Marketing a Book on Social Media in 2019

by | Dec 4, 2018 | Social Media for Authors

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

Marketing a book successfully on social media doesn’t refer to the volume of time you spend, in fact, there’s very little correlation.

You can spend a lot of time on social without doing anything particularly worthwhile. No, that wasn’t meant to be a joke but I’ll understand if you’re a social media skeptic who’s laughing – but don’t run off just yet, this was no excuse to keep your head in the sand. (Find out which social media network is for you with our quiz!)

The point being, if you do the right things on social you can almost guarantee engagement, which helps build your brand and your network.

It’s simply good book promotion, and it’s the kind of advice you should expect from a good book marketing company.  (Contact us to get started with your book marketing campaign.)

So here’s a collection of ideas for successfully marketing a book on social media, and book promotion tips that will help you engage smarter in 2019.

Run social media ads

Social media ad platforms change all the time, but the good news is that they’re usually getting better and more user friendly. This means targeting is easier and more specific, and you have more control over how your money is spent.

Speaking of money, that’s another misconception.

You shouldn’t be spending a lot on ads, your budget should really be $50 per month at most – because if you’re using them correctly, and targeting them to your potential reader market, that’s really all you need to see a boost and drive traffic to all the right places.

Read up on some great blogs that take the guesswork out of using these features, like Social Media Examiner, and give them a shot, or if you swore them off a few years ago, give the new and improved versions another shot.

Brand your social media images

Canva makes this super simple. Not only can you work from templates to inspire your creativity, they handle the sizing and formatting for you as well.

Ensure your header photos represent your brand and also consider doing more images in general to increase engagement, promote a new release, giveaway or discount price promotion.

Once you have these designed in Canva, it’s easy to change up minor details to fit whatever you’re trying to promote.

I wrote about the importance or marketing a book with images if you need some more inspiration!

Make your blog posts easy to share

Apps like AddThis or ShareThis should appear with each post, and ClickToTweet creates clickable tweets right within your content.

You also want to write content that inspires people to share!

If you write fiction be sure you’re teasing upcoming releases and discussing topics and popular culture that interests your target reader market.

If you write nonfiction always be focused on sharing nuggets of information that people can’t help but want to share with their networks. Think of making things easy, revealing secrets, or smart takeaway advice people can use right away.

Run a participation contest

Ask fans to share or re-tweet your posts for a chance to win bonus content, a signed copy of your book, or other fun prizes.

We tried this with my How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon release and it was a huge hit! I let everyone know the first 5 to share and re-tweet the link to my Amazon book page would receive a free copy, and I got great exposure out of it.

Your network is key to growing your exposure and your reach, don’t take their power for granted!

Get your fans involved

Marketing a book on social media also means creating really fun opportunities for your fans!

Create a unique hashtag and ask fans to share book-related art on social using the hashtag.

If you have a series you can sweeten the deal by selecting a winner or two to be featured in the back of your next book!

You can also run polls to let fans weigh in on naming characters or towns, or helping you make other fun decisions for upcoming books that they will no doubt look forward to buying and reading to see if their choice was picked!

Ask good questions and encourage participation

The more your friends and followers engage with you by liking and commenting, the more exposure you get – because oftentimes their friends and networks get alerted to their activity as well.

Plan to spend 80% of your time creating connections and promoting engagement, and 20% of your time actually selling your book.

So that means you can’t just shove your books down their throats, instead ask them questions, do polls, share attractive images, get creative when it comes to communicating with fans on social.

Pre-schedule lots of social media content

Being “good” at social media book marketing doesn’t mean spending all day online.

Use a scheduling app to help you create posts in advance so you can plan out the bulk of your posts in a single sitting once a week or a couple times a month if you’re really organized!

Then you just need to post timely content as the opportunity arises.

Pin important updates on your feed

Do you have a release, upcoming event, or other super important announcement?

Consider pinning it to the top of your Facebook or Twitter profile to ensure everyone sees it and it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of constant feed refreshes.

Host a release party on Facebook

Events on Facebook are getting easier and easier to create and execute, so consider doing one for your next release.

This is a perfect opportunity to post shamelessly about your book. Invite people by letting them know you’ll be doing giveaways for fun prizes.

Milk the event for all it’s worth. Share it a lot leading up to the big day.

Post behind-the-scenes looks on Instagram

People who feel connected to brands are more loyal of course. The more human you can be, the stronger that connection.

Post images of your work space or a page of your upcoming book. Maybe it’s your writing coach (aka cat or dog) and other fun, “get to know you” photos that take you from one of their fave authors to someone they really want to know, support, and refer to friends.

Create Pinterest boards of inspiration

If your audience is predominantly women, Pinterest is still a really viable option for you.

We’ve had authors start an account for the main character and use Pinterest as an extension of the character and the world they created. This is a really fun, unique approach to using the site.

Are you a visual person? If your topic, theme or story line has a lot of potential for visual connections, take advantage of that! Find more potential readers on Pinterest.

Another Pinterest “bonus” is that content gets reshared and reshared over and over again. So unlike the other platforms, where content ages and gets lost quickly with feed refreshes, Pinterests tosses around trending ideas for a really long time, and age really doesn’t matter.

And who can’t get on board with that?

At the end of the day I want you to understand that marketing a book on social media is important, but planning ahead and being creative are much more important than showing up every day to post yet another link to your book on Amazon.

I’d be honored if you share this article with your networks! I’ve made it easy with these pre-made tweets, or please share what helped you the most.

Click to Tweet: Save time, step up your social media game, and sell more books in 2019 with these easy tips from @bookgal #bookmarketing #sellmorebooks

Click to Tweet: Find out how to focus your social media marketing, spend less time doing it, and get better results. via @bookgal. #bookmarketing #socialmedia

What social media strategies are working well for you? Please share in the comments!


  1. Stephanie Danielson

    I use a variety of things; FaceBook, Twitter, and sometimes I can afford to hire out a book promo service. That helps a lot too; but what works the best is really getting the word out there early.

    • Penny Sansevieri

      Stephanie, so good to hear from you — thank you! I agree that all of those strategies are fantastic, especially when used together. I can’t wait to hear how your 2019 goes. Please keep us posted!

  2. Kathy Steinemann

    Thanks, Penny.
    Could you share links to some scheduling apps that haven’t been blocked by Facebook and/or Twitter?

  3. siya shah

    nice explain to social media ads thank you for helffull article

    • Paul

      What is the cost of promoting book/s on social media? You do the work, I pay. Please reply with specific details

  4. Emma Davis

    I do agree with the fact that the promotion of a book on social media is a more effective and cheaper alternative to traditional marketing.
    However, a person should develop a suitable marketing strategy to make the promotion campaign more successful.
    Consultation of a skilled and experienced professional could be very useful in achieving such a goal.



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