In these high tech times, a blog or web site is certainly a useful marketing tool to maintain an online presence that promotes your book. However, unless you have millions of followers for your web site, you need online exposure beyond your own blog and Facebook page to reach people who aren’t aware of your book. Here are some of my favorite free ways to promote a book online.
Everybody loves to feel like a winner. Readers get more excited about the opportunity to win a free book than reading a book review. Having a contests and giveaway hosted by a blog or web site not associated with my blog at http://www.cheapdiva.typepad.com/ is one of my favorite strategies for promoting my book, The Cheap Diva’s Guide to Frugal and Fabulous Living: How to Shop Smart, Look Your Best, Decorate with Style and Have Fun for Less Money!. I contact frugal bloggers that focus on fashion, shopping smarter, and other money saving strategies, and offer to give them a copy of my book to use as a giveaway on their blog. Since my book appeals to women looking to shop smarter and live well for less, the opportunity to win a free copy of the book definitely gets their attention. What often happens is that the budget friendly strategies appeal to the frugal blogger so much they give a very positive review of the book when they announce the contest or giveaway. I write a brief blog post about the contest on my own blog at thecheapdiva.com and provide a link to the blog hosting the contest. The blogger hosting the giveaway is providing me with free publicity and I am providing them with free publicity, which creates a win / win situation for both of us.
FREE, SUBTLE ADVERTORIALS
Writing articles that appeal to the type of women interested in topics covered in the book, such as shopping smarter, dressing well for less, creative decorating ideas and how to have fun without spending a fortune, and submitting them to various budget friendly blogs and web sites is also a cheap form of publicity. The article itself focuses on spending smarter and living better without sounding like an infomercial for my book. The infomercial part comes at the end of the article in the form of a brief bio, title of the book and a link to where the book can be bought.
Do you have something interesting to say? Then make yourself heard on Blogtalkradio.com. The advantage of a live Internet radio show is that, after the show is over, listeners can download the show at any time. Unlike traditional radio, listeners probably aren’t listening to the program while they are driving and they can go back and listen to the program again if they didn’t catch the name of your book the first time they heard it. I was interviewed for the Alicia Custard Show for a show titled How To Celebrate The Holidays On A Frugal Budget and the show was downloaded over 4,000 times! Find an interviewer with their own blogtalkradio.com show by looking at the different categories and searching for someone who talks about a subject that relates to your book.
AMAZON BOOK REVIEWS
When my book started selling on Amazon.com I immediately started thinking of how to maximize my exposure through that web site. I was delighted to discover that you can include a link to other products when you do a book review. I have written several brief but positive book reviews for the type of books that appeals to my readers, but are not in direct competition with my book. I review books that focus on topics mentioned in my own book, such as home decor, fashion, or cosmetics but the books I review focus exclusively on one topic, such as home decor, and discuss that topic in depth without focusing on the money-saving aspect of it. At the end of the book review, I identify myself as an author and include a link to the Amazon.com web page that features my book. I only do positive book reviews, if I don’t like a book, I don’t review it. Writing a negative book review might look like you are trashing someone else to make your book look better in comparison. That is definitely frowned upon.
LIVE BOOK SIGNINGS & APPEARANCES = ADDED PUBLICITY
One of the surprising things I learned when marketing my book is that a live book signing is actually a great way to generate online publicity. There are many online outlets that usually don’t feature books, but they do announce local events. By having a book signing you now have an event to promote to those web sites and online newsletters that reach your audience, and you can set up an event page on Facebook. The bookstore or other outlet where the book signing is happening can email their customers to announce the event, community newspapers usually have an online presence and feature events that spotlight local talent, like brilliant authors such as yourself. Even a presentation at the local library is an event worth promoting. How many people actually show up for a book signing or live presentation is irrelevant. Interested readers now know the name of your book and they know if they are unable to attend the signing, they can always buy it online.
There are millions of web sites and blogs on the Internet and, chances are, not all of your target audience is reading the same one. Exposure from a variety of online sources brings your book to the attention of readers who haven’t read the other blogs or web sites you have been featured on. One source I like for connecting with media people who are looking for experts on a variety of topics is reporterconnection.com. To maximize your marketing efforts, I suggest you market through many different online outlets and continue to promote your book no matter how much online publicity you get.
Stephanie Ann is the author of the book The Cheap Diva’s Guide to Frugal and Fabulous Living: How to Shop Smart, Look Your Best, Decorate with Style and Have Fun for Less Money! and the creator of the popular budget friendly style blog http://www.cheapdiva.typepad.com/. After earning a college degree in fashion, she continued to sharpen her shopping skills and style savvy by working in various home decor and fashion related businesses over the years.