How To Promote Your Book Online | Guest Post by Hayley Zelda

If you have a book and you’re not promoting it online yet, you’re missing a lot of potential readers! Promoting your book online is vital if you want new readers to know about and purchasing your story.

If done right, digital marketing is certainly a cheaper option than the traditional alternatives and allows you to reach plenty of different types of public, depending on who your core demographic is.

Penning fanfiction can earn you a following.

Think fanfiction stories are just for fans who like to match up their favorite characters in new and exciting situations?

When writing stories that already have an established following, you can get these fans actually to pay attention to your writing. As you build an audience and follow your new publications, you can include a link to original stories and even your online book. 

It’s popular knowledge that 50 Shades of Grey, a best-seller trilogy, started as a Twilight fanfic! Not only can you earn a few fans of your own, but you may also even end up transforming your actual fanfiction stories into a profitable new book, 

What websites are the most popular options to publish your fanfic? You can’t go wrong with sites like Wattpad and Commaful. Also, be sure to check out Facebook groups that focus on certain fandoms, that can also be the right way of earning yourself brand new readers.

Collaboration is key!

There are many other independent authors out there looking to get their own books promoted. There are hundreds of Facebook groups filled with authors looking to promote their books and several apps for cross promotion.

Do you have some audience already? You can instantly get in front of significantly more people with a social media shoutout or newsletter crosspromo. If you have 1000 Twitter followers and 1000 email subscribers, you can reach 3000 more people on Twitter and 3000 more email subscribers simply by collaborating with 3 authors with the same audience size. You share their book on your newsletter and social media. They share yours. It’s that easy!

When evaluating potential collaborators, pay close attention to the engagement of their social media channels and open rates of their emails. If their emails aren’t getting opened and their posts aren’t getting engagement, you will not sell any more books by working with them. Find partners with healthy audiences and strong overlap in audience interest.

If your styles really align well, you may even go as far as collaborating on a book series. If you are bold enough, you might also try out joint authorship and collaborative writing.

This requires a ton of work so make sure it’s worth the effort, but when done properly, can lead to better stories, bigger audiences, and more opportunities! 

Don’t overlook book summary sites.

Being featured on a website, blog, or even youtube channels that offer their readers and viewers summaries of different books is no small matter. Sure, it might not seem like a big step, but people visiting those sites are looking for advice on what to read next. And if they like what they hear, they might just become your new buyer.

Usually, these websites offer detailed summaries, critiques, and chapter structure of the books they feature.

It’s a good idea to find websites that focus on your type of books. If it’s non-fiction, go to a non-fiction site.

There are even several apps out there for quick, on-the-go book summaries, so be sure to check them out and reach out to ask if your work might be featured. There are both paid and free options, so make sure you research all potential alternatives. Start with smaller sites and gradually build up from there. Look for sites like Wired For Youth for example, which is clearly active and has an audience, but isn’t huge yet.

Have you created a mailing list already?

Mailing lists are extremely important for your book marketing. Seth Godin, author of many marketing books, describes permission marketing as “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” That is what an email list does.

You can begin producing exclusive short, side stories to your books that only those who subscribe will receive. This will not only make them feel more connected with the worlds and characters you’ve created but also get something free and exclusive in exchange for their information. Use Mailchimp to build a reading list, share excerpts, ideas, free stories, and of course, promote your book.
Make sure to keep this audience engaged and not only spam them about your books. Offer them content, ask them questions, and update them on your life. You should think of them as distant friends you want to catch up to, and they’ll feel the personal connection.

To attract readers, leverage giveaways. You can giveaway free ebooks in exchange for email signups. You can also giveaway books from more famous authors in your same genre. Eg. giveaway Harry Potter books or swag if your audience overlaps with Harry Potter fans.

Who said stories can’t be read out loud?

Sure, there are plenty of audiobooks out there, but that’s not what I’m suggesting to promote your book.

Podcasts have become more popular than ever, and there seems to be an option for everyone out there. From news to comedy to literature, there’s a podcast online for all possible tastes.

If you have a good reading voice, or know someone that does, you can always create a podcast centered around your books, your writing and your life as an author. Try peppering it with passages from your books, interesting new details about characters featured in your novellas, and even short stories only available in this format.

If you want to get a larger audience, you may even merge this advice with another one of the entries in this list: Collaboration! You can host the podcast with other writers, or even have guests to mix up the episode’s content.

At the beginning or end of each broadcast, feel free to let your audience know where they can purchase your books!

Wrapping Up

There are hundreds of different ways of promoting your book online, so don’t be afraid to try various alternatives and check what’s the right fit for you. Be creative!

Do you prefer exploring fandoms and expanding your audience by captivating them with established characters and literary universes? Do you want to have a connection with your readers and understand what it is they are interested in? Or perhaps you are bolder and want to put yourself out there, being the center of attention?

Whatever your preference, remember that the internet is filled with potential readers from all around the world. All you have to do is find the right way to reach them, grabbing their attention above the multiplicity of content uploaded every day.


Thank you Hayley Zelda for contributing to Bookish Fame.


About the author:

Hayley Zelda is a writer and marketer at heart. She’s written on all the major writing platforms and worked with a number of self-published authors on marketing books to the YA audience.


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