Market Your Socks off Without Getting Cold Feet

Market Your Socks off Without Getting Cold Feet 1024 576 Reader Views

by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

I have been marketing my books for longer than I’d like to admit. When my first book was published in 2002, I thought the publisher would do all of the work – at least most of it anyway. Isn’t that what publishers do? What I discovered is that the opposite is true.

Marketing your book is the hard part that comes after writing your novel.

Just because you’re a writer doesn’t make you an instant marketer, and there are some things a newbie published author may not want to do because of fear. Here are some fears I’ve faced. Speaking in public. Criticism, (i.e. book reviews). Book signings where no one shows up. Interviews. Do I really have to talk? Sharing your thoughts on a blog, or worse, doing it live. Researching anything you know little to nothing about and following through with it, (i.e., book trailers, contests where no one signs up to win), newsletters, audiobooks… guest posts.

The good news is that I’ve learned some things about marketing that I would not have learned if I’d let fear get in the way. If I’d never taken my socks off (so to speak) and tested the waters or the winter air, I would never have discovered that through trial and error, I could do it.

And so, my author friend, can you! Here are a few things I have learned about book marketing that I’d like to pass on to you:

Step outside the box

If you’re going to do a book signing, think about places (other than bookstores) where you can sell. One of my most successful haunts is crafts fairs. Most vendors are selling crafts, not books, so your wares stand out from the crowd. If you can connect with readers, you can sell to readers, it’s as simple as that.

I have also sold books at hair salons – what else are women doing while they wait for their turn besides what they always do? Your book can be that new idea.

Consider the theme of your book. What retail establishments would be eager for you to come in and sell? I have sold at Hallmark stores. Many of my books are inspirational, a good fit for a store that sells cards and happy knickknacks’.

Try something you’ve never tried before

Idea 1. Before becoming an author, I didn’t even know what a book trailer was. I have since learned that a movie trailer walks hand-in-hand with book trailers. What would you say in 1-3 minutes about your book using pictures, video, and text? I post book trailers on my blog, on social media, and through email using Animoto and their pre-made templates.

Idea 2. One day my sister called me. She said, “I have a friend who is trying to make it into the narrating business. She would like to get one of your books on audio. You wouldn’t have to pay her. She just needs experience.”

“Sure!” I said. I’d thought about doing this before but had no idea how to start. Now I didn’t have to worry about how to start. I didn’t even have to worry about the money. A few years later, I have 11 audiobooks at from three different narrators. Learn how to do it yourself.

Idea 3. I have always wanted a website. When my first book was published, I had a reason to get one. The problem was, I didn’t know how to set one up. The idea scared me to no end. And then my husband said, “Let me help.” And he has. I currently have a website that includes a blog. Anyone coming to my site will see that I love writing about books, interviewing authors, talking about marketing and what has worked for me, what I am doing in my life, and what book I am currently working on! In the beginning, it was hard for me to share – now it’s just a lot of fun!

If you mess up, (or not) get up and try again!

I have spent money on advertising and have seen no results. I have published books that I had to go back and fix errors in. I have had to redo book covers. I have said the wrong thing during presentations. Once I said something about being a romance writer – it wasn’t very nice. Someone got up and walked out!

One of the hardest things for me is getting those book reviews! I tell you, no matter what I do, no matter how many edits I get, no matter how many five stars I get, there will be a few people who hate my book! It will be the same for you.

Market your socks off anyway! Don’t give up!

Marketing takes a lot of time, schedule it, and then stop when the time is up and get back to writing. You will be glad you did. Marketing is important but you can market yourself to death and never release another book.

Research like crazy!

Get off that couch! Get away from the computer screen! Sure, there’s a lot you can find online, but getting up and talking to people, that’s what being a writer is all about after your book is finished – heck, even before your book is finished!

You need a following, and you need a following of people before you publish your book. I can’t tell you how many times someone saw my book on social media, on my website, or at other places outside of my author realm (maybe I handed them a postcard with my book on it) – just the cover mind you, and maybe the synopsis or a line or two from the book – before they saw it on Amazon.

You are the best salesperson out there. Not Amazon. Not Barnes & Noble. Not the book sales clerk. You! Second to you is everyone else who reads your book and loves it. Get them involved. Get them talking.

Never mind the cold feet.

About the Author

Kathryn Elizabeth Jones is a lover of words and a bearer of mood swings. When she is feeling the need to inspire, she writes a Christian fiction book. If a mystery is waiting to be uncovered, she finds it. If something otherworldly is finding its way through her fingertips, she travels to it.

Kathryn has been a reader since she was a young child. Although she took classes in writing as a teen, it wasn’t something she really thought would become her career until she was married. And even then, it took a few more years for something worthy enough to publish to manifest itself.

Kathryn’s first book was published in 2002. Since then, many other books have found their way out of her head depending on the sort of day she is having. Kathryn is a journalist, a teacher, a mentor, an editor, a publisher, and a marketer.

Her greatest joy, other than writing her next book, is meeting with readers and authors who enjoy the craft of writing as much as she does.

You can learn more about Kathryn Elizabeth Jones and her work at

I Walked With Jesus

Have you ever felt like one of the least of these?
What do you know of the woman at the well? What led her to the well that day – the exact day Jesus would be there? What of the lepers, the blind man, the woman who dried Jesus’ feet with her hair? What of the Centurion who said at the cross, “Surely this was the Son of God”?
Stories of Jesus. You have heard them since you were young. But what about the parts that you’ve never heard?
The stories that need to be told? The stories you need to hear?

1 comment
  • Tine Gregory

    Dear Kathryn, thank you for some very inspiring writing! I am the mother of Bastian Gregory- author of the children’s book “Aboard the Timeline”. Sadly Bastian died before he could hear that his book was being published, but then again, as you say- he would have not been able to handle all the work thereafter. I am floundering in what more to do- have learnt how to instagram, on FB, have done a trailer, and even some TIKTOK, and book readings- but as you say a lot of it does not lead to reviews nor sales. BUT… your ideas above are inspiring, so I will continue- for me it is just so important to keep my son’s legacy alive….

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