Social Media for Book Promotion

Categories: Academic Writing Month, Focus Series, MentorSpace, Tools and Resources, Writing and Editing

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After months or even years of work, a package arrives from the publisher. You’ve poured your heart and soul into it, struggling to get it finished and it’s so satisfying to hold it in your hands. It’s your book and you’re proud of it. But now comes the difficult bit.

How do you ensure people know about it? How do you persuade them to read it? How do you encourage them to talk about it? In a crowded marketplace filled with unread and unloved books it’s necessary to be proactive if you want to ensure that your book finds an audience.

Social media can’t solve this problem but it can provide us with easy means to help spread the word about your book, helping people who might be interested find their way to it.

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Share screenshots from your book on social media. Find an interesting passage, produce an image and post it with a short summary which will stand out to readers. These snippets convey core arguments or ideas from your book in a way which can grab the attention of potential readers through social media.

2. Share extracts from the book as blog posts. This could either be on your own blog or offered as guest posts to relevant multi author blogs. It should be possible to find at least 3 or 4 sections of around 1000 words that will work well as standalone blog posts. Publishers should be fine with this, as long as they see its being done for promotional reasons.
3. Use the cover as a header or profile image on social media. It’s a simple visual reminder of the fact the book is out there, liable to provoke the interest of your potential readers. Be sure to have a pinned post or profile link which helps them find out more about the book.  

4. Use a tool like Buffer’s Pablo or Canva to produce a simple graphic which illustrate the key features of your book. This can help a pinned post be more visually striking than would otherwise be the case.

5. Provide interested colleagues with a review copy, even if it involves giving away your spare author copies. They don’t have to have a high profile as long as they’re interested and willing to share their reflections through social media. It’s even better if you can help set them up with a formal outlet for a review as well.

6. Put a link in your e-mail signature. E-mail is the original social media in the academy but it often gets overlooked for these purposes. How many e-mails do you send each day? This is an easy way to spread the word within your networks without taking lots of time and energy. 


Mark Carrigan, author of the new edition of Social Media for Academics, is the Mentor-in-Residence for SAGE MethodSpace this November. Join us for an open Tweetchat on November 18! Enter the code SAGE2019 for a discount on your book purchase.

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