From Novice to Expert - A Librarian's Guide to Marketing

Wendy Worley used her experience as a school librarian to good effect when she set out her book marketing strategy.
Wendy Worley used her experience as a school librarian to good effect when she set out her book marketing strategy.

The writing, re-writing and editing are over. Your novel submission was successful. New challenges including agonising over the cover design, copy-editing, proofreading and issues of formatting have become valuable experience. Finally, copies of your book arrive by courier - new shiny books - your debut novel.

Now all you need are readers. Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but you have to emerge from your bolthole and join the crowd of authors waving their books aloft trying to attract an audience. But where will you find your readers when you’re a novice in the marketplace?


  • Friends, family and social media are the best places to start.
  • Amazon, Goodreads and other award sites such as Chill with a Book provide ratings from reviewers. You may even get a few of those coveted 5 star reviews!
Your local library and other venues

  • Libraries and bookshops are great venues for author talks and book signings. Ask if your local library has an event programme.
  • Local arts, history and literary festivals offer opportunities for marketing.
Sending out sample copies

  • Send sample copies to independent bookshops both in your area and further afield.
  • Does your book have a theme that links to a museum, charity or organisation? If so, send them a sample copy as they may wish to stock it.

  • Network with other authors, especially with those who have written about common topics or time periods. You may be able to collaborate with promotional events.
  • Collaboration with other authors for some talks and festivals offer chances to learn from the experience of colleagues. Your one and only debut novel may look lonely on an exhibition stand.
  • Solo talks may work well for small venues or groups but a joint presentation can make the organiser feel they are getting value for money.
  • If you don’t feel confident with public speaking, seek advice and support from fellow authors. You could offer the first few talks for free so that you don’t feel under pressure. So long as your travel costs are covered and there are opportunities for book sales this can still be cost-effective and generates goodwill and recommendations.

Finally, have your second novel waiting in the wings. Any reader who likes your writing will be hungry for more. It may have taken ten years to write your first book, but will your audience remember you if they have to wait several years for your next effort? This is the reason agents and publishers ask that question - "and have you written anything else?" If you have a second book in third or fourth draft there’s a chance that it could be published soon. So in between all the promotional events, or if you have a feeling of anti-climax, why not edit that next novel.

Want to know more...?
Wendy Worley is the author of historical YA novel Echoes of Friendship. You can buy the book in the SilverWood bookshop here, and connect with Wendy on Facebook here

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