What can be more satisfying for a self-published author than the moment when you tap the “Publish my Paperback” button on KDP? After all the months of hard work, the fruits of your labor are finally realized. Now, as a published author, you anxiously await the slew of book sales to come rolling in.

If only it were that simple! Like a splash of ice water in the face, the harsh reality authors must accept is that about four million new books are published on Amazon in the U.S. market each year. That is some stiff competition! The truth is that your book will never see the inside of your target audience’s shopping cart unless you deploy some clever book marketing ideas. This handy guide offers 21 tried and true ideas for marketing a book – and for getting it sold as an indie author.

21 Book Marketing Ideas That Actually Work

Whether your goal is to sell more books or to simply expand your platform, self-published authors willing to market their books to potential readers will absolutely reap the rewards. Consider utilizing the following book marketing ideas:

Social Media Book Giveaways

Book lovers are always up for winning a free book, and your social media accounts provide the perfect setting to promote the giveaway to your target audience. To make the prize even more meaningful, offer signed copies to the winners.

Title Reveal

Once you’ve established solid social media followings, create some buzz by enticing followers with a fun title reveal. Make it fun while also stoking engagement with followers. Provide some hints about the title and then ask them to leave their best guess in the comments. 

In-Person Outreach

Since most towns have an independent bookstore and a library, don’t be shy about stopping by both to introduce yourself. Ask the bookstore owner if they would buy just one copy to give your book a trial run (they pay 40% of the retail price). Check with the head librarian to learn what steps to take to get it on the library shelf.

Author Website

Think of your author website as a marketing tool to sell your book. First, create a vibrant website, add blog posts, connect your social media profiles, and then post a blog or two every month, making sure to end each post with a call to action and a link to the book. Those blogs can then be leveraged on social media to reach a wider audience.

Email Newsletters

For a powerful book marketing strategy, add an “opt-in form” widget to your website to collect visitor email addresses. Utilize the email list for pushing out monthly newsletters. 

Preorder Campaign

Build early momentum for your book launch by setting up a preorder campaign with a discount or incentive. This allows your book to open strong and gives your Amazon ranking a nice boost from the get-go.

Cover Reveal

Your social media followers will love the excitement of a book cover reveal. Create a series of Instagram posts that reveal a little bit of the cover at a time.

Get Blurbs from Fellow Authors

Find some prominent authors in your genre who are willing to read and review your book then add a blurb to the cover design, your website, and your Facebook banner.

Send Out Advanced Reader Copies

Order some advance copies of the book to get into the hands of connections who will read it, drum up excitement, and share book reviews.

Free eBook Sampler

Offer your website visitors an advanced peek at your eBook in exchange for an email signup. The email addresses you gather can be used later for distributing newsletters.

Virtual Book Launch Event

A virtual book launch using a platform like Zoom, versus an in-person launch, can significantly increase the number of attendees present. The event can then be promoted on your social media platforms for even more exposure.

Share the Process

People who love books are equally enthralled with the behind-the-scenes writing process. Create videos, live events, or posts that include your followers in the process of writing and publishing a book.

Utilize Book Bloggers

Offer book bloggers a free book in exchange for an honest review. There are abundant book blogger directories that direct authors toward bloggers in their specific genre.

Author Q&A

Host a livestream event on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, inviting followers to send questions for you to answer. Later you can share the event on your author website or other social media platforms.

Build a Street Team

Assemble an author street team, a group of friends or fans who are willing to spread some positive word-of-mouth about your new book.

Host a Book Club

See if you can guest host a local book club where members are assigned to read your book. You can read some sections aloud, have a Q&A session, and facilitate a lively discussion about the book. 

Local Book Signings

Ask your local bookstore, public library, or chamber of commerce if you can set up a book signing, and announce it on the community Facebook page. Book signings are a great way to create interest and buzz around your book. 

Business Cards

Have some professional business cards printed that you can hand out to folks when your new book comes up in a conversation. By handing the person a business card you significantly increase the chances of them ordering it.

Engage with Other Authors

Join Facebook author groups where you can discuss your book on the forum while also networking with authors within your genre.

Select Niche Categories

When you select your categories on KDP, be sure that at least one of them is a niche category. These are categories with far fewer book listings, which increases your ability to hit a higher Amazon ranking than the broad categories.


Goodreads is a book-lovers social media platform where readers can read and review your book. Just create an author page and upload your book for starters, then start engaging on forums within your genre to gain traction on the platform.

Now that you have several great ideas for marketing a book effectively, it’s time to jump right in and get to work.

Gatekeeper Press Makes Self-Publishing Simple

If you are working on your first draft and could benefit from some expert guidance, consider teaming up with the professional book editors at Gatekeeper Press. They offer a full range of editing services plus cover design and more. Reach out to them today.