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Since several people were genuinely surprised by what I shared with them about promoting a book, I thought I’d write a brief blog post. It costs money to promote a book properly – a lot of money. I self-published with WestBow Press, and was pleased with my experience, but all they did was help get my book in print. To promote a book is another thing entirely!

Did you know…

  • If you want your self-published book to be available for sale in brick-and-mortar stores, you must pay an $800 fee? Yes. This is to make your book “returnable” with Ingram – the large wholesaler through whom books are distributed worldwide. A store will not even consider your book unless it is returnable through Ingram. It does not guarantee they will sell your book, but opens the possibility.
  • This also applies to having a book-signing event at a store. A store will not host your book-signing unless they sell your book – which means it must be returnable with Ingram.
  • You have probably seen Kirkus Reviews about books. A review from them can give your book credibility and visibility. They also have a Indie section. Of course, this costs money. It is a $500 fee to get Kirkus Indie to review your book, and this does not guarantee a positive review.
  • Perhaps you know of booklookbloggers.com? This large site provides books for free to bloggers who will review them. This can really help your book gain an audience. Of course, there is a fee for your book to be available. It is $1,500.

Even basic ways of promoting your book through different types of ads will cost in the $500-700 range, and that is only a simple ad package. In fact, more extensive ad and book promotion packages can be an easy $10,000.

Some of us spent all or most of our available funds publishing the book. Little is left for promotion. We are reliant on word-of-mouth.

Authors – especially self-published or small press authors – need your help. If you read such a book and truly appreciate it, the author needs you.

  • Review their book – on your blog, on amazon, on goodreads. Write your review once, and copy and paste it to the other locations.
  • Amazon reviews are so important. Amazon is the key place where people go to read book reviews and buy books. But a book can remain hidden on amazon, unable to be found unless someone is specifically looking for it. While the amazon algorithms are a bit mysterious, the more reviews the better! As a book gains reviews, it will gain visibility, such as the “customers who bought this, also bought this” list.
  • Social media can help an author. Share a few words about the book on your facebook or twitter. If you see an author posting about their own book, click like. The simple act of clicking like helps more people see the post. 

There is a fine line between getting the word out about your book -and- drifting into shameless self-promotion or being perceived as egotistic.

Especially with my book’s topic!

And what is success for a Christian book? Not necessarily the number sold, but lives impacted. But without some promotion, a book will not get into the hands of anyone. That is a shame for any book. There is an audience for most books, but that audience must hear about the book somehow.

I continue to pray that my book will find its way into the right hands. Your prayers would also be appreciated.

Many thanks to those who have already read my book and helped promote it in some way.