6 Tips for Author Self Promotion You Can Start Today

Quote3Self promotion has a sense of over-confidence about it. Only people who think super highly of themselves can promote themselves unabashedly, right?

Wrong. Self promotion has two sides to it: you and people who receive it. If you build a community online (whether it’s social media, a blog, or a website) self promotion is how to reach that audience. And if that audience is following you, they want to know what’s going on with you and celebrate with you.

6 Tips for Author Self Promotion You Can Start Today

1. Comment on blogs/websites, @-reply or ‘like’ equal to twice as much as you post original content. Shouting into the void doesn’t bring more people to your cause. If you engage with others in a way that doesn’t directly benefit you, other than that personal connection, you’ll find people will do the same for you.

2. Get visual. Have any graphic design skills? (If not, there’s an app for that.) Try putting text over images to create visual interest. Have a popular or new recipe or quote? Put it on an image. This is great for Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter. See Taylor Jenkins Reid’s graphic for her novel AFTER I DO in this post. We’re a culture with short attention span. Capitalize on that.

3. Combine forces. You don’t have to do it alone! Do a Twitter chat with another author. Start a hashtag conversation. Guest post on another person’s blog. Have them guest post on yours. Bring new readership.

4. We are creatures of habit. Start a schedule. A posting or tweeting schedule is important to your sanity and creates reader expectation and anticipation.

5. Internalize a brand or message. Who do you want to be online? The informational resource people can come to? The funny, jokey person that loves to banter? The person that brings insight to causes? The person that shares their personal journey? You can be a mix, certainly, but think about the persona you are and the message you want to share. Start living that message today.

6. Collect email addresses. On your website or blog make sure there’s a place that people can subscribe. Don’t ignore this simple way to collect information for future use like an e-newsletter.

Ready to reach your audience?

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

17 thoughts on “6 Tips for Author Self Promotion You Can Start Today

  1. Great advice! It can be overwhelming thinking of ways to start building an online presence and this post breaks it down nicely.


  2. Thanks a lot for another great post. It can be sometimes overwhelming, as Ariel Berstein says, to create a platform and online presence. I found that working hand in hand with another writer helps a lot. We found a symbiotic relationship as our posts do not compete but rather compliment each other. For me the hardest is the schedule.


  3. Great advice. On that last tip, though, I find that people never want to give up their email addresses, though I try mightily on my blog with enticements and reminders. Any thoughts besides offering a free e-book (that’s so last decade)?


    1. I know. You end up getting a lot of friends and family signing up and not many others.

      Free things are always good, or do a giveaway of something that’s not yours (collection of your favorite books/B&N gift card).

      At least make sure you have the option so people can opt in.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve been getting a lot of signups for my newsletter lately, since I changed it to include a new free short story every month. It does take time to write the story, of course, but it also lets me do things other than my novels and people seem to enjoy reading them! Maybe worth a try?


    2. I agree. Also, people rarely want to comment on my blog. They will comment on my main Facebook page about my writing (I always invite people over to read my blog/FB…but rarely on my writer Facebook page or blog. Hmmmm, maybe I am a boring writer???? Ha ha… I think they are going to be bombarded with emails and it is just one more thing in the mailbox. I, too am guilty of that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Facebook has always been a problem regarding blog traffic. Even people who would comment on your blog will read it, and then comment on FB rather than your blog once you start posting the links on FB. Very annoying to have two separate dialogues going on. I have no recommendation, apart from ditching Facebook.


  4. Your suggestion #2 about getting visual is something I need to work on. I love the example of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s image above. And I’m “telling the Goddamn truth!”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Collect email addresses.

    Do you have any advice on how to do this on a website? I do use Noise Trade to collect them by giving out examples of my work, but it would be great if I could do it on my blog.


  6. Carly, great post and I picked it up on Twitter from an AP reporter in Florida who is also writing some novels and short stories. So she posted yr link here. Great ideas. Over at FB there is now a members group open to all called CLI FI CENTRAL and run by Paul Collins in the UK, for writers of a new genre of fiction dubbed CLI FI for CLI-mate FI-ction novels and movie scripts and i reposted your link here just now too. BRAVO for a great piece. PS – I coined the CLI FI term by the way, and managed to get news stories about the cli fi meme into the pages of TIME magazine, the NYTImes, the Guardian in the UK and the FT there too, and a recent AP wire story that went gllobal, and I did all this PR work from my desk in Taiwan using your 6 ideas yes. So you are right on. GO GO GO. – cheers, danny bloom, Tufts 1971 lit grad


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