Thursday, July 15, 2021

Improve Book Sales by Enhancing Public Relations Through Media, Retailers, & Consumers

Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

Authors want to get higher book sales. To gain that traction, we can market our books through media, retailers, and consumers. Media coverage spreads the word about a book. When retailers carry a book, it becomes available for readers to purchase. When more readers know a book exists, book sales rise. Taking a comprehensive marketing approach to media, retailers, and consumers will stretch your book’s visibility.

Authors should write a one-page press release announcing their book to the world. Grab the attention of the reader with the headline and if you can, relate your book to current events. Include statistics, facts, and quotes in your press release. Send the press release to local and regional media. It is vital for authors to develop relationships with local media reporters. Send newsworthy information to the media staff throughout the year in addition to your own book releases. Press releases can also be posted for free on these websites: 
Press release distribution services send your press release to media outlets. Several Christian services exist including:
Recently, four CIPA members received television interviews from CIPA’s Christian media eBlast. What comprises a successful press release? Getting two to four media interviews is considered an effective press release,

Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is another marketing tactic as a new audience finds out about you and your book that is listed in the blog’s bio. However, you don’t want to write a guest blog post for websites that do not receive adequate traffic or have a low domain authority. Domain authority is a search engine ranking score that measures the probability that a website will be listed in a search engine result page. You can measure a website’s domain authority at A domain authority between 40 and 50 is considered average and between 50 to 60 is good. I would not write a guest blog for a site with a domain authority below 15, as that can lower your website’s rank on Google. But writing for a site with a domain authority above yours will improve your website’s rank on Google. 

The Christian Indie Publishing Association’s blogging site’s ( domain authority is 53. If you would like to write a guest blog for this site, request the blog guidelines at If you would like to write a healthy living blog for which has a domain authority of 50, request the blog guidelines at Check out the gorgeous Pinterest Pins created for blogs on both websites. Anyone who clicks on one of the pins, goes to the corresponding blog and finds out about the author and their book. Did you know Pinterest is the second largest search engine on the net? Are you marketing on this social media platform? If not, check out the monthly Pinterest management services at or take the Grow Your Pinterest course. 

Online and print, as well as local, regional, and national magazines exist. How can you find and write for these publications? The Christian Writers Market Guide lists magazine venues to query as well as what type of articles the magazine desires. You need to study the magazine to effectively pitch a topic of interest. When I attend writer conferences, I meet with the magazine editors and pitch an article or two. This approach has always landed me an article. Industry relationships are vital to expanding reach. 

Podcast, Radio, TV, or Internet Shows

Booking a media tour is a highly effective book marketing tactic. But how does an author find shows? You can pay for a podcast subscription with,, or purchase a podcaster directory. A list of 125 podcasters sells for $47 at These shows are sorted by Christian genre. This list is free for CIPA members. 

Similar to blogger website’s domain authority, you want to determine the audience size of the show by the number of iTunes reviews the show has. Query shows with over twenty-five reviews. Listen to the show to make sure you want to be interviewed. Pitch three topics that meet the needs of the show’s audience.

For television, identify Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and talk shows in your region or state. Study the shows mission and focus. Query the television (TV) producer and address them by name. Pitch with humor, a current event, or something that will stand out. Pamela Christian provides author coaching to assist you in landing a TV interview. 

Track Media Queries
Last year, I queried over 100 shows to get thirty interviews on podcast and radio shows. Tracking my queries on a spreadsheet kept me organized. On a spreadsheet list the blogger, magazine, or podcast name, host name, and email address. Also include what topics you proposed, the date you sent the query, their response, the date of the interview or the date the article is due, and the date the blog, article, or show goes live. 

You also want to track the effectiveness of your marketing tactics. How do you know if a strategy worked unless you measure its success? On a spreadsheet, list the marketing tactic and the date it goes live, 3-day website views, 3-day book sales, and lowest Amazon ranking during that 3-day period. After my children’s book, Eat God’s Food: A Kid’s Guide to Healthy Eating released last month, I reviewed last year’s marketing effectiveness tracking sheet to identify the tactics that received the most sales and website traffic. Those tactics are the ones I am querying for Eat God’s Food’s launch. 

First you want to secure trade distribution of your book through Spring Arbor or Anchor as most independent bookstores order through those two distributors. If you are self-published on IngramSpark, make your books returnable and offer the 55 percent discount. If you do, Christian retailers will be more likely to order your books. But how do you find those retailers? Here are a few opportunities:
  • CIPA has a Christian Retail eBlast that is sent to 1400 stores at
  • Develop relationships with local and regional bookstores
  • Attend the Christian Product Expo (CPE)
  • Attend the CPE Author/Retailer Personality Party either through CIPA or Advanced Writer & Speaker Association
Every year I set up book signings at three regional Barnes & Noble stores and one local bookstore within a 90-minute driving distance. I’ve found these stores are their busiest from Black Friday through the first week in January. I get to know the bookstore managers and through that relationship they carry my books in their store. 

I attend the CPE every year. You can attend the CPE through CIPA. CIPA represents members’ books at the CPE International. CIPA members receive exposure for their books with over 111 independent Christian retailers at an affordable price. Members who exhibit book(s) can also attend the show. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase books to Christian retail buyers. 

One of the most exciting parts of the CPE is attending the bookstore/author personality party event on the first evening of the conference. Over 100 Christian bookstore owners stop by your table to receive a signed copy of your book. Therefore, they may end up carrying your book in their store. The first year I attended, my IngramSpark sales quadrupled. A year later, some of the bookstore owners told me they still carried my book and would like to receive another one of my books.

Christian readers are our book buyers. Do you have a free gift to give to website visitors for their email list? I have two gifts, and Notice how I created an easy to remember domain name for my gifts. That way, a listener on a podcast can remember my gift and subscribe to my email list. You should send your email subscribers an email once or twice a month. You want to provide them with value (more freebies) and have them get to know you personally. This is how you develop a relationship with your readers. 

Facebook groups have been an effective way for me to collect email addresses. In my group 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar, Carbs, & Gluten, I ask the subscriber for their email address. I use Group Collector to put those emails in my email subscriber service. We can also engage with our audience on social media. Be sure to ask the people who comment on your post questions to enhance the engagement in a post. 

You can use group promotions through BookFunnel to cross promote your book with other indie authors in your genre. That way your book is exposed to more readers. You could do an online giveaway through and collect email addresses to expand your list. CIPA also has a 20,000 Christian reader Consumer eBlast at

This comprehensive marketing approach took five years to achieve, so don’t feel intimidated if you haven’t accomplished all you want to do yet. Take one step at a time. Personally, I like to schedule one podcast interview, guest blog post, and magazine article per month. I don’t always make that goal, especially if I am writing a book, but I try. If you would like to more fully digest the material presented in this article, take the course, Increase Book Sales by Enhancing Public Relations with Media, Retailers, & Consumers at

What goals would you like to obtain? Make a list of all the marketing tactics you plan to employ from this list:
  • Press release
  • CIPA’s Christian Media eBlast
  • Guest blogging
  • Magazine article
  • Podcast or radio interview
  • TV interview
  • CPE representation with CIPA
  • CPE Personality Party
  • Book events at local and regional bookstores
  • CIPA Christian Retail eBlast
  • Free gift for email subscribers
  • Monthly email to subscribers
  • Social media
  • Facebook group
  • Group promotion
  • Book giveaway
  • CIPA 20,000 Christian Reader Consumer eBlast 
Besides marketing tactics, relationships are a vital part of promoting a book. Develop relationships with local and regional media, bloggers, magazine editors, podcast and radio show hosts, local and regional bookstores, and your audience in Facebook groups or other social media platforms. We are here to serve our readers. Whatever you chose, I pray your public relations tactics will be spiritually fruitful for you and your audience. 


Susan U. Neal, RN, MBA, MHS: Susan’s mission is to improve the health of the body of Christ. She has her RN and MBA degrees, as well as a master’s in health science. She is a CERTIFIED HEALTH AND WELLNESS COACHwith the American Association of Christian Counselors. She published five books, the Selah award winner 7 STEPS TO GET OFF SUGAR AND CARBOHYDRATESCHRISTIAN STUDY GUIDE FOR 7 STEPS TO GET OFF SUGAR AND CARBOHYDRATESHEALTHY LIVING JOURNALSCRIPTURE YOGAa #1 Amazon best-selling yoga book, and YOGA FOR BEGINNERS which ranked #3. She published two sets of Christian Yoga Card Decks and two Christian Yoga DVDs that are available at CHRISTINAYOGA.COM. Her digital product HOW TO PREVENT, IMPROVE, AND REVERSE ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA is a great resource. To learn more about Susan visit her website SUSANUNEAL.COM You can also connect with Susan on FACEBOOKTWITTER, and INSTAGRAM.


  1. Susan,

    Thank you for this post and the great action steps for every author--including me. With over 4,500 new books being published every day. Each of us need to take active steps to be telling people about the benefits of our book. I am keenly aware of this process and working at it myself--with a new book which is in pre-sale and will launch October 5th.

    With Gratitude,

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

    1. Terry, Thanks so much for your positive feedback. Best of luck with your new book.

  2. Susan, thank you for sharing your research and knowledge. This is an incredible post.

  3. Things I love about nurses: practical; to the point; detail oriented.
    Thank you Susan, really appreciate you. :)

  4. Susan, thank you. I was in the zoom meeting where you talked about these ideas and was taking notes like crazy! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I really appreciate it.

    1. Great, now you have the notes all in one article! So glad you liked it.

  5. Wow, you are a treasure trove of helpful information! Thanks!

  6. Excellent suggestions. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Great list, Susan, as I plan my first book launch soon!