Once you’ve self-published your book, you might think your work is finished. Now you just sit back and let the sales roll in, right? Not quite. It’s time to kick your marketing efforts into high gear—no book sells itself! But buying paid advertising, mailings, bookmarks, posters, and more can get pricey. For writers who have to watch their expenses, here’s how to effectively market your self-published book on a $0 budget.
How To Market Your Self-Published Book For Free
Use social media: Social media is one of the most powerful tools you have as a writer. Every connection you make online is another potential reader who can share your writing-related content with their own followers. Whether you’re using a book-specific platform like Goodreads or a general purpose platform like Twitter or Instagram, you can find more readers and sell more books if you take steps to build up your follower count. For example, making regular, scheduled posts maintains a constant stream of new content across all of your accounts. And using polls and open-ended questions keeps your audience engaged (if you’re struggling to fill up your queue, check out some of our post ideas). Make sure some of your posts focus on your book—post your cover design ideas or special content just for followers. But don’t beat your followers over the head with relentless “buy my book!” posts. And don’t forget to take advantage of platform-specific marketing tools like the Goodreads Author Program.
Try excerpting before you publish the book: You’d have the best opportunities BEFORE you self-publish, since most literary editors don’t accept previously published work. Publishing an excerpt will let you reach a new audience of readers and attract potential buyers for when you do publish the book. There are some literary journals that will accept previously published works—but not many.
Bonus tip: If you’re not sure which literary journals you should submit your excerpt to, Writer’s Relief can help with that! They have over twenty-seven years of experience helping writers get published.
Tie in with cause marketing: With cause marketing, you can pledge to donate a portion of your proceeds to a charity of your choice (you could even choose a charity that ties in with the theme of your book). Pledges like this encourage potential readers to buy your book to support a good cause, and you get to deliver a helpful donation to one of your favorite charities. It’s a win-win-win!
Consider handselling: Yes, it’s every author’s worst nightmare, but it’s also the most effective way to get the word out about your new release. Word-of-mouth marketing brings an element of personality into the equation. If you’re serious about promoting your self-published book, then brush off your conversation skills, practice your elevator pitch, and get out there!
Team up with collaborators: Cross-promotion lets you combine your audience with another writer or another business, increasing the marketing potential for both of you. Featuring your writing as a guest blog post, gaining a mention in a social media feed, and appearing on a podcast are all great ways to get your book in front of more potential buyers. Holding a reading (online or in person) with multiple writers in different genres also puts your book in front of buyers who might otherwise not have considered your work.
You can also look for a local business to stage a tie-in event. For example: Does your mystery unfold in a winery? Maybe a local wine store will tie in a reading with a wine tasting! The possible tie-ins and collaborations are endless.
Using these tips—and with a little effort and imagination—you can market your self-published book and boost sales without breaking the bank!
Question: What strategies have you used to promote your self-published book?