Writing your book was a huge accomplishment, and so was getting it printed. Your work is only halfway done, however, and your next step is getting the word out so you can sell many copies of your book. Are you worried about how to do this on a budget? Here are seven free book marketing ideas any author can use.
1. Price Your Book to Move
Nobody likes to work for free, but offering your books at a steep discount—or even free—is a marketing move that works for many new writers. Offering your book for free can get you reviews, which are extremely helpful in getting others to give your books a chance.
2. Free Book Marketing: Write Guest Posts on Blogs
One of the best free book marketing ideas is to write a guest post on a blog. Find a blog that deals with the subject of your book, and offer to write an article or guest post that gets your name out there.
The post should not be about your book. It should be about a shared subject. For instance, if you’ve written a book on how to move to a foreign country, approach bloggers who have blogs on living the expatriate life. You could also reach bloggers who specialize in travel to the location of your book.
Getting a guest post requires some work. For one thing, if the blog is popular and well-trafficked, the blogger probably gets content from established writers and may not be interested in a post from an unknown author.
Second, a blogger won’t appreciate a post that is clearly self-promotional. Write a relevant, informative article that the readers of that blog will find interesting.
To get a guest post, draw up a list of blogs and websites that run the type of article you want to write. Submit a professionally written query to the blog. Ask if you can place information about your book in your byline. Most bloggers will agree to let you post your book’s title and a link to it in your byline or “about the author” section.
3. Free Book Marketing: Establish Yourself on Niche Forums
There are online forums for every subject imaginable. You are certain to find one whose readers would be interested in your book. This is one of the best free book marketing tactics, but it takes a little time.
To get established on these groups, start by opening an account on at least three niche forums. Don’t start talking about your book. Start by engaging others in discussions and contributing your own information. Scour news sites and social media postings related to the subject. Share what you find with other readers, and engage in lively debate. Make sure you’re considered a productive participant before you begin mentioning your book.
Many experts recommend using the 80-20 rule on social media. Spend 80% of your time producing helpful content, and the other 20% on promoting your book.
Once people trust you as a participant, they’ll trust you as a source. Now is the time to mention that you’ve written a book on the very subject they’re discussing.
4. Use a Free Book Marketing Service
You can get free book marketing for your e-book by using an online book promotion service. While many book promotion companies charge fees, the following are all free. To use them, you must offer e-books at discounted rates.
Author Marketing Club: This website allows you to submit free e-books for reviews. It doesn’t cost anything and is open to all writers.
Digital Book Today: A reader-focused website gathers the top 100 free e-books to promote to its readers. All book types are welcome.
eBooks Habit: If you price your book at $.2.99 or less, you can get on this list. You can get various levels of placement depending on how much you want to pay, but there is also a free service.
Goodkindles: This site helps you reach new readers, and it does not require you to lower your book price. It accepts books in all categories.
5. Free Book Marketing: Start a YouTube Channel
Do you have a subject you enjoy talking about regularly? YouTube reaches millions of viewers a day, and using a video format gives potential readers a chance to “know” you through weekly or biweekly get-togethers.
You might start a channel that talks about the subject of your nonfiction book. You could also start a channel that reviews new books, interviews authors, features sample readings from newly published works, or does a combination of all the above. There are YouTube channels on every conceivable subject out there. If you build it, they will come in this free book marketing strategy.
6. Get Good at Using SEO for Free Book Marketing
The term SEO means “search engine optimization.” It means using internet search engines to help readers find your book. Let’s say someone is desperately looking for a love story about people who live on Mars. Maybe another reader wants to learn how to start an animal rescue group. You just happen to have written that book. How can you be sure these readers will find you?
When they enter those search terms, you want those searchers to go straight to your author website or your book’s site on a self-publishing platform. Using SEO correctly will help guide them to the right site.
How do you use SEO for free book marketing? The main way you develop good SEO skills is by knowing what keywords to use. You can do this by researching Google’s Keyword Planner. Although it’s aimed at people who want to place ads, you can use it to research the search terms your potential book buyers are most likely to use. You want to get high rankings by search engines when people enter specific search terms, and the Keyword Planner can show you how.
This planner was developed by the people who made Google the definitive search engine, and it is free to use.
Here are some ways to use SEO:
- Get ranked for your author name. When you write content on your author blog or your self-publishing platform, be sure to include these keywords. Use them in your book blurbs and book descriptions. If you write a guest post, link back to your book or your author website from the post.
- Get ranked for subject matter searches. Find out what search terms your potential readers are using, and include these keywords in the content on your website or book description.
- Use keywords in your blurb. Your book description is usually similar to your back-cover blurb. If you can, expand on it by using the right SEO keywords. Try to mention each keyword several times.
7. Free Book Marketing: Become a Public Speaker
Can you spin your writing skills into speaking skills? If so, you can develop a side pursuit as a public speaker, which happens to be one of the most effective free book marketing tactics. Like the others, it will take some time and effort, but it will pay off in recognition and sales.
To use it, you must present yourself as an expert on the subject of your book. This is easier with nonfiction books, but you could also use your experience writing a fiction book as a springboard.
Motivational speakers and life coaches are all the rage now, which you can see in the popularity of TED Talks and motivational YouTube videos. Get inspired by these speakers to craft your own message, which should be based on your book.
Narrow your subject down to one topic. Will your talk be about relationships, money, careers, parenting, or business development? Will it be aimed at a particular type of audience?
Next, work on your public speaking skills. You can take a course or join a group like Toastmasters.
Finally, reach out to local organizations that hire public speakers. Contact conventions, speakers’ bureaus, and local clubs. Use your book as a marketing tool to show organizers that you’re an expert in the subject. Your book has now become a free book marketing tool for your budding speaker career.
This is a tactic that takes some time to build, but it can pay off in a wealth of free book marketing opportunities. Bring copies of your book to sell at every speaking engagement.
Make Sure Your Book Is Marketable
Before you start any book marketing campaign, make sure your book is ready to sell. Remember, there are two things that every book needs if it’s going to sell successfully: the cover and the blurb. If there is any room in your budget, use it to hire a graphic designer for your cover. Consider hiring a copywriter to write a winning blurb.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
These free book marketing tactics may not cost money, but they will cost time. Marketing your book requires patience and focus. You may not have an overnight best-seller, but you can create the kind of name recognition that leads to steady sales. When you’re ready to see your words in print, talk to Dazzle Printing.