When it comes to marketing your book, self marketing can be confusing and a lot of work. But the truth is that you really need to do self marketing because no one else is likely to do it for you. I have done some research into self marketing techniques, and I was surprised at how many of them can be done at no cost to the author except for their time. I compiled them into this list of free self marketing tips for authors.
Use Social Media
Social media is the most obvious marketing avenue for authors. It is one of the most popular marketing tools today, and you can get lots of exposure will relatively little effort. The trick is to know how to use these tools effectively when marketing your book.
Create a Facebook Author page first. This will help to keep your personal Facebook page and your book marketing activities separated. This is also helpful if you have multiple books you are trying to market.
Google+ is another must use social media site. It may not have as many users as Facebook but it is gaining in popularity and is a great marketing tool.
Twitter is great for driving traffic to your web site and social media pages. You can also build buzz by creating a hashtag for your book or characters.
LinkedIn is important as well. Create a professional profile that displays your published works, awards, experience, and education.
Now that you have all your social media sites set up, you need to know how to use them to create interest and encourage participation. Here are a few strategies that I have found effective.
- Ask questions. Asking questions gets your fans involved and lets them talk about themselves, which most people love to do. This creates interaction and discussions which in interesting content for fans to read. Make sure you stay involved in the conversation, you do not have to reply to every comment, but engage with your fans about your book, and you will be rewarded.
- Take polls. Again, interaction is key here. Fans will enjoy getting to weigh in with their opinion. If you give fans a say in how your next book unfolds, even if it is some trivial plot point or character trait, they will feel more connected to the story you are telling.
- Do a giveaway contest. People love the chance to win something. Offer signed advance copies of your book, a signed photo of a location in your book, or some other item specific to your story that fans will enjoy. This will help drive excitement and get people talking.
Make a Web Page
Creating a web page for your book is an important marketing strategy as well. Most web hosting companies will give you a domain for fairly cheap, but if you want to stay in the free arena, you can create a Google site as well. Your site does not have to be a masterpiece, just a picture of yourself, the cover of your book, a short bio, a synopsis, and links to your social media sites.
Send Out Advance Copies
Sending advance copies to popular bloggers is a great way to drum up buzz about your book. The right people can really get the word out before your book is released. Bloggers will be flattered that you chose them to read it first and if they like it they will sing its praises to their built in audience. Target blogs and bloggers wisely and it can do wonders for your marketing efforts.
Write a Press Release
Writing a press release about your upcoming book is also a great way to get the word out about it. You can send it out to news agencies and post a copy on your web site. Press releases are a more traditional form of marketing but they are important all the same, and it only takes a bit of effort to write on. Search online for a press release template and to learn press release conventions.