Book Marketing 101

An introduction to book promotion

Derek Murphy


Photo by Gaman Alice on Unsplash

This is the preface to my revised book marketing guide, you can find the whole series on Medium or download the free PDF.

If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you have or will soon have a book out on the market, and are exploring ways to turn it into a best-selling powerhouse that will slaughter the competition and pay for your retirement. The indie publishing world is thrilling because of the possible returns, and I hope you and your book do well.

You’re probably searching for things like “book marketing” and “book promotion” so you can learn how to find readers and convince them to buy your book.

But almost everything you read will be wrong.

That’s because marketing in general is dead. Advertising is dead. Selling and convincing people to buy — also dead. The new law of book sales is this: if you’re talking about your book, promoting your book, sharing your book — you’re screwing it all up.

I had a 30-second Twitter conversation recently with Jonathan Gunson (an expert on “Twitter for Authors”) that went like this:

“Authors who constantly ‘shout’ their books on Twitter and Facebook, and do NOTHING ELSE will soon find themselves ignored.”

I mentioned all the author marketing books I’ve been blazing through, looking for actionable tips and resources for this book — many of which are still giving advice that is “Old School.”

Jonathan responded,

“They’re clueless. Authors need to stop presenting and start connecting.”

Old fashioned book marketers and promoters will say you need to hustle, you need to push, you need to keep getting out there day after day to tweet, like, blog, share, chat and do SEO and lots of other complicated stuff. Recently I’ve also been noticing a lot of bestselling authors put out short little ebooks about how THEY sold a ton of books but are light on practical advice.

Most of them sold a lot of books through sheer force of will and constant soap-boxing and pestering everybody they know… but reached their sales goals (and then wrote a book about book marketing!) Unfortunately, while this kind of marketing can work — sometimes…



Derek Murphy

I rent castles and chase kittens into dark alleys. PhD in in esoteric literature, creativity alchemist for authors, finish your best work @