A Crash Course in Book Marketing

I made this for an event recently, it was a handout – decided to post it here in case it’s helpful…

#1 Write a book people want to read.

#2 Connect with influencers or other authors in your genre/topic. Review their books. Share their stuff. Comment on their posts. Get noticed.

#3 Set up a website that catches emails. Run a rafflecopter or giveaway with something only your ideal readers would love; promote on Facebook. Also do guest posting/blogging. Grow your list quickly.

#4 Make a prequel or standalone short that you can give away. Give it away on your website; also publish it on Amazon. This is your “loss leader” – in the back it will offer something of more value to get people to sign up to your list.


  • Send the book out to reviewers; beacons in your field, authorities, other authors (hopefully they know who you are by now). Ask them for a review or blurb. Ask 100 people; you might get 10. Don’t be afraid to ask big, you’ll be surprised who says yes.
  • Put the blurbs all over your book and landing page/Amazon page.
  • Launch the book and promote it with guest posts and content – be everywhere the first week.
  • Build a “Dream Team” of promoters who will hep you promote your book, offer them big prizes for who can sell the most.
  • Offer package prizes for people who buy in bulk (if you have a print book as well).
  • If you have a big platform, you can do this.
  • If you don’t have a big platform yet: quote a bunch of people in your book, then let them know you’ve quoted them and ask them to help share it.


  • Make an ebook only. Price it at free; use ebook booster or other promo sites to get it everywhere. Get 10,000 downloads. Ask for reviews in the back of the book.
  • After the book has a 20+ or more reviews, price it at 99cents. Hit the #1 slot in the free and paid section of your category. You can raise the price up to $3.99, but you’ll be sacrificing sales (I like to leave it cheap until I have 100 reviews – then make a print book and ‘updated edition’).

I plan to write and publish 100 books this year

I’ll be building resources to help indie authors publish and market their books, such as a “21 Day Bestselling Author Platform” course, and genre-specific book marketing guides (I’ve already added a few of them to www.marketingforwriters.com; I’ll announce those more formally once I’ve got more genres completed.)

Let me know if I can help you finish or market your book!

About Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book editor turned book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors write and publish bestselling books. FREE GUIDE: Sell your work without selling out.