Turn your book marketing around with these 4 tips

A new member of our Facebook Build Book Buzz book marketing group recently impressed me with her decision to ask the group for a specific kind of help.

This author was getting clicks on her Amazon ads, but those clicks to her book’s detail page weren’t converting to purchases. She thought her book description might be the problem, so she asked if anyone would be willing to review it.

There’s a lot I like about this, but what I like the most is that she was open to suggestions. That’s the sort of thinking that will turn her book marketing around.

Here are four other things you can do today to get – and stay on – the right path with your book marketing.

1. Get feedback on everything. (And pay attention to it.)

I love that the author mentioned above asked for feedback on her book description. You can continually improve your book’s Amazon page as you learn and grow.

Take what she’s done one big step further and get input earlier in the publishing process. You want to solicit feedback from your target audience on your:

It’s important that you solicit input from your target audience.

Case in point: In a Facebook group I belong to, authors ask for opinions on cover design options. When I don’t read the genres involved, I don’t weigh in.

Why? Because I’m not in the target audience.

2. Stop promoting to everybody.

New authors often think that “everybody” will love their book. Those with experience know that’s not the case.

As fashion designer (and countless other people) Joseph Abboud said, “You can’t be all things to all people.”

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I’ll bet you had someone in mind while you were writing your book. It might even have been yourself. Maybe you wrote the kind of book that you want to read.

You aren’t “everyone,” right? That means your ideal readers might very well be people just like you.

You will be far more effective with your book marketing if you invest the time to determine who will buy your book, then select the tactics that will help you reach those people.

3. Learn from the best-selling authors in your genre.

Make a list of the 10 top-selling authors in your genre, whether it’s sci-fi/fantasy, memoir, cozy mystery, or soups and stews cookbooks.

Study their websites, Amazon book pages, and social media profiles. Pay attention to these elements:

  • Author branding: Do you see a uniform look on the website and social media headers and graphics?
  • Website content: What are the tabs/menu options, and what information is on each?
  • Social networks: Which ones are they using (that information will give you insights into where you’ll find your readers)? What content do they share and how do they do it?

Best-selling authors have figured it out. Take the time to learn from them.

4. Track your results.

You want to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. You won’t know what is and isn’t working unless you’re watching for a connection between what you’ve done and whether it’s had an impact on sales.

This applies to all of your book marketing goals, not just book sales.

For example, let’s say that your goal for the next two months is to get more Instagram followers. Set a specific goal (how many is “more?”), then track what happens every time you do something that you believe should generate an increase. Laura Laing’s excellent guest post, “Social media data tracking for authors in four easy steps,” is a good how-to starting point.

When your specific goal is related to book sales and you’re self-published, implement one tactic at a time. Then check your KDP dashboard to see if that sold any books. If you’re not self-published, monitor your Amazon category rank in your book’s product details.

As you try new tactics, watch what happens when you do. If you don’t get the results you expected, determine if it’s because:

Always keep learning

The author I mentioned above knew she needed to be open to outside input. She realized that this was an opportunity for her to learn how to do something better.

If you’ve been writing and publishing books for awhile, you know that what works and what doesn’t can change. Amazon is a great example of that — the rules and algorithms there seem to be ever-evolving.

That’s why it’s important to be open to learning from others who might be more successful or more knowledgeable. Just as importantly, though, you should learn from your own experiences. They’ll teach you a lot if you pay attention.

What’s one change you’ve made with your book marketing that has helped you move forward? 

Tip of the Month

turn your book marketing around 3I like to share a “Tip of the Month,” a free resource or tool for authors, on the last Wednesday of the month.

This month, it’s a free download for “700+ power words that will boost your conversions” from Optinmonster. Use the words on this list to help you craft:

  • Book titles
  • Blog post headlines
  • Web site content
  • Advertising text
  • Email subject lines
  • Social media posts

To get your copy, just click the cheat sheet title in the blue box under the first paragraph of text (see below), provide your name and email address, and download the PDF cheat sheet to your computer.

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Sometimes, changing just one word can make all the difference.

Like what you’re reading? Get it delivered to your inbox every week by subscribing to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter. You’ll also get my free “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources” cheat sheet immediately!


  1. Excellent advice, Sandra. Especially #3–we can learn so much from our competition. I would add to check out how other authors build their mailing lists. What do they offer new subscribers to join? Thanks for sharing.

    1. Great tip, Florence! I’ll add that it’s about more than looking at what your competitors are doing — you want to look at what the successful authors are doing. That’s how you can be a little more certain that what they’re doing is appropriate.


    1. Thanks, Adrijus. BookBub does have competition, including Early Bird Books and Fussy Librarian, but BookBub really dominates.


  2. Wonderful words here are “in your genre”! I cringe a little when I see authors asking for advice, especially questions like “Which social media platforms should I be on?” with no prior context about who their ideal reader might be.

    And a side note on websites: I’ve seen some really successful authors with pretty terrible sites 🙂 Hopefully, instinct is a good guide to who’s getting it right!

    1. Pauline, I see that “what social media platform” question so many times, and what frustrates me is that people will answer the question w/out asking the poster any questions about their ideal reader, etc.

      And good point about the websites! (And you would know!)



  3. Marketing and promoting a product requires good skills and great knowledge of that particular market.
    I used to face a lot of issues while marketing my e-book.
    But when I read your blog, the points demonstrated in it are so accurate that on following them I can see a positive change in my ebook’s marketing.
    Thank you for your valuable guidance.

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