Sep 8 • 36M

Reinvention Marketing: Selling Your Book for Years After Pub Day

Episode 375: Adventures in back-end marketing and promotion with Jess

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

Hi #AmWriters! Jess here to talk about what I’ve been up to this summer and hoping some of it proves helpful for you. That’s why we started this podcast years ago - to flatten the learning curve for other writers.

Here I am, almost a decade out from the publication of The Gift of Failure and I have this new book, The Addiction Inoculation, on a topic that can be scary to some people (substance use disorder! eeeek!) as you know, I’m always looking for ways to get books in the hands of new readers, get information into the heads of people who need to know it, and keep my speaking career afloat. This summer, I did a massive marketing re-invention because the speaking engagements that have been going particularly well are not about one book or the other, but both. I’ve been using The Gift of Failure as a Trojan Horse to get the Addiction Inoculation substance use prevention content out to audience members who need to hear it but who might be reluctant to attend a talk advertised solely as ABOUT SUBSTANCE USE PREVENTION.

Behind the scenes moment, I just texted Sarina and KJ in our group chat:

Anyway, back to marketing. I came up with some new ideas and while researching those, stumbled upon a conference aimed squarely at the people doing substance use prevention work on the ground. I decided to go to the conference to meet them and get my book into their hands, and I tell you all about how it went.

I wanted to share what I learned and some strategies that were helpful to me as well as a reminder that the success of our books does not hinge on pub day. Sure, a great pub day is helpful and can get you on one of those coveted lists, but there’s a lot to love about the slow burn book, the perennial seller, the evergreen content.


Autonomy Supportive Parenting by Emily Edlynn, PhD

The Woodkin by Alexander James

Never Enough by Jennifer Breheny Wallace

Erasing the Finish Line by Ana Homayoun

Middle School Superpowers by Phyllis Fagell

Growing Up in Public by Devorah Heitner

Raising Empowered Athletes by Kirsten Jones

Calm the Chaos by Dayna Abraham

Hi! KJ here, invading Jess’s shownotes to say BUY MY BOOK. Playing the Witch Card, out 9/12/23 in US and UK. You’ll like it. I promise. So will your mother, daughter, sister, partner and next door neighbor. Amazon Barnes&Noble Still North Books and Bar

Looking for Workshops Against Empire? There's been a change of plans--that will be offered in November now.  Visit to learn more. 

Enrollment is now open for Author Accelerator’s new and improved fiction book coach certification program! Turn your love of reading into a career you love with a self-paced program you can access from anywhere. With more than 100 hours of training, videos, case studies, and worksheets, Author Accelerator’s program teaches you the key editorial skills, client-management strategies, and tools needed to help writers reach their goals and to help you start a thriving book coaching business.

I’ve been through this, and I can tell you that this is more than just an online course. You’ll take the skills you learn and apply them with real-life clients through three practicums designed to help you practice helping authors go from confusion to clarity with their novel idea. Yes, you work with real writers, yes it’s terribly nerve-wracking—but the author I worked with during one of my practicums just got a book deal with that project! This is real, kids. 

Learn more and enroll now at

More interested in nonfiction? The nonfiction certification program launches next month! Visit and sign up for their newsletter to stay in-the-know.

Srsly - head there now!

Discover Sarina Bowen and her book marketing fun (and other neat goodies) on TikTok!

Find her here!