Congratulations on publishing your first book, and fulfilling that elusive dream of becoming an author! Now that you have gone through the writing, editing, and publishing process, it’s time to start marketing. But, how do you, especially as an unknown author with little credibility, get your books in the hands of readers, and become the next breakthrough author? How do you get the most effective marketing for a reasonable cost? In other words, how do we spend money to make money without blowing through a limited budget?
The 4 key book marketing methods that I discuss below are all derived from knowledge that I gained from years of research, and trying a variety of book marketing methods. And, best of all, these are all no-cost to low-cost marketing strategies that you, an indie author, can begin using right now!
Low-Cost Marketing Methods
Before you embark on any of the below, you need to do two things:
a.) Work out your overall maximum budget. This is the amount that you can spend on marketing.
b.) Have an accounting system. I use Wave Accounting, which is free software that I can log into using Google.
1.) Have Your Own Blog/Website: You not only need to have a “home” on the web where a potential buyer can find out more about you, before they hit BUY (tip: you want to have a BUY NOW button/link on your website), but also to do content marketing. Content Marketing can not only increase your SEO ranking, so that more potential buyers can find you, BUT you are also giving something of value to the online community before you ask them to buy your book. Be sure to post new content regularly (even if it’s twice a month), and promote your blog in your social media channels.
2.) Social Media Channels: You do not have to be on ALL social media channels at once. Use ones you are most comfortable with, and that have the highest number of your likely buyers. I have, surprisingly, found LinkedIN to be very professional, and good for book sales.
3.) Online Book Tour: This is especially useful when you have a new release but, instead of doing costly in-person book tours that may not be valuable in terms of ROI (return-on-investment), your book will be featured on different book blogs in the weeks leading up your book’a release, and after. You can do it on your own, to save money, or you can work with well-known book tour companies that can do it for a small and affordable fee (usually around $100). Online book blog tours can get you a global audience, and build that elusive book buzz around your new release. You can also create further buzz around the book reviews, author interviews, and book spotlights by sharing your online tour stops with your social media audience.
4.) Getting Reviews: The more reviews you can get, especially on behemoth book-sellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, the likelier the chance of getting seen by potential buyers. Don’t be shy about asking people to post reviews about your book! Also:
- join Goodreads Book Review circles
- put a note at the end of your book asking your book readers to write reviews
- contact Amazon’s Top 100 reviewers for reviews
- contact book bloggers
- do Instagram giveaways with an attractive photo of your book and ask winners to review your book
Were any of these strategies surprising to you? Have you used these before and to what effect? Will you be using these? Please share in the “comments” section below. Also, do not forget to connect with me on my blog or Instagram if you have further comments or questions, or if you simply want to make another author friend.
Ilham Alam is a Student Advisor working in higher education by day and a writer, bibliophile, traveler and dreamer, the rest of the time. She has lived in a few countries including Kuwait and Colombia. Ilham now lives in Canada with her family that includes a 20lb cat. Ilham is the debut author of a children’s picture book, Wonder Walk, published in 2019. You can find out more about Ilham and follow her book review & travel blog at:
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