Skip to main content

5 Simple Marketing Tips from M.J. Rose

Here are 5 simple ways to prepare yourself to develop a successful marketing campaign around the publication of your book.  by M.J. Rose

1. BECOME EDUCATED. There are some great books, newsletters and blogs out there to help you. Read and study them. First, my bible of publicity, Publicize Your Book: An Insider’s Guide to Getting Your Book the Attention It Deserves by Jacqueline Deval. Sign up for these e-newsletters: Publishers Lunch (publishersmarketplace.com) and Shelf-Awareness (shelf-awareness.com). Check out sethgodin.typepad.com, mediabistro.com/galleycat and my blog, Buzz, Balls and Hype at mjroseblog.typepad.com/buzz_balls_hype.

2. TALK TO YOUR AGENT ABOUT YOUR PLANS. Your agent should be invested in the success of your book past the contract stage. After all, if it sells well, she’s going to be getting 15 percent of every dime you make. She can be your best advocate in fighting for your book, not just with editing and the cover, but with marketing and sales, as well.

3. FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH OF YOUR ADVANCE YOU WANT TO ALLOCATE TO MARKETING YOUR BOOK AND HOW YOU SHOULD SPEND IT: ADVERTISING, PUBLICITY, A TOUR, ETC. I know some authors who have gotten $25,000 advances and put it all into marketing, others who allocate $5,000 or $1,000. But no matter how much you want to spend—don’t spend it until you read No. 4.

4. BECOME A MARKETING PARTNER WITH YOUR PUBLISHER. Ask your agent to set up a meeting with either your editor or the marketing department of the house or both so you can find out what they’re doing, what they aren’t, and what you can do to help.

5. SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO PUBLICATION START RESEARCHING OPPORTUNITIES ON AND OFFLINE THAT OTHER AUTHORS HAVE USED SUCCESSFULLY. Don’t hire anyone—no matter what they offer—who promises you they’ll sell “X” copies of your book. Every book is different. The best any marketing company or PR firm can do for your book is make potential readers aware of it. The book has to sell itself when people open it or look at it online. Also, don’t hire anyone without talking to at least a few clients who’ve been satisfied with the service.

Related Links
The Keys to Marketing Your Book

Your Story Writing Prompts

94 Your Story Writing Prompts

Due to popular demand, we've assembled all the Your Story writing prompts on WritersDigest.com in one post. Click the link to find each prompt, the winners, and more.

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

Historical fiction relies on research to help a story’s authenticity—but it can also lead to developments in the story itself. Here, author Lora Davies discusses how inspiration and research helped shape her new novel, The Widow’s Last Secret.

Poetic Forms

Saraband: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the saraband, a septet (or seven-line) form based on a forbidden dance.

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

International bestselling author Karen Hamilton discusses the “then and now” format of her new domestic thriller, The Ex-Husband.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character give or face an ultimatum.

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

Sylvia Beach was friend to many writers who wrote what we consider classics today. Here, author Kerri Maher shares six things everyone should know about her and Shakespeare and Company.

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

Author Katherine Quevedo takes an analytical look at the creative process in hopes to help other writers find writing success.

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Award-winning author Nick Petrie discusses how he listened to the story that wanted to be told in his new Peter Ash thriller novel, The Runaway.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 596

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a punishment poem.