Book Marketing Advice

Earlier this year at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention, I was asked to do an impromptu interview for The Book Publicist Podcast.

The Book Publicist Podcast

During the interview, I covered a number of different marketing ideas and tactics. I invite you to listen to the interview to glean some book marketing advice!

Listen at:

By the way, Members of Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) receive a discount when signing up for Jason Jone’s Local PR Toolkit service. You can join today for just $120 for Membership through December 2021 with our Summer Membership Special!

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Book Awards Are a Blessing

In my book Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books, I list over 25 book awards that are open to books by indie authors and small publishers. There are more than 25 book awards that one can submit a book to, but I chose the best-known and the ones that accept religious books through at least one Religious category.

Book Awards are a Blessing

Why so many book awards?

  1. With over 2 million books published in the United States each year, numerous book awards are needed to bring recognition to great books.
  2. Awards matter. They help consumers know that a product or service has quality, often easing purchasing decisions in a world of too many choices.
  3. Book awards bless and encourage authors who have worked hard to get a story or message out to the world.

It is always a pleasure when we get notify the winning authors of the Christian Indie Awards each year. We often get responses from these authors like the following:

  • Thank you so much! What a blessing and an honor!!
  • Oh, praise the Lord! Thank you!!
  • Wow! Thank you so much. This means so much for me!
  • I am stunned!! Praise the Lord and Glory to God!

While my book lists over 25 book awards, there are only a select few book awards that are solely dedicated to Christian books. The Christian Indie Awards is one of them.

If you have published a Christian book in 2019 or 2020, I encourage you to nominate it for the Christian Indie Awards. These awards recognize 18 outstanding Christian books (and authors) each year.

Christian Indie Awards

The honor could be yours. However, you don’t have a chance of receiving such an honor unless you nominate your book.

To nominate your book for the 2021 Christian Indie Awards, visit and either complete the online nomination form or print the nomination form and mail it with a copy of your book.

The Christian Indie Awards are sponsored by Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA). However, you do not need to be a Member of the organization to nominate your Christian book.

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Advice from an Expert

Jim Cox has been involved in the business of reviewing books and advising small publishers and authors for over 40 years. Jim runs the Midwest Book Review, which was established in 1976 and is committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing.

Watch this interview with Jim and listen to his wisdom and advice!

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You Can’t Avoid Criticism

I know a retired pastor who continues to be active in his church and teach or preach whenever he is invited to do so. He recently was criticized quite severely by a member of his church for:

  • Preaching without notes.
  • Being able to quote passages from the Bible without reading them.
  • Drawing large crowds whenever he teaches.
  • Speaking the truth (because truth makes people uncomfortable).

You Can't Avoid Criticism

Wow. These are all things one would usually commend someone for. Instead, someone criticized this retired pastor for these things.

Why? I don’t think we will know the answer this side of eternity, and it really is not important. What I believe this scenario illustrates is that we will always have critics.

If you do anything publicly—author a book, speak to a group, write a blog post or article, post on social media—someone is going to disagree with you. There is always someone in a crowd who is a naysayer.

What does this mean for authors? It means that you should be prepared to receive criticism and know how to handle it.

1. Expect criticism.

Don’t get upset or irritated when it comes. Know that you will receive criticism.

Every author receives criticism at some point. Famous authors are criticized. An article written about Mark Twain in 1910 said of him:

“But Mark Twain was neither a poet nor a playwright nor an historian. he was hardly a novelist, either, for his share in ‘The Gilded Age’ does not seriously count, and his work in the form of fiction is not remarkable as story-telling pure and simple.”

2. Evaluate the criticism.

Don’t just throw it out. Evaluate it. Ask yourself:

  • Is it given in a spirit of love or condemnation?
  • Is any part of it true?
  • What can you learn from this?

If you are still struggling with what was said, then run it by a trusted friend. Ask this person to help you ferret out what is really about you and what is not. Be sure that you ask someone you trust who can be honest with you.

Whatever you do, don’t repay criticism with criticism. If an answer is expected, respond with respect and love. Remember Dale Carnegie’s advice from his book How to Win Friends and Influence People:

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.”

3. Pray about it.

Ask God to show you what is true in the criticism and what you should pay attention to. Ask Him to guide you in knowing what to accept and what to throw away.

Whatever you do, don’t let criticism stop you. Learn from it, but keep doing that which God has called you to do. If He has called you to write and publish, keep doing that. Learn the craft, learn the ropes of the industry, and continue to put your best effort into all you do—working at it as for the Lord, not for man. For your reward is in heaven.

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Photo courtesy of geralt.

Are You Investing in Your Book?

We invest our time, money, and energy in things that are important to us. Some of these things include:

Author: Are You Investing in Your Book?

  • Our spouse
  • Our children and grandchildren
  • Other family members
  • Friendships
  • Hobbies
  • Our health
  • Our relationship with God

What about your book? Are you still investing in it?

Many times, independent authors will invest quite a bit of time and energy (and sometimes money) into bringing a book to print. They will invest in:

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Proofing
  • Interior layout and design
  • Cover design

Then, once the book is published, these authors sometimes put their attention on the things they neglected while focusing on the book, or they move on to writing another book.

Yet, when it comes to publishing a book, the piece that requires that most investment is marketing.

Marketing is needed if you want the words you have published to impact people. Readers must be exposed to your book in order to buy it. After all, we cannot buy something we don’t know exists.

One of my favorite quotes about marketing a book is:

“Writing a book without promoting it is like waving to someone in a dark room. You know what have you done but nobody else does.”  —Madi Preda

Are you investing enough time, effort, and money to market your book effectively?

One investment I believe every author and publisher should make is to join a professional organization. Professional organizations help you:

  1. Stay current by providing information so that you can invest in the most effective strategies for publishing and marketing your book.
  2. Demonstrate to other that you are serious about being an author or publisher.
  3. Save up money by giving you discounts on products and services that help with publishing and marketing your book.

A Member of Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) recently told us:Christian Indie Publishing Association

Thank you for the terrific newsletters and the videos I’ve seen. These have been very, very helpful. No one else has been as helpful.”  —Karen

If you are an indie author or small publisher that creates Christian books, then you are eligible for Membership in Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA). Right now, we are running a Summer Membership Special. For $120, you receive Membership through December 2021 (that’s 18 months of Membership)!

You can view the benefits CIPA Members receive at You can sign up to be a Member on the website at

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