Want to sell more books?
Let's get right down to business. You wrote a book now what? The question I receive more than others: How do I sell more books? Pretty straight forward. Listen to the experts.
Bedside Reading talking to experts on how to sell your book.
WEEK 1 - YOUR WEBSITE & EMAIL MARKETING
Day 1 | Complete a Website Audit
Your website is one of the most important marketing pieces you have. Whether you have a dedicated book site or just a page on your business site, it’s important to take a fresh look now and then to make sure everything is up to date.
If by some chance you don’t have a website for your book, and you’d like to learn how to create one quickly without hiring an expensive designer, you can check out this step by-step course from Successful Author Workshops:
How to Build An Author Website FAST!
(Even if you hate technology)
Day 2 | Create an “As Seen In” Logo Bar On Your Homepage
Part of your Bedside Reading package includes your book image in at least 5 of the different major magazines. (If you haven’t received them, please contact Jane Ubell Meyer).
You can always go to the media pages on our website. Find the month where your book is featured and simply grab the additional media that is posted. We do try and email these media links directly to you as they come in, however, it’s a great place to visit.
Example: https://www.bedsidereading.com/media-2022.html Media 2022
This is wonderful credibility for your books. Add the logos or front covers of your month’s issue to your website with the words “As Seen In” to take advantage of the name recognition and get people talking. Remember, links and hashtags!
Day 3 | Write an Article or Blog Post About Your Featured Hotel
Take advantage of the months you’re in the Bedside Reading program by talking about it! Write a quick blog post about the hotel(s) your book is featured in and use our done for-you images to spice up the post.
Here are some topic ideas—try one or write them all.
Talk about your favorite regional cuisine or restaurants in that city. Connect your topic to something in the hotel city. For example, if you’re featured at Shutters on the Beach, talk about your favorite beach memory or your favorite summer beach reads. Imagine your main character is taking a trip to that hotel—what might happen on that excursion?
• Don’t forget to push your blog posts out on social media and tag the hotel, as well as the city. You never know who will see it and share the post with their friends and followers.
You can check these links:
Day 4 | Create a Freebie or Lead Magnet to Capture Email Addresses
If you’re not capturing email addresses and building a mailing list, now is the time to start! You can use MailChimp.com as a free starting point. You’ll need to copy/paste a special piece of code to your website or Facebook page to start collecting emails.
You can also try creating a free giveaway and use Mailchimp or a form I use: www.wufoo.com (a form creator) and place that link on Facebook or your site.
Then write a newsletter to communicate regularly with your email list to keep them up to date on what’s happening in your life or generate buzz about your next book.
Giving away a freebie is a good way to entice people to sign up for your newsletter. Fiction authors can include a free chapter, a pre-quel, or even a whole book. Nonfiction authors can give away tip and strategies in PDF form.
If you already have a lead-magnet freebie, create another one!
Offers can get stale, even free ones. And it’s good to change things up now and then.
Day 5 | Write an E-blast To Your Email List About Your Book Being In Your Featured Hotel
Have you told your followers about the awesome news? Let them know where your book will be appearing and be sure to include one of the photos we’ve created for you.
Just write a quick email, add your photo, and link to where they can buy the book. Then send it! Today’s task should take less than 20 minutes.
Example: March is “Awards Season” in Hollywood, we’re proud to be where it’s happening! #waldorfastoriabeverlyhills
Warning: The words “Oscar®”, “Emmy®” and other awards show are trademarked. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO USE THESE TERMS ANYWHERE! Do not violate anyone else’s trademark. The lawyers in Hollywood have a google alert and will send you a “cease and desist” letter. - Not fun.
You can check these links:
Day 6 | Survey Your Readers
Have you ever asked your mailing list to weigh in on something important like helping you choose your next title or cover design? When people engage with authors and feel part of the process, they are more likely to buy your books and talk about them with others. It doesn’t matter whether you actually take their advice or not. It’s just important that they know you’re thinking about them and you respect their opinions.
Go to a survey platform like www.surveymonkey.com and set up a fun survey. It can be serious, like
“Which title do you like best” or
“What’s your biggest challenge with __________?”
Or it can be just for fun like “Oreos or Chips Ahoy?”
How do you survey your audience?
How to create a reader survey & know your readers.
Be sure to respond to people when they participate. A personal email from an author can make someone’s day!
Day 7 | Update Your Bio/About Page
When was the last time you looked at the “About” page on your website? It’s probably time to update your bio with new accomplishments, book releases, speaking engagements, etc. While you’re at it, add some fresh photos of you and your book.
Even though you may not look at your About Page very often, it’s the second most visited page on your website after the home page. Why? Because people want to learn more about you. You’re interesting!
One often overlooked item on an About Page (or any bio) is a call to action. If you don’t tell people what to do next, they will just leave your site and not come back. So be sure to give them something to do when they finish reading. That could be a “Buy the Book” button or a link to one of your blog posts. Or maybe an invitation to call you for a consultation.
How to Write an About Me Page
How do I create a call to action button?
Example: Bedside Reading About Page
WEEK 2 - SOCIAL MEDIA
Day 8 | Twitter
We’ve given you some images pre-formatted for Twitter. Use these to tweet about your book and your hotel.
Be sure to use relevant hashtags including #mmbedside #books and your hotel’s favorite hashtags. You’re more likely to get retweets from them, if they know you’re out there talking them up.
Here are a few tweets. Use your imagination.
I wonder who’s sleeping with my book tonight?
My book is in the room where it happens
Guess who is in (Name of city). If they’re going to ________(name of hotel)during _____(month), they’ll be getting my #book
Hey ________(celebrity name), staying at ____(hotel) this month? Check out the books by your bed!
Day 9 | Facebook
Here’s another chance to show off the fact that your book is appearing in major print magazines. Create a photo for each magazine on a photo-editing site like www.canva.com and highlight your book in the photo. Link the photo to your website or wherever you sell the book. Presto! 10 days of social media content.
How do you promote a book on social media?
Ways to use social media to market your book.
Here’s an example:
(Book Cover + Magazine Cover + Use your own link to Amazon or wherever you want people to link to)
www.canva.com has pre-formatted social media templates.
Day 10 | Header Images
When was the last time you changed your social media header or cover images on your profiles? Take a little time to swap the image for one that highlights your book. If you already have one with your book in it, create a fresh one.
Here’s an example:
My Facebook page has a “gallery” of photos of books.
You can do additional research about:
Day 11 | Instagram
If you haven’t already, do some research on the most popular hashtags that are relevant to your book.
Post the Instagram image we created for you using the hashtags you found. You can use up to 30 of them in one post.
Don’t forget to use our Bedside Reading hashtags so we can share your posts as well. #mmbedside @bedsidereading
Day 12 | Hotel Social Media
When you tag your hotel(s) in any social media posts, they will see it and may decide to share it with their following. This is a great way to put your book in front of new readers.
Today, find and follow the hotel you’re in on all the major social platforms. Then create a new post with the images we gave you and tag the hotel. If they engage with the post, be sure to say thank you!
You can do this more than once, by the way. You’re in the hotel for a whole month. So, create a new post at least once a week.
It’s also nice to share their posts with your followers. They will appreciate the gesture and often return the favor.
Example: Bedside Reading www.instagram.com/bedsidereading/
Day 13 | Pinterest
Here’s another social media platform that’s image-friendly and has loads of readers interested in finding new books.
Use Canva to create your Pinterest image, but don’t stop there. If your book is nonfiction, create some tip sheets like “5 Ways to Grow More Vegetables This Summer” (for a gardening book).
Pins for fiction books can include character sketches, plot hooks, or just interesting quotes or scenery. Be sure you upload the pin yourself and include a link to your website or wherever your book is sold. Images circulate on Pinterest for months, and people still click through to find the original site.
Day 14 | Explore a New Social Platform
There are thousands of social media platforms out there, not just the big ones. Niche sites can be a goldmine of readers. If you’re a knitter, for example, you probably spend a lot of time on Ravelry.com. And if you’ve written a book about knitting, crochet, wool, sheep, or the fiber arts, you better believe you should be spending time on that site! If you’ve written a leadership book for the financial sector, where are your readers hanging out online?
There are also lots of wonderful literary social platforms you might want to investigate including:
Today, spend some time digging into the lesser-known niche sites where your readers may be gathering.
WEEK 3 - ONLINE MARKETING
Day 15 | Update Your Amazon Author Central
You should already have an Amazon Author Central account linked to your books for sale on Amazon. If you don’t, go to https://author.amazon.com and create an account. Once there, you should link your books to your name and build your profile.
Update the Events section of your profile with an announcement that your book will be appearing on bedside tables at the __________ hotel during the month of _____ .
Add one or more social media photos.
Make sure your blog and social media feeds are linked to Author Central as well, so your updates will show up there.
For more information about Amazon Author Central , see:
Tips To Spice Up Your Amazon Author Profile
Complete Guide to Making A Great Author Page With Amazon Author Central
Day 16 | Guest Blogging
Many high profile blogs (and even the not-so-high profile ones) need a continuous stream of content to post. That’s why they often love having guests like you write articles for them. They benefit by getting free content that they didn’t have to write. YOU benefit by gaining exposure for yourself and your book in the “About the Author” bio and links attached to the article.
Today research relevant blogs where your target reader might already be hanging out. All you have to do to find these blogs is get a little creative on Google.
For Fiction: Think about the setting and subject matter in your book. Is the story set in New York City or Montana? Maybe there are some prominent travel blogs that might be interested in an article. Did you write a romance novel that takes place on a country estate? Consider looking up some equestrian blogs and talk about the top 10 books for horse lovers.
For Nonfiction: What’s your area of expertise? If you write about business and marketing, google “business blogs” or “top blogs for entrepreneurs”. Do you write about fitness? Try googling “best health blogs”. If you’ve been in the industry a long time, you probably already have connections to associations or industry blogs that might love to have you write a newsletter article for them.
Not every blog accepts guest posts. So, you can shortcut the process by adding some special phrases to your Google search. For example…
“top blogs for entrepreneurs” + “guest post”
“equestrian blog” + “write for us”
Today, just make a list of 5 blogs you’d like to reach out to and their contact information. Sometimes, you’ll just contact the owner of the blog by email. Other times, they will have a special page telling you exactly how to become a guest on their site. This is usually in the footer as “write for us” or something similar. Larger commercial blogs may even have that page in the header.
For more information, see Everything You Need to Know about Guest Blogging
Day 17 | Create a Pitch & Reach Out to Blogs
Now that you have a list of contacts for relevant blogs, it’s time to come up with a great article idea for them. Often the editor or blog owner will want to have some input into the article, or they’ll want something totally different. So, don’t write the article until you get a request for it. You’re just pitching for now.
The article should be completely relevant to their readers and your book topic. If there’s a way that blog owner can make some money off affiliate links inside the article, even better! For example, if you’re writing about the Top 10 Books For Horse Lovers, mention in your email that they can feel free to link out to those books using their Amazon affiliate links. This shows that you’re thinking of them and you want them to be happy.
Here are some ideas for article topics:
Top 10 ________ for __________.
How to ________ without ___________.
When to ___________ and why you should never __________. 7 Ways to _____________ without ___________.
Want more ideas? Look up relevant magazines online and use their cover story titles as a starting point.
Reach out to your list of 5 blogs by email.
Keep it short and sweet, like this:
I recently came across your article _____________, and it really resonated with me. You’re doing a great job serving the ____________ community.
I would love to write a guest post for your readers called _____________. You would benefit by having free, relevant content to post and you could link out using any appropriate affiliate links. All I request in return is a bio with links to my website.
I am a professional writer, and you can see my work here [INSERT LINK]. Would this be of interest to you and your audience?
Day 18 | Create a Pitch & Reach Out to Podcasters
Okay, now it’s time to reach out to the podcasters exactly the same way you did for bloggers. Remember, these people are working for a living. Your pitch should be short and to the point. Offer them something of value to their listeners like tips, strategies, or just entertaining stories.
It’s a good idea to listen to an episode or two to make sure you understand their broadcast style. Some podcasts are irreverent and funny, others are serious. You can tailor your pitch to meet the needs of any style, while still talking about the same topics.
For more information, see:
How do you pitch to podcasters?
How do I reach out to a podcast?
Example: Bedside Reading Podcast
Day 19 | Do Yourself a Favor
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all this marketing, do yourself a favor and consider getting some help.
We’ve given you a digital marketing strategy for your book, but it’s not always easy to keep up with everything. It’s much cheaper than you think to hire help. You can use online tools like Upwork.com to find virtual assistants for as little as $3 an hour.
You can also take advantage of internship programs. College students need intern credit hours, and you need help. Internships.com matches you with people who will take care of the work for you.
Day 20 | Find Cross Promotion Partners Online
Where do your target readers hang out online? What do they buy? What websites do they visit besides social media sites? When people think of “online marketing”, they typically think social media. But there are billions of other websites out there! And some of them might want to display your book to their readers.
Let’s say you’ve written a romance that features horses. Maybe an equestrian supply store would be interested in featuring your book. If you’ve written a leadership/business book, perhaps there’s an industry association that might like to help you out. Think outside the box and you’ll be amazed at the world of opportunity that can open up for you.
Remember that promotion is a two-way street! Don’t just go begging for promotion with your hat in hand. Offer something of value to the other company first. Write a blog post about them. Or just put a link to their site on your homepage. Then send them an email letting them know what you did and why (because you admire their company, of course). When you offer before you ask, you’re much more likely to get them interested in showcasing your book in return.
For more information about:
Here is the link for further research: Effective Cross-Promotion Ideas (Plus Benefits)
WEEK 4 - OFFLINE MARKETING
Day 21 | Create Your Own Giveaway With Local Businesses
People love to win stuff! You can model the Bedside Reading giveaway and partner with local businesses for the prizes.
First, figure out the demographic you want to reach. Who are your readers? And where would you find them in your local community? If you write romance novels, maybe you could partner with a beauty salon, wine & cheese shop, clothing boutique, and a florist. Collect three or four items to giveaway in a gift bag. Then have each business promote it by encouraging customers to sign up to win.
Take a well-staged photograph of each item like the Bedside Reading photo with your book in it, and use that image to create flyers to post in relevant places around town.
Here’s an example:
Day 22 | Write a Press Release
Contact your local TV, radio, and newspaper outlets with a press release showcasing your book or your upcoming event (book signing).
Need a press release? There are plenty of templates online.
Example of how to format one:
For more information, see:
What is press release with example?
How do you write a press release?
Day 23 | Contact Your Local Libraries
Libraries love local authors. Go visit your favorite library and talk to the acquisitions librarian about whether they’d be interested in carrying your book. They may also be interested in having you do a reading for their patrons, especially if you’re a children’s author.
Does your book coincide with a major holiday or theme? Perhaps they could use it in their holiday displays.
Here is the link for more information: Tips for Authors for Connecting With Their Local Libraries
Day 24 | Make Friends With Local Business Owners
Friends like to help friends. So, start making friends with the business owners in your area. Do you have a favorite boutique or gift shop you love? Promote them! Talk them up on social media. Bring your friends in. Offer to share their latest promotion with your mailing list. When you help others, they want to help you.
Once the local business community knows how much you support them, they will naturally want to help you in return. Let them know you’re an author. Show them your book. They may post flyers about it, or invite you to do a book signing. If their customers are the right match, they may offer to sell your book right in the store.
For more information, see: Promote Your Book with Local Collaborations
Day 25 | Seek Out Speaking Engagements
Think about your book’s topic, your readers, and where you might be able to set up speaking engagements to reach them. If you’ve got a book about online dating, for example, maybe you could speak at colleges or even divorce support groups. If you’ve written a fiction book that takes place in the wilderness, perhaps you could speak to camping enthusiasts.
Check out Meetup.com to easily locate groups that might be interested in having you speak to them. Make your presentation entertaining and fun. And don’t forget to bring books to sell!
Day 26 | Partner With a Charitable Organization
Think about how your book could tie in with a charity or nonprofit. It could be anything from a pet shelter to a hospital to a food bank or literacy campaign. Go visit their website and learn about their mission, then contact them about donating some books they can use to give away.
In return, request that they use the book description and author bio to promote the giveaway to their mailing list. They may even want to put your book into their physical locations. Some nonprofits even buy books in bulk to give away as premiums to donors.
If the organization is local and a cause you care about, consider volunteering some of your time to help them out. When you give of yourself first, they will naturally want to help you in return.
For more information, see: How to partner with a nonprofit
Day 27 | Create or Update Your Media Kit
When the mainstream media comes calling, will you be ready? Radio, TV, and print magazines and newspapers need content. They need interesting things to talk about all the time. But they only pay attention to people who understand the game. One piece of that is having a professional looking media kit ready for them.
A media kit is just a page on your website with downloadable information that journalists and reporters might need. It can contain a lot of different items, but at a minimum it should include:
• High-resolution photos of yourself and your book
• Long, medium, and short bios
• Suggested interview questions for reporters
• Tip sheets that reporters can copy/paste as filler material
• Links to past interviews and media appearances
• Links to where your book is sold
The whole point is to make a busy journalist’s day easier. They may not have time to email you back and forth to get photos and a bio. So, they will look for a media kit where the work is already done for them.
Having a professional media kit also saves you a lot of time answering queries from reporters and PR agents. You can just send them the link to your kit where they can download what they need.
If you don’t have a media kit already, make one today. If you already have one, it’s probably been a while since you updated it. So, go back and see what you might want to add or delete.
For more information, see: Free Media Kit Maker - Create Media Kits Online - Canva
Day 28 | Get Involved!
Being known in your local community is an important marketing tool for your book. And one of the best ways to get known as an author is to roll up your sleeves and volunteer for a cause you (and your potential readers) love.
If you’re a fiction author, volunteer at your local library or sponsor an event. If you write children’s books, offer to come in and read to local school children. Teachers love it when an author will spend time reading their book to the kids. If you’re a business or leadership author, how about doing some work with your local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club?
Become a fixture in your local area and people will talk. Make sure you casually mention that you’re an author. It’s as easy as asking someone next to you what they do for a living. Then when they ask you the same question, you have an opening to talk about your book. Just have natural conversations with people, and your message will get out.
Day 29 | Create a Book Event
Book signings aren’t just for bookstores anymore. You can create an event for your book just about anywhere—libraries, gift shops, museums, zoos, even your favorite bar. Launching your book is a great reason to throw a party, but you can hold an event any time you like.
Here are some ideas for you:
• Host a talk or roundtable discussion.
• Have a reading from your book.
• Teach something related to your book. Host a workshop.
• Encourage people to come “meet the author” and get their books signed.
• Partner with a nonprofit and create a volunteer event for a relevant cause.
Creating an event doesn’t have to be stressful, start small if you like. But get out from behind your computer and meet some people.
Stuck for ideas? For more information, see: How to set up a successful book signing
Day 30 | Start Over!
Just because the month is over doesn’t mean you should stop marketing your book. If you lose momentum, so will your sales. The good news is you can always generate more momentum any time you want.
There are thousands of different ways to market a book; we’ve only given you 30. But if you get stuck for ideas, read back through this little book and try implementing some or all of the suggestions again.
We wish you the best of luck with your book and your career.
Jane & Julie Anne
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Jane Ubell-Meyer founded Bedside Reading in 2017. Prior to that she was a TV and Film producer. She has spend the last five years promoting, marketing and talking to authors and others who are experts in the field.