Marketing and book promotion may or may not be your strong suit, but it’s an essential part of generating sales and book reviews. Consistent promotion will get your book in front of many more potential readers.
Many authors may feel that book promotion is a somewhat painful and expensive endeavor. But, it can be free and enjoyable if you take the right approaches. Forget about your budget concerns, time constraints, modesty, or other limiting factors for a moment and take in these 5 effective and cost-free strategies that can boost your book sales over time.
An email newsletter is an easy way for your fans to stay updated about your latest book releases, upcoming events, and even receive personalized information from you. You can help your audience stay excited for your books by sharing relevant content, sparking discussions, or offering special deals to readers who subscribe to your emails. For a free and easy email service, you can look into sites like MailChimp, Aweber, and MailGun to start connecting with your fan base right away.
Share your opinions, experiences, and knowledge by joining relevant online discussions. There are countless opportunities for you to answer questions, connect with and help other writers, give advice, and so much more. Here are just a few ways you can make your voice heard online:
- Q&A websites. Create profiles on sites like Quora, LinkedIn Groups, and Yahoo Answers, and then spend some time sifting through questions that people have about you, your genre, theories about your books, or other queries that you can clearly answer.
- Forums. On sites like KBoards, you can choose from dozens of forum topics where you can interact with influential writers, gain helpful advice, and offer your own expertise to aspiring authors.
- Blog comments. Have you recently read an interesting article? Leave an insightful comment beneath the article and leave a link to your own blog or website (if allowed).
Pro Tip: When you create your profile the sites above, be sure to include the titles of one of more of your books and a link to your website.
If you’re a newer author or just recently created your own blog, it may take some time before your own blog gains a significant amount of traffic. Instead of just posting articles on your own blog, you can create content for other sites to get your name out to a wider audience. With guest posting, you can share expertise, writing methods, elements of your craft, book chapters, and more. Look at what other authors are posting on blogs to get some ideas. “How-to” articles or other posts containing valuable advice are often the most popular. Here are a few examples of blog posts you could create:
- Describe strategies for getting over writer’s block.
- Explain some common mistakes new writers make and how they can avoid them.
- List various methods for writing memorable characters, describing the setting, creating suspense, or other areas that writers may struggle with.
What sites should you approach with your articles? Start with the sites your like to read most. Maybe it’s another author’s blog, or a site dedicated to books like The Nervous Breakdown. Even our parent site, Booksliced.com, accepts guest posts. Reach out to the site owner ask pitch them on your idea.
Pro-Tip: Be sure that you get a byline on your guest post. In your byline include the title of one of your books and a link to your website.
Authors should definitely take advantage of these free marketing opportunities on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites where readers visit. On these sites authors can share posts, interact with their fans, promote their books, and expand their audience without having to pay a cent. You may already have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but your social media influence doesn’t have to stop there. Authors can greatly benefit from making profiles on these sites designated for authors and book lovers:
- Goodreads. Goodreads has an audience of over 80 million bookworms and authors, so it’s a valuable tool that countless writers use to promote their books. Similar to other social media platforms, authors can post status updates, join groups, create polls, and participate in discussions. In addition, you can also host a book giveaway, write book reviews, answer questions from fans, and more!
- Author Central. If you sell your books on Amazon, you should claim your Author Central profile in order to edit your biography, share photos, link to your Twitter page, and edit your book’s description as needed. Doing this can make your Amazon author page stand out and seem personalized compared to authors who don’t utilize their Author Central accounts. To learn how you can gain access to your page, click here for more details about the process.
You might be wondering why you need to have a designated website when you already have so many other online platforms, and the answer to this common question is simple: a website provides all your information in one place. Your website can include a place where customers can purchase your book, an “About Me” page, links to your social media pages, all your blog posts, an area to subscribe to your newsletter, book giveaways and much more.
Your website may also surface well in Google for key words such as your name and your book titles and it makes it easy for people to find out more about you. Site’s don’t need to be expensive. There are plenty of free hosting platforms you can choose from, such as Wix, Weebly, and WordPress that don’t require you to have any knowledge of coding or website building.
We hope these tips and ideas are helpful to you as you start or continue the journey of attracting new readers and selling more books.