When Marketing Your Book is Like Sport

By Vanessa Jones book marketing

Digital marketing tools work at their most optimum when they are used together and when they all talk to each other. Consider them a community, a family or a team that work together with one end goal in mind.

Let’s think of your marketing as a sports team. Each marketing activity is a player and will support and talk to another player to achieve the ultimate goal. The goal being a book sale, a new reader, a publishing contract or a book review.

The aim of marketing in this case, is to score a goal and you need an effective team to do so. Are all your players pointed at the right set of goals or are they scoring for the other team? How easy is it to score a goal or orchestrate your team so that goals can be continuously scored?


In any team, it’s imperative that the players need to work together, to talk to one another and work collaboratively – not as individuals. If one player is scoring all the goals, they are going exhaust quite quickly. If another player keeps kicking wide and there’s no team member there to funnel it into the goal square, then it is a wasted player.

Clearly, I’ve just proven my complete lack of sporting knowledge but I’m confident that you understand the metaphor. All your marketing platforms should work in cohesion; your brochures will list your social media channels, your Twitter will direct people towards your Facebook page, your Facebook page will direct people to your website, your enewsletter will point to all your social media channels and so forth. You may have heard that Twitter doesn’t sell books but Twitter is still an integral part of your team.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to engage in all the available platforms, it just means that you need to put together the team that works best for you.

If it’s becoming a burden and you are not feeling that excitement of spreading your message, then focus on the marketing activities that do bring you joy. There’s no point engaging in this aspect of your business as a writer if it detracts away from the joy that writing or making and selling your creations provide – which is the core reason why you do what you do!

Remember: you can always outsource all or part of your marketing.

Selecting your team

You can be strategic or experimental with your approach to choosing your marketing “team”. You can choose a tool from a few different areas. Here’s a formula you may like to use:

Website + 2 social media platforms (eg Twitter and Facebook) + 1 traditional marketing platform (eg brochures) = your marketing “family”

Another option is to take the scattergun approach and try as many tools as you can to ascertain what works best for you. Give them all at least a three month trial, observing their benefits, strengths and weaknesses and which ones you are more drawn to putting time and effort into, are more fun and provide more return on investment (investment being time and/or money) and speak the best to other tools.

It is absolutely imperative that you have a central place where you can direct all your tools towards. I highly recommend that is your website – a place where you can easily store all your services, information, products, events etc and that people will know where to go. It is an automatic response that people will search for your website before connecting with you.

89% of consumers will search for you using a search engine for purchase decisions.


If you don’t have the time to invest in setting up a website (you can get them for free these days with a number of great online platforms) then maybe your Facebook page or physical premises is your central place but you will have much more success if your gateway is your website.

Start building up your team, coach!


Vanessa Jones is the SA Writers Centre Marketing Manager, freelance marketing consultant and copywriter and a creative writer. She has an Advanced Diploma of Professional Writing, studied creative writing and philosophy at uni and is studying a Diploma of Positive Psychology. Vanessa – also known as Jones the Writer – has worked as a publicist, copywriter and marketing coordinator for many years and is also a qualified yoga teacher. Her marketing book, Promote Your Spiritual Business, is out now.

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