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  • Caitlyn Lynch

Non-Fiction Review: 5 Minute Book Marketing for Authors by Penny C. Sansevieri

What this book is REALLY going to tell you is that there are no easy answers. With thousands of books being released every day, if you don’t want yours to disappear from view instantly, you’re going to have to actually market it. Even if you’re with a mainstream publisher, you as the author will still have to do something, from book signings to library talks. Self-publishers have to do everything, or risk sinking without trace. And being self-published myself, I can tell you, it can seem appallingly daunting. There are so many options, and it’s easy to let it overwhelm you or take over your life to the point where you have no time to actually write (been there, done that).

If you’re finding the whole thing overwhelming, this book will give you a lot of places to start which are quite small. From optimizing Amazon keywords to hitting up book bloggers, there are heaps of tasks which you can break down into small enough things to just spend 5 minutes a day on. Now, the author makes no promises that 5 minutes a day of book marketing is going to achieve your goal (whatever that might be).

I read a slightly older edition of this book in which Sansevieri does suggest some things which are no longer valid, or which have become prohibitively expensive, like Goodreads giveaways, but a lot of her suggestions are sensible and cost-free apart from your time. Methods to enhance your book description to appeal to readers’ interests, how to understand Amazon’s categories, themes and keywords and make them work for you, and how to get legitimate book reviews are all excellent topics which merit study from anyone considering self-publishing.

This is a useful reference for anyone who’s preparing to push the button to go live with their first work, or is in the early stages of having self-published and is wondering what to do next. I’m not sure it would be of any use to someone who’s been doing this a while; I didn’t find anything new or inspiring in it, at any rate, and as I mentioned, some things are now outdated. The information is very ‘top level’ and I’d suggest further reading on topics like newsletters, ads and social media for authors, but it’s a good place to start for the absolute beginner. Four stars.

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