How to Sell Your Book Using a Laptop
Online tools are plentiful and easy to use
You can crowdfund a book title and reach readers from anywhere in the world, all from the comfort of your own couch or office — and in only 5 to 6 hours per week, according to Tendayi Viki, Stu Krieger and Natalie Sisson, who each presold at least 300 copies of their books in less than four weeks.
“Be a friend, engage online and keep asking,” says Clara Pang, who had 40 followers on Twitter and still sold 600+ copies of her travel memoir.
*Remember, it’s not just about selling your book. It’s about obtaining support from people you know.
You want readers to find your book? Share it with them, over and over and over again. You can’t be afraid to talk about it. If you think people won’t be interested in what you’ve written then you’re not ready to become a successful author.
Here are 18 simple ways to promote your book launch online.
1. Make email announcements at celebratory milestones
MailChimp, TinyLetter, Publishizer
The first milestone would be your book launch. Contacts you’ve built through the years are the most likely to support your campaign since they already want to see you succeed. Use emailing tools to make announcements at other celebratory milestones: 1 week before launch, at launch, at 50% funded, 100% funded and publishing deal.
2. Survey your readers ahead of time
Typeform, Survey Monkey
Not sure how your book title will be received by those who already follow you? Ask them. Make them a part of the process. Send a 30-second survey asking for input on your title, subtitle and bonus packages you can use during a preorder campaign.
Here is an example book survey.
This serves to 1) build a book campaign that resonates with your readers, and 2) create some early awareness about the book project.
Then invite them to join your book launch team. More on that here.
3. Share a video with your friends and followers
A book video serves a huge purpose: to build trust. Whether they know you personally or not, someone who watches you on video captures your personality and breaks down barriers to familiarity. Use rev.com for captions and subtitles.
This script converts well.
It also let’s you tell people about your book face-to-face, which is a powerful way to sell books. You don’t need a full-blown book trailer. A 1–2 minute video via webcam will do. This author does it perfectly.
4. Write guest posts for relevant bloggers and publications
WordPress, Tumblr, Medium
If you already contribute to major publications put that in the very first sentence of your author bio. Like this example.
If you have an existing blog, write a sample chapter blog post relevant to the content readers can expect to read in the book. Include a link to your book preorder campaign. For guest posting, contact relevant bloggers in your industry and offer them a high-quality guest post for their audience.
If you can land a blog in a major publication (Entrepreneur, Business Insider, TIME, Huffington Post) it will boost results. You can go through the regular submission process and pitch a title with some bullet points you’d like to hit. If they respond with a yes, then write the piece and send it to them. If you want a feature, I suggest researching the individual journalists who write about your topic and then pitch them.
An edgier example that showed up in Vice.
5. Create a Group and invite everyone you know
Facebook, LinkedIn, Google
Google Groups are an amazing way to curate email lists and send out targeted emails. Facebook groups are definitely still a great way to create awareness and an inclusive atmosphere around your book goals. There are two ways this can work out.
The first way is to create a Facebook group and invite all your friends and family and get them to support, share and preorder your new book. Like this.
The second is to create a group that’s only relevant to the type of reader your book is for. Like this. This gets them to support the idea over the project. Both work in different ways and come in handy to increase number of book preorders.
6. Create a slide deck to visually communicate your book
SlideShare, Docsend, Keynote
A book slide deck is used to visually communicate the ideas in your book. Readers can slide through the deck and absorb the content of your book in an easily-digestible and shareable format. Be sure to include your book cover design.
A sponsorship packet, like this, to share with corporate sponsors and clients is also a great way to gain support and traction very early with a lot of books at one time.
You can create a folder in Google drive with Facebook covers, the book cover, email templates and sponsorship PDFs to share with you launch team.
7. Get an influencer or public figure to interview you on Facebook Live
Create a list of people you know or could get introduce to, who have followers relevant to your book topic. Ask them to schedule an interview on their page and pitch your book. What’s in it for them? Give discount and special perks to their followers. Or make a VIP package for them. Or offer to promote the public figures page and Facebook LIVE via email.
Get the email template for a Facebook Live event, here <
8. Find reviewers of similar books on Amazon
Search for competing and similar books to yours on Amazon. Scroll down to the reviews and click on the reviewers name. Usually they have a full profile with social links and an email. Send them a very short email mentioning their review and asking them take a look at your similar title on Publishizer. Mention the cool perks!
9. Get some extra reach on social media
Spread the word and invite people share in the buzz with Thunderclap. If you get enough people to support you, Thunderclap will share information on your book on their social media.
Here is an example.
10. Add a link to your email signature
Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo
This one is the easiest to implement. Add a link to your campaign on your email signature, for example, ‘Pre-order out my upcoming book at www.publishizer.com/live-big and receive awesome limited edition rewards!’ Each time you send an email during your campaign, potential readers will see this link.
Make sure your entire launch team also adds a link to your book to their email signature.
Look at Day 6 of this Guide for another example.
11. Use social media to create awareness
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn
Use your social media presence to share small victories with your networks. When your campaign launches, when you hit 50% funded, when you hit 100% funded, are significant milestones of interest to your followers. More than that, ask for feedback on your book cover design, a sample chapter or a proposal you’re about to share with publishers. When people preorder your book, publicly thank them one by one on Facebook!
Instagram is becoming a nice platform to create awareness about book. It’s like any of other social platform. The more eyes you can get the better off you’ll be. Be sure the image is high quality and you leave a link in your bio to the preorder page.
12. Text messages work great
Smartphone, Whatsapp, Mac
Text message lowers formalities while making it more personal. When we’ve sent out messages via text and Whatsapp, we’ve always been received well and gotten a higher conversion. Authors have created SMS groups and managed them all from the Mac laptop. It’s much faster.
This should be used on a very limited basis. Once when you launch and ask them to preorder. And then again a week or two into your campaign to followup if they haven’t yet contributed.
13. Schedule phone and video calls
Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting
If you use video often to communicate with friends, family, clients, then this is a great opportunity to to tell them about your book and to ask to buy. One author told us this was one of the most effective ways to sell his book. Another authors said he went down his list of contacts and called them directly.
Video is powerful. Which is why podcasts help extend your reach to a relevant audience and sell books. In addition to your own scheduled video calls, get on other podcasts, radio shows or YouTube channels. These are high converters if you give shoutouts to your book, and usually done remotely from your laptop.
14. Get an influencer to review it
Mavensocial, Twitter, Press, Email
Join groups of influencers or topics related to your book. Research people on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and then reach out to the owner or person and ask them to share it in the group, on their page and on their email list.
You can also send them a sample chapter and ask them to give a quick review of the writing and the topic.
Even if the review is less than great, it still drives traffic to your listing. This influencer review isn’t great, but drove thousands of books sales.
15. Turn strangers into friends
Nanowrimo, Jukepop, LovelyBooks, Wattpad
NaNo has classrooms and a community of writers, all striving for a common goal–to write great books. Jukepop allows authors to share sample chapters and get feedback on their writing. You never know who you’ll meet in these communities who can help out with your book.
16. Use a marketing platform
Rain Factory, LaunchTeam
Good PR firms who provide real results are difficult to find. But there are some who specialize in crowdfunding and book campaigns. Research memberships platforms and marketing services that will help your campaign succeed. They should help you get an ROI on their fee.
17. List your book on Product Hunt Books
Every day, new things are submitted, upvoted, and curated by the community and the Product Hunt team. The homepage changes throughout the day based on the number of upvotes, time since submission, and other factors.
The more you engage, create collections and upvote others, the more attention your book will get.
18. Schedule an event
iCal, Google Calendar, Facebook Events
Remind people about the date of your book launch by sending an event notification directly to their email or Facebook. Create the event, upload the video and book cover, and then invite all your friends.
If you have a group for you book already, consider hosting the even by this group instead of your personal account. Just make sure the group is not closed or private so members can share the content with their own friends.
Apply here for our next batch of authors in a book accelerator program.