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How to Market a Book

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  48 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
Paperback, Third Edition
Published July 6th 2017 by Curl Up Press
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4.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  211 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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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
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!
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
Nina del 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.
Penny Castle
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sze Vetault
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book with heaps of practical ever-green tips!
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
While I learned some useful tricks and feel revived in my efforts, this book was made made for authors new to the game, I think. Or, if not beginning authors, per se, then beginning self-promoters and self-marketers. This is, of course, no fault of the author's that it wasn't as useful to me as I was hoping.

It will make a great guide for new authors, those who feel daunted by certain technologies, and those who have become authors without knowing a lot about the behind-the-scenes goings on of t
Stephen Hiemstra
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the banes of postmodern life is that successful professionals must communicate effectively across multiple media. Communication is more important than ever because technology has made all of us more productive. If one 2017 professional can now do the work of a dozen 1960 professionals, then that professional effectively functions as a team, including the team manager. Production, marketing, and sales all need to be done by that one professional. As an economist, I faced this challenge; it ...more
Karen GoatKeeper
Write a book. Become famous and rich.
For most authors, this is a pipe dream. Their books disappear into that great black hole happily swallowing most of the 1.5 million books published in the U.S. every year. How do you keep your book away from this voracious monster?
This book is a basic introduction to marketing strategies for authors. It is written in a clear manner, easy to digest and understand. Each section explains then details a type of strategy.
If you want to write a book and have more p
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Relevant, valuable, actionable strategies.

Presented in a way that is easy to follow, Joanna Penn provides a collection of marketing strategies, tasks, and mindsets for authors and publishers of all sizes.

The extra value is presenting a manageable and realistic approach to implementing these strategies.

To get the most from this book, read through once, highlighting what catches your eye. Read through a second time to select the strategies you'll implement.

This book will be a reference for each
Janell Michaels
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
I love Joanna Penn's podcast and have read some of her other stuff, so I grabbed this as soon as I heard about it.

This book is full--and I mean stuffed--with marketing advice, starting with positive mindset all the way up to TV appearances and speaking engagements. I will say, I've been so immersed in author marketing education the past year and a half that I didn't see a whole lot that was new, but every bit of the info is gold. And if you want to launch a podcast or YouTube as part of your aut
Katrina Nowak
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been benefitting from the resources on Joanna Penn’s website ( for some time now, but was interested in learning a bit more about her approach to various aspects of her business. I initially purchased this book via Audible, but found the content to be so useful that I purchased a paperback copy as well to reference. The book is straightforward, well-organized and offers great insight on her personal experience with the topics covered. I recommend this book to anyone in ...more
Nina 321
I’m a sucker for self-help books. Others binge Game of Thrones. I read diy-books on topics that don’t even directly apply to me. This book has a ton of good advice on how to market your self-published indie e-book and make a living from a writing career. I write academic books. It’s a completely different publishing and marketing set-up. So most of this book I enjoyed as a by-stander. Joanna Penn has such a positive, helpful, get-up-and-go attitude. She walks her own talk because she has done ev ...more
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though I read the first edition of this book a few years ago, I was impressed with just how much updated valuable information this third edition of the book contains. One of the things I love best is that Penn outlines so many different resources and so many different options and opportunities for authors to employ regardless of how they publish (traditional or self).

This is an invaluable resource and a MUST-READ for authors who want to understand the various opportunities available for bui
Jack Probyn
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an author who is publishing his debut novella in a days' time (25th August), I found this book invaluable. There were, however, some things I was already aware of as part of taking Nick Stephenson's Your First 10k Readers course. (Both of which are brilliant). So if you're an author who has not taken the latter, then this course gives you everything you need to know. Reasonably priced, too.

The best thing about it is it offers encouragement. When things seem to be a little overwhelming (and t
Nicole O'Connor
This book is packed with knowledge. It imparts great information and is the sort of book that one will refer to again and again. I bought the Kindle version and highlighted many areas. I must go back and check those lists. It is a great book for all authors. If an author finds this too exhausting, then they must resign themselves to few sales if any. Joanna is experienced in every avenue. She willing shares this knowledge with her readers. It's a worthwhile investment for authors across all genr ...more
Timothy Bateson
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely one of the easiest to read book marketing guides

The author share her experience with marketing get her own books. Having been through the self publishing journey has given Penn an insight into the mindset and skills required to turn a writer into a marketer.
Penn provides a wide range of possible marketing strategies depending on a writers short and long term goals. Just as importantly though, Penn also guides readers through the necessary steps to prepare for the mental move from auth
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a newly published author, I fell upon the third edition of this book with gusto and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s jam-packed with practical information and insightful hints and tips about all aspects of book marketing and includes links to masses of other useful resources online.
As with all her books, Joanna Penn’s style is friendly and encouraging with a healthy dose of realism on the side. A ‘must buy’ for anyone that wants to sell their books beyond their family and friends!
Scott Krytsa
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Joanna's book on how to market a book because she gives great examples from her own experience as well as leaves the reader with actual tools and concepts they can use for their author career. I don't think her book can be used as a stand alone but in conjunction with other book marketing and Kindle marketing books, it is a must-have.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-on-writing
Great guide on how to market in the current digital/social media age. Some stuff I already knew from having followed Penn for a while, but other stuff was new and it was nice to have everything in one place. Definitely recommended to other authors who are trying to figure out marketing.

Rating: 4 Stars (Very Good).
N.C. Mander
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ll admit to being a big Joanna Penn fan - listening to The Creative Penn podcast weekly and attending Joanna’s publishing webinars. But this is the first of her books that I have read and I wasn’t disappointed. The book provides clarity to the, often, bewildering world of marketing. It’s concise and clear with actionable points. I would highly recommend.
Juneta Key
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing-craft
I buy everything JoAnna Penn writes including her fiction. She is a favorite that I can count on to learn from in easy to follow practical advice from her own experience. Great book if you are just starting out or have not quite got things going or into the groove. Very down to earth writing, informative and engaging.
John Irvin
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Again, I am Amazed

Once again, Joanna Penn has outlined what is to market a self-published book.
Still new to this entrepreneurship, I have devoured this book thankfully. From raising platforms to building pipelines, Penn will give the need-to-know about marketing books.
I highly recommend this second work in her Books for Writers series for any serious, devoted indie author.
Tattie Maggard
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The real deal

Not just a bunch of hype you can find on every blog about the subject. This gal knows her stuff and wrote a book with the aim of helping people, not just to make a quick buck. Now I want my money back from the last ten books I bought on book marketing. Will read this again.
Tim Bankes
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author-strategy
Great book

I have listened to hundreds of hours of podcasts, and Joann still brought in things I had never heard of! Great down to earth but informative book. Great sweeping content with great embedded links for every major points she makes. Highly recommend as a first read on your self publishing journey.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you devour writing/marketing podcasts and blogs, like I do, most of the info will not be new but it's great to have it all in one place. Penn has a very clear, easy to read voice and the entire book is packed with great encouragement. I highly suggest this book for both beginners and experts. It's a quick read, clear and very helpful.
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.
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.
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.
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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