14 Marketing and Branding Tips I Learned at the RWA Writers Conference


This post–marketing and branding tips for writers–is part two of all the great things I learned while attending the Romance Writers of America 2018 annual conference.

My previous post, part one, covered 12 Writing and Research Tips I Learned. Check. It. Out.

But first, look at these 14 marketing and branding tips for writers.

  • Sell swag or merchandise that connects your reader to your book series, like Jillian Dodd does.
  • Consider selling books directly from your own website. This can increase traffic to your site.
  • Have a Books webpage on your website to make it easier for readers to see them. Include a blurb, a trailer, if you have it, book cover image, and buy buttons/links. If you’re pre-published, call the page, Work in Progress, instead. Add a blurb or summary of what you’re working on, information about the characters, and stock photos that correlate.
  • Make specific books exclusively available for free on your website, such as novellas or short stories. This increases engagement and creates loyal fans.


  • Try an online ad campaign to sell your novel, using a platform like Facebook. Author Skye Warren starts with 6 versions of an ad, only changing one thing in each ad. Then, she’ll monitor which version runs best. Her takeaway: her more successful ads include a small inset of the book cover image.
  • Use the back matter of an e-book as a marketing feature. Include links to your social media sites. Provide a link to sign up for your newsletter or mailing list. Add a chapter entry of your next book, especially if your book is part of a series. Include links to buy your other books.
  • Follow a strategy for pricing e-books, such as a high-priced front list and lower priced back list, weekly discounts, or a temporarily discounted back list.


  • Start a newsletter, if you haven’t already, even if you’re pre-published. Newsletters are still the number one marketing tool that converts into sales.
  • Try doing a giveaway or other incentive for readers to sign up for a newsletter.
  • Set goals. For example, aim to get 250 newsletter subscribers, five comments per blog post, or 100 downloads of a free short story.
  • Create a brand identity that speaks to who you are as an author and aligns with your genre—including logo, tagline, book cover art, website, social media, writing voice, and author headshot.
  • Design book covers yourself with Canva or video book trailers with Videorama.
  • Continually evaluate and refine brand and marketing strategies.

Check out #NovelAesthetics on Twitter to see what people are doing.

For comment below: What other marketing tips should I add to this list?


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash, Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash, Gemma Evans on Unsplash


Published by Rene Penn

Author. Blogger.

4 thoughts on “14 Marketing and Branding Tips I Learned at the RWA Writers Conference

    1. Great! I’m glad you found these tips helpful, Rob. I was checking out your site, too, and I see that you’re on Wattpad. I’m thinking of trying it out. How have you liked the process so far?

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: