Hate book marketing? Many authors do, either because they hate promotions in general, or because they’ve tried various strategies and got burnt.
At this time of year book marketing is a challenge, because everyone’s trying to get a slice of the massive holiday spending. We talked about publishing short stories to boost holiday sales, which will help you.
Now let’s look at CHEAP marketing and promotions at any time of the year.
Many authors just don’t have a budget for marketing because they’re:
- New to self-publishing and spent their last dollar on paying an editor and buying a great cover image;
- Traditionally published, and they’ve long since spent the advance on royalties;
- Unforeseen expenses, which demolished their book marketing budget;
- … and any one of a hundred other reasons.
Before we get to the options, a word to the wise. Services for authors abound. If you find a company that’s offering cheap book marketing services, remember that it’s your name as well as your book that they’re promoting, so stay classy.
Cheap book marketing: stay classy, because you’re building your platform
Stay classy when you’re marketing your books.
You would never spam I know — but you may hire a company which offers cheap book marketing services. You’re shocked when you discover that this company has been spamming Facebook groups, websites, and email lists on your behalf.
So, when you hire someone to market for you, do ask what they’ll be doing, and also, be sure get regular reports from them. You need to know what they sent where. Keep the reports, in case you get a query about the marketing that’s been done for you.
Now let’s look at some book marketing options for authors on a budget.
1. Borrow other people’s audiences: it’s inexpensive and powerful
Whether you have your own audience or not, you can borrow others’ audiences in various ways:
- Guest post on others’ blogs;
- Comment on blogs (be sure to make your comment thoughtful and useful to the blog’s audience);
- Do newsletter swaps;
- Offer a quid pro quo. You might offer someone who has an audience you’d like to reach virtual assistant services: graphics, editing, proofreading… In return they give you an ad on their website, or in their newsletter.
2. Social media sells: savvy authors develop their social media accounts
Look on developing your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook et al) as a longterm marketing strategy.
The larger a social media account grows, the more valuable it is. Indeed, you can become an influencer, and charge people to reach your social media audience.
Until your audience grows, promote others.
Once you’ve been promoting another author consistently for a couple of weeks, you can (gently) ask the author to help you by giving you a book quote, or even a review. (Jackpot!)
A word about reviews. Be aware that when you’re asking for a review, you’re asking a LOT. Even at $50 an hour, when someone devotes four hours to your book… that’s $200’s worth of their time that they’ve given you, for free.
Be professional, and be prepared to pay for reviews if you want them.
That said, if you hire reviewers on places like Upwork, state “this is a paid review” when you publish the review.
3. Freebies still sell: readers love freebies
We’ve covered 3 Tips For KDP Select “Freebie” Success:
“Free” doesn’t have the power to build self-publishing careers that it once did. However, when an ebook is enrolled in KDP Select (and therefore is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers,) you can make some money.
Readers can sample your books, and authors with large catalogues can develop great incomes via KENPC. Of course, that money is limited if you’re a beginning author with a single book. So KDP Select “works” for both established and new authors.
Keep KDP Select in mind. It’s inadvisable to publish everything to Select, but when you do, look on it as a marketing exercise.
4. Join hands with an author in your genre/ category
You’re borrowing someone else’s audience again, and they’re borrowing yours.
Collaborate with one author, or several.
When you’re collaborating with another author, think in terms of series, rather than one novel. (Or nonfiction book.)
Why think about a series? Because you’re more likely to build loyal readers with a series, and also, because each book in the series offers a gateway to your other books. A series can sell for you for years, and when you’re writing your series with another author, it saves time.
You’ve heard of bundles; this is when you get together with several other authors. Over the past couple of years, spammers have given bundles a bad name.
So when you’re creating a multi-author bundle, make sure that each contributor offers something original, which isn’t available elsewhere.
Book marketing needn’t be expensive
You can market your books in many different ways. Some authors advertise heavily. Others never spend a cent on advertising.
A tip: be creative in your book marketing. Not every marketing option you try will work for you. But there’s always a chance that the next marketing option you try will pay off BIG, and your sales for that book will hit five figures for that month.
So, onward. Ever onward. Be courageous and persistent, and forge forward with your marketing. 🙂
Do you enjoy writing and publishing your books, but find that marketing them is a challenge? You're not sure what works, so your efforts are muddled, half-hearted, and inconsistent.
What if you could market in just 15 minutes daily?More info →
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