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Marketing is not a one-time effort. Rearrange your thinking and find ways to reinvigorate your book marketing to keep the momentum for this – and other books – going.

Excerpted and expanded from the recently updated second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter.

In the world of publishing, as with everything in life, persistence can pay off. There’s no way to keep a book at the top of the charts forever, but if you keep reviving it, you might exceed your sales’ expectations. Or your marketing efforts for one book may propel your next one to greater heights.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen authors who measure their success by book sales give up on their book (and sometimes on writing) just as their careers are ready to take off. I tell my students and clients to fight the “it’s-too-late” urge. Book publicity is like the little waves you make when you toss pebbles into a lake. The waves travel, travel, travel and eventually come back to you. If you stop lobbing little stones, you lose momentum.

Rearrange your thinking

It’s never too late – and it’s never too early – to promote. Marketing isn’t about a single book. It’s about building a career. And new books can build on the momentum created by an earlier book, if you keep the faith. Review the marketing ideas in this book, rearrange your schedule and priorities a bit, and keep at it.
Here are a few ideas from the second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter to help you reinvigorate your book marketing and maintain momentum:

  • Run a contest on your website, via Twitter, or in your newsletter. Use your books for prizes or get cross-promotion benefits by asking other authors for books: many will donate one to you in trade for the exposure. Watch the 99¢ stores for suitable favors to go with them. Hint: Any promotion you do is more powerful when you call on friends to tell their blog readers or Facebook pals about it.
  • reinvigorate your book marketing or perish

  • Barter your books or your services for exposure on other authors’ websites.
  • Post your flyer, brochure, or business cards on bulletin boards everywhere: in grocery stores, coffee shops, laundromats, car washes, and bookstores.
  • Offer classes in writing at your local high school, college, or library system. Publicizing them is easy and free. When appropriate, use your own book as suggested reading. The organization you are helping will pitch in by promoting your class. The network you build with them and your students is invaluable. Use this experience in your media kit to show you have teaching and presentation skills.
  • Slip auto-mailers into each book you sell or give away for publicity. Auto-mailers are envelopes that are pre-stamped, ready to go, and ask the recipient to recommend your book to someone else. Your mailer should include a brief synopsis of your book, a image of the book cover, your book’s ISBN, ordering information, a couple of your most powerful blurbs, and a space for the reader to add a handwritten, personal recommendation. Make it clear in the directions that the reader should fill out the form, address the envelope, and mail it to a friend. You may offer a free gift for helping out, but don’t make getting the freebie too tough. Proof-of-purchase schemes discourage your audience from participating.
  • Send notes to your friends and readers asking them to recommend your book to others. Offer them a perk like free shipping, gift wrap, or small gift if they purchase your book for a friend. That’s an ideal way to use those contact lists you’ve been building.
  • While you’re working on the suggestion above, put on your thinking cap. What directories have you neglected to incorporate into your contact list? Have you joined any new groups since your book was published? Did you ask your grown children for lists of their friends? Did you include lists of old classmates?
  • Learn more about Google’s AdWords and AdSense and Facebook’s ad program. Many authors of niche nonfiction or fiction who can be identified with often-searched-for keywords find this advertising program effective.
  • Check out ad programs like Amazon’s Vine review service. You agree to provide a certain number of books to Amazon and pay them a fee for the service. Amazon arranges the reviews for you. It’s expensive, but it gets your book exposed to Amazon’s select cadre of reviewers who not only write reviews for your Amazon sales page but can also start (or restart!) a buzz about your book.
  • Some of your reviews (reviews of your book and reviews you’ve written about other authors’ books) have begun to age from disuse. Start posting them (with permission from the reviewer) on websites that allow you to do so. Check the guidelines for my free review service blog at TheNewBookReview.
  • Connect and reconnect. Start reading blogs and newsletters you once subscribed to again. Subscribe to a new one. Join a writers’ group or organization related to the subject of your book.
  • When you ship signed copies of your book, include a coupon for the purchase of another copy for a friend – signed and dedicated – or for one of your other books. Some distributors insert fliers or coupons into your books when they ship them for a fee.
  • Adjust the idea above to a cross-promotional effort with a friend who writes in the same genre as you. He puts a coupon for your book in his shipments; you do the same for his in yours.
  • Explore the opportunities for speaking on cruise ships. Many have cut back on the number of speakers they use, but your area of expertise may be perfect for one of them. I tried it, but found ship politics a drawback. Still, many authors have used these venues successfully. Learn more with the book Speakers Cruise Free by Daniel Hall.


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson

About Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Carolyn Howard-Johnson has written 8 posts in this blog.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books for writers including USA Book News' "Best Book" winner for The Frugal Book Promoter. She has been an instructor for UCLA Extension's renowned Writers Program for nearly a decade and favors speaking and getting reviews as the top ways to market a book. Learn more at

24 thoughts on “How To Reinvigorate Your Book Marketing

  1. Terry Whalin says:


    Thank you for this post and these ideas. Book marketing is more of a marathon effort than a sprint. Authors normally want to sprint and then many give up. I appreciate the focus on throwing little stones instead of looking for the big result. It’s how authors ultimately succeed in finding their audience and sell books. It’s why I’m in the trenches every day pushing on my own books and encouraging authors.


    1. You do walk the walk, Terry!

  2. Thanks, Carolyn.

    It is good to be reminded of the excellent tips found in “The Frugal Book Promoter,” which is a resource which should be referred to again and again. Book promotion is not for the lazy, but small efforts pay off, so writers should schedule manageable publicity efforts into their weekly schedules.

    1. Tx Brother Simeon. Wish you could be at the Bookbaby conference.

  3. @Terry Whalin, never were truer words spoken–the way you encourage other authors! Thanks to this @bookbaby blog for allowing me to do the same thing.

  4. Summer Cox says:

    Excellent! I’m sharing and bookmarking.

    1. Tx for sharing. We are all in this together!

  5. Carolyn is one of the most generous and creative authors on easy to use book marketing ideas that a either free or
    at a low cost in the business of books marketing.
    Her books are filled with great frugal ideas that can assist you in reaching your target audience.
    Buy her books and watch your visibility and sales soar.

  6. Fausga says:

    Great post, Carolyn! it’s so true book marketing is an ongoing effort that never ends! great tips!

    1. Tx for dropping by. You also might want to try my blog.

  7. Louis says:

    Wow! These are a lot of ideas to make your presence felt! I just want to re-iterate on your point where you’ve advised on learning about Google Ad words and other digital ads. In a digital day and age such as ours, I believe this is extremely important. These digital ads manage get you a wide yet targeted audience. It is important to stay up to date with such ad technologies because they are constantly ‘evolving’ becoming ever so dynamic in their workings.

    1. I’d love to include a how-to article in my SharingwithWriters newsletter. Find my contact page at site.

  8. Mary Russo says:

    Great Advice…book marketing is like breathing. Ongoing, always needed!
    Thanks for your information sharing.

  9. Lois Herr says:

    Thanks for the reminder and the prompt to get back to marketing my books. Due to other demands on my time I’ve had to let them sit for a while. I’m torn now between writing a new book and promoting the most recent one. Of course it shouldn’t be either or, I realize. And I bet I’m not alone!

    1. Yes, it’s OK to slow your marketing a bit, but try not to lose too much momentum. Letting it completely lapse loses you too much for your next book!

  10. I love Carolyn’s ideas. She gets it. She hits the basics from A to Z and offers ideas galore about what to do and why. For a new author she sheds light on the real work that is needed to be a successful promoter. If you even do one percent of the tactics she recommends, you will see an improvement in your results.

  11. I’m new at using Amazon ads – somebody said I may simply replicate my ads to pay a lot of. Others told me identical ads can confuse amazon and really hurt rank. Since I boosted my budget and replicated my ads, my rank starting slipping quickly. I paused a couple of the under-performing duplicate ads and things have picked back up (back under 10K but that may also replicate the changes within the description).

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