Examples of Book Advertising

By Katie Jensen

Advertising helps readers pick your book out of the stack.
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Advertising a book brings it to the attention of readers and, hopefully, customers. While most advertising is on a paid basis, free advertising, or promotion, of the book does exist. For example, you send out a press release about your book on cranky toddlers, and a writer from a women's magazine interviews you and includes the title of the book in her article. Your book has received free advertising.

Online Booksellers

Major, and most minor publishers, offer their books through online booksellers. Once the book is on the major sites, it appears on most of the others. It costs a membership fee and a substantial discount to the online bookseller for them to sell your book. Individuals are accepted if they own the ISBN, International Standard Book Number, to their book. Vanity publishers such as Lulu, Authorhouse and iUniverse own the ISBN to books published through them, and will, for a fee, offer the book through online booksellers.

Social Media

Check the terms of service of the social media site before blatantly advertising the book. For example, Facebook has restrictions against using personal sites for commercial purposes. That doesn't mean you can't talk about your book. Many authors discuss their books, characters and plots with their readers on their Facebook site. Paid advertising is available for Facebook as well. Other social media sites to pursue include Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Book Signings

Traditionally book signings take place in bookstores, but there are other outlets. Books on home repair, decorating and gardening are sold in home improvement stores. Cookbooks and books on food are sold in gourmet grocery stores. Think outside of just the bookstore. The retail site puts up a poster or banner, advertising the author and the book for a week or two prior to the signing. Flyers may be kept at the register for interested customers.

Book Blog Tour

It may seem odd, but book tours take place on the Internet as well as in bookstores. Contact bloggers in the interest area of the book to see if they would like the author as a guest poster. The blogger advertises the book several weeks leading up to the event. He has a copy of the cover of the book on the site as well. The cover is linked to an online site where the book is sold. The author posts his guest blog and answers questions readers may have.

Magazine, TV and Radio

Leaf through the latest lifestyle or women's magazine, and you won't see many, if any, ads for books. Unless you are a household name as an author, advertising in the major media doesn't work. What does work are reviews in newspapers, or lists of books selected by the editors of those magazines related to the topic of the book.