When (And How) Should You Start Marketing Your Book?

You know that you need to blog for readers, not just writers. But if you’re not published yet, when should you start marketing your book on your blog or social media profiles?

At the time of launch? A few weeks before?

Here’s the answer. You should start marketing your book as soon as you start writing it, maybe even when you get the idea.

This will create buzz for you and your book early on. People will be more aware about your book and anticipate its release, especially if they’ve read free chapters and want the rest.

The earlier you start marketing your book, the easier your job will be during and after the book launch.

3 Ways to Market Your Book Early

1. Book Updates and Excerpts on Your Writer Blog: One way to market your book before the official launch is by offering book excerpts and updates on a regular basis on your blog. Be sure to make the titles enticing and juicy (as well as the excerpt itself). Here’s an example that might help.

Also, keep the excerpts on the short side, probably no longer than 300-500 words. People are busy, impatient, and won’t keep reading if they see an excerpt the length of a novel. And remember that a computer or cell phone screen isn’t the ideal place to read a story.

Sharing excerpts will help you start building your fan base early by giving readers a taste of your writing. Hopefully, this will entice them to purchase the book later on. Once a month should be enough, but you can also share excerpts and updates more frequently.

Want to know more about creating a monthly blog-posting schedule?

Many readers will also love following along on your writing and publishing journey. For example, you can do a book cover reveal or sell advanced reader copies.

After you’ve shared excerpts and updates on your blog, make sure to share the links to these posts via social media.

2. Share Extras on Social Media: You can also share extra stuff about your book through Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, kind of like the behind-the-scenes clips and interviews on the special edition of your favorite movie. Some awesome examples would be:

  • character sketches or photos
  • extra story snippets
  • images of settings
  • world sketches and maps
  • your daily progress and struggles

Pinterest and Facebook are perfect for sharing this kind of thing. If you want to see a good example of a writer who does this, check out J.F. Penn’s Pinterest boards. I will also be doing this on my own Pinterest boards and Facebook page.

Sharing through Pinterest and Facebook will also help new readers (who might never have found your blog) find your work.

When you do share extras and excerpts on Pinterest or even Twitter, be sure to use relevant hashtags. For example, if you write young adult fiction, try using #ya or #yalit.

3. Monthly Newsletter with Freebies and News: If you only do one thing on this list, choose this one. A mailing list is the most important asset you have as a writer (be on the lookout for my newsletter soon!). MailChimp offers a free option up to a certain amount of subscribers or if you want something a little more robust, you can look into Aweber. I keep hearing awesome things about those guys.

Your email subscribers are your most loyal fans so reward them. Through your monthly (or weekly) newsletter, you can give your readers free short stories and chapters. Let these readers be the first to know when your book will be out. Give them free ARCs.

You may think that it’s way too early to start a newsletter because you’re not published yet, but that list is going to come in handy when your book is out. You’ll have a list of people who have already shown a good amount of interest in your book and who have given you permission get in touch with them.

The earlier you start your newsletter, the more time it will have to grow before you launch, even if it is slow-going. A list of twenty people is better than no list at all.

Remember: the earlier you start marketing your book the better. That’s buzz that will pay off later. Now you have three ways to start marketing your book right now.

Have you started marketing your book yet? Do you wish you had started marketing earlier?