CORDELIA APPLEBY

Writer of children's stories, passionate about writing. Author of Black Water.

Ten Marketing Tips


How do I market my book, Black Water, once it is published? What better way to find out than to ask an expert. All three of Thomas A Knight’s books, The Time Weaver’s Chronicles, have hit Amazon’s best seller lists. I want to know what he’s doing right, so this week I’m turning my blog over to him.

When I started writing, the last thing I ever dreamed of was being a published author. I mean, I’m a software developer; I expected to scribble down a few ideas, then shelve the plan – along with twenty-seven other projects I currently have back-burnered. I stuck with it though, and finished my first book eight months after I started.

I was left with a choice: find a publisher, or publish it myself.

I’m not one to work for other people if I can help it, so I opted for the ‘do it yourself’ approach which is self-publishing. And when the book was published, I sat down and said “Oh my God, I’m an author. Now what?”

Marketing a book is a big job for one person, so here are 10 tips that I use for my books. I hope they will help you too.

1. Don’t do this alone. You don’t have to. Accumulate lots of friends by being a social person and getting involved with others. Help others out, and they will help you.

2. Start early. No really, start earlier than that. Have an idea? Think it could be a great book? Have you decided to write it? Put the first words down? That’s when you should start coming up with a marketing plan.

3. Have a plan. Marketing a book without a plan is like trying to cross the ocean without a map, compass, GPS, or any knowledge of the sun and stars. You might make it. You might also get swallowed up by the ocean, or end up in Antarctica.

4. Be realistic. You’re not going to be an overnight success. Nobody ever is. Being a successful author is a lot of hard work.

5. Know your audience. You can’t sell water to a drowning man. Understand the types of people who will want your book, and target your marketing. Then you won’t have to work so hard.

6. Don’t be spammy. This is quite possibly the most important lesson of them all. Social media is for making connections, not selling books. Amazon is for selling books.

7. Get Amazon (or other retailers, but mostly Amazon) to sell your books for you. There are several ways to accomplish this, but the easiest is by getting their recommendation engine to show your book to more people. How do you do that? Sell more books. I know, it’s a catch-22.

8. Maintain an email list. You absolutely MUST do this. How else are you going to tell all your adoring fans when your next book is coming out? Seriously, do this.

9. Make sure your book, blog, website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and all your other social media pages look nice and professional. Everybody judges a book by its cover.

10. Write! Write some more. Keep writing and publishing more books. And when you’re done those, write another, and publish that one too. The more books you have out, the more they cross-sell each other. That’s right, your new books will sell your old ones, and your old ones will sell your new ones.

That’s it. That’s how I market my books. I currently have a complete trilogy published, and will be publishing the first book in a new trilogy some time next year. I’ll also be starting another book once that one is done. It never really ends, but it’s the most rewarding thing in the world when people buy your books and post reviews saying they loved it.

Good luck, and I hope our journeys cross paths!


Thomas A. Knight’s debut novel, The Time Weaver, is the recipient of an indiePENdents Seal of Good Writing and has reached both the Sci-Fi/Adventure and Epic Fantasy Amazon best-seller lists; it is considered by many to be an exciting and unique story that appeals to readers of all types. His novels are epic fantasies set in Galadir, an alternate world of his own design.

3 Comments

  1. Very useful list of marketing tips here, thanks for sharing Thomas. I’m struggling to find the time to put together a marketing plan as I don’t really know what one of those looks like and generally I just bumble around. I do know I need to be more organised in this regard.

    • Hey Georgia,

      Thanks for dropping by! Marketing plans are tricky, but the best bet is to do a few quick Google searches for examples. There are also loads of professionals out there who are willing to help writers, but make sure you do your research well before hiring anyone.

      The biggest part of a marketing plan is understanding your audience, which a surprising number of writers don’t know. Figure that out, and the rest will come easier. :)

  2. admin

    23rd October 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I reckon Thomas did a really good job here! Thanks Thomas,
    Cordelia

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