Promote Yourself and Your Self Published Book in1000 Words


How do you convince people to buy your self published book? I’ve been thinking about this for some time.

How do you convince them that it’s worth investing their time and money? That your book is the one they should be reading ‘right now’ out of the millions of online books available.

There have been all kinds of gimmicks floated over the past few years and in some respects this is yet another, so I apologise in advance if that’s the way it comes across, but you know, it might just be worth giving it a go.

I used to read John Le Carre books. All of them. I loved them all. But why did I read them? Was it word of mouth? Was it that the books were free? Was it that they were cheap and available in great numbers in charity (thrift) shops? Nope.

It was because I read my first Le Carre novel and I was hooked on his style and the characters and the plotting of the story. It would have been Tinker, Tailor etc etc and more than likely back in those days it would have come from the local library. Free.

It wasn’t word of mouth. It was by chance. I may have read on the back cover that it was a spy story….that would not have been enough on its own, but I probably opened up the book randomly and read a couple of pages and thought “Yeah, this is worth investing a week’s worth of my time” (I was a slow reader in those days).

So, what I’m getting at is this…..if you have a book out at the moment, self published, try all the usual routes to get people to buy your book. Fine. But here’s what it might be worth doing…..print 200 or so double-sided A4 sheets (folded to A5), black and white, containing a 1000 words short story in the style of your book. If you see me in the street hand me one, free.

Result? I would look at it. I really would.

The ‘flyer’ might say something like “Murder in Venice” a new book by ‘Hannibal Le Beurre‘ (that’s you) featuring the brilliant detective ‘Matt Laminate‘ out now on Amazon…and tell the reader where they can purchase the book, in whatever form. But that here for them is a free 1000 word short story ‘featuring the characters in the book‘ as a special freebie…and the story will run down the rest of the page and over the other side with  BUY NOW details at the bottom of the sheet.

Okay it might not be possible to feature the exact characters, but give them something in that same genre, so that if they like your 1000 word short story they will not be disappointed when they read the main book.

I would definitely read your 1000 word short story. Whatever the genre, whatever the quality. I would be intrigued. And if I liked it I would go and buy your book. I definitely would. On the other hand if I don’t particularly care for that genre, or your characters, or your style I wouldn’t….but at least you persuaded me to read it and you almost made a sale.

I suspect that many of you will say “I’m an author, a proper one. I don’t want to be bothered writing short stories.”

Okay, I can buy that, but my guess is out of those 200 sheets of paper you will pull in some buyers….and if your book is VERY good you could do really well. There are other aspects I could ramble on about….how to design your flyers so that they have a value of their own….and I’ll go into that in a later post.

Have a think about it. It might work for you. In fact I’m so convinced it will work I’m going to try it out with my book for children this summer….

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About writegoodbooks

I help new writers become published authors through self-publishing. I also offer writers the chance to have their work converted into Kindle eBooks and publish them on the Amazon Kindle store.

2 responses to “Promote Yourself and Your Self Published Book in1000 Words”

  1. olivertidy says :

    Steve, Your idea might well work, but I wonder if it might be worth first asking the would-be recipient of your story whether they would be interested in having it. Perhaps there would be more chance then of hitting a target audience and consequently more of them being read and not simply discarded into the nearest bin. Now I’m thinking about it maybe three quick questions. Something like: Do you read fiction? Do you read ??? genre? Would like a free story in that genre? What do you think?

  2. writegoodbooks says :

    Absolutely. I wouldn’t advise handing out the flyers willy nilly in the city centre, like a double glazing leaflet for example….only joking….but I’m sure you get the point.
    You’d have to carefully pick your venue. And I think you’re right about asking the questions. There would be nothing to be gained from giving them to people who have no interest in the genre you’re promoting….but I still think it would work if it was done with care…….
    As I said, I am considering handing out well-designed flyers for my children’s book later this year, with a very short story and a couple of colour illustrations to show what the book would look like….
    Thanks for commenting by the way…appreciated.

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