7 ways to promote your book while watching TV

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I like to watch television in the evening to unwind, but I find it almost impossible to just watch TV. I have to be doing something else at the same time — flip through a magazine. Knit. Promote my book.

Promote my book? Really?

Yup. And you can promote your book while watching TV, too.

If you’re a multi-tasker like me, try doing a few of these book promotion activities the next time you watch your favorite show.

1. On social media, follow the people who influence your readers.

Zeroing in on the social networks your ideal readers use, find and follow the people who influence them. An influencer is someone who is both active online and respected and followed by your target audience.

Novelists can start with the most popular authors in their genre. If you write fiction, your influencers might also include genre bloggers, prolific genre readers, and any well-known genre publishing house editors.

Nonfiction author influencers are often industry or topic experts and leaders.

While you’re at it, go to their websites and subscribe to their newsletters, too. (But do not add them to your newsletter list!)

2. Follow your influencers’ fans on social media.

After you’ve followed your influencers, go back to their profiles and begin following the people who follow them. (I do a quick profile check first before following someone.)

Over time, as you see what they share, you’ll learn more about what your readers are interested in (especially if they talk about books). And, if they follow back, you’ll add more of the “right” readers to your network.

And don’t forget to follow your own fans, too. I find it hard to stay current with connections, so I use my network TV commercial-break time to follow back the people who have recently followed me. (Streaming without commercials? Hit the pause button now and then.)

Some social networks offer recommendations for other people to follow, too. It’s a lot like when Amazon says, “If you like that product, you’ll like this one, too.” Because the suggestions are based on someone I just followed, they’re on target.

3. Schedule social media posts.

Use a free desktop or smartphone social media management tool to schedule your social network posts several days out. And do it all during commercial breaks.

You can also use your smartphone to share what others post, all without missing any of the TV action.

4. Pin to your book-specific boards on Pinterest.

You probably know what kinds of images and content you want to share on Pinterest. Wait until you’re parked in front of the TV set to pin it.

It’s a great way to add content to your boards without feeling like you should be doing something else — because you are doing something else. You’re relaxing with a good show.

5. Set up Google and Talkwalker Alerts.

Create these alerts for your name, book title, book topic, and other important book-related words or phrases. You’ll get an email with a link each time any of the phrases you’ve set alerts for show up online.

While you’re at it, create alerts for competing authors and book titles so you stay better informed about the competition, too.

If you receive alerts about news articles, add the reporter’s name to a media list so you know who to contact when you’ve got an article idea that could lead to book publicity.

6. Create social media images with quotes from your books.

I’ll confess: Creating quote graphics is my favorite thing to do while watching TV. I use either the WordSwag or Canva apps on my phone, but there are many other options, too.

Admittedly, I am more likely to create images with inspirational or funny quotes than I am to pull a pithy statement from one of my books, but if I add my website URL to the image, it still helps build awareness.

Here’s one I created for a recent blog post.

marketing quotes 3

Create these for your books by pulling key messages or brief, but compelling quotes from your manuscripts.

The image you’ll place the text on will depend on your book, its personality, and your audience. You can use a different background each time, or you can support your author brand by using the same background each time.

7. Make sure you’re using the right keywords and categories on Amazon.

Amazon is a search engine where keywords rule. Make sure your book’s set-up includes keywords that people will search for to find it.

I use Publisher Rocket for this. It’s easy to do the searching while I’m watching TV, but I prefer to make any necessary changes when I can focus more. I just save and export my search results to work with later.

Publisher Rocket also explores categories so you know you’ve selected the best ones for your book. Use the search results to validate your choices or change what you’ve been using based on the tool’s recommendation.

I don’t recommend changing both keywords and categories at the same time, though. Instead, make one change, then monitor sales to see if it made a difference. After a few weeks, make the next change and watch for results.

Select just one of these to work on tonight and see how much progress you make while watching TV. Doing even just a little to promote your book every night will add up and eventually make a difference that you will feel good about.

How do you promote your book while watching TV? Add to the list of ideas by commenting!

(Editor’s note: This article was first published in June 2015. It has been updated and expanded.)

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  1. Love this post! Thank you! It feels so hard to find the time to market my book, so this type of advice is invaluable.

    1. I’m glad it’s helpful, Stephanie! I think most of us struggle to find the time for this, so we have to squeeze it in when we can, right?


  2. Good use of watching TV Time. This idea helps us be more productive. I always feel a little guilty when I am watching TV. ( unless it’s a Football of basketball game.)

    1. I feel the same way with TV time, Jylene, but hey, with basketball, you only need to watch the last 5 minutes, right? ; )

      I’m bummed that my 2 favorite teams didn’t make it to the tournament this year, but on the other hand, it’s less stressful, too.

      (Also, I just added myself to your list so I can get your free gift. What a great idea for a children’s book author!)


  3. I have been using these techniques while watching TV. Creating graphics relaxes me and gives me a sense of accomplishment. I will go through my social media platforms and comment or check messages as well when I watch TV.

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