By Kat Heckenbach

  1. Make sure your book is not written in a dead language.
  2. Don’t market your book to people who cannot read the language your book is written in.
  3. Type your manuscript and have more than one copy printed.
  4. Make sure the cover is on the outside of the book.
  5. Make sure the cover image is not upside-down.

    Note: Book Cover is both outside AND right side up!
  6. Make sure the cover is not stupid or ugly. (I know it is so tempting to purposely make a cover you think is awful, but fight that urge.)
  7. You must exist as a sentient being. (Yes, I realize that would disqualify some of the published authors out there.)
  8. Use your precognition to predict what the next trend in books will be and ride that wave from the very beginning.
  9. Edit chapter one.
  10. Edit chapter two.
  11. Edit chapter three….

(you get the picture)

  1. Edit final chapter.
  2. Write information on the outside of your book so readers know what your book is about.
  3. Don’t make this boring or stupid.
  4. Also, don’t make your story itself boring or stupid. (Again, this is very tempting, but I highly recommend against putting your heart and soul into something you believe is garbage.)
  5. If you are writing a series, make sure you use the same author name on each book.
  6. Ask for exposure and reviews—this will automatically get them no matter how unknown you are. Yes, if ye ask, ye shall receive! People have an inexhaustible amount of money and time, so reviews will come quickly! It is the easiest thing in the world, and in no time you will have so many reviews Amazon will overload.
  7. Know that every blog or website you want to be featured on has plenty of room.
  8. Also, none of them ever charge for reviews.
  9. Because as an indie author you are already independently wealthy, pay to enter every contest that comes along.
  10. Also, because as an indie author you are already independently wealthy, pay for every advertising opportunity that comes along. You will quickly earn back the $70,000 you’ve paid out in $5-$200 shots.
  11. Have access to and complete understanding of the internet and all its behind-the-scenes-mumble-jumble-words and acronyms.
  12. If you don’t have access to the internet now and aren’t sure what that is or how to use it, you can Google that information.
  13. Remember that everyone reads every social media post that comes in front of them, and readers always believe the author about how awesome their story is, so posting on Facebook and Twitter will gain you innumerable readers.
  14. Also, your blog will immediately attract followers just by existing. No need to actually market your website or blog—they themselves are your marketing tool! It’s so easy—those readers who have never heard of you merely need to Google your name, and BAM!
  15. Don’t forget to constantly track clicks on your website and blog and obsessively check your Amazon sales every 17 seconds.
  16. Offer ebooks for free because, you know, no one else is doing that, so you will automatically gain thousands of readers looking for a book they will begin reading immediately rather than loading onto their Kindle and forgetting all about it.
  17. (Also, every single person who downloads it will post a review!)
  18. Team up with other completely unknown authors and cross-promote your books to your shared fans.
  19. Don’t let the fact that Barnes & Noble won’t answer your calls or allow you a signing without a promotions person stop you.
  20. Have a signing all on your own! (Don’t ask me where—you’re the creative person, you’ll think of something!)
  21. If you are a children’s or teens’ book author, don’t worry that schools only want big-name authors to speak and won’t return your emails or calls.
  22. There are so many ways to find young readers, none of which are stalkery or may result in your arrest. (Prey on those rabid homeschoolers, for example.)
  23. If you are a Christian writer, make sure everyone knows your book will be the next Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings.
  24. Or that it is an alternative to that evil Harry Potter nonsense.
  25. And last, make sure you use all this wonderful marketing knowledge to write your own marketing book, no matter your level of sales.  
  26. It’s really easy—just copy every article and book out there on book marketing—they all say the same things!
  27. Don’t forget to break each step into sub-steps so your readers think they are getting even more information!


Kat is a multi-published and award-winning author of YA fantasy series Toch Island Chronicles, and she has sold more books than every unpublished American author combined!