Marketing Your First Novel: My Advice for Authors

Releasing a novel can feel overwhelming, especially when it comes to marketing. With so many authors and books competing for attention, how do you make sure your book gets noticed? I recently spoke with a new author who was feeling anxious about her upcoming book launching here are some of my recommendations for marketing a new novel:

Learn to use AI
Promoting a book takes a lot of work. Learn to use the latest AI tools to find shortcuts when it comes to creating content for ads, social media and for your media kit. You can also use it to convert podcast interviews into blog posts. Google does not distinguish between content written by humans or AI, as long as it is good content. Just remember AI is a tool not a replacement of human creativity. It can save you some time but the final product needs to be a collaboration and needs to have your voice and creativity. 

Focus on Your Website 
Your website is the hub of your marketing efforts, so invest time in making it compelling. Share your backstory and why you wrote this particular novel. Write your bio in an engaging first-person voice. Include photos, essays, and other content to draw readers in. Make sure your site convinces people to buy your book.

Leverage Your Existing Connections
Rather than seeking strangers, tap into your existing network on platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. Connect with former colleagues, classmates, friends and family via email. Share your news and invite them to order the book. Ask for reviews on Amazon - these make a huge difference for new authors. 

Have a Launch Team
Identify a small group who can commit to preordering, reading and reviewing your book when it releases. A personalized outreach to each person is more effective than a mass announcement. Even a launch team of 10-20 people can create significant momentum.

Frame Media Pitches Around Relevant Issues
Your book being published is not news worthy, you’ll need to connect it to newsworthy cultural dialogues. If your book explores gender identity or endangered indigenous cultures, lead with those compelling issues that journalists want to cover. Your unique perspective then gives the interview purpose.

Enjoy the Process
Posting on Instagram may not directly sell many books, but if you love photography it can be a fun, sustainable way to share your talents. Social media works best when you genuinely enjoy using it. Don't force yourself to use platforms you don’t like just because you think you should. 

Stay the Course
Don’t be in a rush to gain sales and momentum. Stay the course. I tell authors to promote the book as long s it took them to write it. It’s easy to get discouraged, but if you connect with your readers consistently you will build a community over time.

Marketing a novel can seem overwhelming, but keeping your website up-to-date, connecting personally with your network, and framing your story effectively will put you ahead of the crowd. Stay focused on the most high-impact strategies, and you'll be on your way to finding your readers.