Promoting your book

Get Involved

Your book has now published. Congratulations! 

Of course, there are countless things we are doing to market and sell your book, as outlined in the Author Care Pack that is emailed to you 60–90 days before the publication of your book. But you can help too, through many activities covered here. 

Often, readers are more responsive to information shared by a book’s author than its publisher, so getting involved in the promotion of your work can really help you gain additional exposure and encourage sales. But keep in mind there’s no need for you to use your promotional activity to push for sales (that’s what we’re here for) – all you need to do is get people interested in the work you’re doing by talking about it. By interacting with members of communities related to the subject of your book and engaging in genuine interactions with followers on social media you’re forging a meaningful relationship that can be hugely beneficial to your work.

As a general rule, you should focus on sharing content from and related to your book, such as chapter excerpts and pertinent news items. Take a look at each section here for more information – we've made it easy!

What is metadata? Maximize discoverability

For content to be read, referenced, and cited, first it has to be discovered. The best way to maximize discoverability is to provide an accurate description of the content that can be indexed by search tools. This is known as metadata, and in publishing it typically comprises abstracts and keywords that identify the subjects about which the content has been written. Any search engine or library discovery tool uses this metadata to deliver results to the user; therefore, excellent metadata will allow more users to discover content more easily. By collecting metadata for all of our content, we are committed to working at the cutting-edge of industry trends and helping our authors make the most impact with their content.

How do I create strong metadata for my content?

Routledge Metadata Survey FAQs PDF Document

There are a few simple rules to follow when providing effective metadata to maximize discoverability. The most important things to bear in mind are concision and accuracy – which are the most important words and phrases that potential users might include when searching for relevant content? Once you’ve identified a shortlist of the best keywords, their position in the abstract is also meaningful to search tools, so ensure they appear as close to the beginning of the copy as possible. Beyond that, search tools are sensitive to repetition, so while it may appear counter-intuitive at first, an abstract for a book on World History that repeats “World History” 50 times would be less discoverable than one that mentions “World History” twice, while following all the other rules. It is worth noting that there are inventive ways to get around this challenge, including using synonyms. Lastly, attempting to include too many keywords will dilute the discoverability of the content, so ensure you focus on the most important two or three keywords.

Click here to view the Metadata Survey FAQ.

Social Media

The power and pervasiveness of social media continues to grow. New social media platforms seemingly pop up every day. How do you know which are relevant, or which will be obsolete by the end of the year? And how much time should you devote to building your social media presence and following? Using social media effectively gives you a way to connect with your readers (and potential readers) directly, and engage in a conversation with them. The most successful users of social media listen, respond, and realize that doing a good job takes effort and diligence. Of course, that effort will pay off in the end. Use these tips to get the most out of what you’re putting into social media:

  • Take a look at the different platforms. You’re probably already familiar with the three biggest players in social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. But did you know that they’re not all created equal? Think a bit about how you want to interact with your audience, and then develop your presence on the social media platform that’s most suited to what you want to achieve. 
    • A Facebook page for you as an author, or for your book specifically, gives you a place to share pictures, short book excerpts, links to related content (from your blog or elsewhere), and information about any upcoming events on your calendar. It’s a great way to connect with people you know and enlist them to help share and spread your content. 
    • Twitter is an ongoing conversation that you can jump into at any time. With so many users, it can be overwhelming, but profiles and hashtags will help you to identify and settle into your niche. For those who like to get their point across in as few words as possible, Twitter is the perfect choice. Share links to your work and connect with people across your field of interest.
    • Google+ doesn’t get nearly the same amount of attention as Facebook and Twitter, but that doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, if you’re interested in making it easy as possible for search engines to find you and your work, you’ll want to head over to G+ as soon as possible. The more +1s and shares you get on the platform, the better your search engine rank, and the better your search engine rank, the easier it is for people to find you and your book. And because Google wants you to use as many Google-branded services as possible, G+ interfaces seamlessly with YouTube, Gmail, and everything else that’s got Google’s stamp on it. G+ also makes it easy for you to find people who share your interests and connect to new and existing communities. 
  • Be realistic about what you can do. Most of us just don’t have time to maintain social media accounts across numerous platforms, let alone work constantly to build our followings in all corners of the Internet. Chances are that you’ll really only be able to commit to one social media outlet, so make sure you choose wisely. Put the most effort into that platform, and reuse the information you post there on the platforms you consider secondary. That way you maintain an audience, but you don’t lose sleep doing it. 
  • Connect with people who share your interests. Some social media platforms make it easy to get carried away and follow everyone under the sun, but being selective in who you follow will help you find others who share your interests and let you make more meaningful connections with the people and groups that really count. Aiming for quality over quantity will also give you time to really tailor your message to your audience. 
  • Be active and engaged. Interact with posts from the people you follow, and make your voice heard. Get conversations started by asking questions or answering others’ questions, and stay involved to keep the discussion moving. Social media puts you in touch with people you might not have a chance to speak to otherwise, so try to get as much out of it as you can. 
  • Be generous. The most successful people in the social media realm are really good about pushing other people’s excellent content. This in turn makes those people more likely to return the favor and help push some of your content. So make sure to focus on others and karma will be good to you.
  • Be creative. Writing a book with a unique perspective requires creativity. Channel that same creativity into engaging your audience. This article from Mashable (a great reference on social media topics) has more on how authors can best use social media platforms. It’s geared towards fiction authors, but we think a lot of it still relates. 

Tips on What to Share 

Feeling stuck, or perhaps slightly overwhelmed? Here are a few ideas for posts that you could adapt to any platform to get you started.

  • Information about when your book is publishing
  • Images of the book’s cover, or from inside the book
  • Positive reviews from relevant sites, magazines, and so on. (Note that you can’t use Amazon reviews, however, because Amazon owns them.)
  • Why did you decide to write this book?
  • Related content from one of your followers or someone you follow
  • Quotes or excerpts from your book
  • Related news items, with or without your commentary
  • Links to blog posts (by you or someone else in your field) that would interest your followers

Once you get familiar and comfortable with these three platforms (or if you’re already using one or all of them successfully), consider other social media channels, like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, or Flickr. These sites tend to focus more on images and video, but you can use them to share any content that lends itself easily to that format. And, of course, you can then use content you create on those to share on your Facebook/Twitter/G+ accounts.

If you are a researcher, you might be interested in some specific ideas our journals counterparts put together on how to best use  Twitter as a researcher. We think there are some things that will relate to you as a book author. 

Facebook 

To create a Facebook account, go to  www.facebook.com and enter your name, birthday, gender, email address or mobile number, and a password. Click “Sign Up.” You will receive a confirmation email or text message from Facebook via the contact information you provided; follow the instructions to complete the account registration process.

Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll want to create a page either for yourself as an author or for your book. To do this, click the icon of three horizontal lines or the blue drop-down arrow at the top right of the screen and select “Create Page” from the list of options ("People" for yourself, or "Books & Magazines" for your book). You can also go directly to  www.Facebook.com/pages/create, and select "Artist, Band or Public Figure" or "Entertainment," and then select the appropriate sub-categories. Then follow the instructions to create and manage your page.

Your Facebook page is the place where you’ll be building your community – sharing relevant links and information, posting about news and events, sharing images, and so on – so you’ll want to be sure to keep it focused on whatever you’re promoting, whether it’s yourself or your book. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to generate all the content you post. Many successful Facebook posts are shared from other pages or members. 

Twitter

To create a Twitter account, go to  www.twitter.com/signup. Enter your name and email address, and choose a password and username. Your username can be whatever you want it to be, although it’s easiest for other people to identify you if your username is your full name (i.e., @JaneDoe). Click “Create my account.” You will receive a confirmation email from Twitter. Open the link in the email to complete the registration process. Once you’re all set up, start following people whose interests are related to yours. The more people you follow, the more Twitter will be able to tailor its recommendations for other people to follow.

Need some guidance on using Twitter?

  • Engage in Twitter conversations – retweet what you find interesting. You can do this using Twitter's retweet button (two arrows following each other) or you can add some context (and interest) by writing a new tweet with your own comments, writing “RT@username” (e.g., RT@JohnSmith), and then pasting in the tweet you are referring to.  
  • Engage in Twitter conversations – respond to tweets, giving your view. Remember to always include the username of the person you’re responding to (e.g., @JohnSmith). 
  • Use hashtags (the # symbol) to engage with key topics and conversations (e.g., #netneutrality). Hashtags are essentially keywords that help categorize your messages. This will mean that your tweet will be picked up by all those with an interest in the subject and you'll become part of the conversation. Don't be afraid to create your own either – you'll be amazed at how this can make your tweet more visible. 
  • Don’t overuse hashtags. Listing 10 different hashtags for one Tweet is overkill. Usually 1 or 2, or none, is best. 
  • Keep in mind many often use the hashtag in humor, where they aren’t intending for it work to categorize their Tweet. 
  • Cross-post with other social media platforms. Using the “more” button (three dots in a line), you can embed a Tweet in another platform such as your website or blog. 
  • Shorten hyperlinks using sites such as bitly.com or tinyurl.com. 

These are just some starter tips; you can also direct message people, thank people if they retweet you, ask questions, or tweet your thoughts from conferences you are at. Once you get into it, Twitter is weirdly addictive. 

Google+

If you already have a Google account, then you have a G+ account. If you don’t already have a Google account, go to  plus.google.com, fill in your name, birthday, gender, and email address, and choose a username and password. Once you create your account, you’ll be prompted to add a profile picture, and then directed to your new Gmail account. From Gmail, you can navigate back to G+ from the dashboard in the top right of the screen.

In G+, start adding people to your circles to build your network and find people with interests that correspond with yours.

Blogging

Like social media, blogging puts you in a position to interact directly with your book’s audience, in your own voice, but affords you a bit more space to make your point or explore a subject. A blog can be a great way for you to articulate ideas, offer opinions, ask questions, and take advantage of a long-form communication platform. Additionally, the more references and links to your book there are on the Internet, the better it will perform in searches for related terms and keywords. Keep in mind, though, that a successful blog needs regular updating and can sometimes be a strain on your creativity and your time. The best bloggers also regularly engage with other bloggers by linking to their content and commenting on their posts, making this a very social activity. 

Pointers to Keep in Mind When Blogging

  • Your audience. Who are you blogging for? Other academics? Professionals? Students? A general audience? Answering these questions and thinking about the needs of the group(s) you’re addressing will help you determine what you want to blog about and how you should approach it. 
  • The purpose of your blog. What are you trying to achieve with your blog? Do you want to share information and news about your area(s) of interest? Examine the professional or academic culture surrounding it? Share tips and suggestions for others in the same field? Giving your blog a clear focus will make it easy for your readers to understand what you have to offer and will help you attract the audience you are looking for. 
  • Your subject matter. How can you focus your ideas? How does your subject speak to your audience? Finding the right balance between a broad and a narrow focus will help you to craft a blog that communicates a clear standpoint and doesn’t get wrapped up in tangential details. And don’t forget to connect your blog content to your book in some way (but resist the urge to plug your work in every post!). 
  • Your writing style. Are you engaging your audience? Is your tone clear, readable, and enjoyable? Would you want to read what you wrote? Blogging doesn’t need to be formal – a good post might read like you’re talking directly to your reader. Remember, even your biggest fan wants to read something engaging and interesting. Don’t let him or her down! That same fan is probably also a lot like every other reader on the Internet, and has a tendency to scan more than read in-depth, so keep it short and sweet.
  • Your format. Do you just want to write, or are you open to video blogging? Some posts might lend themselves more easily to one format or another. If you’re tech savvy (or if you’ve always dreamed of becoming a star of the screen), video blogging might be a fun route to try every now and then, or on a regular basis. 
  • Getting the word out. You’re writing, but are you sharing what you’ve written? In order to get traffic to your blog, you’ve got to promote it. Use channels like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn (check out our social media tips on this page) to let your colleagues, friends, and family know that you’re blogging, and encourage them to get the word out, too. Guest blogging on other related sites is also a great way to get your name out to a community of readers (not to mention develop relationships with others who are blogging about similar topics!). 

The best blog posts usually have the following elements: 

  • A good title that’s related to the subject of the post
  • An interesting image or video that illustrates your post (catching people’s eye is very important!)
  • Tags that are related to the post subject
  • A length of under 1,000 words (as a general guideline … but of course you can go much longer)
  • Good organization and good use of white space
  • Things like top 10 lists work very well because they are easy for readers to quickly get the most relevant information
  • Clean spelling and grammar
  • Links to related material, websites, and blogs as well as links to other relevant posts that you’ve written
  • And, most importantly, they will be engaging – any blog or social media post should work to engage your audience

Blogging Platforms

There are several free blogging platforms that all provide detailed instructions for setting up a new blog: 

  • Wordpress 
  • Blogger
  • Typepad
  • Tumblr 

If you’re really committed and want more freedom than the free platforms provide, purchasing a web domain and self-hosting a blog is also an option.

If you are a researcher, you might be interested in some specific ideas our Journals counterparts put together on  academic blogging.

Professional & Academic Platforms

Platforms such as LinkedIn, Academia.edu, Google Scholar, and ORCID are ideal ways to complement your social media presence and put greater emphasis on your professional accomplishments while connecting with people who work in your field or fields similar to yours. These platforms have distinguishing characteristics and don’t serve the same functions as traditional social media, which is why they are best used in conjunction with other platforms. 

  • LinkedIn is intended to help you build your professional network. Your profile emphasizes your resume and work accomplishments, and posts and other shared content are generally industry-specific. The site has numerous open and closed (meaning you have to request access) groups where you can discuss specific topics and issues and connect with others more closely.
  • Academia.edu is a platform that allows academics to post their research and access data and analytics that demonstrate how widely that research has been shared. The platform also links you to others by making it possible for you to view their research. Note that if you are a practitioner who is not interested in the academic side of your field, there’s really no reason for you to use Academia.edu.
  • Google Scholar lets you to search specifically for scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, keep a library of your searches, and create an author profile and alerts to see who’s citing your work.
  • ORCID is a free registry that allows you to create a unique author identifier that you can link to your research and writing.
  • Remember you can also add links to your book in an email signature, on your personal website, or on your profile page on your institution’s website. 

Both LinkedIn and Academia.edu make it possible for you to showcase your publications through your user profile. 

To add publications to your LinkedIn profile:

Once you’ve created an account and are in your profile, click on “Edit Profile.” This will bring up an editable version of your profile. On the right side of the screen, you’ll see a box marked “Recommended for you,” which should have the “Publications” option in it. Clicking on “Publications” will bring you to a screen where you can enter information about your work. Fill in as much information as possible so that potential readers can easily find your book, and include a link to your book product page on the relevant Taylor & Francis site. Make sure to save the form once you have filled in all the information.

To add publications to your Academia.edu profile:

There are two ways to do this. Either select “Add Papers” on your profile homepage and then choose a file or files to upload or select “Add Papers” from the navigation bar. This method will prompt you to enter your publication title, identify related areas of research, and add the file or link to the publication itself. 

To get started with Google Scholar:

Go to scholar.google.com. The icons at the top of the page will let you see and edit your library, create a profile (under My Citations), set alerts, view metrics, and update your settings. For more in-depth instructions on how to use each function, click on  “About Google Scholar” at the bottom of the page and click through the links on the top banner (About, Search, Citations, Inclusion, Metrics, Publishers, and Libraries).

To use ORCID:

Register for a free ORCID iD on their  website with just your name, email, and a password. Their “Knowledge Base” section includes FAQs and tutorials on how to use the variety of features provided by the organization.

Wikipedia

If there is a Wikipedia page about you, keep in mind that the site’s editorial policies discourage making changes to any page with which you might have a conflict of interest (this includes updating the page to include your latest book). However, you can add references to your work on Wikipedia, provided you follow the site’s guidelines for citing your own work: 

Using material you have written or published is allowed within reason, but only if it is relevant, conforms to the content policies, including WP:SELFPUB, and is not excessive. Citations should be in the third person and should not place undue emphasis on your work. When in doubt, defer to the community's opinion.

Videos & Infographics

A social media presence means very little if you don’t have anything to share with your audience. Fortunately, it’s easy to put together compelling, engaging, and attractive content that you can use to generate interest in your book. Two options are video trailers or overviews of your book, and infographics. You might feel like you don’t have the technical know-how to create these; however, there are a number of tools online that will walk you through the creation of this kind of content for free. You don’t even need to film anything to put a video together – you can create a video with simple voice-over, the book’s cover, charts and graphs from the book, and related images. YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the Internet – take advantage of this by making sure you have content on the site.

Video

  • Stupeflix (studio.stupeflix.com)
  • Animoto (animoto.com)
  • Videolicious (videolicious.com)
  • Wideo (wideo.co)

Infographics

  • Piktochart (piktochart.com)
  • Easel.ly
  • Infogr.am
  • Visual.ly
  • Venngage (venngage.com)

Amazon's Author Central

Amazon Author Central PDF

Learn how to create your own page on Amazon's Author Central.

Click here to view the PDF.

Conferences

Our  dedicated global conference team ensures that we have presence worldwide at all the major conferences throughout the year.

Your book will be promoted at all the meetings we attend where appropriate, and we are happy to supply you with any promotional material for smaller meetings/presentations you may be attending throughout the year. Your  help as an author to distribute information about your book at meetings throughout the year supports the events that we attend to raise the profile of your book across its intended target markets.

It is important that you  communicate your requirements to your marketing contact as soon as possible in order for us to help support the smaller meetings with appropriate marketing material, where your help is key to ensuring your book’s success.

More from Taylor & Francis

Looking for author resources within one of our other imprints?

CRC Press »

Garland Science »

Taylor & Francis Journals »

Help Your Book Gain Exposure

As an author, you are empowered to take certain crucial steps that can help your book reach the right audiences and sell more copies.

Read our advice for gaining better exposure for your book.