Marketing is the one thing I see writers complain about the most. Unfortunately, building hype around your book and a bit of early promo are vital to a successful launch. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of easy ways to promote your book for free!
Today, I’ll show you my favourite five.
Word of Mouth
Other people recommending your book remains the best way to get the word out – especially if they do it without you needing to ask first! Makes you feel more accomplished, you know? *swoon*
But for brand new authors, being recommended can be tricky. Two weeks ago, we looked at social media sites for writers and I suggest you have a read if you haven’t already. Building a following early will help significantly!
In theory, you don’t need to do anything to make word of mouth promo happen. If people love what you write and want to help, they’ll likely tell people about your new book just because they want to. The bookish community is great like that.
If you are worried no one will spread the word, you can always ask a few close writers in your genre to post about it on release day. (or whenever you have a sale, giveaway, etc.)
And, of course, doing the same for your writing buddies helps a lot as well. If they see you make the effort, they’ll make it, too–some won’t, but in my own experience most will.
As discussed two weeks ago, social media is an excellent place to promote your new book. Some sites are better than others, and it’s important to know the strengths of each rather than using the same strategy everywhere.
LinkedIn, for example, is great for posting once, on the day, that you have a new book out, but I wouldn’t announce every sale and new character aesthetic there.
Instagram, on the other hand, is perfect for a bit of bookish promo. Novel aesthetics, five-star reviews, cover reveals, your proof copy arriving in the mail, finished drafts – Instagram was made for this!
It’s my favourite platform to promote my own books, because you can easily post about it without looking spammy. Two posts every day of the week saying ‘This is my book it’s awesome buy it please’ don’t do well anywhere.
Join a monthly challenge or two such as #igwritersjune, and just do what the prompts tell you.
Your Mailing List
If you’ve already built a list of readers, no matter how small, then that’s a perfect place to announce your new releases.
You can work with other authors here, too. Newsletter swaps are a great way of reaching a new audience and celebrating your new release at the same time.
It’s easy: you feature another author’s book in your newsletter and they feature yours.
To begin with, you can ask your writer buddies who also have a book published and a mailing list to swap. You can also ask on Facebook groups for writers if anyone would be happy to swap!
Generally, swaps in the same genre as your book do better because your subscribers read that genre. If you write epic fantasy, for example, and do a swap with a historical retelling, your readers may not be as interested.
Speaking of newsletters, building a review team is a great way of getting a bit of early exposure. My review team is the only way to get ARCs* of my books, and I tend to send them roughly a month before publication.
The idea is the same as with any other ARC – readers get your book for free in exchange for an honest review. Only, instead of needing to ask anew for every new release, you already have a list waiting for your new book.
And instead of needing to send however many copies individually (and sort them by PDF, .mobi, and .ePub), you can use an online service from where your subscribers download your book.
I use Instafreebie, which allows me to provide the above file types and keep track of who downloaded which book when. This way, I can make sure the people who download also review and aren’t just in it for the freebies.
*Advanced Reader Copies
During a blog tour, you visit another writer’s (or reader’s) blog to talk about your book. This is usually done around your publication day, from the week before to the week after.
Some sites charge for this, but if you’ve build a following on social media and made writer friends it shouldn’t be a problem to do this for free.
The success of your blog tour depends on the blogs’ views. A blog with five views a day won’t get you anywhere the exposure a blog with thousands of daily views would get you.
Also, if the blog isn’t relevant to your genre, you might waste your time. If you write crime mysteries, then a blog specialising in modern fairy tales may not be a good fit.
That’s not to say you have to limit yourself to book review blogs, though! If healing herbs play a big part in your story and you’ve done a lot of research to make sure it’s accurate, then a blog about the same might be a good place for you.
Generally, it’s best to stick to other writers in your genre and readers/reviewers.
They’re not your only option, but if you move away from them you need to be smart about it. A brief fire halfway through your book doesn’t make it a good fit for a blog for fire admirers, for examples.
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What are your favourite easy ways to promote your book for free? Make a tea, open a pack of cookies, and talk to me!
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