Authors: It’s All About Book Marketing

by | Aug 6, 2012

Well, the results are in.

Last week I asked you to chime in with your favorite webinar topics from a list of 9 that seemed useful.

And you did, in a big way.

By Sunday we’d received 603 responses, and a lot of entries into the “Other” field on the survey form.

Consistent with every survey and poll I’ve done here, the overwhelming leader is the topic of book marketing.

In this case, it was the webinar I described this way:

“How to Create a Marketing Plan for Your Book”—Learn step by step how to put together a plan for book marketing success.

Over half of you named this as one of your top two subjects.

The second-place winner was another marketing topic, too. Here are the figures for all the topics, with the percentages of all voters who named each as one of their favorite topics:

  1. 52.3% – “How to Create a Marketing Plan for Your Book”–Learn step by step how to put together a plan for book marketing success
  2. 35.6% – “How to Plan Your Book Launch”–Putting together the pieces for a successful book launch that will promote you and your book and gain you lots of new fans.
  3. 26.9% – “eBook Cover Design for Beginners”–A common-sense approach to creating ebook covers that stop traffic, attract fans and sell books
  4. 24.4% – “How to Design Your Novel Interior”–A step-by-step guide for creating a professional-looking book for print or e-publishing.
  5. 19.9% – “Twitter for Authors: Platform Building on Steroids”–A step by step strategy to find your fans and build your platform–in just 15 minutes a day.
  6. 19.5% – “Author Blogging 101”–How to write content, get traffic and grow your blog
  7. 12.7% – “Google Analytics for Authors who Blog”–There’s a ton of information hiding in your analytics, and finding it will make you a better blogger
  8. 9.3% – “How to Book Your Blog”–There’s gold in your archives, learn how to turn them into a book
  9. 7.5% – “How to Print an Offset Book”–When to print offset and how to get the best book for your money

There was also a gold mine of information and suggestions in the “Other” field where people could fill in a topic of their own. Here are some of the highlights:

  • How to optimize your Amazon presence – go beyond the common, obvious stuff and including marketing strategies. Another one would be “22 things to consider including as part of your book interior” – advanced tips and tactics (not the common stuff like titles, table of contents, etc.)
  • How to determine whether your book idea is worth writing and whether there is market for it?
  • DIY Ebook creation – different formats
  • how to use social media to promote your book
  • How to choose a self publishing company
  • SIMPLEST way to start a website, EVEN if it’s just knowing what to ask when hiring a pro.
  • How best to set up a book signing area? Where’s the best place to do them for a first-term author? What do you do during the down times at the author events?
  • How to get ‘word-of-mouth’ recommendations
  • Software programs best for books with color photos.
  • How to actually get google analytics onto a wordpress website to begin with.
  • Marketing and design (interior and cover) advice for fiction writers. Most of what I’ve found online is about non-fiction.
  • Finding & connecting with readers
  • Online advertising. Is it worth it?
  • How to put graphics such as book covers and photos into your blog.
  • I know, I know, I’ve marked THREE
  • Beyond B/W – how to use color images and photographs in eBooks.. and then move to the next step of audio and video inserts
  • How to get media reviews (magazines, radio, newspapers)
  • “The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to the Landscape of Authoring Success with Ebooks”
  • Advance marketing and promotion tactics for fiction publishing
  • Which are the best platforms for author blogs, why and their costs??

Well, it looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me.

A huge Thank You! to everyone who participated, just an amazing and informative response. You authors rock!

I’ll be starting my new Self-Publishing Roadmap Webinar Series with your favorite subject—book marketing.

If you want to guarantee that you won’t miss the webinar announcement with all the details, here’s how: Make sure you’re on my email list. Go here to sign up:

The Book Designer Priority Notification List

If you’re not sure whether you’re on the list, just sign up again, and you’ll get a notification if you’re already on. Simple!

Photo by Richard Elzey

tbd advanced publishing starter kit


  1. Valerie Brooks

    I want this book when you’re finished writing it, Joel! But that’s jumping ahead. How are you going to use this survey info? Are you going to create a webinar or a book? How about a workbook with a webinar? That way we can create our marketing plan along with you and polish it in the workbook. Yes, you do have your work cut out for you! But you’ve already done a ton of this on your site. It would just be fantastic and useful to have a comprehensive marketing plan for an author–and this comes from a woman who had a day job in marketing! Bon chance.

    • Joel Friedlander


      That’s a great idea. I ran the survey to find out which subjects readers were most attracted by, and this post sums up the results. The outcome will be the first in a new series of webinars and I’m putting it together now (well, I’m on vacation on the moment) and will definitely include a PDF download for you to use during the webinar and afterwards. Thanks!

      • Valerie Brooks

        That’s a pretty conclusive result if you add #1 & 2. Shows where we need the most strategic planning. The web offers so many ideas, but no overview, with a marketing plan that includes all aspects: social media, book launches, book reviews, etc. You’ve really hit on something here because it’s tough figuring it out all by ourselves. Also, is it possible to direct the webinars for marketing non-fiction and fiction separately. I find that each has its own specific marketing needs.

  2. James Moushon


    Oskari comments really means you hit this right on the nose. The list should be just a reminder what all authors should do. It is not about the list but it is all about the action in the end. Authors that are paying attention to what is going on should know what needs to be done if they are reviewing blogs like your. I think the priority your survey has is really the important thing here.

    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks for the feedback James. Having done numerous surveys over the last couple of years I was not surprised at the result, since the top 2 vote getters are basically about book marketing, the #1 subject of interest to self-publishing authors. This exercise, by the way, was also to evaluate the written descriptions of the webinars, not just the subject matter.

  3. Oskari

    Interesting, but not suprising results.

  4. James Moushon

    Great survey, Joel. Actually you have defined a very comprehensive list of the tasks facing the indie author. They should take notes from this survey. PS. They need to follow your blog on Google Reader to not miss a post of yours. I do.

  5. Katie McAleece

    This feels like a small victory that one of the options I chose has won out over the others! It will be fun to see what you come up with for us. Thank you for keeping us inspired.

  6. Turndog Millionaire

    Some interesting results. The ones’s I marked seem to be popular. Good to know I’m not alone :)

    Also, you have some great Blog Post ideas from that list. Should keep you busy for the next few weeks

    Matthew (Turndog Millionaire)



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