How to Market a Book with Truth and Taste


When you think about your book, you need to know who your audience is and where to find them.

Marketing Books is not for the faint of heart. Nor is honesty the current working policy, so it seems.

Publishers Weekly acknowledges,
“However, it is an open secret in the publishing industry that claims made on galleys and other material for the trade–about everything from first printings to marketing budgets and efforts–can be gross exaggerations.”

What’s an author to do? Stretch the truth?

Since beginning Sunscribe two years ago, it has been my mission to guard writers’ reputations. Something I bring to the table as a writer myself.

This isn’t a giant ad for my publishing company, but a gentle reminder of why it is important to research your options,  know your goals and seek advice before signing a contract.

Yes, those are all topics we discuss with our prospective authors, because Sunscribe is an extension of me, and I partner with writers to make their work the best possible, period.

And on my desk, honesty still rules policy.

What do you recommend authors do to market their works?


  1. Best to sign with a publisher who cares and sees the author as an individual – not just one of the mob around them. Smaller publishers can do this.
    These days marketing has to be a partnership between author and publishers – which is fair. Both want the book to be a success.
    Identifying the target audience is critical to avoid wasting money and effort. Speaking at conferences or professional industry shows if the writer works in a specific field are a good way to get the word out.(Give the industry topic speech and at the end slip in “Oh, I’m also an author and my book is industry related” – say that ONLY if it is -” and you might enjoy it.” One sentence. Book on table so people can see cover. put a line in the program bio, too.)
    Important to remember, you can’t hit all the meetings/conferences. Hit the big ones with good audiences, and then maybe the ones close to home so travel expenses aren’t an issue.
    Then there’s the beautiful “art card” post card to send to decision makers in large gift or book stores/airport vendors/acquisition librarians of large systems. Make the image gorgeous so they pin it up in their office and you are there as a reminder….It take multiple exposures to something/new item before humans change habit behavior and buy something new – whether it’s ideas or books.
    But be smart and target closely to avoid wasting money.

    1. All hugely important points. And one more to springboard off the conference/speaking engagements – go where your target audience goes. Many authors believe writing conferences sell their books – that people will automatically buy because they are a speaker. Only true if your target is writers.
      My mantra – authors, your audience is readers, and keep that focus.
      Exceptions occur, outliers in standard deviations don’t get the revenue like targeted sales.
      Ah, I’m done, stepping off soap box. Totally agree with you about repetitive blasts, be seen to be known.
      Thanks for pushing the comment button and setting me on another tirade, lol.
      Appreciate your faithful choir attendance, Phil!

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