How to Promote Your Nonfiction Book on Social Media 

Six tips for effective digital marketing, plus the number one rule for building an online presence.
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If you recently published a nonfiction book—whether self-published or with a traditional publisher—you might be wondering the best ways to promote your new title on social media. 

While word-of-mouth for fiction can build online through Instagram, TikTok, and celebrity book clubs, nonfiction authors may want to look at platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn and harness the power of current events and professional organizations.  

When used thoughtfully and strategically—and with consideration for a nonfiction author’s unique point of view, specific audience, and professional expertise—social media can be an effective tool to boost online discoverability for new books. 

Read on for six ways nonfiction authors can promote their book on social media, and our number one tip for effective social media marketing:

1. Find your audience. Think about the subject matter for your book, then reflect on what your potential readers are interested in—and where they’re finding that information. For example, readers of politics, current affairs, or economics might be active on X, LinkedIn, or Threads, where current events and professional news are widely shared. However, readers interested in fashion or the fine arts may be more active on Instagram because of the visually-based nature of the platform.   

2. Stick to your strengths. Pick a few social media platforms where you know you will post regularly and focus your efforts on those. If you find yourself avoiding a certain platform, it’s not worth forcing an online presence there—it will come across as inauthentic and could take away your time from more worthwhile endeavors. For example, Substack is great for authors who regularly write long-form content, LinkedIn if you want to highlight the connection between your book and your career path, or Facebook and Instagram if you are comfortable sharing personal news along with book updates.   

3. Follow like-minded people. Research and follow hashtags that are popular in your subject. This can help you find interesting conversations to follow and join, which can lead to new professional relationships with colleagues and readers. Plus, you can use these hashtags in your social media posts so that potential readers can discover you and your book.  

4. Connect to current events. Find timely articles that pertain to the subject of your book and share them with your audience. For sociology or psychology titles, this could include new research studies or journal articles. For politics, economics, or current affairs, consider sharing relevant news stories or podcast episodes. For history or the humanities, post about historical anniversaries or new documentaries, films, TV series, podcasts, or other books about similar topics. 

Tip: if sharing a paywalled article, note that in your post so your followers don’t get frustrated. Even better, share a gifted link if possible.

5. Go behind-the-scenes. If you traveled or conducted research for your book, think about sharing an inside look into your process. This could include posting a photo of the library where you researched or wrote the book, marking the one-year anniversary of the day you finished your first draft, or sharing updates about a professional conference you’re attending. 

Tip: brush up on digital rights for images before posting any images. To be safe, make sure to use your own photos or use copyright-free images that are cleared for unrestricted use. 

6. Forge partnerships. Research your field’s professional organizations and see where they’re fostering their online communities. This could include newsletters, private Facebook or LinkedIn groups, podcasts, YouTube interviews, Discord servers, regular Zoom meetings, or member listservs. For example, for the book The Art of Academic Editing, Flatpage partnered with the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and Editors Canada for a Joint Academic Editing Book Club (JAEBC) Zoom discussion.  

But make sure to tread carefully with self-promotion among your peers. Some groups limit or restrict self-promotion altogether; your colleagues might also bristle at too much promotional content in a forum designed for professional advice. Instead, focus on ways your book might tie into ongoing discussions and develop organic connections with your colleagues.  

Conclusion 

Finally—and most importantly—be authentic. If you’re new to online self-promotion or are hesitant to share personal information online, then focus on seeking out partner organizations who can help promote the book to their audience. Do what feels right for you on social media so that your voice and passion for your book’s subject comes through to your followers and readers.

About Flatpage

Flatpage is currently commissioning compelling books that explore how the insights gained from research can be applied to effect positive change, challenge conventional thinking, and encourage innovative approaches. Authors are invited to submit proposals for manuscripts spanning current affairs, technology, politics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, humanities, and the visual arts. Flatpage seeks works of cultural, social, or political significance, offering fresh perspectives and critical evaluations of contemporary subjects, for a broad audience. The publishing house aims to transform complex research into accessible narratives tailored to a diverse readership.


For more information about Flatpage’s publishing program, and to submit a project for consideration, read our call for proposals. And make sure to check out our tips for journalists finding a publisher.

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About the author

Mary Sasso (she/her) has worked in book publishing for over 15 years as a marketing director for a wide variety of genres, including narrative and academic nonfiction, essays, memoir, medical reference, textbooks, and literary and commercial fiction. She is currently a marketing manager at Flatpage.

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