Monday, March 9, 2020

Top Tips for Marketing as an Author and Reader PLUS Giveaway

Spring is on our doorstep! A Season for New!

This month on the Writer's Alley we're introducing, discussing, and giving tips for some of those "new" chapters writers encounter. We have a lot to share! Last week, Mary Vee shared her top tips for before and after getting a book contract. Julia Reffner and Laurie Tomlinson will host later this month with great "new" topics for you. 

As I began thinking about this post, I started kicking myself (not really, but kinda really) for saying I'd take this topic. Me talk about marketing? I hate marketing! And I'm still a debut author with my first book published last May, so what do I know about good marketing? Well, I'm going to share some things I've learned here today and Thursday night I'm going to do a Facebook Live on The Writer's Alley and share some of the Alley Cat's best advice for marketing. (Yikes! I said I'd do a Facebook Live too????)

So let's get down to it. First we'll talk about tips for the writer, then switch to tips for the reader.

Top Tips To Do for the Writer:

  • Begin early to search blogs you can guest post or get an interview on. If you are a member of ACFW and join their mail email loop, people will post when they are accepting guest bloggers on their blog. There are so many supportive authors who want to help you promote your new release. Schedule one a day the week(s) before and after your release. If you schedule more than one a day, it gets super busy and splits your focus. 
  • Create a speadsheet of your author interviews, guest posts, etc. This will help in maintaining deadlines, sending all the required documents (book cover, author photo, book blurb, etc.), and other pertinent information.
  • Use Canva or some photo editing tool to create memes with quotes from your book and do a week countdown with them toward release day.
  • Follow book bloggers on social media and develop a REAL relationship with them - not just to promote your book, but share your love of books. When you have a book release, you can offer up a copy of your book for them to read and hopefully review.
  • Start a newsletter. This was (and still is) hard for me, but as we all know, social media changes on a daily basis and is not reliable in getting our news into the hands of our followers. But an email list is YOURS and you can share book news straight into your interested readers' inbox. 
  • Start a website if you don't already have one. Readers want to know all about the authors they read, so have a page about you, a page for your book(s), and a blog. A blog is a great way to share behind the scenes stuff about your book, your writing life, your reading life, and more. Yes, you can do this through social media too (or instead of a blog). 
  • Gather a launch team. This was incredibly intimidating for me to do. There are many ways to do this and you can google "how to start a launch team" and will get hundreds of ideas. I decided to tell my newsletter subscribers and was able to gather some that way. You could open it up on Facebook too. It is suggested to have a survey or sign up form so that you get serious minded people who will follow through with sharing and reviewing your book that they got for free. Create a Facebook group for them and share memes with them to post, as well as share the blogs you are on so they can spread the word too. There may be some on your team who can host you as well.
  • Hire a company that does blog tours such as JustRead Tours or Celebrate Lit. I hired JustRead Tours a few months after my release and could see an increase in sales. I highly recommend them! They were amazing to deal with and very helpful.
  • Try and set up book signings in your local book stores or libraries. 
  • Have a Release Day Party and celebrate your special day with friends and family. You will sell lots of books, so have plenty on hand. Make it simple. Cookies and punch. Talk a little about your book and how it came to be. It is a fun way to mark an important day in your life.

Top Tips To Not Do for the Writer:
  • Don't try to do everything. You can't do it all and will burn out and not enjoy the whole experience of your book releasing into the world if you are stressed. Pick a few things to do and do them well. You don't have to join every single social media. Find what you like best and do it.
  • Don't focus just on yourself on social media. Try following the 80/20 rule. Share about others or non-book news 80% of the time and 20% about your book news. 
  • Don't follow reader groups just to advertise your book. Social media is about developing relationships and that is the goal, not just promoting your book.
  • Don't spend a boat-load of money on Ads without doing your research. Some say Facebook ads are dead and others have huge success with them. Some say Amazon ads are the way to go and others say it's a waste of your money. Do your due diligence and find out what will work for you.

Top Tips for the Reader:

You might be thinking, "What? Why do I need to market my favorite authors?" Let me tell you, authors desperately need you, the reader! All authors are expected to market their books, even authors who publish with the big publishers. If you love an author's work and want to see more books from them, do your part in spreading the word about those beloved stories. Here's how you can help:
  • Write a review and post on Amazon, Goodreads, Bookbub, and other sites. Reviews matter and help to boost the book in the "algorithms" that showcases books to others.
  • Follow authors on social media and like/comment on their posts. This helps to build their platform that publishers want to see.
  • Share author's news on social media, like new releases, book sales, etc. Word of mouth sells books.
  • Subscribe to an author's newsletter. This keeps you informed of news, but also, publishers like to see an author's growing email list.
  • Join an author's street team and be active within the group. This is huge to an author. They need people who love their books and want to engage.
  • Ask your library to carry an author's book. More eyes on a book gets an author more readers.
  • If you like a book, share about it on social media. Again, word of mouth sells books. 
  • Do a giveaway for a favorite book on social media.
  • If you are on Instagram, do a cute #bookstagram to feature a book. There are so many creative ways to share your love of books. 
  • Nominate a book for your book club. Ask the author to Skype in for discussion. 
There are so many ways authors and readers can help each other in sharing their love for books and marketing those books. All authors were readers first and as a reader, should do their part in promoting others' books besides their own. It's a lot to take in, right? But if we are being honest, sharing our love for story isn't all that hard. Be real and authentic. Just a few lines and a simple photo of your book of choice is all it takes to spread some book love.

In regards to marketing and promoting books, what other ways can you think of to get the word out about your book or your favorite reads?


***Giveaway closed and winner has been chosen.
The winner chosen by is Patti Jo, aka CatMom. She has been contacted by email.***

In the comments, answer the question above for a chance to win your choice of:


Your choice of any Alley Cat book still in print. Go HERE to see all the books!

Winner will be selected Friday, March 13, 2020

Also, stop by Thursday night at 7 pm Central for a Facebook Live talking about promoting books: tips for the author and the reader. 

See you then!!!

BONUS: If you would like to browse through my collection of marketing articles I've found on Pinterest, just go HERE.


Sherrinda Ketchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside. 

Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her preacher husband. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love.

When not writing, Sherrinda loves to read, paint in her Bible, and play with her adorable scruffy dog, Phineas.

Find her on...



Angie Dicken said...

This is such a wealth of information! A go-to post for any author! Great job, Sherrinda!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Angie, Thanks! I'm sure I'm missing a lot of info, but it's a start. :)

CatMom said...

Wonderful post, Sherrinda!
As a writer, I will echo your advice about don't try to do everything. SO true!! We can spread ourselves too thin before we know it, so it's wise to limit what we do/use.

As a reader (and fan-girl of many amazing authors!) I love spreading the word about others on my Facebook Author page, leaving Amazon reviews (and other sites), and doing whatever I can to support my fellow authors.

Thanks for sharing today, and CONGRATS again on your wonderful debut novel!!

Hugs, Patti Jo

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Patti Jo! Great advice, girl! It was such a relief when I finally got it through my head to not try to do everything. Just do what I can and trust God for the rest. And sharing books on your Author FB page is a great idea! I need to do that more.

Sherida Stewart said...

What a wealth of marketing advice! Thank you, Sherrinda!

As far as what readers can do, add your favorite authors’ books to your Goodreads “want to read” list. Also add their titles when you see requests for “most anticipated” or nominations for certain reader award categories.

For writers, be sure to show your appreciation for your launch team participants. Maybe it’s just me, but I love getting thank you notes or goodies when I help other authors. It feels good to be recognized, plus I’ll be excited to help when the next book releases.

I’m saving your marketing ideas for the future! Hope to make the Facebook live event! Blessings and prayers all goes well, my friend!

Sally Shupe said...

Sherinnda!This is a great post full of awesome tips. I love watching authors do a Facebook Live event. It gives the readers a chance to interact and get to know the author a little more personally.

Laura Conner Kestner said...

Wow, great post, Sherrinda! Marketing is such a weak area for me (but I'm trying). Really appreciate this information!

Tanya A. said...

I am so glad I read this post. That newsletter tip about launching your street team that way? Absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much!! This is great info.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Sherida, these are amazing ideas! I never thought to nominate some of my favorite reads on Goodreads lists. EXCELLENT idea! And doing something special for a launch team is such a sweet thing to do. It can get pricey, but even simple things mean so much. Thank you so much for sharing! You are awesome!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Sally, thank you so much for stopping by! I've never done a Facebook Live, but I hear it is a valuable thing to lets readers know more about the author, like you said. I hope you can stop by Thursday night!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Laura, I am soooo with you! Marketing is not easy for all. I could have done so much more, but money is an issue, of course. But we do what we can and never give up. :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Thanks so much, Tanya. I'm glad it was helpful. So much of it is common knowledge, but sometimes little things will jump out at you. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Jackie Layton said...


I just discovered #bookstagram last week.

It took me ten years before my first full length book was published. During this time I made so many friends. Good friends. We've cheered each other on and have prayed for each other. Some of these same people have offered to host me on their blogs and have been kind to promote me on social media. But the most important thing is the love and support.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Jackie, #bookstagram is one of my favorite tags to follow. All of the amazing photos of books!!!! Ahhhh...I love it.

I think one of the coolest things about the writing journey is the friendships that I've made...some with people I haven't met in person. It is such a beautiful thing and I am so thankful you have found your tribe. You are an amazing writer and I'm so excited about your new release, Bite the Dust! Can't wait for the next one!

Sharee Stover said...

Sherrinda, this is THE list for book launches. Thank you. I Love it and I agree 100%! Especially in regards to creating relationships first and foremost.

Terri said...

Sherrinda! This post is priceless. So much excellent advice in one place. I really needed the advice about not being able to do everything. Oh, and relationships are so important. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Sharee, if you agree then I’m happy! You are multi-published and have so much to offer! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Terri, I’m glad it was helpful. Like you, hearing I don’t need or should do it all was truly freeing. Thanks so much for sharing!

A Q said...
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Ruth Kyser said...

Word of mouth is a great way to promote your books. Great blog!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Ruth, yessss! I don't know where I've heard it, but I did hear word of mouth was the best advertisement and promotion there is. It makes sense, doesn't it? Thanks for stopping by!