I’m excited to be here today to share my top ten ways to market your book for free! After having helped hundreds of authors learn how to make six figures a year writing fiction, marketing is the topic I get asked about most! And marketing is also THE number one most important ingredient for success!
Of course, marketing also isn’t what most people think it is…
So when I get asked this question, usually what authors really mean is “how can promote my book?” Or “how can I advertise my book?”
The majority of authors I meet aren’t ready for either of these steps. They need to learn true marketing, not what they think marketing is. So let’s begin there!
NUMBER ONE WAY TO MARKET
Your number one marketing tool is Product Development. If you don’t know your audience and aren’t writing something they want to read, then all the marketing and advertising in the world won’t get you meaningful or long term profits. So before you dive into book promotion, make sure your book is written and packaged to be appealing to the people you plan on promoting it to. I know that’s easier said than done; after all, that’s why there’s over 400 training in the Publishing Mastermind course. It’s a lot to cover. But one an author puts all these pieces into motion, their profits can grow beyond their wildest dreams! (In fact, we have 2 clients right now already on their way to seven figures in 2022!)
NINE MORE FREE WAYS TO MARKET YOUR NOVEL
TWO: Social Media. That’s obvious, right? But it probably feels a lot like shouting into a void. Author join group with other authors and are all promoting their books to readers…who aren’t in those groups. But if you do know what to do, it can work like a dream - I hit my first $1000 a month on my books using Twitter ALONE! Social Media Marketing is a skill so valuable there there are people who charge $500+ PER PLATFORM *per month* to run social media for their clients…and that doesn’t even include advertising, which is usually a separate (and even more expensive) fee! So if you want to get into Social Media Marketing, you want to learn the ins and outs of each platform. Some tips to get you started: Learn how hashtags work on different platforms. Learn the demographics of each platform and see which aligns with your brand the most. Learn how to use the insights and performance metrics most social media platforms provide for free. And make sure you’re going where your audience is and connecting with them there. For more insights on social media marketing, you can check out Advanced Social Media Marketing for Authors.
THREE: Networking. Networking is more powerful than most people realize, but think of it this way: If you worked really hard to find 10 devoted reading fans and another author did the same, then if you cross promote, you double your reach. If you have 10 author friends like this, you could reach ten times as many readers. Networking is great for cross promotions in this way. Look for ways to swap for book features in groups or newsletters; other options include BookBub Swaps and ARC swaps.
Not only is this effective, but many authors have mentioned the sales with this method have a better % ROI than Facebook Ads. (So why do authors run, Facebook Ads you ask? That’s a topic for another day, but the short of it is: Facebook Ads are scalable and have lower diminishing returns than newsletter advertising.)
FOUR: Free Book Promotion Sites! While you might not be able to rake in hundreds or thousands of sales this way, you might be able to pick up a few readers here and there by promotions your book on websites that don’t charge you for a feature.
Here are some sites you can use to promote your book for free:
There are other out there, too, if you have the patience to look for them! Another site where you can earn free book promotions is BookRebel.com/partners - You can sign up and get an affiliate link, and when readers sign up to receive emails, you get credits that can be turned in for book promotions!
FIVE: Exposure through free publishing platforms where you can post samples of your writing. For example, you could use Bublish for a free sample of your latest release or post a sample chapter on Wattpad with a link at the end to check out your book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks, or wherever your book is available for purchase.
SIX: Free Days are still a big thing! You can set your book to free for a few days to pick up some new readers who are more likely to give a book by a new-to-them author a try if it won’t cost them anything. This is ideal if you are either trying to build your brand by creating new reading fans, or if it’s the first book in a series with more books in the series available for purchase. This way, you make money on the sell through.
SEVEN: A professional looking landing page! Of course, yes, money can go into a landing page in terms of having a great book cove, but there’s other things you can do for free - such as using this tool to format your blurb in a way that looks professional to readers browsing on Amazon.
EIGHT: Get support from friends and family. It costs you NOTHING to ask friends and family to pick up a copy of your new release, and while they might not all do it, all it really takes is a few sales to gain some momentum. This is because sales impact your ranking on a vender site, and the most sales you have, the more visible your book becomes. If you can concentrate your sales in a short period, you can get enough of a ranking boost to gain exposure on your novel, which is how you start selling to people you *don’t* know. So don’t be afraid to do this for some initial momentum, and try to get your friends and a family to all purchase on the same day. That said, keep in mind that unsustained sales will usually cause the book to drop again. That’s why we teach sustained sales methods in the Publishing Mastermind (but those methods aren’t free to executer, and this post is all about what you can for for free)! So, that in mind, let’s move on to the next option!
NINE: Summarize your book into a memorable 1-2 sentences! There’s nothing worse than mentioning you’re an author and someone asking what your book is about and you don’t know what to say…or end up waffling around, telling too much or telling the wrong things. You want to tell them and have the go “Wow, that actually sounds good. What’s the book called?” You may think, “That’s never going to happen,” but I almost never leave my house and it still happens to me all the time! Plus, this content will come in handle with some of the other recommendations - such as having a great blurb and posting on social media!
TEN: And last, but not least, add it to your email signature! You can set up an email signature in most email service providers to attach automatically at the end of every email you send. You never know when you might reach someone who also likes your genre. Many times I’ve even ended up on the phone with someone in customer service for a business who has read my books before. And because email signatures are understood to often be automated, no one looks at it like you “mentioning your book every 5 seconds.” It just happens to be part of your signature :) Likewise, if you’re active on any forums, you can add it to you signature there, too!
I hope these ideas inspire you to take action on your author career! If for any reason these methods aren’t getting you results, go back to the number one most important marketing technique: product development. 99% of promotional issue I see authors face stem from not mastering that step first.
ABOUT REBECCA HAMILTON
Rebecca Hamilton is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and the only Author Career Coach to help hundreds of authors hit national bestseller lists and learn how to make six figures a year writing fiction.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”