How to Market a Book by Joanna Penn

How to Market a BookHow to Market a Book by Joanna Penn is probably the best and the most comprehensive book I have read so far on book marketing by self-publishers.

This book has really helped me clear my thoughts about short term marketing, long term marketing, creating an author platform (and why do you need one), using social media, making audio podcasts and videos, and finally going beyond the Author Platform towards becoming an “Author Entrepreneur,” as she proclaims.

I was also really touched by her personal story. How she worked as an IT Consultant for years before becoming an Author, especially the fact that she had to wake up at 5 am in the morning to write her books and then go to work.

The most inspiring thing is that Joanna has no hesitation in sharing her past mistakes so that others don’t make the same.

I really admire her guts for doing so.

Some of the salient features of the book are:

Myth about Marketing: Joanna busts the marketing myth which is very much prevalent amongst self-published Authors.

Most of us think that our job as an Author is to write books: marketing is the job of some other lowly creature like a salesman.

Most of us are even intimidated at the thought of marketing our books.

Joanna reassures that there are techniques (some indeed quite simple) which can be mastered by anyone who wants to market his or her books.

Social Karma and Co-opetition: Joanna also discusses ways in which you can collaborate with competitors (in this case other Authors who possibly write in the same genre).

She has even coined the word “co-opetition”, a hybrid of cooperation with your competition.

This I wholeheartedly endorse as a strategy that helps all parties in the long run.

Short Term Marketing: How can you do keyword research using the Google Adwords tool and Amazon search engine, choose relevant categories, use KDP Select, etc. ?

Joanna covers all this with authority, and comes up with a marketing plan that can be implemented by anyone.

And you really don’t need to have an Author website or Social Media accounts (Author Platform) for doing all this, she assures.

Long Term Marketing: If you really want your books to sell in the long run, then Joanna urges you to create an Author Platform.

What is an Author Platform?

An Author Platform is a way by which you reach your audience or plan to do so.

Joanna advises that it is important to create one whether you are a self-published or a traditionally published Author.

Nowadays even traditional publishers want to know how big your Author Platform is before accepting your book.

This is because the traditional publishers too count on you to do your bit for selling your books.

This is contrary to the popular belief that they do all the marketing.

So that’s another point in favour of self-publishing!

Going Beyond the Author Platform: You can use your Author Platform to go beyond selling your books.

Joanna claims that she has got many international speaking, consulting and collaboration opportunities simply because of her platform. She is also able to sell her multi-media courses from her blog, which I too need to emulate.

Other features include:

Building an e-mail list

Use of Social Media

Launching your books and why it is best not to focus on launching at all

Use of audio and video content marketing

In the end, I must say that Joanna writes in a very simple, easy to understand way and her suggestions are very practical and not at all intimidating.

On the cons, I find Joanna NOT sharing her experiences of using KDP Select vis-à-vis other platforms like Kobo, Apple, Sony, Nook etc. and when and why should one prefer one over the other.

I’d also love to have her reactions on the “Kindle Countdown” deal specifically.

You may want to have a look at her book on Amazon.


Prasenjeet Kumar


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.