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  • Russ Scalzo

Book Marketing: What Works?

Updated: Aug 12

Many companies will help you publish your book, but when it comes to marketing, few understand what works in this new era of book publishing and promotion. So what works and what doesn't? 

TV & Radio:

Expensive and unrealistic. Sure, who wouldn't want that type of exposure? If you get invited to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show or Late Night with Jimmy Fallon based on book sales and social media followers, that would be wonderful, but it is extremely unlikely. It is certainly not a starting point unless you are already a well-known personality.

Press Release:

Having a professional press release for your book is useful, but rarely produces sales. It's a nice add on, but not vital in this new marketplace.

Hard Cover Books:

Paying a company to print a hardcover version of your book is a luxury at best. I think they are cool too, but who is going to pay $28 for a book by an unknown author? Paperbacks and eBooks are the way to go. The competition is fierce, so the cheaper, the better.

Twitter Promotions:

Twitter is not my favorite. I use it to keep in touch with folks, but don't rely on it when comes to producing book sales. If you are active on Twitter, great! Use it to keep in touch with your followers, but don't waste your money on sites claiming to promote your book to their two million followers.  

Facebook:

You should have a Facebook author page. Facebook is a useful tool for keeping in touch with your readers. Make your content interesting. What are you writing about? When is the next book coming out? Share your thoughts on writing. As far as book sales go, it is also a poor performer. 

The Good Stuff:

Let's start with the foundation.Every author should have a website. Social media is important, but it is in constant flux. You could wake up tomorrow and find Mark Zuckerberg has changed the rules, and what you had on your page is no longer allowed. Thus, you need to have your own website. There you can share freebies, put up videos, share chapters. The possibilities are endless.

Online Ads:

Like I said before, there are no magic wands or super-secret methods to becoming a bestseller, but there are accurate, reliable methods to sell books and climb the Amazon rankings.


Over the last 17 years I have spent a good amount of money on websites claiming to boost rankings and guarantee book sales. This was costly, but productive. Of course, each genre has its challenges, but it is a great way to start moving up the rankings and acquiring reviews.

Blogging & Email Lists:

Blogging is an absolute must for every author. Talk to your readers. It is not an option! They invested in you when they bought and read your book. Treat them well. They are the gold standard. 

The same goes for email lists. I have switched from a weekly/monthly newsletter to communicating through my blog posts twice a week. It is also a great way to keep my website fresh and updated. Use your website to grow your brand. Keep in mind you are not only selling your books - you are selling yourself. Trust is the foundation for building future success.

Till next time, in His service,

Russ Scalzo

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