Many writers find the process of marketing their books to be far more challenging and frustrating than writing them.
After all, writing is a skill which is honed over years of experience. Book marketing is often an entirely new skillset, and the tactics and methods change frequently.
One of the biggest roadblocks for a lot of authors is the belief that book marketing is expensive. As many writers operate on a shoestring budget, they are resistant to marketing as a whole due to this belief.
While paid book marketing can be very effective, free methods can also give you great results. I’d like to share some of my favorites along with some tips for making the most of them.
Social media is an incredible opportunity for authors. Over 2 billion people use Facebook, and Twitter is a powerful platform, favored by everyone from J.K Rowling to Donald Trump.
Some of the free promotion opportunities offered by social media include –
Facebook groups. Often, private Facebook groups are the best place to find engaged and passionate readers. To make the most of this opportunity, take the time to learn the ways of any group you’re interested in. Offer genuine value and avoid only self-promoting.
Hashtags. Many people discover content on social media platforms such as Twitter or Instagram by searching for and following hashtags. If you can assign your content popular and relevant hashtags for writers, you stand a better chance of being discovered.
Sharing. Social media makes it easier than ever for yourself and others to spread the word about your work. With a single touch of a screen, people can easily retweet or share your content with their networks.
Building connections. Social media is a great way to get on the radar of those you admire. Start by following and promoting their own content, and in time you may notice reciprocity for your own.
It’s more important than ever for independent authors to network and collaborate. Powerful opportunities open up when you take the time to cultivate a network of fellow writers. Some of the best ways to grow your network for free include –
Using LinkedIn. A great option for more serious networking than Facebook. Features many specialist groups where you can learn from and form connections with fellow writers.
Blog commenting. Engagement is the holy grail for most blogs. If you take the time to offer thoughtful, constructive contributions to blogs via the comments page, you are likely to be noticed by those you wish to connect with.
Offline events. Conferences and meetups for writers are great ways to forge powerful connections.
Book Promotion Sites
Book promotion sites allow you to get the word out about your book without spending money. The results you get from this will vary, but it’s worth trying provided you have the time to do so. Some tips for making the most of this opportunity include –
Track record. Look for suggestions from fellow authors about free book promotion sites that worked for them. Try and verify any claims the promotion sites make.
Timing. Time when your free promotions will run. You may wish to coincide with a launch, discount, or other time-sensitive event.
Suitability. Often, promotion sites will have a specialist topic or niche they are effective at promoting. Try and find the best fit for your work to get the best results.
Kindle Store/Marketplace Promotions
Often, the platform you sell your books on will offer free promotional options. These have the advantage of promoting directly to proven book buyers on the purchase platform itself. Options here include –
Free giveaways. Offer your book at no cost for a period of time. This can help generate momentum and reviews ahead of a paid launch. Also an effective way to get readers interested in the first installment of a series.
Offer your book to subscribers. Many readers use services such as Kindle Unlimited. This is a way to make money through your book without a traditional sale.
Editorial reviews. You can often add these for free, and they carry a lot more weight than user reviews in the minds of many book buyers.
Ultimately, you need to experiment and find the right mix of free promotional methods which produce results for your genre or niche. Effective marketing opportunities that don’t require expenditure are a powerful tool to add to your book marketing repertoire.
Dave Chesson is an author and book marketing nerd who runs Kindlepreneur.com where he shares in-depth guides for authors, such as his recent Grammarly review and insight into book writing software. His free time is spent making memories with his family, and obsessing over sci-fi culture.