Books that Matter

101 Free Tips for Marketing Your Book

Posted on Nov 21, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

  1. Make sure your Amazon book page is optimized so that your ideal readers can find you. Pay attention to keywords and add them to your book description.
  2. When you’re setting up your website, be sure to add Google Analytics so you know where your readers are coming from and which posts drive the most traffic.
  3. Your email list is your #1 tool for selling books. Make growing and maintaining it a top priority. At the end of each post you write, use an opt-in form to invite the reader to join your email list. In your books, invite readers to join your email list, and on your Author Central page, add a link to your bio to your email list opt-in page. Be sure to use a professional email system like MailChimp or ConvertKit to manage your list subscribes, unsubscribes, and email delivery.
  4. Get an actual figure in your head of the number of books you want to sell per month. When you have a target to hit, you will know when you’ve accomplished your goal. Be sure to celebrate your success.
  5. Make your Facebook background an image of your book cover(s).
  6. Upload one or more videos of you talking about your book to YouTube and/or Facebook.
  7. If your book is nonfiction, do some training videos and upload them on YouTube.
  8. Make sure to add a buy now link to your blog to wherever you’re distributing your book: iTunes, Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, etc.
  9. If you sell printed books out of your own stock from your website, personalize and/or sign them for your readers to make them more special & exclusive.
  10. Post your book one chapter at a time on your blog, as you’re writing it. Invite your blog readers to purchase the book to read the ending.
  11. If you’re writing in a series, make book #1 free when you release book #2.
  12. Speaking of series books, insert sample chapters from the next book in the series into the current book.
  13. If you have other books, be sure to list them in the current book.
  14. Offer to run your books on consignment in local bookstores.
  15. Do an in-person book launch party with friends and family.
  16. Book signing/reading at a local bookstore. Or do an author event.
  17. Brainstorm blog topic ideas ahead of time so you don’t run out of content.
  18. Do an AMA (ask me anything) on https://www.reddit.com/. Research AMA first!
  19. Maintain your Amazon Author Central account. Add video, links to your social media, and to your blog. (https://authorcentral.amazon.com/)
  20. Treat your email list subscribers to extra content. If fiction, have a series of emails where you discuss other characters, places, or events that are related to your book. You might tell a character’s backstory if they weren’t fully developed in the main book. This is exclusive content that they can only get if they’re on your email list.
  21. Ask for cover design feedback on your personal and Page feeds on Facebook.
  22. Repurpose parts of your book content in your social media posts.
  23. Set up a Facebook fan page AND a Facebook group. Your group members are special insiders.
  24. Find out where other authors in your genre are hanging out on Facebook. Join their pages and/or groups and watch what they do. Many will post about topics, history, or characters who are relevant to their books. Very few overtly pitch their books.
  25. Speaking of stalking, join the email lists of other authors in your genre (the more successful, the better), and watch what they’re doing. Take note of their email frequency, the topics they discuss, and how often they talk about their books.
  26. Add the fact that you’re an author to your bio. If it’s an online bio, add a clickable link to your book’s purchase page on Amazon. Update your bio on all your social media accounts and in your email signature. Your bio goes in your book, too, and should include info on how your readers can contact you (typically, your website and/or your professional email address).
  27. Set up a Facebook Group that discusses your topic or another topic that your target reader is naturally interested in. Don’t sell here. Continue to engage with other group members.
  28. Reach out to other authors in your genre and see if they’d be willing to promote you to their list in exchange for promoting them to yours.
  29. Research other books in your genre to find out which categories they’re using and request that Amazon add more to yours. You can be in up to 10 categories, which increases your chances of ranking higher in one or more of them.
  30. Research genre-specific podcasts and request to be a guest. This is especially effective if you have an audiobook, but even if you don’t, this is still a great way to get in front of your ideal reader.
  31. Get more book reviews. They can be friends or family (ok), your die-hard fans (better), or book bloggers (better). Not every review needs to be a 5-star review; it’s actually more believable for your potential readers when you have a mix of review types.
  32. Make sure your website is media-friendly by adding information media contacts will need to see: your contact information, a high-res picture of you, a high-res picture of your book cover, your bio, and links to your social media profiles. Update your media kit. (http://www.blogclarity.com/blogger-media-kits-101-whats-a-media-kit-why-you-need-one-and-what-to-include/)
  33. Become known as an expert in your field. Use HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to see what reporters are writing about, and respond to their requests when they need a quote on your subject.
  34. If appropriate, maintain a profile on LinkedIn. (https://www.linkedin.com/feed/)
  35. Bring books whenever you travel, and try to set up reading events at bookstores and libraries.
  36. Launch an all-out campaign to reach mom & pop privately-owned bookstores. This can be as simple as a phone call. Be sure you’re listed on a distribution site like Ingram Spark if they prefer to order through a distributor instead of direct.
  37. Churches have bookstores. Contact them if your book is appropriate for their congregants.
  38. Link to your Amazon (and B&N, and iTunes) book detail page from your website.
  39. Launch partners can increase your chances of hitting #1 in your category. Cultivate relationships with your launch partners at least 30 days in advance of your book release, then coordinate all promotion efforts to a 1 day period. The book can be free or paid. If it’s paid, be sure to offer your readers an extra bonus for purchasing on that day. If it’s free, set up your launch partner links to go to a landing page on your site to capture their email address, then the free download link goes to the book detail page on Amazon.
  40. If nonfiction, include case studies in your book, and then invite those people to be your launch partners. Ask them to record a short video explaining their experience, then link to their video from the book/ebook.
  41. Create interactive content that the reader will love. If fiction, record a video of you inviting your reader to the story, then other videos explaining a location or event. At the end of the book, invite your reader to connect with you and sign up on your email list (for exclusive content). If nonfiction, do the intro and wrap up videos, then add training bonus videos throughout the book.
  42. Interactive content could include book club questions, action steps, end-of-chapter summaries, or end-of-chapter questions. Some of this content could also go on your website for book clubs to easily download.
  43. When you wrote your book, it’s likely you needed to do some research. That research can come in handy now, in the form of speeches or blog posts.
  44. Approach bloggers in your area of expertise and offer to write a guest post for their website.
  45. Allow other people in your industry or genre to post guest articles on your website.
  46. Include sample chapters of your other books in the back of each book.
  47. Do speaking engagements for free. Offer valuable content and bring your books just in case people want to buy a signed copy.
  48. If nonfiction, reach out to industry contacts to ask about bulk sales. Be ready to print in bulk at a traditional printer.
  49. If nonfiction, treat your book as a business card, so people can get to know you before they spend more money with you on one of your other programs.
  50. Sign up for the Amazon Associates program so you can earn a little something every time someone buys from your link on Amazon. (Works on more than just your book.) (https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/)
  51. Offer a special bonus gift if someone emails you with their order number, proving they bought your book in a specific timeframe. This could be swag, another book, or an online course.
  52. Sometimes, the bonus is included as part of the book, as a coupon code or link to free content. If this is the case, make sure to point it out in the book description.
  53. Offer your book on consignment to non-bookstores, such as coffee shops or gift shops.
  54. Donate a copy or copies to your local library.
  55. Promote the work of other authors in your genre.
  56. Post reviews on Amazon for the work of other authors in your genre. Include “author of the book” in your review.
  57. Gather your tribe of dedicated fans to you and offer them advance reader copies for free. Encourage book reviews.
  58. Leave your book (if appropriate) at your doctor’s or dentist’s office.
  59. Is it a children’s book? Donate it to your child’s school library and/or offer to do a reading in their classroom.
  60. Contact the librarians for school libraries: local and national. Remember private and parochial schools.
  61. Offer a sample chapter or chapters as a free download from your site.
  62. If you’re doing a free ebook promotion through Kindle Select, be sure to sign up for free ebook promotion sites in advance of the free date. (https://kindlepreneur.com/list-sites-promote-free-amazon-books/) Promotion sites like https://www.bookbub.com/home/ can also get you some traction. There’s an application process.
  63. Offer a smaller book on permafree via Smashwords or Draft2Digital. (Upload it on KDP too. KDP will match the free pricing.)
  64. Run a book giveaway on Goodreads. (https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/new)
  65. Pitch yourself to local media. It helps if your topic can be tied into a current event.
  66. Speaking of current events, if you’re able to draw parallels between current events and your book topic, use the news to ride the wave of reader interest. Use trending hashtags (if appropriate) to stand out on social media.
  67. Radio stations will still book guests for interviews. They don’t need to be local.
  68. This site: https://wnbnetworkwest.com/ will interview authors for free. You pay if you want a copy of the interview for your marketing.
  69. Add positive reviews to your website and social media.
  70. Toy with the retail price of your ebook. Try free (if on Kindle Select), .99, 1.99, and above. See if you can increase downloads at .99 retail to improve your ranking, then increase the price.
  71. Organize a challenge via your Facebook page or group where you provide a portion of your nonfiction book for quick results. 5-day challenges are great. This is a small sample of what you can provide to your readers; step 2 would be a more in-depth course or coaching opportunity with you.
  72. Consider a blog tour: a mass marketing campaign across multiple blogs, podcasts, videos, and social media platforms in which big influencers in your market “host” or “sponsor” you by featuring you in a blog post, podcast interview, or with social media shout outs.
  73. Post the speech topics you talk about on your website. Be available for free or paid speeches and always bring books with you for sales from the stage.
  74. Create urgency to buy the book NOW. Having a number of sales happen in a short timeframe will boost your ranking on Amazon and other sites. To create urgency, offer special limited-time bonuses or discounts for people who purchase in a 1 or 2 day timeframe.
  75. Create a resource page on your website for other books or products in your area of interest that you can recommend to your readers. Let the authors or creators of the products know that you’ve recommended them and offer to write or record a testimonial for their website.
  76. Take advantage of natural selling seasons to coordinate your promotions. January is a recovery month, an excellent time to sell weight loss, business books, devotionals, and self-help. March/April/May is a gifting season, with sales for books relating to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Graduation. June and July are usually slow sales months for all genres. Things start to pick up because of back to school in August, then September-December start the Christmas season. Use other sales holidays like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday to run specials on your books and other offerings.

Cheap Options:

  1. Use Amazon Ads and set up a low-cost campaign based on keywords. (Available via your dashboard on KDP.)
  2. Host an online summit or Telesummit, inviting experts in your field to participate. Each expert promises to market your summit to their email and social media lists, and you get all the email addresses for people who sign up to see the free summit content.
  3. Research other books in your genre and pick 10 to recommend and review on your blog. Bonus points if you set up a contest to give these books away if someone joins your email list.
  4. Sign up for a Twitter service that broadcasts for a small fee, such as http://shoutmybook.com/.
  5. Create a website/blog and set up an email list. The goal is one post/email per week, but once per month is good too. Your URL could be your name or your book title.
  6. Invest in a professionally designed cover before you invest in anything else.
  7. Invest in professional head shots.
  8. Create marketing materials that you can use over and over again: business cards with your book cover and/or author head shot, book banner to use at book signings and readings, a tabletop easel with signage, or bookmarks with a QR code that takes your reader back to your website or to your Amazon book page.
  9. If nonfiction, consider creating a workbook or another companion book. Bundle or no bundle.
  10. Line extensions work. Look up Chicken Soup for the Soul and all its related books for a famous example.
  11. Series books work. Can your book #1 have a sequel, or multiple sequels? If fiction, could you explore another character from book 1? If nonfiction, what’s the next logical topic your reader will need to know about?
  12. Create a Spanish (or other language) version of your book.
  13. Pay someone to create a professional book trailer.
  14. Develop merchandise related to your book that you can sell on your site.
  15. Check out Fiverr.com for providers who can submit press releases for you or who will share your blog post with their audience.
  16. Get publicity via PRWeb by writing a great press release. (http://www.prweb.com/)
  17. Look for non-obvious ways to reach your readers: state fairs, conferences, book festivals, Renaissance fairs, conventions, craft fairs, or writer’s groups.
  18. If nonfiction, consider white labeling your book so another professional can use it in their practice. (Go for quantity purchases here.)
  19. If you’re planning a .99 retail price promotion, try http://buckbooks.net/promotions/, eReader Girl, Product Hunt, AwesomeGang, ReadingDeals, eBooks Habit, Kboards, Book Goodies, Robin Reads, Fussy Librarian and/or Bargain Books.
  20. Set up a book funnel. Step #1 is a free book (the customer pays shipping & handling, covering your costs), Step #2 is a higher price item (workbook, do-it-yourself course, etc), and then step #3 is your core product (higher-level course, coaching, consulting, etc).
  21. It may be cost-effective to pay someone to write your book description for you. Your book description is a window into your writing style. If a reader can’t get through it, or doesn’t find it compelling, you’re not likely to hook them into buying your book.
  22. Advertise on genre-specific podcasts. This is still cost-effective, compared to other forms of advertising.
  23. Start your own genre-specific podcast. Nonfiction: You could have 1 week’s worth of content for each chapter of your book. When you’re done with the content, you can be done with that season, then start on a new book or topic. Fiction: You could read your book aloud, 1 chapter per week. Especially effective if you work in a series. Podcast the first book, then encourage listeners to purchase the rest of the series.
  24. If you’re not already on Ingram Spark, consider using them for library and bookstore sales. If you are already using CreateSpace, you’ll need to get a fresh ISBN for Ingram: https://www.myidentifiers.com/. (If you’re not already using your ISBN for CreateSpace, set up Ingram Spark first, THEN CreateSpace.) To load your book files for free on Ingram Spark, use code GETPUBLISHED.
  25. Facebook ads can be effective but usually not if you’re using them to sell books directly. Instead, use Facebook ads to boost exposure to your blog posts and other free content, then once a potential reader is on your email list, you can sell your book.

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