Why book marketing is a marathon with legs of sprinting #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Why book marketing is a marathon with legs of sprinting

As someone whose career was in marketing long before I became an author, I want to make sure other authors understand why the marathon mindset is important.

Here’s what marketers know: it takes 6-plus touch points to reach someone’s consciousness, which means your brand has to interact with a person at least 6 times before they’ll remember it.


  1. If you tweet your audience 6 times, you’re all set, right? No. For one, there’s no guarantee they’ll see any of your tweets. And second, people tend to tune-out old-hat marketing tactics. That means if they’re already inundated with tweets about book offers, even if they happen to skim yours, they’re less likely to retain the message.
  2. If you plan 6 different marketing tactics, then you’re good to go, right? No, because there’s no guarantee that any one person will interact with all of your tactics, even if all 6 are sent directly to that person’s inbox.
  3. If a person has received 6 of your touch points, this means they’ll buy your next book, right? Maybe. It’s important to note that as an author, you’re marketing not only your core brand, which is your name, but that each of your books can be considered a sub-brand. Consider how you buy books. Sometimes you buy based on the author brand, and sometimes it’s because you’ve heard so much positive buzz about a particular title, and maybe you have no idea who the author is yet.

This is why I like to think of book marketing as a marathon—the ongoing effort to marketWhy book marketing is a marathon with legs of sprinting #pubtip #bookmarketing #indieauthors your author brand and book sub-brands—with legs of sprinting when you’re pushing a particular title or sub-brand, such as leading up to a release.

When you hear authors talking about their marketing strategy, they aren’t referring to an intangible concept. It’s the marathon of goal-oriented, diversified, and often innovative tactics they are planning over the foreseeable future, collated into a document.

This post is part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. So many great blogs to keep hopping through. Click here to join the hop and to see what other writing tips you can glean from this month’s edition.

As an author, how do you feel about the marketing side of the biz? Have you noticed any innovative marketing tactics for authors lately? Chat with me in the comments.

73 thoughts on “Why book marketing is a marathon with legs of sprinting #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

  1. Yes – I like the marathon analogy, as you need to pace yourself, keep the right mental attitude and it really helps to know how well you are doing. Most of us are writing another book while marketing our last, so time is at a premium. I keep a simple spreadsheet with columns for date, what I did, contact email, website URL and notes. This makes it easier to relate marketing activity to actual sales.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Interesting analogy. I usually ignore/skim tweets about book offers. But I’ll read an interview with an author about their new book – it gives a peek into the author’s mind and tells me about the book too.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Marketing is overwhelming to me. I haven’t finished my first draft yet, but I hope that by being active on Twitter and my blog I will develop a following before my book is ready to be released 🙂 The worst marketing tactic I’ve seen is when an author tweets nothing but a buy link for their book. I prefer authors who are friendly and active in the community, and I love video book trailers.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Marketing is definitely a marathon sport. Not only once you are competing but while conditioning yourself long before you are out on the market.
    It is one of the areas where I have a lot to learn and have been watching and reading avidly on the subject. The upside is there are a lot of authors out there with some great materials, and I am starting to feel like maybe I might figure it out. However, there are a ton of days where I feel like I have so many miles left to go.
    As an expert in this area, do you have any resources you think are worth looking at for a novice “runner” like me?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, Raimey! This is an area I struggle with so I always enjoy any marketing tips (not just as an author, but other areas, too). Thanks for sharing 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m a freelance copywriter by day and I also do some social media marketing for a few of my clients, so I actually enjoy marketing, but it’s definitely a marathon! And since writing books is also a marathon, that means we’re all running two…

    Some days I feel like “writer” is just another word for “masochist” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great, now I’m thinking about it the same way as you are. Thanks a lot, Dianna. 😉 Just kidding. You’re absolutely right, of course. We are running two marathons, and it’s exhausting, and we’re all masochists.


  7. Fellow marketer here! It’s definitely not a sprint, I struggle to make people understand that at my day job, they don’t see why we can’t convert leads who’ve come across us just once. Hopefully everything I’ve learnt from working in marketing will help when it comes time to sell my book, I’ve already got my author platform building and hope to work more on that in the future. Thanks for the advice Raimey, and the hop! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a great analogy. I feel like I am great at marketing for other people, but I just can’t seem to sell myself. I hope I get over that hurdle if I am to ever have a book published.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marketing completely baffles me. It’s one aspect of being an author that I dread learning about because it seems so confusing and overwhelming. Your analogy of marathon makes it easier to understand, though it’s still foggy and distant to me. It’s clearly something I need to learn more about as I get ready to publish.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Raimey. I feel like I am just beginning to see some payoffs from my intense marketing efforts these past three months. I think the biggest tip I have is to stay at it. Just like a marathon. You can’t give up and sometimes when you see the finish line, you sprint all out and try, try, try some more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I always skip over book ads. My twitter feed is clogged with them, and one more just adds to the noise. Authors should focus on more meaningful content. Tweets about getting a contract, or a book release date, or an author interview are far more interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Raimey, This is all so true. I’ve been running my blog since 2011. My first book was published in 2015. As part of the marathon, I’ve found sharing other author’s books and writing advice has helped build a following. I believe if we market each other’s books we all win.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you! Very timely read for me because I’m on the cusp of publishing my first book on Amazon and needed the reminder. Would you believe that I have nothing planned other than one post for my blog with an automated share on social media? Despite having been a corporate marketer for all of my career, I am actually very bad at selling myself (read insecure-introvert concealed behind an overbite of devil-may-care egoism). Precisely the reason why I would rather publish traditionally – let someone else handle the stress of arranging the book launch and signing. I now feel like I need to crack open my Kotler and draw up a strategy. Good ol’ days, eh?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I will definitely do that. I’m seeing great results from such collaborations across the board. Will look to you if I need any hand-holding since you obviously have it down pat.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Awesome post! I love the parallels between marketing and running. My day job is working in social media, and before I started this job I never realized how integrated all of the marketing and communications aspects are for big brands, and have been thinking about how these things can be adapted and utilized for smaller brands (like authors…)

    To be honest, I haven’t paid much attention to book marketing, but I’ll have to pay more attention now, and think about how I become aware of certain books and authors. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Marketing is such a malleable idea. I only recently started a newsletter, and I had someone ask why, when I already have a blog. It’s like you said – to hit on more touch points. But I’m learning as I go to see which touch points have the most effect in the end, and where my efforts need to be expended most.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The newsletter is a terrific idea, so terrific, that I think I tweeted your post twice today, an extra time to let people know about the newsletter. Marketing is malleable to the brand, indeed.


  16. This makes me feel a lot better about the certificate in marketing I’m planning on starting next year … There’s just so much to do, and so much to learn, and if I’m going to do it well, I feel like I’d be best off actually studying this craft.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yes on the marathon with bits of sprinting. 🙂 Loving the other comments here! For me, marketing is first and foremost about engaging people who might enjoy my book, supporting other writers, and balancing the relentless campaign with self-care. That last one is vital. Amazing how fast you can burn out.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Marketing is just as hard as writing sometimes! It is most definitely a marathon, not a sprint. Especially if you’re a debuting author. You can’t expect people to suddenly jump on your personal bandwagon, no matter how much we all wish they would. And I LOVE the six touch points you mentioned. It’s incredibly true!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This is so interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever heard the six touch points before. I’ve been studying (trying to, at least–why must marketing be so hard?), indie marketing for books, lately, and I think this concept would be super helpful to work into a lot of the plans I’ve seen. Thank you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I work with writers, authors and small business owners all the time. Marketing should always be viewed as a marathon not a wimpy sprint!

    Authors should boost Facebook + Instagram posts, use TumblR promotion & set up well marketed websites as a point of contact or point of sale.

    I am Ashton Deroy from the Toronto-Businessphere.com website. I want to share your post with some aspiring authors.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Appreciate your perspective on marathon versus quick little sprint. Speaks to agility, to digging deep and keeping trying new approaches….Have been to runner marathons and been astounded by the courage, determination, need to find more strength when you have nothing left to give. So, yes, it is a marathon…

    Liked by 1 person

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