Question: What is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, concerns of any writer when it comes to promotion or marketing?

by Lynnette Phillips

Answer: Time taken from their creativity; their writing. It is so difficult to switch from something you love doing to what is perceived as a chore.

The reality in this publishing environment is that if the author doesn’t market your book, no one else will. If you are thinking to yourself, ‘But I have a publisher, she’ll take care of it for me’. Think again. As author Judith Briles says, “Authors who think a publisher is going to market their books are in la‑la‑land”.

So another rule is formed. If you’re going to be a serious writer, if you’re going to become an author part of the job is promotion and marketing. Thus the 80/20 rule. The minimum amount of time required to become a successful author (read as ‘books sold’) is 20%. I’m no math whiz but this seems to work out to for every 5 hours spent writing,  1 hour needs to be spent marketing or promoting.

The key here is to keep your book, your name and yourself visible, to reach and connect with potential readers, to increase sales.

Before you get discouraged, remember, that doesn’t mean that you are the one who has to do the actual work of marketing and promoting your work. It doesn’t even have to be done daily or in one big block of time. I have a few suggestions for saving some time on promotion so you can spend as much time as possible on your writing.

  1. Pre‑schedule your social networking activities using or This way you’re not spending hours every day online or letting social media eat up your time.
  2. Link your blog posts directly to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more using so that they are shared automatically when they publish keeping you visible. Sharing your blog posts is important to connecting but again you may need to spend time writing them but why spend more time to post them to the various networks.
  3. Remember those blog posts mentioned in #2? Well, it may be your blog but you’re not the only one that can write. Invite others to be guest bloggers.
  4. Mix-up your blog content. Use video and audio. (You’ll shorten the time spent on posting content to share.)
    Book trailers, author readings of brief excerpts or live interviews  can increase traffic on your site and be posted to You Tube (another source you can be found on). Why not have a friend ask & film you answering  a couple questions about writing your book while you are having coffee at Starbucks. Have a little fun so you aren’t tempted to quit.
  5. Join a Tweet Team to expand your social network reach and visibility without you taking out the time to attract more followers. Maybe you’ll also pick up a new follower or reader (you might even get more than one). Check out the World Lit Cafe.
    * Remember to include the hashtag #RT in your promotional posts. Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter anymore either. Target your audience.
  6. Use for cheap help distributing flyers and canvassing conferences with your business card or bookmarks for offline promotion. Let someone else spend time doing legwork.
  7. Think about asking a Virtual Assistant to handle some of the marketing duties that you can delegate like Internet searches for bloggers and social networking duties.
  8. Consider hiring a book marketing coach to consult with as to how you should go about carrying out a planned technique instead of wasting time and energy checking it out for yourself.
  9. Follow your marketing plan but buy an alarm clock and stick to your marketing schedule. Don’t forget there’s writing time and promotional time.
  10. Use cross-promotion whenever you can. Work with another author, share your appearances, blog posts & social networks. Lean on each other; use the buddy system keep each other from becoming discouraged and giving up because the biggest waste of time is not marketing or promoting at all. 
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Feel free to reprint this post with my permission as long as you include the brief bio below.

When Lynnette Phillips thinks marketing the two focuses uppermost in her mind are 1) be cost effective, 2) be time smart but not necessarily in that order. She writes both a book marketing blog and a book blog, provides varied author services and is a freelance writer. She has produced several marketing guides which you can find on Smashwords and Amazon. Please visit her at or

This entry was posted in Book Marketing, Self-Promotion, Social Media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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