Why you should start promoting your book while you’re writing it

Typically, writers don’t start thinking about marketing until their book is ready. By then it is actually too late. There are a wealth of opportunities to create awareness and to promote your book well before the launch.

So the good news is that there is a lot that you can do now, especially during the writing process. In this article, you will find ideas and tips.

Does a good book sell itself?

Unfortunately, there are many good books gathering dust in storage places, because nobody knows that they exist. Marketing is essential to bring your book to the attention of your target group – and keep it there.

Book marketing is a lot of work, but it can also bring you a lot. Not just in terms of sales; it also gives you more insight into your potential readers and your added value for them. The promotion in itself is a way to share your message. Plus it provides more visibility for your topic and yourself as an expert.

Three stages

Promotion of your book is a long-term project, and each of these three phases requires a different focus and communication strategy:

1. Prologue: the promotion and presale already start while you are still writing your book.
2. Climax: Your book presentation, the launch of your book.
3. Epilogue: the ‘after play’ after your book has been published.

Why wait for your book to be finished?

Reasons to start building your network and communicate around your theme and book project include:

  • If social media and marketing are relatively new to you, starting now allows you to learn and use this run-up time to try things out. At first, if you are new to it, you won’t be very visible. Starting out, mainly friends and family will see your outreach, making it less scary and less problematic if you make mistakes. Think of it as a learning process.
  • Take the time to build up a network of ambassadors. Focus on those who are interested in your subject and have a large audience or reach.
  • It is best to build relationships with journalists early on in the process, rather than ambush them suddenly when you need them when your book is published.
  • It is your best motivation to write and finish the book!

When to start and how?

As soon as you have your text ready for the back cover, start to share it. You will get immediate feedback on your concept, while secretly promoting your book.

The next step is the cover design. Involve your followers: which cover do they like better? Which suits the topic better?

If you have the back cover and cover ready, you can even start the pre-sale of your book! Pre-sale is a way to draw attention to your book and collect some funds to cover the expenses of editing, designing, and printing the manuscript

Avoid this mistake

“C’est le ton qui fait la musique”  – “It’s the tone that makes the music”

Don’t you hate that ‘buy my book!’ communication some other authors use? It is better to focus on making contact rather than on making sales.
Why don’t you just help your potential readers solve their problems by sharing your knowledge. You can occasionally refer to your book, but not every time.
You can also involve readers in your writing process so that your messages will come across as more authentic and less ‘salesperson’.

Finally, make sure that your communication does not become a one-way street, where you only ‘send’. You can ask your audience for input and feedback, which will make the book better and more complete.


Hopefully, you will start enjoying the promotion of your book as much as you enjoy writing it and talking about your topic. The result: more visibility for you, your message, your book, and your other products and services.

Are you serious about writing your book?

Don't reinvent the wheel, like I did. As the author and co-author of more than 30 books, writing coach for hundreds of people and organizer of 20 writing retreats, I have finally found the best system for writing a good book: the 'Reverse Writing' method. If you begin at the end and create a good structure before you start writing, you will be able to follow your energy, instead of the page numbers.

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A successful book starts with a good idea. Check out the 10 best ‘formulas’ I’ve found for successful non-fiction books. Each of these ten proven formats gives you a different perspective, inspiration and examples you can adapt for your own book. Subscribe to my 'interested in writing' list for book inspiration & tips and immediately receive the PDF with 10 ideas for a successful non-fiction book.
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