Episode 38 – The Three Cardinal Rules of Book Promotions

posted in: Podcast | 6

In this episode Chris explains the three cardinal rules of book promotions that will help insure the success of your book marketing efforts.

Show Notes & Links:

-The Three Cardinal Rules of Book Promotions (ignore them at your own peril):

  1. When choosing a book promotion always consider value before cost.
  2. If you copy what another author does, you may not get the same results.
  3. You can get success with a free book promotion but sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

-Before you set out to copy another author’s promotion always compare these two sets of data markers:

  1.  Basic data markers of comparison:
    1. Audience potential reach
    2. Social media engagement rates
    3. Other author’s platform level
  2. Data markers of the promotion you want to copy:
    1. Genre
    2. Goal of the promotion
    3. Budget


Examples of good data driven marketing solution books:

-Chris’ closed Facebook group, SMART Marketing for Authors

-Chris’ premium online course ( with an exciting update), Mastering Online Book Marketing for Authors

-Resource page for Book Promotion Value Index and Data Markers for Copycat Marketing test.

-Podcast episode 30: Author Platform Levels

-Podcast episode 37: Roni Loren on Building Loyal Fan Groups

Be sure and answer the question of the week in the comments: What book promotions have worked for you?

  • Chris Syme

    I follow Michael Hyatt, have read his books, and have even taken his course on having your best year ever. I agree he is worth following!

  • S.E. Burr

    Thanks so much for the advice. Those are great ideas!

  • Chris Syme

    A couple suggestions: Put some planning into setting the Facebook page up. I recommend using the Shop template so you can list your books for sale. Also, I recommend running a few giveaways over the first month to get people engaged. Offer a signed book to a random commenter who answers a question–something like: if you could recommend one book to someone who wanted to start reading (insert genre), what would it be? Run the question for a day or two and then pick a random answer using a random number generator. Make a list of prizes you’re going to give away over the month and send it out to your email list once you get the page fully set up. Also, encourage people from your profile to come over there. After your page is going, start sharing some book-related posts from your profile to help with content (you can share from your profile to your page). Be patient with your engagement rate. If you provide good content and connect with your fans, it will grow eventually. Make sure you get an email sign up on your Facebook page–Mail Chimp has an app you can integrate on your Facebook page so you can capture emails there. Good luck.

  • S.E. Burr

    Thanks for your advice and encouragement, Chris. I have just been using my profile page, and have been thinking I should set an author page up, so I’ll get on that now.

  • Chris Syme

    I feel your pain about book marketing. It’s a very similar story to a lot of indies that are tired of all the options out there. First let me tell you that I believe you are on the right track with a website and an email account. Just make sure you keep those email subscribers engaged so they don’t forget who you are. I recommend an email at least once a month with either a giveaway or a question they can respond to. It’s important to make email more than just a blast, but have elements readers can connect with. You may want to think of setting up a Facebook author page (not your personal profile) if you haven’t got one. That way, you can set up a Shop template and put your books for sale as well. I think it’s extremely important for authors to stick to just a few basics: website, email, and Facebook page–and then schedule promotions for backlist books throughout the year and plan good launches. I also love your idea of doing a local launch with your childrens book. I am encouraging authors in some genres to do more local events and childrens is definitely one. Above all, don’t give in to FOMO. You are on the right track. Don’t complicate it with a lot of “promotions” and just keep writing and communicating with your current readers. If your books are good, you will make it. Hang in there!

  • S.E. Burr

    I feel really lost and overwhelmed with book promotions and I have for a long time now. I feel like if I had just picked one strategy maybe I’d have more success but everything I read or listen to seems to say something different, and I just run around in circles.
    I have 4 published books. Three are in a paranormal young adult series and one is a children’s book.
    What I spend promotional money on:
    Web hosting for my website.
    A Mailchimp account.
    Author Platform Rocket–It’s a service that runs Facebook ads for you to help you grow your mailing list. I’ve gotten about 600 subscribers through them at around $.80 to $1 each. In the beginning I got both more sign ups and the people who signed up seemed more engaged. I’m probably about to stop using them.

    In the past I’ve tried Freebooksy, a blog tour, and experimented a little with Amazon Marketing.

    The next thing I’m going to spend promotional money on is throwing a launch party for a children’s book coming out next month. I’m going to have refreshments, games, and do readings and signings of this book and my previous children’s book, just basically have a fun time. My biggest monetary success with my writing so far was the KickStarter campaign I did for my previous children’s book, so for the moment I’m going to focus on the local market and on people I know, since I seem to suck so bad at selling books to people I don’t know.