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How to Market a Self-Published Book the Easy Way: Nailing the 3 Phases of a Book Launch

Publishing, Marketing, & Writing Tips

Do you know the three phases of a book launch?

How to Market a Self-Published Book the Easy Way: Nailing the 3 Phases of a Book Launch
Table of contents

There are three steps to launching your book: Pre-Launch, Launch, and Post-Launch. In this blog article, we'll walk you through each piece with the exact formula that's collectively generated millions of dollars in royalties for our AIA students all over the world. By the end of it, you'll know exactly how to market self-published books like a pro, even if you've never done it before.

Looking for a self-publishing mini masterclass that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? Our webinar is completely free and introduces you to REAL nonfiction authors and publishers who learned how to turn the KDP online platform into a royalty-generating machine.

What Are the Best Strategies for Marketing a Self-Published Book?

Ultimately, we've found the best strategies for marketing a self-published book to be the ones that generate more positive book reviews, which can then go on to essentially sell your books for you. 

We teach all our students a combination of marketing and promotion tactics that mix "The Facebook Review Method" with Amazon ads. Selling books through Amazon's KDP automatically unlocks tons of marketing tools inside the KDP dashboard. We'll walk through some of these later on.

Of course, you can also look into different social media channels, editorial reviews, book giveaways, and connecting with book bloggers, but if you're looking to get the most bang for your buck and make the most out of your time, the latter won't necessarily be your best bet.

What Low-Cost Methods Can Self-Published Authors Use to Advertise Their Books?

If you're new to the publishing process and industry, you might not be working with the biggest budget upfront. We get it! The Mikkelsen Twins were delivering Chinese food and barely getting by before they ever published their first book online.

Our Facebook Review Method is completely free, making it the perfect low-cost advertising method for indie authors and publishers. It works by joining your book community and meeting your ideal audience where they're at. You can find hundreds or even thousands of Facebook groups for your book's genre. Many of these groups will allow you to share either your book trailer, author website, or free copies of your book in exchange for honest reviews.

A word of advice: Although many groups will let you post the things mentioned above, we always caution our students to read the group's rules before engaging. We also encourage students to give more than they take in any group they join.

What Are the Steps for Promoting a Self-Published Book on Amazon Successfully?

Promoting a self-published book on Amazon requires creating a compelling book description, optimizing your Amazon keywords and categories, using Amazon's advertising tools, and strategically planning the launch date of your book to maximize visibility.

Read about the best time to publish in each niche here.

Book Launch Strategies That Aren't Usually Worth It

This might not be a popular opinion within the book community, but these are the book promotion strategies we've found that aren't always as cost-effective as others. We're not saying any of these strategies are BAD, we're just saying we wouldn't prioritize these for making your first eBook sales and print sales as a newbie based on our experience working with thousands of first-time publishers.

  • Social Media
  • Book Giveaways
  • Crafting a Guest Post for a Book Blog
  • Book Signing Events or Book Festivals

Each of these strategies can bring in book reviews and sales, but they also require more of your time and energy that could be put elsewhere. Things like blog writing and social media also require different skills like copywriting, which just isn't necessary to start marketing your book in other ways.

Book Launch Strategies That Are Worth It

Here are some more ideas for marketing and promoting that might actually be worth your time:

These are going to be the foundational skills that carry your book sales and attract more readers. The bonus is that they'll also help you establish your author brand organically. The reason we keep bringing up getting book reviews on Amazon is that the algorithm rewards books with happy readers. These reviewers are essentially your cheerleaders who let other potential readers know that your book is worth the time/money out of the hundreds or thousands of competitors on the market.

Pre-Launch Strategies to Maximize Book Sales

Besides finalizing your book, the only thing you need to think about prior to launching your book is building your list of reviewers (ideally, you'd find 200+ knowing that not everyone you contact will actually review your book). We recommend starting this about 3 weeks before the actual launch date of the book.

Pre-Launch Checklist

  • KDP account is set up
  • Manuscripts edited and formatted for each version of the book (eBook, paperback)
  • Book covers formatted for each version of the book (front cover, back cover, spine)
  • Book description is optimized with keywords and edited
  • Everything is uploaded to KDP and ready to launch

Launch Strategies to Maximize Book Sales

This is the stage where your book goes live with the world. Hopefully, you've already built up some momentum from the pre-launch, but now we've got to keep that momentum pushing you forward.

Launch Checklist

  • Publish your eBook & paperback book on KDP
  • Enroll in KDP Select
  • Run a free promo for 3 days
  • Once your book has 15 reviews, start your Amazon ads
  • Continue gathering reviews until you hit 100 minimum

Here's a sneak peek inside our "Launch" module inside the AIA course dashboard:

Post-Launch Strategies to Maximize Book Sales

You can take your foot off the pedal once you hit 100 reviews on your book. At this stage, your book should be gaining new organic reviews on its own every week.

The only work you need to do now going forward is...

This is where all the work you put in turns into virtually passive income. As long as you have the reviews established and your ads are performing well, taking a week or even a month off from your business to connect with family or backpack through Europe shouldn't be an issue. That's true freedom.

Here's another quick AIA screencap that sums up the entire book launch timeline:

Crafting New Promotional Materials

Successful book marketing often hinges on creating compelling promotional materials that capture the reader's curiosity and lend credibility to your work. These materials showcase your book and also serve to build your brand as an indie author or publisher. The strategies are by no means required but might help give your book marketing a little push during slow seasons.

Kindle A+ Content

Kindle A+ content is bonus material you can add to your book sales page to help potential readers make an informed decision about whether to purchase your book. Here, you can add a detailed author bio as well as images, comparison charts, and other text.

Need a hand? Publishing Services offers A+ Content Creation, book outlines, editing & proofreading, and more!

Changing Your Book Cover

If there's ever a lull in your sales, your book cover just might be the culprit. If you want to learn how to create and market self-published book covers solo, you can dive into color psychology and competitor research. Otherwise, Fiverr has over 12k search results for "book cover," which you can filter based on customer reviews and experience.

Let your book be the North Star that customers are searching for in a galaxy of other books!

Engaging with Various Age Groups

Knowing your target audience inside and out isn't optional, no matter what genre or niche you decide to self-publish in. What are their pain points? What problems do they need help solving? Realistically, how much time and money do they have to devote to fixing this problem? Do they need quick fixes or a detailed long-term plan?

Here are some ideas that might help you get started with your customer research:

Quick Disclaimer: The book market is constantly changing. Do your own research to verify that a concept has the potential for profitability before diving in!

Niches and Sub-Niche Ideas for Young Readers

STEM Education

  • Robotics for Kids
  • Fun Science Experiments
  • Beginner Coding for Teens

Health and Wellness

  • Mindfulness and Meditation for Teens
  • Healthy Eating for Kids
  • Exercise and Fitness for Young Athletes

Art and Creativity

  • Digital Art Techniques for Teens
  • DIY Crafts for Kids
  • Creative Writing Workshops for Young Authors

Career Exploration

  • Future Careers in Space Exploration
  • Becoming a Young Entrepreneur
  • Careers in Gaming and Esports

Social Skills and Leadership

  • Public Speaking for Teens
  • Teamwork and Cooperation for Kids
  • Young Leaders Making a Difference

Niches and Sub-Niche Ideas for Middle-Aged Adults

Technology and Digital Skills

  • Mastering Social Media for Personal Branding
  • Cybersecurity Basics for Everyday Smartphone Users
  • Learning New Technologies: From Smart Homes to Drones

Relationships and Social Life

  • Enhancing Marital and Romantic Relationships
  • Building and Maintaining Friendships in Midlife
  • Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution

Parenting and Family Life

  • Navigating Parenthood with Teenagers
  • Supporting Aging Parents
  • Planning for College: Financial and Academic Preparation

Creative Pursuits

  • Writing and Publishing Your First Book
  • Digital Photography and Videography
  • Painting and Drawing for Relaxation

Self-Sufficiency and DIY

  • Home Repair and Improvement Projects
  • Urban Homesteading and Sustainable Living
  • Crafting Your Own Natural Products

Niches and Sub-Niche Ideas for Seniors

Financial Management

  • Estate Planning and Wills
  • Managing Retirement Funds
  • Understanding Medicare and Health Insurance

Personal Development

  • Memoir Writing and Personal History
  • Volunteering and Community Engagement
  • Mindfulness and Meditation for Stress Relief

Home and Lifestyle

  • Downsizing and Simplifying Your Home
  • Senior-Friendly Home Modifications
  • Gardening for Small Spaces and Balconies

Social and Family Connections

  • Grandparenting Tips and Activities
  • Navigating Relationships with Adult Children
  • Building New Friendships and Social Circles

Physical and Mental Fitness

  • Brain Games and Cognitive Exercises
  • Yoga and Tai Chi for Balance and Flexibility
  • Walking Clubs and Group Fitness for Seniors

Evaluating and Adjusting Strategies

Marketing isn't really one of those "set it and forget it" things, but it doesn't have to be a chore, either. Learning from your previous books and crafting a marketing plan based on data can be fun once you master the basics.

Here are some metrics and objectives you might want to track:

Sales and Royalties: The core indicators of your book's financial performance. Track your daily, weekly, and monthly sales to identify trends and adjust your strategies accordingly.

  • Objective Example: Increase monthly book sales by 20% within the next quarter by implementing targeted marketing campaigns.

KDP Select Page Reads: For authors enrolled in KDP Select, tracking how many pages of your book are read through Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL) can provide insight into reader engagement.

  • Objective Example: Boost the total number of page reads by 30% over six months by engaging with readers on social media platforms and running periodic promotions.

Customer Reviews and Ratings: Reviews are a form of social proof that can influence potential readers. A higher number of positive reviews can significantly impact your book's visibility and sales.

  • Objective Example: Aim to gather 50 new positive reviews within two months by encouraging feedback from readers through email newsletters or Facebook groups and offering incentives for honest reviews.

Book Ranking: Your book's rank in its categories and on Amazon provides a snapshot of its performance relative to competitors. Higher rankings can increase visibility and lead to more sales.

  • Objective Example: Improve the book's ranking to the top 10 in its primary category by optimizing the book description with relevant keywords and running Amazon ads.

Conversion Rate: This metric refers to the percentage of people who purchase your book after viewing your book's page. A low conversion rate might indicate issues with your book cover, description, or reviews.

  • Objective Example: Enhance the book page conversion rate by 5% in three months by refining the book description, updating the cover design, and adding A+ Content.

Tips for Maintaining Long-Term Sales

Maintaining momentum is key to long-term profitability once your self-published book hits the market.

Here are some strategies to keep your book sales climbing:

  • Discounts and Special Offers: Periodically offer your book at a discount to attract new readers and generate buzz around holidays and special events.
  • Bundle Deals: Pair your book with related products or other books in a series to increase perceived value.
  • Update Content: Refresh your book with new editions or bonus content. This can reignite interest and draw attention back to your work.

What Common Traits Do Successful Self-Published Authors Have Regarding Their Marketing Techniques?

At the end of the day, self-publishing takes grit. If there's just one trait we see in the most successful non-fiction authors out there, that's it.

Life has a funny way of testing everyone with family, friends, and business. Things are going to pop up. Maybe your ghostwriter won't pan out exactly how you thought, or maybe your first five book ideas will be a dud. That doesn't mean it's impossible to reach tens of thousands of readers with your ads six months from now.

You might be telling yourself this can't work because you don't have the degree, you don't have the experience, or you don't have the time. We're saying all those things can stop you if you let them. But what would happen if you got out of your own way instead?

Listen to Carli's story about how she overcame her fear and imposter syndrome here:

Struggle with procrastination? Travis did, too:

Think you're too old? Robyn is proof there's no such thing:

Our Student Success Hub is filled with dozens of stories just like these to show you exactly what's possible.

Amazon's Next New Release Has Your Name on It

If you've been feeling called to sell books online, this is your sign. You don't have to figure out the whole process alone. The AIA course breaks down the manuscript process and book promotion strategies into bite-size modules with video walkthroughs that you can watch at your own pace.


  • Creating generational wealth for your family for decades to come
  • Taking a vacation whenever you feel like it
  • Never worrying about another unexpected medical expense or emergency

Now imagine being stuck exactly where you are ten years from now. If nothing changed, would you be content?

Our beginner-friendly no-cost webinar is waiting to show you just how different your future can be. 

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