Best Books For Learning Book Marketing

Ever wonder what a book marketing guru reads to become a better marketer?

Marketing your books is not something you're either born with or not. And it isn't only about a “how to” blueprint to follow. The truth is, there is much more to marketing.

Many of us would benefit from some deep personal reflection to understand what our strengths are in order to market the right product.  In other cases, we may just need to know a little more about the psychology of the market and how to transform someone from a browser to a buyer.

At different times in my self-publishing career, I've focused on each of these areas to continuously improve my own marketing. And for you, I've put together a list of some of my favorite books, which I believe will help you learn how to better market your books. I've divided these books into three categories:

  • Self-Reflection: Personal Growth as a Marketer
  • Book Marketing Tactics (aka the How-Tos)
  • General Marketing to Help With Sales

Within each of these areas, you'll not only grow as a book marketer but also as an online entrepreneur…because let's face it, that's exactly what we self-publishers are.

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 Self-Reflection: Personal Growth as a Marketer

Self-Reflective Growth books are the books I believe will help you look deep inside and figure out what might be holding you back. Whether that's fear, self-doubt, imposter syndrome, or something else. Once you discover what's getting in your way, you can do something about it.

The books below are ones I found that pose the right question to get your reflective juices going and help you get to that next step as an artist and a writer. If you need books to help you have a better relationship with money in general, check out this list of money books.

Real Artists Don't Starve

Have you ever doubted yourself and your writing?  Thought sure, other people were successful, but you might not be capable of it?  I have…many times. However, thanks to Jeff Goins, this book will help you see the value of your art, which builds more confidence in your product–which ALWAYS leads to better book marketing. This is a must read for any artist out there.

Show Your Work & Steal Like An Artist

Yeah, these are two different books by Austin Kleon, but both are insanely valuable for the creative types struggling with the business mind.  Both books are amazing at helping you mend the bridge between art and business.  I have both next to my bedside as they are easy reads and full of fun visuals. I even bring them on camping trips to stash under my pillow.  Honestly, they help recharge my creative juices.

I Must Write My Book

I Must Write My Book by Honoree Corder is the exact book that my mother-in-law read and is using to get her over the hump and start writing.  Writing a book can feel like an incredibly difficult project and this fear will lead to losing traction.  We all come up with excuses or reasons to stop writing, but this book will help keep you on target and ensure you finally get that book inside you written!

Book Marketing Tactics

Ah, here comes the fun part: Book Marketing.  Unlike other lists on the subject, I didn't want to list a bunch of books on marketing.  Instead, I chose my favorite overall marketing book (the one by Tim Grahl), then focused on adding others that help with one specific book marketing sector or tactic.

Your First 1000 Copies

I've got to start with my all-time favorite book on Book Marketing 101, Tim Grahl's Your First 1000 Copies. Tim is a great book marketer who's worked with Hugh Honey and Daniel Pink to help promote and sell their books.  This is a very well designed book that gives actionable advice to help you sell your first 1000 copies, whether you're a beginner or advanced.

Write to Market

This book is a book after my own heart.  I'm a strong believer of Chris Fox's approach to the market and believe this particular tactic to book marketing research can help you get your book discovered by more readers, regardless of whether you're fiction or non-fiction.  This isn't about not writing the book you want, but it's about making sure you've got the right market in mind.

Prosperous Writer's Guide to Finding Readers

This is sort of a complete approach to platform building and fan gaining – something all authors should think about as they grow.  Starting with legit author branding tactics, developing fan relationships and exactly how to find the right fans to attract to your book. Fully or great strategies as well as actionable advice created by three highly talented marketers, Honoree Corder, Brian Meeks and Michael Anderle.

Book Marketing is Dead

Years ago, when  I first started self-publishing, I found this book by Derek Murphy.  I remember reading it in my apartment in Busan, South Korea and thinking “YES! This guy gets it.”  It was a unique way of breaking away from traditional book marketing tactics and looking at the ebook world in a new way.  It was instrumental in getting me started, and I think you should check it out as well.

How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis

You've probably seen me mention this book multiple times throughout Kindlepreneur articles, like how I used it to rewrite L.Ron Hubbard's book description or how to craftily create back book covers.  Well, there's a reason.  This is the best way for you to quickly master book descriptions.  And believe me, your book description plays a HUGE part in your conversions and sales.

Mastering Amazon Ads

You've probably seen my free course on Amazon Marketing ads, and this book is the next step.  As of this writing though, you can only pre-order it (it goes public September 4, 2017). As a beta reader, I know firsthand that this book is worth getting upon its release.  Brian Meeks is a master at ads and has devoted a large portion of his time experimenting.  Be sure to join his Facebook group on Amazon Ads too.

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Marketing 101

This section of books is focused on helping you grow as an overall marketer.  They generally consist of a principle or practice that can be applied to your online business as a whole.  However, once reading them, you'll quickly see how and why they are oh so important to helping you sell more books.


One mistake many authors make is believing people become their fans just by writing good books…but that's not true.  In order to build a ravenous following of superfans, it's not enough to just build a good product or book. You need more, and that's exactly what Seth Godin covers in this book.  It is real game changer and something I use in my email system, bio,…pretty much everything about my online business. This book will have you up at night referencing into the wee hours, so be sure to have your book light handy.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

This has quickly become my #1 recommended reading for anyone involved in marketing of any sort.  By diving deep into the things that make humans do things, we as marketers can start to see what ‘triggers' the buyer response. Elements from this book are instrumental in creating book descriptions that sell, as well as autoresponders and landing pages that convert.

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Did I Miss Any?

As an avid reader, I'm always looking for new and better books to read or listen to on Playster. This, of course, is in-between my typical Sci-fi military book or Lit-RPG. But if you know of any books I didn't mention above that I should consider, make sure to comment below.

I'll check them out and update accordingly.


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7 thoughts on “Best Books For Learning Book Marketing

  1. Joelbooks

    Great list, a lot to read for new authors!
    I would like to kindly ask you to consider putting (my) 2019 book on the list
    Maybe after it proves it is worth a read.

  2. Duke Vukadinovic

    Great read Dave! I’ve bookmarked your page and I’ll start to crunch this list tomorrow! 🙂

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