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Top 10 book marketing articles from Build Book Buzz in 2020

2020 was personally and professionally challenging for nearly everyone I know.

COVID-19’s impact on most industries is stunning. On the book publishing side, publishers have furloughed or laid off staff. Printers have struggled to print and ship books according to pre-COVID timelines. Authors who rely on in-person promotion had to re-think their book marketing strategies.

And yet, as an author, you’ve kept moving forward, haven’t you?

I have, too. This past year, I’ve published dozens of book marketing articles designed to help you rise above the chaos and confusion so you continue to sell books.

Which Build Book Buzz articles made the most difference for you? Here are your favorite book marketing articles according to blog traffic reports.

1. 2020 literary calendar with 122 occasions for book fans

This month-by-month list of occasions that celebrate all things books during the year we’re leaving behind makes it easy to find opportunities you can work into your book marketing plans. It includes information on how to use the 122 special days and holidays for year-round book marketing.

2. Book cover re-designs: A pro offers 7 before and after examples

This guest post by cover designer Alexander von Ness explains the thought process behind makeovers of seven fiction and nonfiction book covers. Each example includes the original cover and Alexander’s redesigned version, along with a link to a more detailed examination on his site.

3. “I wish I had known that before I self-published.” 25 authors share what they’ve learned

I asked self-published authors, “What do you know now about self-publishing that you wish you had known when you started?” This article showcases their responses on everything from where to learn what you need to know to whether you should publish on Amazon exclusively and the importance of a book marketing plan.

4. TikTok demographics for authors

TikTok was the fastest growing social network in 2019. This 2020 article digs into the video platform’s demographics so you can see if it’s a good fit for your target readers.

5. 3 Amazon secrets every author needs to know

In this guest post, book marketer Rob Eagar explains how to use Amazon’s power to your advantage. He presents three little-known Amazon secrets that can make a big difference, including how to use the platform to build your author email list.

6. The shy author’s guide to book promotion

While some authors embrace book marketing and promotion with enthusiasm, many just wish it would go away. In this article, I detail five “I can’t do this” obstacles I see the most from shy authors. It includes ideas for getting around them.

7. 2021 literary calendar with 137 occasions for book lovers

This December update to the popular 2020 list published last January takes things up a notch with more holidays and a “download and save this calendar” option designed to make it even more useful.

8. Trade book reviews: Behind the scenes with a professional reviewer

Rose Fox, director of BookLife Reviews, Publishers Weekly‘s paid review service for indie authors, explains trade reviews (also known as media and literary reviews) and how to get them. She walks us through exactly what happens on the publication review side. She also explains why getting a book reviewed can take a lot longer than you’d think.

9. How to get awesome book cover blurbs

Many self-published authors refer to their book description as a blurb, but the publishing industry uses that word for pre-publication endorsements and testimonials. This article addresses who to approach for endorsements and presents nine steps for snagging blurbs your mother would be proud of.

10. 4 steps to new book marketing habits

This article breaks down the habit-making recommendations of B.J. Fogg, author of Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything. It’s a must-read if you’re serious about improving your life by replacing habits that don’t work for you anymore with those that will do the job.

I was happy to see that three of the top 10 book marketing articles here were written by guest bloggers.

It’s a reminder that guest blogging in reverse — bringing top authorities and experts to your site instead of going to theirs — helps provide your readers with useful content that matters to them.

Help me create content that will hit the top 10 list next year! Please add a comment telling me what you’d like to learn more about in 2021.

Tip of the Month

I like to share a “Tip of the Month,” a free resource or tool for authors, on the last Wednesday of the month.

book marketing articles 2This month, it’s Blogging Bistro’s 2021 Content Calendar Template.

People use content calendars to plan their blog posts and social media posts in advance. They help you become more thoughtful and organized, with the end result being a more consistent and strategic social media presence.

I love this particular calendar because it’s a Word document, not a PDF file, so you can type in it. You can even change the theme colors to reflect your author branding.

It’s the perfect companion to my popular 2021 Literary Calendar (and be sure to download the PDF version of that, too, here). Laura Christianson, the calendar’s creator, even linked to that list and pre-loaded the calendar with some of its writerly occasions.

I’ve downloaded the 2021 Content Calendar Template and have started adding the literary holidays that I’d like to promote in coming months. Give it a try yourself.

Subscribe to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter and get the free special report, “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources,” immediately!

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  1. Everyone knows – everyone has an opinion – about how to market indie GENRE fiction. Writers are successful turning out books in series, writing as quickly as they can to turn out more books ‘the same, only different’ for their readers.

    I’d love to see tips for non-genre, mainstream novels written and self-published by indies. I suspect the readers of this category don’t do searches on Amazon or depend on also-boughts, but instead come prepared to buy books from recommendations elsewhere.

    It has been a while since Darcy Chan’s The Mill River Recluse (and the traditionally-published sequels).

    I write slowly, and search most marketing posts in vain for tips which would help me market.

    Traditional publishers have fewer and fewer slots due to financial constraints.

    I can’t be the only indie writing mainstream or literary novels those publishers will not be taking on because they can’t guarantee sales.

    1. Alicia, there are waaaaaay more people who want to write a novel than there are traditional publishers to support them, so your indie publishing situation is the norm, not the exception.

      I’ve got a lot of fiction marketing advice on this site that isn’t geared to series authors. Just type “fiction” into the search box on the right (scroll down to find the box — it’s just above the website awards) and you’ll find quite a few articles. Here’s one that might give you something to think about: https://buildbookbuzz.com/guest-blogging-audience-novelists/

      And here’s one from a guest blogger who’s an indie novelist: https://buildbookbuzz.com/13-fiction-book-marketing-tips-from-an-experienced-novelist/

      This guest post I wrote for another site last month might also give you something to think about: https://indiereader.com/2020/11/3-ways-to-sell-more-novels-in-2021/

      I’ve added your request to my topic list for 2021, too, so while there’s a lot of helpful content for you here already, know that I’ll bring you more.


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