How to find time for book promotion

What do authors advise about how to find time for book promotion? These 8 author-tested tips work for even the busiest writers.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Associates links, which means if you click on them and make a purchase, I will receive a couple of pennies (at no extra charge to you).

One of my biggest challenges as an author is figuring out how to find time for book promotion.

Is it one of yours, too?

This is especially difficult when you work full time and must write and promote outside employment.

It’s a challenge we all need to tackle, though, if we want people to read the books we write for them.

You are responsible for promoting your book

Finding time for book promotion around a launch and months (even years!) later is essential if you want to sell books. Whether your book is released by a traditional publisher or you’ve gone the indie route, you are responsible for your book’s publicity and promotion.

Publishers that provide book launch support usually only offer it for a few months at the most. That’s not enough for most books — you’re just building momentum then, momentum you don’t want to lose. If you’re self-publishing, you’ve known all along that this job is yours and yours alone.

Finding time for book promotion around a launch and months (even years!) later is essential if you want to sell books.Click to tweet

How to find time for book promotion: 8 tips from authors

So how do you find the time for it? I’ve got a few suggestions, but would love to have more, so please share your tips in the comments section.

You might not be able to implement all of these, but if you get just one good idea from this list, it’s a good day, right?

1. Re-allocate your writing time.

You carved out time to write the book, didn’t you? Maintain that schedule, using that time for book promotion, instead.

While her manuscript is with the publisher, Michele Hollow, author of the forthcoming Jurassic Girl, The Adventures of Mary Anning, Paleontologist and the First Female Fossil Hunter, is learning how to promote a  middle grade reader and visiting local libraries and booksellers to build relationships and learn more about how she might collaborate with them when her book is released.

2. Use your phone.

This one is my favorite – it has helped me get more done in unexpected places.

Rather than scroll through her social media feeds while waiting for her restaurant order or in line, Stenetta Anthony, author of Ella Learns to Dance, uses that time to post on social media instead.

Arthur Montgomery, author of So You Want to Retire, uses his to answer interview questions from home, while Diane Currie, author of Before My Eyes uses hers for Internet access in a workplace that doesn’t allow employees to go online for personal reasons.

3. Get outside help for easier tasks.

Not everybody can afford to hire a social media manager, but many can pay a college student or a smart teenager for well-defined tasks.

Mary Hanlon Stone, author of invisible girl, a young adult novel, hired several teenagers to talk about her book on social media and at school. Mary Lucas uses college interns to manage the social media promotion of Lunchmeat & Life Lessons.

4. Batch-create social media content.

If I don’t use a content creation tool like video editing often enough to feel proficient, it seems like I’m re-learning the technology every time I want to use it again. Does that happen to you, too?

Counter that by batch-creating content. Set aside a chunk of time to create one type. It might be recording several book-related short videos, designing social media images in Canva, or writing  social media posts. 


Next, set aside a block of time to use a social media scheduling tool to “drip” out that content over time. You can set it and forget it.

Kris Bordessa wrote and scheduled much of her social media and newsletter content for Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living early, before the book’s publication date.

“I took the time up front to write various blurbs about my book — some seasonal, some not — and have those set to repeat on social media and in my newsletters. This means it’s happening without me having to think about it and people who didn’t see it the first time through might catch it the next time,” she says.

5. Create “pre-made” responses to frequently asked questions, then copy and paste when responding.

Nick Newsad, author of The Medical Bill Survival Guide, uses this approach when responding to Help a Reporter Out (HARO) queries and certain types of e-mail interviews.

6. Set daily promotion goals.

Henry Brown, author of Hell and Gone, tries to accomplish at least one marketing objective before going to bed.

Mark De Binder, author of Serial Terror, sets a time-based goal every day – whether it’s 10, 20, or 45 minutes – to keep him on track.

7. Work through lunch.

Like many others, K.S. Brooks, author of Lust for Danger, makes book promotion-related telephone calls during her lunch break and while running errands. Others use this time to answer promotion-related e-mail or do book marketing research.

8. Get up early.

Michelle Risley, author of Smash, gets up 30 minutes early every day to blog.

Jim Joseph, author of The Experience Effect, does much of his book promotion before leaving for his work day.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to find time for book promotion before, during, and long after your book’s launch.

If you don’t tell your ideal readers about your book, they won’t know about it. Reaching the right people in the right places with the right messages takes time and repetition. Making it a priority will help ensure it happens.

Make time to learn how to promote your book, too. My online courses and digital resources will help. Learn more here.

What’s your best tip for making time to promote your book? Please tell us in a comment.

(Editor’s note: This article was first published so long ago that you’d laugh if I provided a date. It has been updated and expanded.)

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  1. Sandra,

    I love the idea about paying college students to help with social networking! I never considered that, but I live not too far away from Rutgers in NJ, so that would be extremely helpful for me! Thank you so much for the tip!!

  2. Wonderful tips, Sandy! I learned many of them in your online Building Book Buzz course…so MY tip for authors,whether published or not, is to take a workshop (yours if they are smart) that will help them plan their marketing campaign and learn how to carry it out! I thank you for the suggestion about the smart phone…I may need to get one…the alternative is extending the hours in the day…I can do that, right? 🙂

    1. Thanks, Vivian! I’m glad you found it helpful. My smartphone helps me use downtown outside of my office productively — yay!


  3. A very timely post, Sandy, as I’m working on the launch of my book right now. As part of the process of preparing responses to FAQs, I develop a list of “talking points” – identifying my book’s most important takeaways – and even develop some of the questions, as requested by several interviewers. Even though it requires an investment of time upfront, the prepared talking points and FAQs become time-saving promotional tools in the long run.

    1. Thanks, Sybil. Do you put a list of suggested questions in the press room of your website? Then people can just pull them from your site when you send the URL. (It’s also another form of content that attracts traffic to your site, too.)


  4. Great post, Sandra. These are exactly the types of ideas and encouragement we need as authors with books to promote.

    And the idea of involving others in promoting our books can be a time-saver.

    Before the Internet, I used to hire friends in other communities to show my books around to booksellers in their area. I have a few authors throughout the states who talk about and recommend my books for authors when they are promoting their own fiction or nonfiction books. I’ve also been involved with bundling and piggyback marketing with other authors with similar or complementary books.

  5. I usually get any promotion and marketing done right away in the morning upon waking. This way I know my efforts are doing something while I handle other tasks. It takes about two hours to link all of my recent news to my favorite sites.

    1. Thanks, Chris. I love that idea of scheduling those tasks so that they’re having an impact as you start the rest of your day. It’s about finding what works for you, isn’t it?


      1. Yes, it is. I like making it a matter of priority so I know it’s out of the way and it has time to be seen/read throughout the day while internet traffic is high. For FB and Twitter, I might do one in the morning for each of my books then follow-up in evening.

  6. Thank you, Sandra, for these excellent ideas.

    I am adapting a play to a young adult book. It was produced and broadcasted by two local colleges and I think its topic has appeal for immigrant kids today.

    I must get more current and use the technology that is now available. I’m still using a land line wall phone in my kitchen!


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