Five Ways to Promote Your Book Without Going Broke
If you’re anything like me, the idea of promoting your book is about as exciting as getting a root canal. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but it sure takes effort and lots of it.
And while some writers spend money on getting a marketing guru to help them with this part of their writing life, there are many other writers who simply can’t afford the service. Besides, it’s their book and they’d like to take a more hands-on approach.
Twelve years ago, when my first book came out, I was asked by my publishing company to help in marketing my book. I had no idea what to do. And what did they do to help me? Put my book on their website.
Fortunately, I have since discovered through hard knocks and jumping into the lake, what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing. I have also discovered many, many avenues to travel that don’t cost me a cent in book promotion.
Here are five of the best in no particular order:
Postcards. I love postcards. They get the word out without me having to be too daring. For example, when I’m eating out or enjoying an event of some kind and the subject comes up about writing, I can just hand the person I am speaking with a postcard about my latest book. On one side of the card is a photo of my book, on the other, a synopsis and contact information including a QR Code. (That’s that funny black square with black and white squiggly lines that interested readers can take a picture of and go directly to your website).
Interviews. Interviews come in two flavors that I actually use. First, the blog interview. This is where you have the blog owner send you a list of questions that you fill out and send back. They post the interview on their blog along with your book cover and links. The other is blog radio interviews. Usually you’ll get a set of questions that you can look over before the interview. The interview can be live or it can be taped and edited for later.
Group Book Signings. Ever sat at a boring book signing or visited one at a book store? Unless you’re someone pretty famous like J.K. Rowling there’s not going to be much of a line, if any line. Instead of the typical fare of boredom, try gathering some writing friends around you for a group book signing. Many retail stores will welcome a book signing with multiple authors. Don’t be afraid to try salons, hospitals and retail establishments that may not even cater to your particular book’s title. Recently, I heard of an author who had her signing at a clothing store–and her book has nothing to do with clothing!
Giveaways. I’ve had some fun book giveaways and garnered in some new readers. Book giveaways on blogs may also walk hand in hand with your guest blog post (highly recommended) a bio and links to your current and previous works. Do a one-two-or three day giveaway of your new e-book on Amazon. Those who read your free book and like it, might just be persuaded to purchase your other works.
Speaking Opportunities. Let writers organizations, schools and book clubs know that you can speak, and do it for free if you have to. Bring along your books for sales after the event. Libraries like authors to come and speak but some of them won’t allow you to sell your books. Get creative as you think of places to speak that already have a following of interested authors or book readers.
Yes, promoting your book will take a lot of your time, but knowing that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your book a success helps to lighten the load in a big way.
Kathryn graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Mass Communication and a minor in Creative Writing. Her studies included work in creative writing, public relations and journalism. Recently, she has opened the doors to Idea Creations Press, a publishing services company that caters to writers and their writing, publishing and marketing needs.
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