How to Increase Book Sales Even If No One’s Heard of You

If you’re going to put all the effort into writing a book, you might as well try and reach as many readers as possible. Whether it’s a romance novel or an instructional guide to carpentry, your book has an audience, and this post shares the best strategies for you to reach that audience.

Write a great book

It might seem like common sense, but my grandfather always likes to point out that common sense isn’t all that common. A great book will hook readers from the opening page. A great book will keep readers excited all the way to the finish. A great book will make readers feel that they’ve got to share this book with anyone and everyone they can. (By the way, Rob Eagar presents some great strategies to excel at writing books readers will share in his book, which I’m currently sharing, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire.)

Share your great book

By share your book, I don’t mean that you just give it to anyone. Share it with people who will impact your book sales. For instance, here’s a great article about how an unknown novelist used Goodreads to sell her self-published novel and eventually land a contract with Atria Books. Basically, she gave away some copies to excited readers, who then reviewed the book favorably (because she wrote a great book).

That story can be duplicated outside of Goodreads too by giving away copies on blogs as part of guest blog posts, interviews, or other promotions. The important thing is to get copies to an engaged audience that will spread the word after they fall in love with your writing.

Get involved

No one has the time to communicate with everyone all the time. Believe me, I’ve tried. But everyone has the ability to pick and choose other writers, readers, and publishing professionals with whom to build connections.

Ask questions. Offer advice. Pitch guest posts. Connect people who don’t know each other, but who you think really should. Share news that would interest your target audience. The more you get involved, the more people will ask you to be involved, which can lead to speaking opportunities, article assignments, and yes, book sales!

How to Get Started From Scratch

If this sounds great, but you don’t even have the great book yet, don’t fret. Here’s a list of what you need to do:

  • Write a great book. You can’t sell something that doesn’t exist, so start writing it today.
  • Publish your book. You can go the self-publishing route or find a publisher using a directory like, which lists hundreds of literary agents and book publishers.
  • Share your book. Offer giveaways on respected blogs and social media sites such as Goodreads and RedRoom. The books you give are an investment in future sales.
  • Get involved. This is the last bullet point, but you can start getting involved today and have a better lay of the land when your book is published.

Now get out there and start selling books!


Want more publishing advice? Check out these links:


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