What Every Author Must Do to Sell Books

The dream of many authors (and would be authors) is to write a book that will be featured on Oprah’s book club. Dream on because for 99.9% of authors this will forever remain a dream.

There are a few reasons for this with the top one being most authors never do anything to gain visibility for their books. Or, they send a copy to one or two media outlets and wait and wait and wait.

The reality is you, the author, must be incredibly proactive in your book marketing. You need to develop a long-term strategy on how you will reach readers.

According to John Kremer, world renowned book marketing expert and author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, most authors will never sell more than $100 worth of books in the life time of the book.

The primary reason for this is they do no marketing… period. They live with the illusion they will get discovered. The fact is, to get discovered, you must be visible.

You Are the Main Marketer

First, you MUST accept responsibility for 100% of the marketing and promotions of your book. Even when a publisher indicates they will do promotions on your book, what this usually means is one or two media releases and maybe, just maybe, an email out to their subscriber list.

This is not going to get you much traction at all. You absolutely must be consistent and proactive in getting the word out about your book.

Marketing Plan

Create a marketing and promotions plan. Your plan needs to include a time line, social media marketing, interviews, media releases, book signings, virtual book tour, in person book tour and speaking opportunities.

My memoir is in the first round of editing. The goal is to have a formal book launch no later than 1st Quarter 2018. This gives me several months to get interviews lined up, set up my virtual book tour, prepare my subscribers for the release of the book, and lay the foundation for social media. My goal is to leave no stone unturned for promotions. This means I will be doing a lot of foundational work between now and the launch of my book.

Goodreads Giveaway

A great way to build anticipation for the release of your book is with a Goodreads Giveaway. Any author, anywhere in the world, can join the Goodreads Author Program for free. It’s simple to set up and builds excitement with your readers. To learn more go to https://www.goodreads.com/author/program

Amazon Success

It’s essential to set up your Amazon page with a great book description, carefully selected categories and a rock solid Author Page. Not sure how to do this? Grab my FREE report – Hit #1 on Amazon at www.oneonamazon.com

The bottom line is this; you absolutely must take control of the success of your book. The more involved you are in the marketing, even if you have a support team in place to do the detail work, the more likely you will sell lots of books.

To learn more about marketing your book, check out my FREE webinar – The Insider Secrets to Get Your Book to #1! Click here to register for the time that is best for you.



  1. “…You MUST accept responsibility for 100% of the marketing and promotions of your book.” This is an informative post for aspiring authors and even those who have already published a book but did not see the results they anticipated.

    Kathleen, your statement above says it all. Love that point about creating anticipation as well so that there’s a ready audience waiting for the release.

    Thank you,

  2. Having written 5 different Kindle books on topics that are relevant to my niche, I know that I need to have a marketing plan for them, Kathleen. Goodreads does support authors with various marketing tools as well as provides credibility to the author. Yet so many authors don’t claim their profile either on Goodreads or even Amazon. I wonder why?

    • Kathleen Gage says:

      Great question Vatsala. I think there are a few reasons. 1) Not knowing what to do. 2) Fear of doing it wrong. 3) Getting caught up in time wasters.

  3. Kathleen, Although this is directed to authors and their books, I love how you’ve stressed we have to be 100% responsible for the marketing and promotion….” Although I’m not an author…yet… this also applies to marketing and promotions for our business! We have to stay on top of our “game”. We have to keep in mind that our time frame, priorities and results are not necessarily the time frame, priority, and especially the results of someone we’ve hired. I especially like your ‘marketing plan’ and your time frame example for your upcoming book launch. Good luck with it!!

    • Kathleen Gage says:

      I completely agree… it’s about being responsible for our actions.