Best Books for Self-Published Authors: A Review of “Guerrilla Marketing for Writers”

Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 No-Cost, Low-Cost Weapons for Selling Your Work, by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, Michael Larsen and David L. Hancock. Morgan James Publishing, 2010.

For many writers, “marketing” is a scary word. After all, your expertise is in writing books, not moving units (or whatever lingo those marketing people are using these days). For all the workshops and MFA programs out there purporting to help you write a book, there are remarkably few courses on how to sell the books you’ve written. The world of press releases and lead times can be intimidating to the uninitiated, if not downright impossible.

Lucky for self-published and traditionally published authors alike, there’s Guerrilla Marketing for Writers, an accessible, no-frills guide to book publicity filled with tips to help you move those units out of your garage and into readers’ hands.

While some of the information covered is fairly basic (writing press releases, contacting reviewers, the importance of building a platform), Guerrilla Marketing for Writers goes one step beyond other book publicity manuals with its focus on technologies like Twitter for building an audience for your book. “Guerrilla tactics” such as posting a (highly re-tweetable!) tip or quote of the day are easy, fun, and accessible for even novice guerrilla marketers.

Guerrilla Marketing for Writers encourages writers not to underestimate the power of the personal touch, which—let’s face it—can be an easy thing to lose sight of in our rush to send to send out a bazillion review copies. The authors write: “The more technology we have in our lives, the more we crave human contact—a major advantage guerrillas exploit every chance they can get.” Sending handwritten thank-you notes to radio hosts and personal responses to readers’ comments may not sound like a marketing tactic, but it can give your personal brand a bigger boost than a whole box of business cards.

Guerrilla Marketing for Writers is also one of the only book publicity manuals I’ve encountered that includes equally valuable advice for both fiction and non-fiction authors, providing a list of the most effective guerrilla tactics for each category in order of importance.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the publicity jungle, Guerrilla Marketing for Writers is the perfect book to get you going and keep you going for the long haul. Whether you’re looking to boost flagging book sales or launch a full-scale publicity campaign, guerrilla tips will help you stay motivated and think outside the box.

5/5 Highly recommended.

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