Now, marketing takes up a lot of the costs of self-publishing a book. Likely, you will need to spend some money, but there are LOTS of free ways you can market your book. Today, I’ve collected seven simple steps you can take to get started for free, and will help you at any point in the process. (But hopefully you start these BEFORE the book is published)
- Find Authors You Like and Piggy Back – So the first cheep thing that will help you succeed is copying. Look at other books and authors you love and see how they did it. What books do you like? (Most of all books you like that are self-published) And recall how you heard about them and get ideas on how to repeat imitate that. For example, did you find it on a shelf at the library? Then find ways to get it advertised in library.
- Get on Social Media – This is key! Social media is your biggest way to share your work. This spreads it around effectively, cheaply, and has the best chance to share it with many people quickly. You don’t even have to pay, people who like it will share the posts and it can spread like wildfire. Think of that stupid viral cat video. Your book can the next (not annoying) version of that.
- Build a website – You need a presence on the internet to be found. Social media is a big part of that, but you still need a website as well as social media. Having a website is important to help you been found in a online search. It also gives you a base, a place people can go to learn about you, your book, and your platform. Sure, Twitter and Goodreads accounts allow you to connect with your audience, but how do they learn about you and all your works all in one place? That’s what a website helps with. (You also will want to use a blog and your website is a good host for that. But that’s for a later section)
- Like Like Crazy – You can’t just post things and expect them to go around on their own.When you like other posts, that have to do with your genre and subject, you are noticed more. Those who see you shared their work noticed and often pay back in kind by promoting your work as well. It also gives you more content, more content, the more you’re seen. That’s the key in marketing your book. There is a lot I can say about this, but it I don’t have the time on this post. We’ll go more into it another day. Bottom line, when you like things and are active on social media, you’ll get more out of it.
- Share Other Books – This goes back to the last one, but when you share other books, other works, and themes you will have yours found more. You want to post a lot, but you don’t want to seem full of yourself and just promote yourself. If you promote too much, less people will want to follow your posts when all you do is advertise yourself. I have this problem all the time with some Twitter authors I follow, and it’s annoying. Try to share more interesting things. Sharing other good content helps support your work. It’s like a three legged stool: self-promotion, sharing others works, and sharing similar fun content, hold up your marketing/platform.
- Blog – This is about participating in the online writing world. You have been doing this with social media, but you need more. Again, your website is your focal point on you and your book. You need a place to post all your work in one place, so all you share to Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads come together. It also needs to have its own unique content to stand on it’s own. That’s what a blog is for. This is where you can post your opinions on books, writing, or other subjects related to your platform.
- Use Press/Media (Like Newspapers) – This one is less used, not the most effective, but still a powerful way to get the word out. Make a press release. (Next week’s blog should be about the press release ,if you don’t know how to make one). Then send them out to different local news stations, newspapers, magazines, or any other press you can find. Most won’t ask for money, because, for them, it’s a free way to bring in money too.
Now most all these points can have their own article written about them. In the future, I’ll have posts about each one individually. So if it wasn’t detailed enough, or you have more questions about them, please comment below and I’ll address them.
Next week is going to be about doing a press release. So stay tuned for that.
You also will want to start doing these things as soon as you can. Social media can start now, even before you have a product to sell. Pick which sites you want to use and start connecting start connecting!. (The sites I find are most productive are Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and Instagram). Set up official Author accounts (I like to put either author, official, or real into my account name to show it’s professional). That way people know you have a product, so aren’t surprised or annoyed by advertising or promotions. It will work wonders!
You also can start on a website right away. There are lots of places online to set them up for free. In fact, you can do all of these things long before you have a book ready to sell. Only the press/media one requires the book to be out.
So though money is often needed and important to spend on marketing your work, you can start and do a lot of it for free. So keep saving! No poor starving artists on this blog!
Disclaimer – you can pay to have ads run on Facebook and Twitter, but you will have to pay for those. So you can do it for free and also pay. Though this blog focuses on doing it for free, you can find success by paying too. Also, paying for your own domain name on a website can help you come off as more professional. This goes a long way in helping people trust you as a ‘real’ author.