How To Promote Your Book

How To Promote Your Book


Book launch

If you have a book ready to publish or you’ve already published a book you need to know how to promote your book.

And by the way, congratulations on reaching this point.

It doesn’t matter where readers buy your book whether it be on Amazon, from IngramSpark, Booktopia or your online store. Marketing your book is about letting readers know about your book and where they can buy it.

There are an endless array of options for promoting your book and the question is how can you cut through the noise. As a novice use at least one or two methods that work for you.

Email list

An email list would have to be the most important asset any author could have. I think it should lie at the heart of any author’s marketing campaign.

Before the advent of the internet and the concept of email marketing, we used to talk about the Names List. If you were in sales and marketing you’d be asked, “How big is your Names List?.”

The old concept of the Names List has evolved into the online space of the email list. This is your database. This marketing tool is a method for letting people know about your book.


Become A Self-Published Author


As your email list starts to grow you will want to automate it. Automation involves having an autoresponder.

There are many autoresponders from which to choose. They range from free ones to help get you started like Mailchimp and MailerLite. Get Response also starts with a free option. Then there is Aweber and top-of-the-range autoresponders like Infusionsoft and Keap.

Once you have an autoresponder you will need to learn the protocols for list building and maintaining good hygiene for your email list.

Growing your list

To grow your list you will need a website or a landing page with a lead magnet. This is the place where new contacts subscribe to your email list.

Once a subscriber enters their name and email into the lead magnet form that information goes into your autoresponder which you use to manage your database.

As your email list grows you will send blog posts or newsletters to people on your list. You will do this regularly.

Over time as your growing email list grows, you will develop relationships with members of your list as they become your followers.

Your own audience 

The email list is about establishing your audience. Over time this audience gets to know you and individuals on the list will decide if they like you and trust you.

They will want to hear from you and learn from you so they will be happy to receive your emails.

Their permission was given to you so that you can legally connect with them.

If your subscribers don’t want to hear from you they will unsubscribe but as your email list grows you are building a following that is pleased to read your email content.

Just imagine building a list of 5,000 or 10,000 people. If you have nurtured this audience and these people have become your followers isn’t there every chance that many of these people will want to purchase your book?

Many on your email will want to buy your book.


I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “The money is in the list”. As an author, you want to be able to sell your book/s. You’ve put so much love, sweat and tears into it so wouldn’t it be wonderful to be renumerated for the effort that you’ve made?

So don’t put off building your email list!

Marji Hill

Author and Coach


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5 Books in 8 Months

5 Books in 8 Months



I have just finished writing 5 books in 8 months. Let me tell you how I did this.


In my career as an author, I explore themes to do with Australian history: Black/white relations, reconciliation, Eureka, the landscape, and gold. Not only have I written about these themes, but they have also been central to my art. 


My plan was to write and publish a series.  When I wrote for commercial publishers like Macmillan Education and Heinemann I created sets of books which were published as a series. I was used to creating series; they were in my psyche.

I brainstormed the possible content for a series with a friend who had been in the book industry for many years. We spent an afternoon nutting out ideas and then I had to decide if these ideas would be viable for a series of books.

The series Gold! Hidden Stories of Australia’s Past was the outcome.


The next thing I did was to come up with the titles and sub-titles for each of the 5 books.

  1. Gates of Gold: The Discovery of Gold, its Legacy and its Contribution to Australian Identity
  2. Shadows of Gold: Eureka and the Birth of Australian Democracy
  3. Gold and the Chinese: Racism, Riots and Protest on the Australian Goldfields
  4. Ghosts of Gold: The Life and Times of Jupiter Mosman
  5. Blood Gold: Native Police, Bushrangers, and Law and Order on the Goldfields

I then outlined the chapter headings and did a rough outline of the content for each book. 

My goal was to have these books published by September 2022.  Each book was to be 10,000-12,000 words and was to include some of my artwork and graphics which I would create myself.

The writing

Once the planning had been done I started to write. This first draft was very, very rough and the process involved doing the research as well (although a lot of research had already been done). I documented the sources and got a lot of raw content written.

When I got the content pretty much worked out I seriously got into the writing. 

I did a number of drafts for each of the stand-alone books – usually four or five drafts during which I refined the writing. 

Time management

My goal was to complete a book each month. Surprisingly, I stayed on track and produced a manuscript ready for publication each month.

I worked on the manuscripts every morning seven days a week. I only took an occasional break here and there.  Each writing session was 3 hours and I did this each day before breakfast. 

It is simply amazing how if you consistently do a quota of writing each day, how you can move forward exponentially. My daily word goal was approximately 1500 words.

That meant I was able to create a draft for a 10000-12000 word manuscript in approximately 7 to 10 days.

By maintaining a strict schedule I then had time each month for the rewriting and reworking of the manuscripts. By the time each manuscript was finalised and ready for publishing the manuscripts had undergone several drafts.

Not only did I refine the writing but I had to create the graphics and illustrate the books. The illustrations consisted either of my own paintings that I had made in the past or else I created new works of art specially designed for this series of books.

Yes. I did it. In a period of 8 months, I am happy to say that I created the manuscripts for a series of five books on the theme of Gold! Hidden Stories of Australia’s Past.

Marji Hill

Author and Coach


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Fast Self-Publishing Mastery

Fast Self-Publishing Mastery


Become A Self-Published Author


Do you want to develop fast self-publishing mastery? If so, you will need to develop and practise the appropriate skills.

If your game plan is to publish just one book you will not get the practice. To become good at something you need to repeat the actions over and over again.

But the question is how to go about it. How do you get to become good at publishing?

I’m going to tell you how I developed my publishing skills and got the practice.

Low-content books

Some years ago I discovered the concept of publishing low-content books.

A low-content book has little or no content on its interior pages. These pages are generally repetitive and are designed to be filled in by the user.

Common examples of low-content books include notebooks, planners, journals, prompt books, step-by-step guides, password books, diaries, sketchbooks, log books, and guest books. They are any type of book that has no text or just a little text.

Just one?

The most dangerous number in business is 1 (one) and this applies to the book business. Never depend on “1” of anything in business.

One “1” is a dangerous number.

If you only self-publish one book you will never develop the skills needed for self-publishing.

To practise self-publishing you need to publish multiple books.

You need the practice of doing it over and over again. By publishing multiple low-content books you will quickly develop the appropriate skills.


When starting out as an Indie author I published a batch of notebooks. Notebooks are fast to create and you can use the Amazon platform to publish them.

They are in fact activity books. The end-user can write on the pages or make drawings.  To make the interior a little more interesting the pages of ruled lines could be broken up with quotes or even some illustrations.

The advantage of publishing notebooks is that they are fast to make.

To successfully sell notebooks the idea behind them is to research a profitable niche, apply appropriate keywords, and then design an eye-catching cover.

When I started my apprenticeship in publishing I made about twenty of these notebooks. It was an experiment and I used them as Christmas gifts for my young nieces and nephews.

The benefit


The great benefit of this experiment was that I learnt a lot about how to

  • research and identify a profitable niche,
  • create book covers that sell,
  • identify a target audience, 
  • optimise the listing of these books on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) 
  • do keyword research
  • make titles and sub-titles, 
  • understand categories, and 
  • write book descriptions.

To my surprise about half of these notebooks actually sold.

As a result of this experiment, I learned the value of getting a lot of practice at becoming an Indie author. It was an exercise in publishing a lot of books fast and generating multiple sales opportunities.

By publishing a lot of low-content books I learned the fundamentals of self-publishing and quickly mastered the skills.

Once you set up your KDP account on Amazon there are no limits to how many books you can create.

How To Become a Self-Published Author

If you’d like step-by-step guidance on becoming a published author then join my membership program How To Become a Self-Published Author. This gives you weekly lessons on how to make it happen.

Click the link below and get started.


By joining today you get your first month for free.

Marji Hill

Author and Coach


Join Facebook Group: Fast Self-Publishing Online

New Book Release

New Book Release



A new book release Gates of Gold is the first in the series – Gold! Hidden Stories of Australia’s Past.

“Around 16% of all the gold on the planet is buried under our red Aussie earth” and it’s in times of uncertainty when investors flock to and cling to gold. 

Gates of Gold


Gates of Gold tells about the discovery of gold and the legacy it left that changed the face of Australia defining and shaping its identity. Learn about:

  • how, in the lead up to the discovery of gold with the trailblazing of the British into Victoria and beyond the lives of First Nations people were irrevocably changed.
  • The catastrophic impact on First Nations people and how they found ways to survive even when the odds were pitched so much against them.
  • How Australia became like a whirlpool of molten gold sucking in men and women from all over the world creating a population explosion with diverse communities and religions, different races, and different ideologies.
anti-Chinese Roll Up banner

Anti-Chinese Roll Up banner

  • The coming of the Chinese, who contributed greatly to the Australian story, but whose migration to the goldfields gave birth to racist, anti-Chinese sentiment. 
  • The seeds of the Australian uprising and how the Eureka Stockade on the goldfields in 1854 was a battle inspired by political purpose. 
  • A landscape transformed, a country upset, turned upside down, and a once pristine environment redesigned.
  • How the prevailing attitudes of the Europeans in the nineteenth century justified their actions prior to the discovery of gold and its aftermath.

About the author

Marji Hill in the Gates of Gold explores themes to do with the First Nations, the Chinese in Australia, Australia’s multicultural melting pot, Australian identity, Democratic rights, and law and order.

She is the author of more than 70 books.  Marji is a highly respected international author as well as a seasoned business executive, researcher, coach and visual artist. She is passionate about promoting understanding between Australia’s first people and other Australians.


“Gates of Gold is an important addition to the historical record. Gold is pivotal in the nation’s history. It features in its defining moments and its discovery is engraved into the Australian story and its destiny. In addition, Marji Hill refers to the hidden stories relating to First Nations people. the Chinese question, the fight for democratic rights, and the tensions between law and order.”    John Foley, Barrister

Looking down a mine shaft

Gold series

The other 4 books in the Gold series are

  • Shadows of Gold:  Eureka and the Birth of Australian Democracy
  • Gold and the Chinese:  Racism, Riots and Protest on the Australian Goldfields
  • Ghosts of Gold: The Life and Times of Jupiter Mosman
  • Blood Gold:  Native Police, Bushrangers & Lawlessness on the Australian Goldfields

The Gold series is beautifully illustrated with Marji Hill’s own artwork.

Anyone who relishes uncovering hidden stories, iconic episodes or truth-telling to do with Australia’s past, will delight in this book and the forthcoming ones in this series.

Gates of Gold is available at a discounted price on



Chu, Brian “Five Strategic Gold Plays for Your Long-Term Portfolio”


Marji Hill

Author and Coach


Join Facebook Group: Fast Self-Publishing Online

Sell to Bookstores

Sell to Bookstores



sell to bookstores


Do you want to sell to bookstores? Perhaps this is your dream, and just imagine how you would feel when you see your book displayed in shop windows.

It wasn’t easy in the past to get a bookstore to buy your self-published book. There used to be a stigma associated with such books because the stereotype was that self-published books meant poor content or poor quality. 

The self-publishing landscape has changed. Indie authors have upped their game.

Today, indie authors compete with authors who have published their books through traditional publishing channels.

How to do it?


How do you go about selling your book to independent bookstores?

You might be very successful in publishing on the Amazon platform. I certainly recommend Amazon when starting out. Learn this platform and how to market your books within that ecosystem.

Even if your book sells very well on Amazon this won’t guarantee that your book will be taken up by an independent bookseller.


Amazon is a bookstore’s competitor. Remember this.


  1. Amazon is a bookstore’s biggest competitor.
  2. Amazon doesn’t give the bookshops a trade discount
  3. Amazon doesn’t have a returns policy  
  4. Amazon sells direct to the consumer – there is no middle person.



sell to bookstores

If you want to get your book into bookstores use the IngramSpark platform.  

IngramSpark is set up to promote to bookstores. If you have published a print book using the IngramSpark platform you will already be in the IngramSpark database.

With IngramSpark you can organise a generous trade discount for booksellers. In addition, you can agree to have a returns policy.

Being able to offer attractive terms booksellers are more likely to buy your book.

IngramSpark has been in the book industry for a long time and it is well respected. It’s a reliable resource for booksellers when they want to acquire books.

Using a reputable distributor like IngramSpark is convenient to bookstores. The easier,  you make it for them to buy your books the more likely they be willing to give your book a try.

Your book can be available in bookstores.

However, you’ll still have to do the hard yards, the leg work, the cold calling, the email marketing and other promotions to let bookstores know about your book.



Marji Hill

Author and Coach


Join Facebook Group: Fast Self-Publishing Online

Powerful Marketing Tool

Powerful Marketing Tool


Back cover book blurb


The next time you visit a book shop pick up a book and you’ll automatically look at the front cover and then you’ll peruse the back cover. Not only the front cover but the back cover is a powerful marketing tool.

The front cover influences your interest. Then within only a few seconds the back cover, if it is intriguing enough, will help you to make a buying decision – to purchase or not purchase the book.

How to create a successful back cover blurb

Creating the back cover blurb is crucial to your marketing strategy and it can be what turns your book into a bestseller.

The back cover entices you to buy the book. It is in effect a sales page highlighting to the reader the benefits of reading the book but at the same time not giving too much away.

Rather than being a synopsis the blurb on the back communicates to the reader what is in it for them. 

Its main purpose is to highlight the reasons someone should be reading your book right now.

Make the back cover part of the overall cover design. Factor in the front cover design as well as that of the spine.

Components of blurb 

The back cover blurb should include

  1. the book’s description – approximately 150 words
  2. information about you the author, together with a photograph, and
  3. if possible, a testimonial about the book if you can get one.

The purpose of the back cover blurb is to create interest and to sell the book. The author’s bio refers to the author’s credibility and demonstrates to the reader that the author is the best person to write this particular book.


Commence the back cover blurb with an attention-grabbing headline or a statement that grabs the reader’s attention. This could be a quote, a review, a question or a statement.

Nailing it in the opening sentence is crucial otherwise you’ll quickly lose the reader’s interest and attention.

Bullet points

Next, you should list five to seven bullet points which describe and highlight the book’s promises and benefits.

Finally, you may want to conclude your blurb with some kind of call to action. This could be a website address or reassertion that this book is for you, the reader.

Back cover book blurb


On the bottom right allow enough space for the ISBN and barcode. This is put there either by Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) or IngramSpark depending on which platform you are using.

Your back cover then consists of:

  • an attention-grabbing headline with the bullet points
  • author bio, and if possible,
  • a testimonial, and
  • space for a barcode

The words you choose for your back cover make for a powerful marketing tool and this can influence a reader to buy or not to buy your book.

Marji Hill

Author and Coach


Join Facebook Group: Fast Self-Publishing Online

How To Revise Your Book

How To Revise Your Book


how to revise your book

In the past, if publishing with a traditional publisher it wasn’t possible to revise your book after it had been published.

With the new, alternative way to publish it is possible to revise your book.

When you self-publish your first book and become a published author it is a very exciting time.

Horror! You cringe! Your book has just been published and you’ve discovered some errors in your new publication!

As a self-published author, you feel embarrassed that people are buying your book with typos and mistakes.

Unfortunately, errors and mistakes may have crept into the manuscript and often this does happen even if the manuscript has been professionally edited.

A new author needs to understand how to rectify these annoying occurrences.

Don’t dismay. Errors are easily fixed.

How to fix mistakes


No matter how good your editor, or how many times you go through the manuscript, there will always be the odd typo or grammatical mistake that you’ll discover. It is unlikely that your publication will ever be perfect.

You may want to update something that you’ve already published. It may make sense to go back to your manuscript and make some changes.

One of the advantages of publishing on Amazon’s platform, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), is that it is easy to make revisions to your book. And this applies both to eBooks and to print books.


how to revise your book

Log in to your KDP dashboard


Log in to your KDP dashboard and go to Bookshelf. Select the title you want to edit. Next to your title click the ellipsis button, that is, the three dots. 

Click edit your eBook or Paperback details. From here you can edit the content of your manuscript and fix any errors.

Once you upload the corrected manuscript file this replaces the old file. 

You then upload the corrected manuscript, then Save and Continue to the end of the Pricing page and click Publish.

Your mistakes are now fixed.

Significant changes


If the changes you make are significant and if the page count changes by more than 10% KDP considers it a new edition. This means it should be published as a new book. 

You would need to create a new title in your KDP Bookshelf and assign a new ISBN to your book.

One of the great benefits of KDP is the simple revision process when it comes to correcting mistakes in your published book.

Marji Hill

Author and Coach


Join Facebook Group: Fast Self-Publishing Online

Drawbacks to Self-Publishing

Drawbacks to Self-Publishing



Are there any drawbacks to self-publishing?

When working with mainstream publishers you write the book and the publisher controls everything: the editing, book design and formatting, ISBN, cover design, and publicity.

These days, though, the author has to be very involved with the marketing. The publisher handles the distribution and gets your book into bookshops and libraries. You wait for your royalties.

Benefits of a mainstream publisher


The benefits of producing a book with a mainstream publisher are:

  • the prestige you get
  • there is nothing upfront to pay
  • publisher takes care of everything
  • all being well, your book will be successfully distributed


  • you have to get accepted by a publisher
  • the publishing process is time consuming
  • there are complicated contracts
  • low royalty rates, and
  • limited creative control


With self-publishing you are the one in control. You are the publisher.

It’s your responsibility to get your book edited, to get an ISBN, prepare the manuscript for publication, the cover design, the formatting, and the marketing.


The upfront costs of doing your own publishing are higher.

You will pay for services like editing, cover design and formatting. With traditional publishing these services are done by the publisher but when you self-publish the upfront costs rest with you – the author/publisher.

Team of professionals


team of professionals

When self-publishing you may need to create your own team of professionals to handle those aspects of publishing that you find hard, too difficult, or that you don’t want to do.

If your market is bookshops and libraries you will need to choose a platform like IngramSpark to get your book into libraries and bookstores. IngramSpark is set up to provide trade discounts and to work in with bookshops and libraries.  This is not so easy with Amazon.

The choice is yours. If you go with a mainstream publisher – congratulations!

The drawback to self-publishing is that you have to do all the work of publishing yourself. If you don’t want to do it all yourself you will need to pay to get a team of people to help you do it.

On the one hand this could be seen as a drawback or a disadvantage. On the other hand, you may like the challenge of having your own publishing house. The benefits are:

  • enjoying the freedom of creative control, 
  • staying away from complicated contracts, 
  • outsourcing the tasks you cannot do yourself 
  • building up your own team of professionals, and 
  • having the potential to make more money.


Marji Hill

Author and Coach


Join Facebook Group: Fast Self-Publishing Online


Book Cover Design Elements

Book Cover Design Elements


Book cover design

Book cover design is a book’s ultimate marketing tool. It’s like a billboard, its sole purpose being to attract the right readers to your creative masterpiece.

Indie authors are advised over and over again that they should get a professional to design their book covers. And I agree.


Sales tool

Book covers do help readers to make a buying decision because readers do in fact judge a book by its cover.  Readers very often buy a book because of how a cover looks so it’s quite obvious that the cover can make or break your book.

The cover is the first thing a reader sees.

A good cover is a marketing and sales tool because it helps capture a reader’s attention in a crowded marketplace and this can result in getting organic sales.


Attributes of good book cover design

Covers need to:

  • tempt the reader
  • arouse their curiosity
  • capture attention
  • be interesting
  • engaging
  • create an overall ‘feeling’
  • set the tone of a book so that your target audience takes notice.

Not only should a book cover design attract readers it needs to make an impact in small thumbnail size, as well.

5 key elements of book cover design


Book cover design

1.  Layout  

Book covers convey two key pieces of information — the book title (including the sub-title) and the author’s name. These core elements – the title and author’s name – together with imagery are organised in various ways on the cover. This is called layout.

The layout could simply involve the topography for the title and author name and can be the main imagery for the cover itself.  A photograph or some other illustrative material can be added to convey the theme or mood of the book.

The way that these core elements are combined, grouped and sized on the page comprises the layout.

2. Genre 

The genre has to be taken into account with book cover design. The design must be appropriate for the style of the genre.

Whatever genre you are in examine the best selling books in that genre and analyse how the covers have been done.

3. Image 

To help a prospective customer get a good idea and feeling for the book go for a strong focused image.

Create a simple, straightforward image. Avoid anything too fancy or complicated and opt for something that is more minimalist in style.

It’s important that the reader understands the message that is being communicated.

If there are too many elements in a book cover design, readers are not going to know what to focus on. And if they don’t know what to focus on, they are just going to skim over that book and move on to the next one.

When choosing an image for the book’s cover be mindful of copyright. You don’t want to fall into the trap of infringing copyright.

There are free images that you can use from sites like Pixabay, Flickr and Canva but still always check the licencing for any image that you use. Do not take images from Pinterest or Google and be aware that you might need to pay for an image.

4. Colour


Book cover design

Do not use too many colours in a book cover design. Just use two or three colours and colours that complement.

The best and most attractive covers usually only use a maximum of three different colours including black, white, or grey.

5. Font

Fonts can be design elements in themselves. The fonts you choose can be powerful elements that make your book stand out and look the best it can.

So key elements in book cover design are the layout of the core elements, genre suitability, image selection, colour, and font (or typography).


Marji Hill

Author and Coach


Join Facebook Group: Fast Self-Publishing Online

Can’t Get Started?

Can’t Get Started?



Many new authors can’t get started because they get stranded even before they commence to write their book.

Would-be authors might talk about the book they plan to write but often that is the end of it. They just don’t seem to be able to begin writing their book. 

For one reason or another, they talk themselves out of it or they just let their book idea fall by the wayside.

Some struggle to find the time to write. There are those who want to have the perfect writing studio. Others wait for the muse to magically appear. 

Or it’s something else. 

People find excuses – anything to avoid making a start. 




Time is a common challenge. 

If writing a book is truly important then you’ll find the time to write it. 

Let’s say today is the day! Today you will make a start on your book.

But suddenly another priority steps in the way and you are sidetracked by that.  Maybe you have to make sure that your writing space is perfectly clean and tidy, so you spend the next couple of hours making your writing space the perfect place to be.

Writing that day, today never happens.

Or there is something else that distracts you.

The solution is to prioritise what has to happen in your day.

Identify the core commitments of your day and rank them in order of importance.  

When you rank your priorities you will find time for your writing just so long as it is high on your list of priorities. 

Busy life


People’s lives are full of all the things they are obligated to do. The people who repetitively say they are “gonna write their book” lead active, busy lives. 

Many would-be authors never sit down long enough to focus on their writing and produce a manuscript. 

They overload their time and do everything else except what they say they want to do, and that is to write.

Life just gets in the way.


Do it later



Maybe you sabotage yourself by frittering away your time pursuing meaningless activities and time just slips by.

Procrastinators lose time by putting their energy into tasks that have lesser importance.

If you have a job you will show up for work every day otherwise you’ll be dismissed. You are not likely to say “oh” I really don’t feel like it today” and then fail to show up for work. 

You turn up to work, or else you will suffer the consequences.

Writers must make a commitment to themselves. You must show up at the appointed time to write.

Don’t let procrastination become more important than writing your book. 

Manage yourself.  Make an appointment with yourself to write.

Plan to write a set number of words each day and go for it.

Be disciplined, get motivated.



A common downfall is a newbie author suffering doubt about their ability to write. They fear that they are just not good enough. They doubt their knowledge and worry that they don’t know enough. 

They fear what others will think of them; they worry that their friends and family will not be supportive.  

Identify your self-limiting beliefs and turn these self-limiting beliefs into positive affirmations. 

If you find yourself getting stranded at the start by not being able to get organised, not having enough time, putting things off to later, and being plagued by self-doubt then try to crystallise your reason to write. 

You can make it happen. If you develop the habit of writing daily, even for short bursts of time, productivity and creativity will happen.

Your inner drive will propel your creativity and you will be compelled to move forward. Nothing will stop you. 

Nothing will get in your way.

When you examine the reason for wanting to create a book many of the challenges like getting stranded at the start will disappear. 

Don’t wait for success to happen because, if you do, it’s going to be a very long wait. 

Take the initiative, seize control, create the opportunity, and make things happen.

Marji Hill

Author and Coach


Join Facebook Group: Fast Self-Publishing Online


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