Now that you’re a published author, it’s time to sell copies and market your book! If you’re self-published, you’re the one in charge of promoting your book and moving copies, but the process doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive.
There are plenty of free and low-cost ways to market your book. Here are four of them plus plenty of tips to get you started.
1. Get active on social media
Social media is the best place to start your book marketing campaign. The more active your channel already is, the better. If you keep your feed active, you likely have an audience of warm leads, which can increase the likelihood that your followers will become book-buying readers.
If you’re just starting your feed, or reviving one that’s been dormant, make a posting schedule, be consistent about what you post, and take advantage of hashtags that can help you get the attention of potential readers.
Here are a few tips to consider when marketing your book on social media:
- Consider your ideal audience when choosing a platform. For example, a book about business or leadership might be ideal for LinkedIn, while a sci-fi novel might be better suited for Instagram or TikTok.
- Make sure to fill out your profile completely on the social platforms you choose. This includes information about your book and a link to where people can buy it.
- Follow like-minded authors, thought leaders, influencers, and professionals, then share and engage with their posts and videos to pay it forward and build a following for yourself. You can also partner with other authors directly to promote each other’s work. (More on that below!)
- Be sure to use your book cover art in your promotional materials. A tool like Book Brush is a great way create professional grade graphics without the cost of a professional designer.
- Find relevant hashtags with tools like BuzzSumo and Social Searcher that have free versions (or free trial periods).
2. Book an in-store or virtual reading
Giving a reading in a bookstore or online lets you connect with readers, build a following, and sell your books. Your local independent bookstore, library, or reading group may be willing to host you for a reading and Q&A.
If you’re a new author just getting started marketing your book or building a readership, find other authors that write in your genre or about the same subject matter and partner with them for an in-store reading or virtual event. Bookstores may be more willing to host you if you can band together with others and increase the chance that they will sell books.
3. Start an email newsletter
An email newsletter is one of the most cost-efficient and time-efficient ways to market your book. If you don’t currently have an email subscriber list, it’s never too late to start. Having a group of engaged readers you interact with on a regular basis can help you sell books now and down the road.
Here are a few tips for promoting your book via email newsletter:
- Brush up on your email marketing knowledge to make the most of your newsletter.
- If you already have a subscriber base, tease your new book before its release date to build anticipation. You can even offer discounts to readers who pre-order or buy more than one copy, or include a free ebook with every print purchase.
- If you don’t have a subscriber base, offer book discounts or free bonus content to those who sign up for the first time.
- Promote your newsletter on your social media channels and on your author website.
- Use Book Brush or Canva to build high-quality graphics and images for your email newsletter. (Don’t forget to include your book cover art!)
4. Trade promotions with other writers and influencers
Market your book for free by trading promotions with authors, bookstagrammers, bloggers, and content creators. Trade blog posts, Instagram takeovers, or book giveaways with influencers in your space.
But it doesn’t have to be a one-for-one trade—just offer what you have. Make a podcast appearance in exchange for promoting the podcast (and your episode, of course) to your social media following and newsletter subscribers.
Ways to encourage others to promote your book:
- Send a copy of your book to bloggers and social media influencers, asking for a review or mention. You could even offer discounts to their followers.
- Offer to write a guest post for blogs or sites that cover your genre or subject matter.
- Offer to write a guest post for newsletters about your genre or topic.