Marketing Your Book on A Shoestring Budget
Not too terribly long ago, the dream of the aspiring author was to land an amazing contract with a leading publisher that would print, distribute, and promote their work to the masses, turning the book they tirelessly worked so hard on into a bestseller that would have everyone buzzing about. But let’s face it, times have changed, and so too has the book publishing industry. Independent (Indie for short) authors are popping up in every book category, and they are not waiting by the phone for the call or mailbox for the acceptance letter from the large publishing houses before getting their books to market.
Welcome to the new era of self-publishing!
Yeah, I know self-publishing has been around for a decade now, but as an up-and-coming author, self-publishing is how you’ll need to get your work out to the masses. Unless you’re someone like John Grisham or Danielle Steele (my mother always had her latest title on her nightstand), you’re going to have to do all the work involved in promoting and selling your work to readers.
Of course, most indie authors don’t have a ton of money to pour into marketing their books. Self-publishing may be on your mind so that a large publisher discovers your work; or perhaps you are fulfilling a life-long dream, but you’d like to do a little more to turn a profit. The good news, today there are several highly effective, low-cost marketing strategies you can use to spread the word about your book.
5 Effective and Affordable Ideas for Promoting and Marketing Your Self-Published Book
Build a website —One of the most affordable ways to market your work is by building a solid author website. Your website should look professional, clear and concise, and it should include plenty of information about you and your book(s). You should also include a blog and keep fresh content that engages readers and helps you improve your search engine rankings (satisfying Google’s latest algorithm updates). Fortunately, there are plenty of free and inexpensive tools that make it easy for indie authors to build their own websites and blogs.
Social media engagement —As you may have noticed (insert smirk) everyone is on social media these days, but more importantly, your target audience is most likely here. Invest time to network with other authors, people from the topic or genre that you are concentrating on and create relationships that may help grow your consumer base. Start with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter then expand from there. Joining specific niche’ group pages on Facebook is a tactic I personally recommend.
Create Video —Garnering attention for your self-published work often requires a creative, unexpected approach. One such tactic is developing a video trailer for your book. Millions of people watch videos online every day. As a matter of fact, in 2016 33% of all online activity was spent watching video, and that number today is most likely substantially larger. Creating a captivating trailer adds a unique visual element to your book that conveys a strong image in the reader’s mind and gets them interested in purchasing your book. If you want to stay a step ahead of the competition and increase visibility, build video into your marketing strategy.
Email —Email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective marketing tools out there. Create an email newsletter series with outstanding content, and work on building a targeted subscriber base through your website, social media, and other means. Your email list can be an invaluable tool for generating buzz for your book. Explore and subscribe to online marketing platforms such as MailChimp, ConstantContact, or OptinMonster just to name a few that offer flexible and creative email marketing templates.
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews —Yes, I said that three times. The truth is, from a consumer standpoint, to start reading a new book, readers are very picky about what they dive into next. More than ever, readers make these decisions based on reviews from other readers they trust. That’s why it’s so important that you have plenty of people posting reviews and talking about your book(s). The more positive reviews, the likelier it is that others will have the confidence to purchase your book. Don’t be hesitant, ask your readers to review your books on Facebook, Amazon, their blogs, etc.
When it comes to marketing and promoting your self-published book, you don’t have to “invest the farm” to be effective and ultimately successful. Just be active, creative and committed to putting in a little effort to build your following.