5 smart book marketing tasks you can whip out in 5 minutes

Make the most of your time by identifying book marketing tasks you can do in 5 minutes or less. Then do them. Here are 5 ideas to start.

book marketing tasks
I don’t have enough time.

Do you feel the same way?

Do you struggle to keep up with all your work, family, and home responsibilities and find time to write and market your books?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Could I create a personal system that might help me better manage the short periods of time — 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there — while I wait in line or before joining a Zoom meeting or calling a source for an interview?

Quick and easy book marketing tasks

I’m starting by listing quick and easy tasks I can tackle in those brief in-between periods. It might be reading an article I’ve saved or tracking down someone’s contact information.

This approach will help you accomplish more book marketing tasks, too. All it takes is a little advance planning.

What book marketing tasks do you think you can start and finish in five minutes or less?

I’ve started a list here with five I know I can do in that window. What should go on yours?

Book marketing task 1

Find something to share on the social network you use the most for book promotion.

To make this easy for me on Twitter, one of several platforms I use, I created a Twitter list of people I consider to be influencers. When I’ve got a couple of minutes, I scroll through the list looking for something to share.

Here’s what part of it looks like:

Twitter book marketing task


I can re-tweet someone else’s information easily or share it on other social networks.

Most social networks offer an easy way to share other people’s content either within that platform or to another social network.

Book marketing task 2

Subscribe to a newsletter that will help you up your game.

This could be an advice newsletter or one published by a top author in your genre or category.

Here are a few book-related newsletters I recommend in addition to mine, Build Book Buzz:

  • BookLife by Publishers Weekly: BookLife is PW’s website for indie authors. The newsletter includes a mix of book news and how-to information.
  • Cynthia Swanson: Cynthia’s newsletter is a good example of what you can send when you’re a novelist. I like her information mix that includes book recommendations.
  • Derek Doepker: In addition to providing book marketing advice and resources, Derek is a great email-writing role model.
  • Kindlepreneur: You might have heard about Dave Chesson and his exceptional content for authors. If you’re not already on his list, sign up and start learning.
  • Reedsy: This publishing resource platform offers helpful information for fiction and nonfiction authors.

Are you thinking, “I get enough email already“? Professional development is important to your growth as an author, and these newsletters will contribute to that.

Book marketing task 3

Follow three successful authors in your genre on social media.

Start with the platform where you’ll find your readers. Hen lit? Facebook. YA? TikTok. Business? LinkedIn.

You probably know who to follow. If you’ve done this already, find and connect with three more.


Why do it?

You will learn from them and their followers. And, if handled properly, you can build relationships with these authors.

Book marketing task 4

Create an image quote to share on social media.

Using the WordSwag app on my iPhone, I can do this while stretched out in my La-Z-Boy recliner in front of the TV watching a favorite show. (There’s that “two-fer” idea again.)

Here’s one I created with WordSwag using one of my own photos. The app also provides all kinds of background options that include photos from Pixabay and Unsplash.

book marketing tasks 3

There are other smartphone apps and online platforms you can use from a smartphone or your computer. I’ve listed a few of them in “How to create book promotion quote graphics that help you sell.

With a little practice, you’ll be able to create an image quote in less than five minutes.

When you’re done, share it on your social networks the next time you have about five minutes.

Book marketing task 5

Comment on a blog you’d like to visit on your virtual book tour.

Virtual book tours are easier to set up when you’re not contacting strangers to host you, so take early steps to become known to them.

Months before your book comes out, start researching blogs that would be good homes for your virtual book tour (author blog tour). When you have a few minutes to spare, visit one and leave an appropriate comment on a recent post.

Do this enough times and the blogger will know your name when you’re ready to schedule your tour.

Start your book marketing task list


To make sure you do these and all the other activities you can pull off in five minutes or less, write them down.

With a list at hand, you won’t waste any time thinking about what you should do next.

And, when you need to add another step that you don’t have time for at the moment — like sharing the image quote you’ve just created — add it to the list. You can share it when you have another five minutes.

Get ideas in your inbox every day for a year

daily book marketing tipsNeed more ideas? Subscribe to my 365 Daily Book Marketing Tips” for just $1 or purchase the downloadable full collection with all 365 plus 10 bonus tips.

Each day for a year, I’ll send pithy book marketing advice to your inbox.

Take action as soon as you receive a tip that will work for you and your book, or use them to build a task list you’ll act on later.

It doesn’t take a math whiz to see how much farther ahead you’ll be at the end of the week if you turn brief moments of down time into productive book marketing time.

What five-minute book marketing tasks do you recommend? Please share them in a comment! 

(Editor’s note: This article was first published in October 2017. It has been updated and expanded.)

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