How to successfully market your novel online


I do upload my fan fiction online and have a few regular readers
And I’ve started to come to terms with how hard it is to make a future living off of wattpad. I write for fun these days and just try to build readers who like my work


I can say I am in a similar boat. I recently self published my first book and only rarely used facebook prior to that. I was always on wattpad but never anywhere else. I now am on Twitter, Still learning hashtags/ Instagram, a good way to share more about you as an author through photos as well as your cover art or inspirational photos. Also Insta will cross post to twitter and facebook if you link it all so hashtags are king again. Then there is goodreads where you have to wait until your book is out to get the author profile, but nonetheless i digress.

What I have been doing to try and work it all is to take time to post at least once a day on a platform to keep the few people I have invested and hopefully get them to help spread the word. Beyond that it will take time and money because every site requires some kind of payment to promote the works or posts that you put out.


Okay, okay, okay…calm down. Firstly, it’s not the end of the world if you can’t get traditionally published.

Everybody–including myself–had this dream once upon a time, but realized it was never going to pan out. (Because of picky and skittish agents and publishers.)

Self-publishing can be expensive–depending on how you go about it–but it’s a better option than wasting your life away trying for the front door of the Big 5 and not getting in .

For the cost of a good freelance editor, some cover art, and so on, you can have a dynamite novel (like I did) indie published and you won’t have to wait the customary 2-4 years to get something on the board.

(Of course, my set of circumstances was a bit unusual to say the least, but it’s done. So that’s all that matters.)

Naturally, the onus of advertising still falls on you as a self-published author, but don’t let the fear of social media scare you. I’ve been on Facebook for 10 years and Twitter for just as long and I have an 11 year old Deviant Art account that’s seen a lot of action in the past couple of years. (Me being a die hard Trekkie who spent a mint on getting some artwork commissions done.)

Thing is, with my full time job, I’m not planning on advertising until after my next three books are out. (#2 is almost ready to launch and #3 and #4 won’t be done until March or April.)

I barely have the time to get the word out since my schedule is so tight.

So I’m biding my time. :slight_smile:


Thanks for your help, especially about Instagram since that was next on my agenda to tackle once I get better at using Twitter. I never knew what to post if I joined Insta, so the cover art and inspirational posts idea is very helpful

I’ll make sure to post once day, I was reading earlier about not bombarding people with over promotion so I’ll be sure to customise my posts


Thanks, I’m a lot calmer now!
I’ve been looking into self publishing lately so your advice on how to get started was really useful. I’ve always been nervous about the marketing side but realise I’m going to have to join social media sometime. I want to try and market while I’m writing my story in order to generate interest for the novel once I’m done. Thanks for your help


I did that for about…seventeen years. All I did was annoy people and have them put curses on me. :smiley:


Absolutely. Sometimes a “subtle” promotion can slip in. Like the other day it snowed here and my yard sparkled in the sun light. I captured that and left a little blurb about one of my characters seeing that snow. It reminded the character of stars shining in space and he knew his life was no longer on Terra but his ship. A ship he was direly missing at the time.


haha funnily enough I’ve been writing a mystery novel for about 6 years until I finally figured out how to structure/plot it properly and was happy writing it. I’m halfway through. I really want followers to document the journey to, especially the editing process. Hopefully that’ll get people interested as i really want to finish it already


That’s a nice idea, I always struggled with Insta because I never knew what pictures to share or post. But I can use social media to just voice my thoughts and inspirations related to my story from time to time and take/share posts.


It’s interesting how people say that we should all be using Instagram, but for some of us, we never can.


Thank you for starting this thread. I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one struggling to figure out the social media side of things. I have a facebook account to keep in contact with friends who live in other countries, but otherwise I’ve never been active in social media.

A few months ago I realized how critical social media is if I do want to publish my story when I get it finished (and edited etc.). So I started with Tumblr but it’s having issues right now so I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with that. Twitter is next on the hit list and after reading this thread I will definitely prioritize that. The thought of posting everyday feels daunting, but keeping it super short will make it manageable. And hearing about the increase in reads is inspiring. I know I have a long ways to go with research, building marketing platform and everything else, but it is nice to feel like I’m going in the right general direction.

Thanks again and best of luck to you!!