Book marketing is one of the biggest challenges newly published authors face. Often on a limited budget, it can be hard to purchase advertising or run large promotions. Fortunately, there are completely free ways to market your book – both online and off.
Here are 50 Free Ways to Market Your Book:
Create an Author Facebook Fan Page: This is done by going to Facebook and creating a page. Be sure to invite all your friends and encourage your family and friends to share the page and invite their friends.
Pin your book cover and link to purchase on Pinterest: Pinterest is a visual bookmarking social network with millions of people. Pin it to boards that are relevant and write a compelling summary on why someone should read it.
Use Twitter to Promote Your Book: In 140 characters or less, give your Twitter Followers a reason they need to check out your book.
Create Your GoodReads Author Profile: Being on GoodReads will make it easier for those who have read your book to create a review.
Create Profile on LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a great way to network professionals in your industry. It’s a fantastic way to meet with partners who can help you promote your book.
Create a Google+ Account: Google+ is another social network that you can network with potential readers on.
Email Signature: Be sure you have a link to your book with a summary in the footer of every email you send.
Forum Signature: If you are active on forums, include a link to your book for others to check out.
Write a Press Release and Syndicate on Press Release Distribution Websites: Your publisher may do this for you – be sure to check with them for rules or guidelines on what to write.
Guest Post on Blogs: Build relationships with bloggers in your target audience and offer to do a guest post about a subject the blog readers are passionate about.
Offer Free Review Copies & Giveaway to Target Market Blogs: Building relationships with bloggers that reach out to your target audience can help you get your book into the hands of more people.
Create a YouTube Video: This should probably done somewhat professionally (DIY-ers beware!) – but it can help you rank higher in the search engines and bring more people to your author website or to your book sales page.
Create a Presentation for SlideShare.com – A network of slideshow presentations, you can do a trailer of your book or an outline of the book. Again, this helps with showing up in search engines and reaching a larger audience.
Contact Your Local Libraries: If there’s a library in a 50 mile radius of your house, make sure you visit it and offer to schedule an event to do a signing or meeting with their book club.
Create a Book Promotion Kit With Images, Quotes, and Excerpts: The easier it is for others to link to your book on their own site or write about it, the more likely they will.
Network With Other Authors in Your Niche: You can do well by networking with other authors and hosting joint giveaways or exchanging ad banners on your blogs.
Ask Consignment Shop Owners to Sell Your Book: Consignment shops are not just for clothes and antiques! They may very well be interested in carrying a small display of your book, especially when they retain a portion of the sales.
Go to Conventions and Conferences: Writer’s Conventions and Conferences are a great way to network, network, network.
Join Meetups: Go to Meetup.com to find meetups in your area. There are always a few book clubs and writers groups.
Donate copies of your book: You never know how far a book at a local doctor’s office or church may go!
Email everyone you know: OK, you have to be careful of this because of spam laws, so maybe do not email everyone. But DO email all of your friends and family as well as current business contacts to let them know you have published a book.
Develop a Book Club Kit: Make it easy for book clubs to choose your book for their meetings. Discussion questions are particularly helpful.
Apply for/Nominate Your Book for Awards: There are thousands of book awards out there. The more you apply for the better!
Offer to do book readings at local organizations: If you wrote a book on alcoholism, you could do a reading at an AA meeting for example. If you wrote a children’s book, offer to read it to a classroom.
Host a Google+ Hangout or other Webinar: Give your readers the opportunity to ask you questions about anything related to what your book is about – this is an excellent strategy for non-fiction writers.
Use Instagram to Promote Your Book: Take pictures of people reading it, make references to your book with hashtags, etc. etc.
Reach Out To Your Past Schools: Your writing teachers will be delighted to know you are a published author and your college alumni newsletter may also be interested in including info about your book in their publications.
Ask People to Review Your Book: Potential customers will read reviews. Don’t pay or bribe people to review a book, as that will get you in a lot of trouble – just ask nicely.
Include Bonus Materials for Readers on Your Website: Have a special section of your website that is private and only those who read your book can access. You can offer free printables, downloads, a free audio version, etc.
Create a Podcast: A podcast will help you connect readers and give them valuable information as well as entice them to read your book.
Have an Events Section on Your Website: Tell your web visitors where you will be and what you are up to. Anytime you attend an event, be sure to post about it on your blog and through your social networks.
Offer an Affiliate Program: Bloggers will be more enticed to mention your book if they can reap a portion of the sales. Amazon has a great affiliate program, if selling a self published eBook, check out sites such as ClickBank and eJunkie among others.
Collect email addresses on your website and send a weekly newsletter.
Have a Business Card: You never know who you will meet. A business card is a great way to exchange contact info quickly and easily without people scrambling to find pen and paper to write down your name.
Merchandise! You can set up a store with themed print on demand merchandise for free at sites like CafePress, SpreadShirt, etc. and your fans may be interested in what you have to offer, especially if it’s unique and ties into your books or message you write about. This can lead to word of mouth marketing.
Send out Facebook Event Invites: Some people won’t respond to an email, but they will respond to a FB event invite.
Use Analytics on Your Website: Free services such as Google Analytics can tell you much about the people who visit your site, what pages are the most popular and more. Learn to optimize these pages as much as possible!
Scribd: Upload a PDF that promotes or supplements your book.
Be Listed in Top Directories: There are paid services such as DirectoryMaximizer that will do this for you, or you can choose to manually submit to the best ones.
Submit Your Website to Stumble Upon – You never know who may stumble across your website and be intrigued by your book.
Optimize Your Website for Search: Having your site rank high in Google, Yahoo, Bing. Learn the basics of keyword research to know what type of content you should be targeting. Never spam and be wary of internet marketing companies trying to offer you SEO services – it can have disastrous results. Google webmaster tools is a good place to start.
Create visual quotes from the book and Pin to Pinterest. There are so many quotes on Pinterest – people love them! Make a nice graphic with a quote from your novel to potentially reach thousands of people.
Interact With Your Readers: Ask questions and strike up conversations through GoodReads, Facebook, and Twitter.
Contact Local Newspapers and Magazines: Many will be excited to interview you or have you contribute an article with a brief bio and possibly even an advertisement spot.
Approach Coffee Shops: Many coffee shops may be interested in having you do an event at their location.
Have a Sip & Read Event: Find a location that allows others to BYOB and enjoy a night of conversation about books and authors. Be sure to invite any of your favorite local authors to broaden the reach.
Have an “Elevator Speech” prepared – a quick way to sum up your book in 60 seconds or less.
Write articles about topics relevant to your book and submit to article directory websites such as eZine Articles and others.
Brainstorm for Organizations to Network With: A little reserach online and some brainstorming can help you think of new partners to join forces with. For example, if you write a fiction story about a cancer patient, you could donate a percentage of proceeds to charity or contact organizations to speak about topics relating to cancer.
Create QR Codes: QR Codes let people scan your book or your marketing materials to access a page of your website. There is a lot of potential for ways to creatively use these in your free book marketing efforts!
We want to hear from you! Which of these strategies have you tried with success? Are there any additional strategies for marketing on a budget we may have missed? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!