Post No Bills? Yeah, right. Guerrilla Marketing for the Indie Author.

Guerrilla Marketing


The term was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson back in 1984, referring to Guerrilla Warfare, the use of unconventional methods in battle. Used by big companies with large budgets and individuals with limited funds, Guerrilla marketing is an effective strategy.

As Indie authors, we can’t just self-publish, sit back, and wait for the sales to come in. The book will not sell itself. It won’t. We have to sell it, and by any means necessary. Guerrilla marketing compliments the Indie author. It’s low cost with room for ingenuity.

Now, I can’t tell all the ways to Guerrilla market, but what I can tell you is that you should. Without a doubt.

You’ll need some ideas, some help, and some perseverance.

The basics. Here’s some must haves: a professional website, a blog, a Goodreads author profile, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. The last two should be author only accounts, no tweets about tv shows or status updates about your cats or what you’re having for dinner in between book promo posts. It’s bad form. No one will take you seriously.

In addition to social media and blogging, there’s contests, email blasts, giveaways, stickers, bookmarks, business cards, flyers, t-shirts, bumper stickers, car magnets, linking up with reporters/media, connecting with the community via events, and pairing up with other indie authors. Enlist some friends, utilize a street team. There’s so many more possible ways. You’re a writer, be creative.

Tip: Don’t be shy, get in people’s faces, in a good way. The introverted author must become the extroverted promoter.

For me, I’m fortunate. I live in a city of over 8 million people. No matter where you are, city or country or somewhere in the middle, there’s people, there’s readers, there’s buyers. Go, Guerrilla market, sell yourself and your book, stand out.

I bum rush Facebook groups and Goodreads forums. A few get pissed off, but mostly I get a large number of responses. I give business cards (book cover on one side, web info on back) to people I see reading books. I regularly put qr code stickers in bookstore bathrooms all over New York City. I have a lady friend hit up the women’s stalls. I won’t divulge any more tactics, some are mildly illegal and I won’t incriminate myself.

Gather your weapons. Rally your troops.

This is war.


159 thoughts on “Post No Bills? Yeah, right. Guerrilla Marketing for the Indie Author.

  1. Thanks for the follow. I just went to a presentation tonight at our local writer’s group about social media and marketing. It isn’t easy to do everything, but I try to do a few things well. – Wayne

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said! Simple fact of life – and actually becoming more so for traditionally-published authors too, because all the marketing spend goes on a few celeb books and potential bestsellers and you’re expected to do it yourself – if you don’t, your next book probably won’t get taken up. Thanks for following my blog – I’m happy to have discovered yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes all we need to get pumped up is some advice on how to battle reality. I’m glad this wasn’t a post on how harsh the real world is, but some useful advice. I’d been wary of indie publishing before, but now I’ll probably use it as the first step towards breaking into the written world. Thanks for the follow and leading me here!


  4. Thanks for the follow! This is your first post I’ve read and I know I’ll be back for more. As another lost soul who’s finished a book, the idea of marketing and promoting it is as daunting as looking at that first blank page 🙂 Thanks for the tips.


  5. Congratulations on your book! I admire your moxie and hope to one day achieve such. I alas, am the introverted writer and not yet extroverted marketer, but I am trying to learn. My book sales say I am not quite there yet.


  6. Great piece! My “day job” is in marketing and I managed six brand Facebook pages and it’s STILL not easy to market myself. It’s all about mindset, I think. And the willingness to believe you’re worth the hype. Thanks for this! And thanks for the follow!


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  8. Even though I’m not a writer, I feel like this advice is applicable to anyone who wants to start a company. In this day and age we have to not be shy in our efforts of self-promotion!


  9. I appreciate your post. It’s very comprehensive. I’ve been considering self-publishing but wasn’t sure, knowing that the promotion part is a lot of work. You’ve listed great advice so I might just try it after all. Thanks!


  10. Do you believe In fate? I do. I so do. Cause man did I need to cross paths with you and your blog this fine day!

    So gonna pick your brain…by reading all your words. And stuff.


  11. Hello, I just wanted to say, that I have just finished self-publishing my first novel. I discovered this blog, thanks to your following mine, at the last stages. You can read more about my novel here:
    What I can say is that I feel like I’m now entering the “hardest” phase of writing – the “marketing”. I’ve enjoyed reading other people’s posts on self-publishing, and some who expressed the same sentiment about the difficult of getting the word out.
    The good news is that I feel there are more opportunities to self-market than before. Remember, it was just a few years ago that a self-publisher had to buy 1000 copies of their novel and walk door to door, go to markets, etc. trying to sell them.
    I don’t know how many novels I’ve sold so far, but I know they have been bought around the world, and I haven’t had to leave my desk!
    Thanks again. Liam


  12. Someday I’ll edit and finished my WIP novels. When that time comes, I shall remember this post, because the advice you gave is awesome. While I am not quite aggressive enough to do all you mentioned, you have some really awesome ideas.


  13. Great article, Brian! And thanks for the follow. I’m bookmarking this, and I’ll share it to my facebook fans, some of whom are artists and authors. (how’s that for a little effortless guerrilla marketing?)


  14. Someone who thinks like me! It’s about time another author expressed the importance of Guerrilla tactics. There a lot of great website where you can customize your appearance to become your’ own billboard. I like to use uberprints for shirts and vistaprint for business cards. To see an example of the shirts I use visit me on Instagram. The details are listed on my blog.


  15. Good post! I’ll be taking a good deal of this advice soon. Also, thank you for following my blog, Thought I’d return the favor and follow yours. A good marketing strategy. 😉


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  19. Great information! I’m old and home bound and can’t really promote my books. But I really don’t care. Writing, of course, gives the greatest pleasure. Thanks for following me. I look forward to reading more of you.


  20. Wow, you get a lot of comments. Anyway, I just realized I met you somewhere sometime, talking about guerrilla marketing…must’ve been NYC, Michigan or Oregon, or maybe I’m going crazy…anyway my high school students were happy to see that you were following the blog for our new publication Elk Rock Review [sneaky product placement], but seriously, that means a lot to them. And to me. Next time I’m in New York to visit my brother, I’ll stop by and check out your stuff.


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