Book Promotion on a Budget – 8 Tips for the “Starving Author”
The publishing industry is being disrupted, just like most other sectors. And the major cause of such disruption? Technology and the Internet. We have all witnessed the decline of hard copy daily newspaper publishers. And the advent of e-books has been a “player” in the closing of national bookstore chains, and a number of publishing houses.
Self-publishing, on the other hand, is growing. And with self-publishing comes self-marketing. Authors are masters of the written word, but they are not master marketers and, unless they have a substantial bank account, they cannot compete with the marketing strategies of major publishing houses. Fortunately, there are a host of low-cost or free marketing tactics to bring readers into your fold. Here are some tips to do just that.
- Where is Your Audience Online?
Any online marketer of any product or service understands that the Internet is a huge, noisy place, and the first step is always to define a customer persona, find out where that audience hangs out online, and use those venues for marketing.
Finding your audience means that you will follow other authors of your same genre. Join the same groups, forums, etc. as they do. Follow their blogs and participate in discussions; follow them on social media. Their followers are your potential readers too. Your cost? Nothing.
- Craft an Amazing Blog and Guest Post
If you are a writer, then you know how to engage an audience. Do so with your blog. Be entertaining; be inspirational. And drive readers to your blog from your social media platforms, from forums,
When you create an especially stunning post, don’t let it just stand there. Do the research to find blogs that are followed by your readership and submit it as a guest post. Don’t be discouraged if there are rejections. Keep at it.
- Seek Out Interviews
There are podcasters who interview authors. It will take some research to find them, and then you have to make a pitch. Think of that pitch as a story – your story. Why did you write the book? What will readers gain from it? What were your challenges in the writing? Anything that is unique or of interest about your book-writing journey can be just the thing that gets you that interview.
- Be an Author First
You may have a regular “day job.” So, when you are at a social gathering, and someone asks you what you do, do you say “accountant,” “teacher,” etc.? Perhaps it’s time to change that up. When others ask you what you do, start saying, “I’m an author.” You never know who will be on the other side of that conversation and the networking potentials.
- Seek Out All Free Platforms for Online Promotion
Goodreads is one of the most popular spots for authors and readers. Set up an author page; list your book(s) on its Listopia and ask your friends to vote for your book. If you can afford it, advertise on Goodreads, and target fans of authors who are popular in your genre – you may spend anywhere from $50 – $500.
There are lots of other free promotional platforms too. For example, Natalie Anderson, founder and CEO of tutoring company GetGoodGrade.com, recently finished a book titled, Conquer Essay Phobia, which is now featured on an authors’ promotional website, Pronoun. Authors can write a synopsis and link to sites where their books can be purchased.
- Take a Local Book Tour
Contact libraries, book stores, even schools or museums (if your book is a “fit”), and offer a portion of sales if they will let you set up a reading and book signing. Even if non-profit, like libraries let you in for free, make a donation based upon your sales.
And while you’re at it, contact local radio and TV stations. Tell your story, just as you would to a podcaster. These stations like to feature local talent.
- Participate in Group Promotions
Get together with other authors who are involved in group promotions. You can usually find these on Facebook author groups. Set up reciprocal arrangements to promote each other’s’ books with your communities and networks.
- Join Readers’ Groups
You will find a lot of these on Facebook. Join any group that relates to your genre and become a participant. Do not talk about your book and certainly do not promote it. That’s not the purpose of these groups. These are fans of specific genres and like to discuss what they have or are reading. Read the same things an participate in discussions. Once you are trusted, you can casually mention that you have written a book, in the context of a related discussion. Say not more unless someone asks you about your book. Then you can provide a great synopsis without any type of sales pitch. At some point, you may be asked where it is available and then you can give that information.
Obviously, this is a short list of promotional possibilities. But if there are one or two that you may not have yet tried, give them a whirl. There are no miracles in promotion – it takes time and commitment (and certainly your passions for what you have written).
Natalie Andersen, chief officer at the top essay writing service Get Good Grade, pro writer and researcher, author of the book “Conquer Essay Phobia: Perfect Formula for a Good Grade!”. Once and forever, I decided for myself, that my life will never be the result of the circumstances, but of my own actions. I am fancy creating the things I am good at, and make them useful for the others.