Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How To Market A Book” as Want to Read:
How To Market A Book
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How To Market A Book

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,191 ratings  ·  305 reviews
The first job of an author is, of course, to write great books, but these days, their second job is to market them.

Marketing isn't a skill that most authors have naturally, and there is little formal training. But when your book hits the shelves, and the sales don't start rolling in, there's only two things an author can do. Keep writing more books and ... Get to grips wit
ebook, Kobo edition, 280 pages
Published (first published August 9th 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,191 ratings  ·  305 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of How To Market A Book
Sunshine Rodgers
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"How to Market a Book" by Joanna Penn was a very helpful resource in my writing career! She definitely pin-poined all the useful tricks of the trade, sharing the tools for her own success and what she recommends for more sales and for long-term marketing for authors. She talked about everything: website, other income streams, how to "make it" as an author and how to collect more readers/sales. I was taking notes and doggy-eared several pages to go back to and improve on my website as well as add ...more
K.M. Weiland
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Solid advice - as you'd expect from Penn. I've been following her blog almost since the beginning, and I've always found her candidness and transparency about her own journey as an independent author to be refreshing and incredibly helpful. So it's great to see her compile all that into one volume. Save for a little repetition in places, this is great (and up-to-date) primer on the art of not just marketing one book, but on building an entire career. I've already benefited from many of her sugge ...more
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Where I got the book: part of a Kindle box set which was a pretty good deal.

Out of the three books in the Indie Power Pack, this was definitely the most clearly written (the fact that Joanna Penn uses Scrivener to give her books a strong structure has not escaped my attention). There’s an awful lot of information here for a newbie, but for the author who’s spent a little time figuring out what’s what this is a worthy addition to the (virtual) bookshelf, with lots of clear practical advice to get
Ted Tayler
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Good advice - if you can afford it"

It's hard to argue with anything Joanna Penn says. If you're just starting out on your writing journey, then this book will be a vital resource. If you have been at the game for several years you should have tackled (if not mastered) most of the basics she covers, but there are probably new tips between these covers she has spotted you can to add to your armoury.

My only reservation on giving the full five stars for this book are the financial implications inv
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
I just published my first book a few months ago, and I always procrastinated on the marketing aspect of it. I knew I shouldn't, but I was overwhelmed by fear and self doubt, especially choosing to go down the self-publishing route. I was so sure that was what I wanted when I did it, but then I started to question my self worth when my book wasn't doing as well as I had hoped.

Then, by the grace of God, I found Joanna Penn. And, more importantly, I found this book.

I cannot even begin to express th
Rebecca Bradley
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Well, the blurb for this book practically covers everything there is to say about it. And the book is as comprehensive as the blurb. It’s not a get rich quick type of marketing book. J. F. Penn also known as Joanna Penn from the Creative Penn website and Podcast states;

The focus of the book is more about instilling values and marketing principles that will help your long-term career as a writer.

And that’s what this is, writing and marketing yourself and your work in a long-term way advice book.

Sandy Williams
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A very thorough book on how to market your books. A little too thorough for me. Joanna penn writes both fiction and nonfiction books, and this book covers techniques for both. I ended up skimming large chunks of the book - mostly the info on podcasts, videos, interviews, media, etc - because it applies mostly to nonfiction authors. A few fiction authors who have endless time and energy and really engaging personalities might get something out of those sections, but for the most part, spending th ...more
K.A. Denver
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great resource for all self-published authors. I have so many pages marked and highlighted for future reference and the information within will come in very hand for my next publication.

Joanna Penn covered many things in this book that I either had not thought of or had not given enough thought to. A lot made sense and although some of the suggestions were common sense it went to prove that common sense is not that common as I have seen many of my fellow authors struggle with them, in
Kellyn Roth

Had some great tips; wasn't all for me (she really pushed podcasts; I hate podcasts; that was all super boring to me), but a lot of it was great. Lots of info about branding, advertising, etc. She also talked about traditional media more than I felt necessary, though, which I think is ... fading. xP

Okay, I don't know why I'm so negative today. But I felt like I needed to explain NOT giving it 5 stars even though it was a great, useful resource, lol.

I plan to reread it soon to glean even mor
Megan O'Russell
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first marketing book I've really enjoyed reading! ...more
Debbie Johansson
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is full of great, practical advice, for both new and established authors. Covering both traditional and digital marketing, Joanna tells what's involved with each one, letting the reader consider what works best for their personality. She states that being a writer is a long-term game, and this book is a valuable resource to keep coming back to.
Jun 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Well, it does what it says on the tin. Joanna Penn offers no-nonsense advice on marketing self-published books, based on her own experiences. A lot of this advice is common sense, but there are useful bits and pieces that even the most switched-on writer is likely to overlook.

Penn's writing is a little flavourless, though, and perhaps the book's biggest weakness is how much she does draw on her own experiences. I think a broader and more enduringly-useful book would have widened the net and focu
Alinka Rutkowska
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been aware of Penn’s blog and used her advice on many instances before I bought her book. I knew she was all about quality material and no fluff. Her book is also straight to the point.
She covers plenty of topics on how an author can sell books both without and with a platform.
Some of the advice made me nod continuously like the fact that you need an email list and how to grow it.
Some of them I skipped, like those where she explains how to behave at a photo shoot.
Many I highlighted wi
Jul 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, research
While there's some good information, it suffers the same problem as many "how-tos: aggravating, mind numbing repetition. Also, it really shills for Amazon -- it pushes the 70% ebook royalty rate without even touching on the downsides of giving a single retailer exclusivity to you book, both short-term (fewer readers will find the book) and long-term (you're helping a retailer create a monopoly and guess what if that retailer succeeds -- no more 70% royalties and maybe really terrible royalties w ...more
Carrie Daws
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marketing
An excellent book full of great hints, tips, and step-by-step instructions to market your book. Joanna Penn starts by helping you to change your thinking about marketing, and then points you in all the right directions. I would highly recommend this book for those authors just starting out or those who have never taken the time to develop any kind of platform but now would like to. But it's also a good resource for other authors who are considering things like audiobooks, podcasting, and video c ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit disappointed with this one. It was focused mostly on traditional media marketing (TV, radio) and not on digital marketing. And it was VERY focused on nonfiction authors. Many of the case studies she gives are of nonfiction authors who are only using their books as entry points to their courses and speaking events. Typically, fiction authors aren't interested in that. The book IS the product they're selling. ...more
Nina Arce
Joanna Penn does it again! The third and updated edition of How to Market a Book is accessible, inspiring, and has something for everyone--but also reminds us overly ambitious people of the bunch that no one can actually do it all. You have to pick the types of marketing that will be fun and easy for you, and this book is full of plenty of good ideas. Recommended for traditionally published and indie authors alike, whether of fiction or non-fiction.
Mike Kowis
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tons of useful tips for self-published authors regarding how to market a book. There are so many ideas that you probably won't be able to implement everything for one book, but it gives you lots of ideas to consider. The only downside I can think of is that there is not much detail on how to implement each idea. Overall, its a good book and I highly recommend it to self-pub'd authors. ...more
T.B. Markinson
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
A helpful book for indie writers looking for ways to reach wider audiences. Even the topics she doesn't cover completely, she leads readers in the right direction for the answers they seek. Straight forward and honest. ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great, practical read.

This book has a lot of great, practical advice for anyone wanting to get the word out about their book. I feel like I have a huge to-do list now. A very encouraging to-do list.
Penny Castle
Really good idea for a first time author. I found it easy and encouraging and landed the idea of writer and entrepreneur well. I'd recommend it for any new writers who are ready to start marketing their work. ...more
Duane Huffman
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great information!

I really enjoyed reading this. This book contained everything I was looking for in how to market my book. There is so much information and so many good links. It will take me weeks to digest.
Aleister Davidson
Great resource

I can't thank Joanna Penn enough for writing this. It has helped me immensely. I will be reading the rest of her works for authors.
Sze Vetault
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book with heaps of practical ever-green tips!
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How to Market a Book was an informative read about marketing. I do feel that it mostly gives you a very broad scope of marketing possibilities and what to try, but doesn't go super deep into some of the topics or how to apply them. What it might lack in depth it definitely makes up in the sheer amount of possible marketing techniques. It also has some great parts about how to approach marketing, social media and your author career. I also found the author really honest about what worked and not ...more
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I listen to Joanna Penn’s CREATIVE PENN podcast religiously. The life of a writer – particularly an indie author taking faltering first steps – is a solitary one, and so it’s great to tune into someone who’s taken the route themselves and is eager to hand out the benefit of their experience.

As my blog post the other day proved, I’m no expert on book marketing. But I’m learning and trying to find the best ways to get my books out there and read. HOW TO MARKET A BOOK is a fantastic tool for beginn
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always start out with the same advice when it comes to business books: take what works for you and leave the rest. This book is no different.

Author Joanna Penn writes about the marketing techniques that work for her, while fully acknowledging that there is no One True Path to success. Much of what she says is common sense marketing strategy, but already the book is dated by the demise of Google+ as plank in anyone's platform.

I got a few new ideas that I will implement in my own work, all the s
Bethany Swafford
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
Marketing is a skill all independent authors need to acquire. It isn't easy, but Joanna Penn offers a lot of advice in How to Market a Book from audio books to websites and short term tactics for an immediate uptick in sales.

I spent a lot of time reading through this book. There are definite sections I will be coming back to. I especially appreciate how often the author makes it clear that an author needs to play to their own strengths to make any kind of marketing worthwhile.

There's something f
Pamela Fernandes
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for indie authors. Especially if you're just starting out, it gives you the building blocks of setting up an author career. In fact, now that I have my ducks in a row, I'm wondering why didn't I read this book sooner. This is a great book about the set up and what to build. This is what builds an author platform. For a soft launch every one of these tips is fantastic. The book is a goldmine. There are fewer tips of actually "marketing" the book. Yet, every author should pick ...more
Linda Fausnet
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a highly useful tool for authors, especially for those just starting out in their self-publishing careers. It's packed with logical and useful advice, with lots of tips on how to enjoy long-term success as an indie author. I am a big fan of Joanna's podcast, and I find that her positive attitude and her personal career path advice really speaks to me. I write what I love and don't necessarily write to market, and I'm not one of those publish-one-book-a-month authors. I take comfort ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
World, Writing, W...: Book Marketing: Books 6 16 Aug 10, 2016 11:40AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Six Figure Author: Using Data to Sell Books (Write Faster, Write Smarter Book 5)
  • Newsletter Ninja: How to Become an Author Mailing List Expert
  • Let's Get Digital: How to Self-Publish, and Why You Should
  • Following: A Marketing Guide to Author Platform
  • APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. How to Publish a Book
  • Write to Market: Deliver a Book that Sells (Write Faster, Write Smart, #3)
  • 2,000 to 10,000: How to Write Faster, Write Better, and Write More of What You Love
  • 5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter
  • Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book
  • Launch to Market: Easy Marketing For Authors (Write Faster, Write Smarter, #4)
  • Reader Magnets: Build Your Author Platform and Sell more Books on Kindle (Book Marketing for Authors 1)
  • Turning Pro
  • Ads for Authors Who Hate Math: Write Faster, Write Smarter
  • The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Psychological Trauma
  • Take Off Your Pants! Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing
  • The Indie Author Mindset: How changing your way of thinking can transform your writing career
  • Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
  • Strangers To Superfans: A Marketing Guide to The Reader Journey
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers writing under the name J.F. Penn. She also writes inspirational non-fiction for authors and is an award-winning creative entrepreneur and international professional speaker. Her site, is regularly voted one of the top 10 sites for writers and self-publishers.

See also Goodreads author's profile as J.F

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
21 likes · 3 comments
“The first time you get such a line edit, it hurts. You think you're a writer and then someone changes practically every sentence. Ouch. But editing makes your book stronger, and the reader will thank you for it.” 3 likes
“In April 2013, Pulitzer Prize winning author David Mamet announced his decision to self-publish “because publishing is like Hollywood - nobody ever does the marketing they promise.” 1 likes
More quotes…