we are taught from a very young age, not to put ourselves forward and not to claim great talent, ability or much of anything else. We are brought up to admire the humble great author, not the arrogant one. This is true for women even more so than men. If we wish to sell our books, we must overcome the fear of self-promotion. We must put ourselves forward. We must shout to the hills how good our books are. We must not be humble. The first step is overcoming fear.
Mary E "Dejah" Tyler -
12: Read your book at the local schools, libraries and even some play groups if it is for children. Read at adult groups, book stores and area clubs. Get yourself out there and known locally and then go from there.
Mary Casey
13: Learn how to write a great press release. Media exposure (at any level) equals book sales. And media coverage almost always starts with a reporter responding to a well-written press release.
Elizabeth Hanes - -
14: 1. Network
2. Be persistent
3. Be creative - For instance if you are trying to get someone in particular to take notice of your book, write them a letter as one of the characters from your book. Just think, if you were an editor or producer in the 1930's and one day you got a letter from Scarlet O'Hara. would you take notice?
4. Word of Mouth is a powerful tool, did I mention Network?
5. Don't be afraid to promote yourself. It is not being pompous. Approach your local bookstores and offer to do a signing. (we love our local celebrities)
5. Offer your book as a prize for a contest or donate a few for charity auctions.
Tina Warren - Editor/Publisher - Women On Writing -
15: Mostly useful for nonfiction and self-published books:
1. Establish yourself as an expert on your subject through press releases, interviews, book reviews, tip services. For example, I established a tip-of-the-week service through Yahoo! Groups and currently send tips to about 650 people--always with a reference back to my Web site.
2. Send out review copies to appropriate media outlets. For example, my nonfiction book is about Boy Scout ceremonies. I sent a review copy with a press release to a national magazine for Scout leaders (1 million+ circ), got listed in the "news briefs" section, and received hundreds of orders. Did the same thing when the second edition came out. Also, don't forget association publications like your college alumni magazine, civic club publications, etc.
3. Trade links with Web sites that already cater to your market. Do a Google search on your topic and see what other sites come up; then, contact them about adding a link to your site.
4. Include ordering information and/or Web address in your book. My book (self-published, so I have control) includes an order form and a page about my Web site. I also hand stuff an order form in every copy I sell.
Mark Ray -
16: Okay - have to share this. After going to a conference where they shared tips about promoting websites, I just placed on my site a page where readers can give feedback, news, give their own reviews, etc. One reader wanted to give a short review of one of my books. I told her I would put it on the home page. Since then I've been getting hits on my site because she is on readers' message boards and letting everyone know that she is featured on my web site. I was very happy to see this. I hope this is only the beginning.
I want the readers to feel important, because they are! Without them, we would be out of a job. :-)
Lauralee Bliss -
17: Know what your book is about and be able to express it in 25 words or less. Too often authors are caught off guard when someone asks them what their book is about and stumble out an answer. PRACTICE the 25 word or less description until you can say it flawlessly.
Vicki M. Taylor -
18: Wow, hard to pick out of so many good things I've learned, but I've have to say: my website. I use it as an interactive press kit. Readers and booksellers can find info on the books, request my free signed bookplate for read my other free stuff and sign up for my newsletter. As more and more readers go to the web to find out about books, you can't afford not to have a site they can easily find.
Pauline B. Jones -
19: Write articles on the craft of writing, promotion or publishing or anything that tickles your fancy. You would be surprised how many people click on the links in the bios at the end of these articles. I do all the time!
Tina Warren - Editor/Publisher - Women On Writing -
20: Drive traffic to your Web site through free content and frequent updates. On my site, for example, I have an e-card generator, several free downloads, a sample book chapter, and archives from my tip service. E-cards, of course, include a link back to the site.
Mark Ray -

Bonus Tips!:

21: Always overdeliver! Give your readers more than they anticipate, and certainly more than you led them to expect. You, as a reader, were happy to read through 20 marketing tips on this page. How much of a bonus is it to see a few more tips than you expected?
Lee Masterson -
22: In spite of my having been interviewed on more than 450 radio stations (including syndication), been seen on a handful of TV talk shows, done a book tour that included Georgia, Utah, and California and spoken to groups as widely diverse as SPAN and genealogy societies, my best promotional effort is an E-book called "Cooking by the Book." It is a cross promotional effort of 26 authors. It includes an excerpt for each of our books, the recipe that inspired the scene excerpted, and a short bio on each author. It has received more web attention, more radio attention, more press attention than any other thing I've done. The reasons for this is that the project was of interest in quarter that my book may not have been, like newspaper food pages (they read women's fiction, too!) and business sections (they're interested in the e-book concept and the promotional tools in general!).
Carolyn Howard-Johnson -
23: I'd say the best tip I've ever received is: Publicize, don't advertise. Publicity receives the greatest return because it spreads the word farther than advertising ever could. Ads in magazines and on websites are pricey, short term, and limit your audience. Book reviews, interviews, and press releases are self-perpetuating and free.
Karen Duvall - http://www.karend
24: Give freely of yourself with advice, help and responses to readers, but not as a marketing ploy. Readers and other writers respect an author who helps because she loves her job and loves to talk about it just as much. They will see through a blatant attempt at self-promotion. So do it out of love and you'll be rewarded in your own heart, too.
Shirley -
25: I would have to say my best tip is to have an interesting, appealing website with continually updated content. Having a website makes all other marketing efforts easier. It's a central place where you can send readers, librarians, reporters, interviewers, and even publishers to find out more about you and your books. Think of it as a glorified business card with enough room to hook and reel your visitor in.
Su Kopil -
26: Well, I'm just getting started on promoting my historical romance, The Reluctant Duke. I did print up a bunch of bookmarks, and when I go food shopping, I stick a bookmark under the wiper of the cars in the parking lot. I have no way of knowing if this is doing its job! <G>
27. Create a signature line for all your emails. Everytime you send an email, you are including a piece of free advertising containing the link to your website or your book's sales page. Mine is simple - this is what recipients see at the end of all my emails. - Lee (again)
Fiction Factor
The online magazine for writers


    Home | Site Map | Articles | Interviews | Links | Book Reviews | Free Ebooks | Contests |
Market Listings | Book Store | Ad Rates | About Us | Contact Us |

    © Copyright 2000-2003 Fiction Factor.
All work remains the property of Fiction Factor, unless expressly granted by written permission from the author.