Posted by: nancycurteman | February 17, 2014

5 Ways Readers Find Books

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thumbnail-2.aspxMarketing a novel takes almost as much time and effort by an author as researching and writing the book. To do an effective job of marketing, it’s essential to determine how readers find books they want to read. With this knowledge an author can plan a marketing strategy. Here are 5 of the ways readers find books:

Amazon or Barnes & Noble. These days millions of readers use online book sellers as a source for finding books. Amazon is probably the number one resource. The site provides efficient access and allows several research paths—title, author, genre, topic. Amazon also provides reviews, ratings and allows readers to explore inside the books.
Author marketing strategies:
-Get your book on Amazon
-List it under more than one genre (mystery, romance, suspense,travel).
-Create an Amazon fan page

Internet search. Readers can find books on the Internet by searching by title, author, genre as on Amazon. In addition they can search using numerous other keywords.
Author marketing strategies:
– List your novel under as many keywords as you can when writing about it on your blog or social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.
-Example: For my novel, “Murder Down Under” I list the following keywords-mystery, travel, Australia, ANZAC biscuits, recipes, Alice Springs, Sydney, Aborigines, Uluru, Outback, camels etc. You get the idea.
-Go through your novel and list every keyword that could possibly fit.

Recommendations from friends.  This is important because readers are inclined to read a book about which their friends are raving.
Author marketing strategies:
-Start by encouraging your own friends to mention your book to their circle of friends. Sometimes they just don’t think to do this until you let them know how important it is to you.
-Don’t forget to ask your relatives to share your book with their friends.

Author Events. Most people enjoy attending free author events at which authors share information about themselves and their books.
Author marketing strategies:
-Contact libraries, book clubs, church groups, community clubs and colleges and ask if they would like you to do a free author event.
-Take along copies of your book and have them available for sale on request. Consider signing the copies you sell.

Browsing Bookstores. Many people love browsing book stores in search of books. Sadly, brick and mortar bookstores are not as prevalent as in the past. Still, there are some stores out there. Small local stores will sometimes provide a “Books by Local Authors” shelf.
Author marketing strategies:
-Visit small local bookstores and ask if you can place signed copies of your books on their “Books by Local Authors” shelf.
-Ask if they would allow you to do an open mike along with a couple of other authors. At open mikes, writers read excerpts from their books. Bookstore shoppers can stop and listen if they choose.

Think about the places readers go to find books. Then be creative about how you might get your book in the path of those shopping for books. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose but something you didn’t have in the first place so go for it.

More Tips:
Free Book Marketing Using Email
How to Market Your Mystery Novel
How to Increase Readership of Your Writing?


  1. I need all the help I can get in marketing. It is much more difficult than writing. Writing is fun. I need to enjoy marketing. I hope that I will enjoy it, when I get better equipped to do it. Blessings to you, Nancy


  2. Carol, Marketing is less enjoyable and more difficult than writing. I will say that I do enjoy doing author presentations to various groups. Try some.


  3. I belong to a small group of mystery writers called Women Who Kill and we have a great time bringing our panel discussions and readings to libraries, book clubs, and festivals in the Northwest. As a group we accomplish so much more than we would on our own, none of us being marketing gurus.


    • Joyce, Your group of mystery writers sounds like a great way to market books. Where are you located?


      • We’re in Seattle, Nancy.


  4. Seattle is a bit far for me. I live near San Francisco. I lived in Seattle as a child—swam in Lake Washington, crossed the floating bridge and learned to ride a bike in Green Lake (?) Park. Beautiful city.


    • Seattle has grown into a literary mecca – Richard Hugo House, Seattle Reads, Elliott Bay Books (now in Capital Hill) and Amazon employees who buy all their books from independent bookstores, just to name a few destinations for the book-loving pilgrim :).


      • How wonderful to have bookstores. Fremont only has one bookstore. We used to have five.


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