How to find time for book promotion

Finding the time (or energy!) to promote our books is a big challenge for many of us. It’s a challenge we need to tackle, though, if we want to get the word out.

And 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. That’s not enough for most books (and their authors). If you’ve self-published, you’ve known all along that this job is yours and yours alone.

One of these might work for you!

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, right? Now take that time and use it for book promotion. That’s what Jeff Horton, author of The Great Collapse, and Grant Garris, author of Under the Red Velvet Cover, do.
  2. Get a smartphone. This one is my favorite – it has helped me get more done in unexpected places. Use it to post to social networking sites or respond to e-mail while you’re waiting in line or on your lunch break. 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 publicist, but many can pay a college student or a smart teenager. Mary Hanlon Stone, author of invisible girl, a young adult novel, hired several teenagers to talk about her book on social networking sites and at school. Mary Lucas uses college interns to manage the social media promotion of Lunchmeat & Life Lessons.
  4. Do some of the work while you’re waiting for the book to come off the press. Develop your press materials before your book is available for purchase, adding them to your website so you can provide a URL to journalists, bloggers, and others. Elise Cooke’s online press kit for Strategic Eating: The Econovore’s Essential Guide, includes sample interview questions and copies of book reviews.
  5. Create “pre-made” responses to commonly 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 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 while 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.

What’s your best tip for making time to promote your book?


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Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to market their books. Three groups have recognized her site as an outstanding resource for authors, so you know her advice is author-tested.

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18 Responses to How to find time for book promotion
  1. Kristen at Me and My Three
    July 19, 2012 | 7:15 pm


    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!!

    • Sandra Beckwith
      July 19, 2012 | 8:26 pm

      Some of them are pretty good at it, too, Kristen. Good luck!


  2. Vivian Kirkfield
    July 20, 2012 | 4:32 am

    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? 🙂

    • Sandra Beckwith
      July 20, 2012 | 2:38 pm

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


  3. Sybil Stershic
    July 20, 2012 | 5:55 pm

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      July 20, 2012 | 6:44 pm

      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.)


      • Sybil Stershic
        July 20, 2012 | 7:34 pm

        Great idea … thanks, Sandy!

        • Sandra Beckwith
          July 20, 2012 | 7:55 pm

          : )

  4. Patricia Fry
    July 21, 2012 | 1:30 pm

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      July 23, 2012 | 6:24 pm

      Thanks, Patricia! Collaboration is always a wonderful idea.


  5. Chris Stevenson
    August 2, 2012 | 5:05 pm

    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.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      August 2, 2012 | 6:33 pm

      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?


      • Chris Stevenson
        August 2, 2012 | 6:38 pm

        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.

        • Sandra Beckwith
          August 2, 2012 | 6:40 pm

          Very smart — maybe you’ll inspire a few people here to do it that way, too!


  6. Melissa Love
    September 10, 2012 | 4:34 pm

    That’s a great idea to promote your book while you’re waiting for it to come out.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      September 10, 2012 | 4:53 pm

      Thanks, Melissa!


  7. Margaret Ullrich
    February 28, 2014 | 4:40 pm

    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!


    • Sandra Beckwith
      February 28, 2014 | 5:25 pm

      Good luck with it, Margaret!


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