Book Marketing Fundamentals Hank Quense

Book Marketing Fundamentals Hank Quense

Don’t try to market your book without finding a mentor!
So, what if you had an experienced author to guide your marketing plans?

Author Hank Quense has self-published and marketed over 30 books. He’s written and marketed both fiction and non-fiction. He also lectures and holds webinars on self-publishing and on book marketing.

Imagine developing a detailed marketing plan for your book and then implementing it.
In this book, you’ll learn:
– How to develop your author’s platform material
– How to write your marketing content
– How to engage in marketing activities
– How to get more book reviews
– What kind of events to hold
– How to get publicity
– How to use (or not use) advertising.
– What other authors say about book marketing
Available on Amazon

Book Marketing Fundamentals Hank Quense

Marketing content is a crucially important element in your book marketing plans.

Marketing content is all about developing material that can be used in marketing activities.  Much of the copy you generate can be used by itself in marketing, some of it will be incorporated with other marketing content to produce additional material.

Here is a partial list of topics that can be used as your marketing content.

    ◆      Book blurb

    ◆      Keywords

    ◆      Sig files

What follows are brief descriptions for each topic.

Book Blurb

The purpose of the book blurb is to grab the attention of a potential reader.  Once you have her attention by means of a great pitch line as the opening sentence, you need to follow that up with a few more sentences that tell her what’s different about your book and what’s in it for her. 

Many new authors consider a book blurb to be a short synopsis.  This is a mistake.  Book blurbs and a short synopsis are two different animals and they have different purposes.

Here are descriptions for each of the three elements involved in developing a book blurb.  Some of the material you developed in your strategic marketing plan will be helpful here.

Pitch Line: This is the first statement and it is the hook to grab the reader’s attention.  Its purpose is to persuade the reader to keep reading the other two statements.  It should be simple, one or two sentences at most, and it must make a clear statement about your book.

What’s in it for the buyer? This is a statement that explains what the reader (i.e. a book buyer) will get in exchange for money.  This must be explicit.  This statement is not the place to get cute. Tell the reader what benefit he’ll get from buying the book.  Think of this statement in this way; if your book is surrounded by hundreds of similar-sized books on a shelf in a bookstore, what would persuade the buyer to choose your book instead of one of the others?

What’s different about this book? With all the books published every month, what makes your book stand out from the others?

The secret to creating an effective blurb is to keep rewriting and condensing it until it expresses the ideas with a minimum of words.


Keywords are frequently referred to as tags.

Readers will often search for a book using the name of a best-selling author but readers can’t enter your title or name if you don’t have any name recognition and if your book has been recently self-published

Another way readers will search for a book is by using a short descriptive phrase such as ‘fantasy quest’ or ‘regency romance’.  This is the situation where you want your book to appear in the search results.  To accomplish this, it is vital that you develop a set of keywords that will ensure your book title will show up in the reader’s search results.

The keywords you want to use are ones that readers in your genre will use when browsing for a book.  These keywords are not necessarily what your book is about: they are the terms a reader will type into a search engine.  Let’s say your book is a fantasy novel filled with elves and dwarfs.  You may think ‘dwarfs’ and ‘elves’ would be great keywords.  They are not.  A reader looking for a fantasy novel won’t use them, but instead will search on keywords like ‘fantasy adventure’ or ‘fantasy quest.’  Consequently, it is important for your marketing efforts that you develop a relevant set of keywords. 

Google has a free keyword planner you can use to help generate your keywords.  You can access it using this link:

Another free keyword tool can be found here:

If you have a publisher, it will generate your keywords.  If you self-published your book, check if the keywords should be updated.

Signature Files

Email signatures (usually called sig files) are a free way to publicize your book every time you send out an email.  Think about how many times a day that happens!

Sig files are those links you see beneath the name of the person who sent you the email.  Here is what yours could look like:

Your name

Title of your book

Location of your website

The last two lines would be linked to a webpage, the first to a book buying page like Amazon, the second to your blog page.

Sig files are easy to implement and only take a few minutes.  For the Mac mail program, open mail, click on preferences and then on signatures.  This will open a new screen. On the left is a list of your email accounts (if you have more than one).  The middle column lists the signatures you have established.  Right now, it’s probably blank.  Click on the (+) button and type a file name, such as ‘sig 1’.  In the right column, you can add the sig files you want and they will be linked to the sig name.  To do this, type the name of your book in the right column, highlight the book name, right click on the mouse and click on ‘link’ and then type or paste the URL of your book page.  Close the screen and every time you send out a new email, the link to your book’s page will go with it.

With Gmail, go to the settings page and scroll down to Signature.  There you’ll see a text box to add whatever you want appended to your signature.  You can add links as you need them.  Other email programs will have a similar process to build a sig file.

If you use Outlook, this link will provide information about sig files in that program:

The material in this article is based on my new book, Book Marketing Fundamentals, available in ebook and print editions at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and other book sellers

Visit my Writers & Authors Resource Center for much more content, most of it unique.

Book Marketing Fundamentals Hank Quense

Book Marketing Fundamentals Hank Quense


Early in his writing career, he was strongly influenced by two authors: Douglas Adams and his Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Happily, Hank has never quite recovered from those experiences.

He lives with his wife in northern New Jersey, a mere 20 miles from Manhattan, the center of the galaxy (according to those who live in Manhattan). They have two daughters and five grandchildren all of whom live close by.

For vacations, Hank and Pat usually visit distant parts of the galaxy. Occasionally, they also time-travel.

Besides writing novels, Hank lectures on fiction writing, publishing and book marketing. He is most proud of his talk showing grammar school kids how to create a short story. He used these lectures to create an advanced eBook with embedded videos to coach the students on how to create characters, plots and setting. The target audience is 4th to 7th graders. The book’s title is Fiction Writing Workshop for Kids.

He has a number of links where you can follow his work and his occasional rants:

Hank’s blog:

Strange Worlds website:

Follow him on twitter:

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Book Marketing Fundamentals Hank Quense