Posted by: nancycurteman | October 21, 2010

How to Market Your Mystery Novel

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These days mystery writers are expected to play a major role in marketing their novels. Whether your mystery novel is self-published, e-published or accepted by a large or small publishing house, you will need a comprehensive marketing plan that includes a press kit.  Here are some ideas to help you create your plan for marketing your mystery novel.

• Make up flyers/postcards to be mailed out or posted in various places.

• Create business cards with a one-sentence synopsis of your mystery novel on the reverse side. Distribute them a conferences and other gatherings.

• Contact mystery buff book clubs. Ask to speak to the group. Book clubs usually love to have authors visit their meetings.

• Volunteer to speak before writing groups, at conferences, at libraries and college writing classes.

• Create a blog on the Internet that relates to your mystery novels. I titled mine “Global Mysteries,” a broad title that enables me to post travel tips as well as plug my novels. I also try to support other mystery writers by posting tips for authors.

• Provide links from your blog to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and to other mystery blogs.

• Ask to be a guest blogger for other mystery blogs. Bloggers need to update their content often, and will welcome a guest blogger.

• Join online groups related to writing and publishing like “Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Editors.” Join in their discussions and add comments.

• List your novel on

• Join writing groups and enlist their help in publicizing your novel on their websites, in their newsletters and at various functions where they set up booths such as literary festivals, fairs, literary conferences. I joined California Writers Club and Mystery Writers of America.

• Another benefit from membership in writers clubs is easy access to published authors. You can request that they read your mystery novel and consider writing an endorsement to be printed in the front of your book.

• Write letters to published mystery writers and request that they read and endorse your novel. Why not? You’ve got nothing to lose but something you didn’t have in the first place. One will probably say “yes.”

• Donate a free copy of your mystery novel to your local library.

• Get to know the manager of your local book stores and request that they stock a few of your books perhaps on a shelf labeled “Local Authors.” If they sell well, the store can order more.

• Ask your local book store managers to allow you to do book signings at their store or set up a table inside or outside for a meet and greet the author event or they might simply stock books you’ve already signed and placed a stamp on the cover indicating the book has been signed by the author.

• At bookstore signings provide something people can take away that will introduce your book—bookmarks, pencils, sample tastings of  some food or drink that figures in your mystery story. I chose sips of English teas for my novel Murder in a Teacup.

As an author, you are already very creative. Direct some of that creativity toward your marketing plan. By the way, if  you have other ideas, I’d love to hear them.

Photo: kolkataburrp


  1. Excellent tips and suggestions, Nancy.


  2. Thank you for all the great suggestions. It would seem that many of them must wait until the author has a published book. When I get my novel completely finished and ready to query, I plan to create a special blog to promote it. I will have to do a lot more brainstorming to plan the details. Blessings, Nancy…


    • You might consider putting some of these ideas in place long before you publish your novel. Good idea to have a special blog for your novel.


  3. Terrific list, NC!


  4. More great advice Nancy. Thanks.


  5. Hi, Nancy,

    How would you like to guest blog on my blog sometime? (I know you’ve been there :-)).


  6. Hey Peggy, I would enjoy being a guest blogger on your site. How about some time in January when the wild and wooly holiday season has passed. Thanks for asking. I like your site.


  7. Sounds great! Let’s get in touch then. I like yours, too :-).


  8. […] How to Market Your Mystery Novel […]


  9. […] More writing tips: How to Write a Query Letter for a Mystery Novel How to Write a Synopsis of Your Mystery Novel How to Market Your Mystery Novel […]


  10. […] How to Write a Query Letter for a Mystery Novel How to Write a Synopsis of Your Mystery Novel How to Market Your Mystery Novel […]


  11. […] More marketing tips: How to Market Your Mystery Novel […]


  12. […] How to Write a Query Letter for a Mystery Novel How to Write a Synopsis of Your Mystery Novel How to Market Your Mystery Novel […]


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