78 – When Should I Start Marketing My Book?

Posted January 24, 2022 | Laura Christianson
The Professional Writer
The Professional Writer
78 – When Should I Start Marketing My Book?


Authors frequently ask me some variation of the question, “When should I start marketing my book?”

My first book is coming out in one month (…or one week… or one day). When should I start marketing it?

My book was published 3 months ago but no one is buying it. What should I do to market it?

My book is coming out in a year. Is it time to create an author website?

While these are valid questions, each of them is missing two critical elements:

1. The questions separate the writing and editing of a book from the marketing.

Writing and marketing a book are not separate entities; they are publishing partners.

Writing and editing a book are publishing partners

2. The questions assume that “marketing” is all about selling.

Marketing is not just about getting people to buy your book; it’s about relationships.

Today, we’ll explore the nuances of the terms, “branding,” “platform building,” and “marketing,” which many authors lump under the umbrella term, “marketing.”

I firmly believe that authors should never separate writing from branding, platform building, and marketing. These activities are not intended be viewed in a linear fashion, where writing comes first, followed by branding, platform building, and marketing.

Rather, they’re done in concert, much like a choir in which individual voices blend together to create a unified, harmonious sound.

Word Nerd Moment

Branding – The promise you make to your ideal reader and the way in which you consistently deliver on your promise.

Platform Building – the ways you reach the ideal readers who may buy your book. Agents and editors often refer to your “platform” as the number of followers or rabid fans you have.

Marketing – the things you do to sell or promote your book.

The strategic plan I use for my own writing projects, as well as with my clients:

  1. Identify your ideal reader.
  2. Determine a specific challenge or need they have that you can guide them through.
  3. Do market research to realistically estimate how many of them are likely to buy your book.
  4. Craft the core message you will consistently deliver.
  5. Create a website that includes a way for your reader to subscribe to your email list.
  6. Offer your reader a valuable gift that relates closely to your core message.
  7. Initiate a relationship with your reader.
  8. Serve your reader relentlessly.
  9. Motivate thousands of people who don’t know that you exist to buy your book.

Need guidance implementing these steps?

Learn about my Email Marketing Starter Package, which is customized to meet your specific needs.

The Blogging Bistro team will help you get started with Mailerlite, Flodesk, MailChimp, ConvertKit, or AWeber (choose one), reliable email marketing services that equip you to you legally send e-newsletters, free downloadable resources, and blog posts to your subscribers.

Check out our additional email list-building services.

More on Branding

Branding episodes on The Professional Writer

Episode 2: How to Act Like a Professional Writer (Even When You Don’t Feel Like One)

Episode 9: Being True to Yourself

Episode 14: Everyone’s Favorite Radio Station – Are You Tuned In?

Episode 29: Doorbelling in Hostile Territory: 6 Strategies to Plan Your Brand Campaign

Episode 32: 7 Tips to Create a Memorable Brand Identity

Episode 44: Simplify Your Areas of Influence

How to Keep Up With the Show

Essential Resources for Running a Writing Business from Laura Christianson of BloggingBistro.com

Click here to join my my email list and I’ll notify you about every episode.  (When you subscribe, you’ll also get my free guide, Essential Resources for Running a Writing Business.)

Join The Professional Writer Podcast Community (private Facebook group), where we discuss what we’re learning, meet our guests, and encourage one another on our writing journeys.

If you know a writer who would be interested in The Professional Writer Podcast, please share this link with them:


Thank you!