Promoting Nonfiction


A timely re-blog about promotion. Fiction, Non-fiction…it’s a daily grind to keep up with promotions and to “out think the beast.”  Over here at SkipJack Publishing, we are in 24 hr trial and error, keep on thinking, brainstorming, researching mode.  It’s tedious and time consuming. It’s Necessary!! And it can be fun.  Be a fan of your fans/readers.  People watching is an enlightening past time at worst.


Nonfiction promotion requires slightly different strategy than fiction promotion, and, honestly, the fiction folks have it a little easier, especially for paid advertising of ebook price discounts. But there are things a nonfiction author can do that work far better than they do for fiction, so be not afraid. Here are some of my favorites.


Speaking at the events that your readers go to is a great way to promote your book. Think of support groups, organizational meetings, and conferences. I speak at monthly chapter meetings of Autism and ADHD groups to promote my book The Clark Kent Chronicles: A Mother’s Tale of Life With Her ADHD & Asperger’s Son. I speak on writing, publishing and promotion for writers groups, conferences, and workshops to promote What Kind of Loser Indie Publishes, and How Can I Be One, Too?

You can also host your own training programs and workshops and charge a fee, but I generally find that attendance is best at regular group events, and that I can sell enough books (fiction and my other nonfiction as well) to make my time more than worthwhile. Many groups will cover your expenses or even pay an honorarium.


I’m a big believer in repurposing content. Adapted nonfiction book chapters make great guest blog posts or newspaper/magazine articles. Pitch yourself to write adapted or fresh content as well for publications that reach your targeted readers. I get $150 apiece for articles that appear in ADDitude Magazine, a publication for people with ADHD in their lives, all of them repurposed from The Clark Kent Chronicles. Even if you don’t get paid, you potentially reach new readers.

Also, write spin-off workbooks or short pieces that can be sold separately. See below about Website Sales for more.


You have a much better shot at media interviews on nonfiction topics than does a fiction writer. Pitch yourself and your interesting interview topics to the media. Heck, send them a press release so good it can be copied and pasted into their publication as the story itself. Doesn’t everyone love it when you make their job easier? Also, pitch yourself as an expert on your topic and sign up as a potential interviewee on the publicity sites that let people register their interest in contact from the media.

I’ve had great success with media interviews on How to Screw Up Your Kids: Blended Families, Blendered Style, radio, print, TV, and online. I’ve also been interviewed many times for Hot Flashes and Half Ironmans: Middle-Aged Hormones Meet Endurance Athletics.

Website Sales/Subscriptions

By its very nature, much nonfiction lends itself to subscription-based blog posting, subscription newsletters, and even spin-off products. People love to get something for free, and a short ebook (chapter-length) can be sufficient enticement to get an interested potential reader to sign up for a monthly newsletter, if that ebook gives generously something of value to them.

Maybe you want to sell some of the products you recommend in your book. You can do this yourself, or you can create a page on your site that links to Amazon products for which you receive a cut, if you are signed up through Amazon Associates. Maybe you sell webinars or DVDs. Use your imagination to monetize your content and expertise at the time that you build your opt-in email list.

Leave Behinds

Decide whether you can fit leave-behind copies of your paperbacks into your budget. If you can, consider leaving them in the lobbies or waiting rooms of the types of establishments where your particular type readers are likely to have to wait. For instance, we leave my pet book Puppalicious and Beyond in veterinary offices and groomer lobbies. We leave How to Screw Up Your Marriage at counselor’s offices, and even found that the builder of our new home had received a copy from his therapist that we’d “left behind.”

Maybe you’d like to focus less on your readers and target humans in general. Airport gate seating is a great place to drop a book, as is the seat back pocket of an airline seat.


Most of all, have fun and intentionally develop contacts along the way. Each email given to you for your enewsletter list through one of these methods is a golden repeat contact for your future work. So now, how about you: what has worked for you in promoting your nonfiction?


pamela author portraitPamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long e-mails, hilarious nonfiction, and  series mysteries, like Katie & Annalise which includes the bestselling Saving Graceand Emily which she kicks off with the 2015 WINNER of the USA Best Book Award for Cross Genre Fiction, Heaven to Betsy. She resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming. Pamela has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, traveling in the Bookmobile, and experimenting with her Keurig. She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound (if she gets a good running start).

3 thoughts on “Promoting Nonfiction

  1. Clifford Neal

    I can identify with most of what you have and are doing. I really enjoy speaking engagements with various organizations like book clubs, writers guilds and other civic organizations. Book tours are great but a lot of work. If one likes to travel, as I do, a tour can be put together to fit your schedule and can be very productive.

  2. Eric Hutchins

    Excellent post . I think that folks are always searching for that magic bullet, that one thing that brings reaults. The reality is that it takes a broad simultaneous effort and a little bit of faith because you never truly know what brings that next sale or next step chNge in rate of sales. It’s everything working together.

  3. Marcy McKay

    Great suggestions, Pamela. I think the most important thing you said was be INTENTIONAL + have FUN. It makes all the difference in the world. 🙂

Comments are closed.