Friday, June 11, 2021

Book Marketing Secrets Every Author MUST Know!

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Over the course of my career I have published through big publishers and through smaller, traditional presses. Of course there are differences between what support a big and small publisher provides. But—and we all need to wrap our brains around this one truth—our responsibility as the author is fairly consistent. Today I’m going to share 7 book marketing secrets I’ve learned from experience, and some I’ve learned by watching other authors.

7 Book Marketing Secrets

1. Your audience of readers is interested in connecting with YOU, not your publisher. Readers don’t care if you’ve landed a big deal with a big publisher or a small deal with a small one. What they want is good content and a place to connect with you. Part two of this is the fact that your readers want genuine and authentic interaction. If your readers follow you on social media and then discover that it’s not really you—only an assistant or lackey—interacting with them, they’ll feel betrayed. For newer writers who aren’t starting with huge audiences, this means you’re going to have to be on social media consistently four to five days a week. For those who are already big names, you may have to cut back on the amount of interaction so you have time to keep it genuine.

2. Don’t use the wrong URL for your book on Amazon. Most of you have probably read about the fact that Amazon sometimes deletes legitimate reviews. Part of that problem is the long URL many authors include in their promo and social media information. 

This is the WRONG link:

This is the RIGHT link:

You see, everything from ref on is a special code that allows Amazon to track when this link was shared. If I post the wrong link, it looks like all my reviews came from the same source and could have been paid for. There are other things coded into the longer part of the link, but trust me when I say it will cut way back on number of reviews Amazon lets you keep.

3. A small group of readers dedicated to helping you is an author’s secret weapon. For the first time, I assembled a launch team. (Here are the links to two posts I shared – Street Teams for a Book Launch and How a Launch Team Helped Promote MyBook) In seven weeks, this team of twenty-eight helped my book visibility by giving me over 200,000 social media impressions. I did my best to make the launch not about me, but about what God was doing. I stayed in weekly contact with them, and provided a mini-study on praying for our children. The keys to a group like this are:

Value for them
Easily shareable content (my publisher generated memes and tweetables to take the work out of sharing for them)

4. Your readers don’t know the publishing biz so you have to let them know how to help you. Readers aren’t writers. They aren’t aware of how important reviews are. As a matter of fact, most of them think only professionals write reviews. If you want your readers to write reviews, you’re going to have to ask for them and then provide instruction on how to do it. NOTE: keep it simple. Don’t haunt them with requests that make it seem like they’re back in school and being asked to write a book report.

5. Giveaways make a difference. A gift basket with swag that you can share on social media, a drawing at a book signing, and extra downloads when they share or order your book will provide extra incentive. These don’t have to break the bank. I made a bunch of hand-beaded bookmarks for my book launch at our local Barnes & Noble and they were a huge hit—and helped sell a lot of extra books. 

6. For better numbers, keep your interviews relevant to what’s going on. For instance, in 2016, While My Child is Away released right before school started back in the fall. I had great response when I sent out interview requests when I tied it to the time of year. I used this hook: When I was growing up, back-to-school was a time of excitement. In today’s climate, it can be a time of anxiety—for parents and children. I have a book that addresses how prayer can bring peace in times of stress. 

7. Don’t forget the pictures. We’ve all heard the saying, A picture is worth a thousand words. There’s a reason—it’s true. Take pictures of yourself signing the contract, celebrating when you turn in your manuscript, getting a copy of your ARC, and especially that box of author copies. These things build momentum and enthusiasm. Your readers begin to anticipate what’s coming and cheer you on as a heroine. After the book arrives, keep the pics coming. Take shots of book signings, book tables at conference, where ever you happen to be. Always share these on social media.

And especially take pictures when your book is in stores and libraries. Then go one step further—TAG THE STORE IN THE PICTURE AND SOCIAL MEDIA POST. This is free advertising for them and they remember the authors who do this. 

These are the things that I’ve learned about promoting and launching a book. I’d love to know what you’ve learned. We’re always better together!

Don’t forget to join the conversation,


Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.Connect with her on her website, through FacebookTwitter and on Instagram


  1. Edie,

    Thank you for these seasoned book marketing insights for every author. From my decades in publishing, there is no formula but there are common practices for every author. Your path will be different than my path. It means each of us have to be experimenting, trying new ways to reach readers and continuing to try--even when some things fail.

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

    1. Terry, such great insight! Thanks for sharing, Blessings, E

  2. Hey, Edie, great post, as always! I am especially grateful for tip #2, Using the Right URL! Never heard of that before, but I am earmarking that -- and all your other points -- for dead sure, so THANK YOU!


    1. Julie, thank you for your encouragement!!! Blessings, E

  3. Thank you Edie for these great suggestions! I will put them to good use. Thanks, too, for all the help you and all the other bloggers give to us in the blogs you post.

  4. Terrific suggestions Edie for this first time, hope to be author! Thank you!

  5. This is great information, Edie-thank you! As far as connecting with the readers-Deb Raney and Denise Hunter do an amazing job at this. They are a good example to follow.

  6. Hi Edie.
    This is such a helpful article! I'm still waiting for a book to be picked up, but I'm gathering and learning as much as I can along the way. I've participated on several launch teams and those that I've enjoyed have an engaged author who really seems to care about her team. It really comes through and makes a difference.

    Thanks for sharing!


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  8. Great post! Shared it with my clients and made special note of the Amazon URL tip!

  9. Great tips to be sure. #2 was especially helpful. I'd never heard that and wonder often I may have missed that!