You’re a published author so you know that promoting your self-published book or Kindle ebook in an already crowded and competitive market is hard work.
Unless you can get your book featured on Oprah next week, it will take patience, a lot of work and of course a dose of old-fashioned good luck to get anywhere near the top of the tree.
You can try a press release, but they are usually ineffective.
One vital point to make is that active book promotion and marketing serves the purpose of attracting people to your book and then leaving any further decisions up to them.
It doesn’t involve two-way communication, which then by definition would be selling.
I should make it clear from the outset though that I do not class myself as a successful author or guru on marketing.
However, I have used all of the following ideas at one time or another to help build my readership over a number of years.
While my book sales do not afford me champagne and caviar every evening, they do provide me with a side income, which is steady each month.
10 Ideas to help you promote your books for free
There are many ways to get free book promotion ideas for your books.
But to get you started, here are ten ideas you can use straight away.
1. Use a Facebook Page
I made the mistake of using my personal Facebook profile for too long before realising my error.
Keep your personal life away from your book marketing and set up a Facebook Page. It’s much more professional and easier to manage. Another advantage is that you can use a pen name.
Also, a personal Facebook profile is limited to 5,000 friends. A Facebook Page can have unlimited Likes and followers so it is a better way to market your books and reach your target audience.
If you do happen to strike it lucky, you do not want to be limited to only 5,000 people.
Another huge benefit of a Facebook fan page is that you can sell your books directly from your Facebook Page.
2. Always be positive.
It doesn’t matter what form your communication takes. Whether it be posting on Twitter, Facebook or another social platform, never be negative.
Even if you are insulted, or get bad book reviews, do not react. Ignore, and even block that user.
Keep what you post friendly, informative, complimentary and of course, also add news or interesting tidbits about your books.
3. Use multiple Twitter accounts.
While it may have been frowned on earlier, I believe multiple Twitter accounts are a necessity for book promotion.
It serves to keep your main account; that is the one using your name, relatively free of direct promotional material.
As it is the account you use to interact with friends and probably other writers, filling your timeline with book promotion is not going to be received well.
By setting up another account (or two), you can aim at different target groups to follow and build a new following.
Of course, you need to add content to these accounts, but there are many ways to automate the process.
Think about re-posting interesting bloggers, publishing and book-related news stories and selective retweeting. Then add your promotional content in between.
4. Use Pinterest and Flipboard.
Use these two sites to promote your books. They are a terrific way to get your books and blog posts discovered, and by an increasing audience, because they all attract attention through the use of images. A great tool for book covers!
Flipboard and Pinterest are second and third to Twitter for me as promo sites in attracting new traffic to my blog through social media, with Flipboard attracting more and more traffic each month.
5. Write and publish under a pen name.
It may sound off topic when talking about book promo, but it’s an excellent way to experiment and try new writing ideas.
Amazon allows publishing under a pen name on your account, so it opens up a lot of possibilities.
I have used it to experiment with writing short novellas in new genres. To do a little promotion and test the market. perhaps with free Kindle books, I use one of my secondary Twitter accounts.
If it looks like it could work, you can then un-publish, change the cover and title as well as make any other changes you think would improve the book then republish under your name.
As you hold the rights to both names, there’s no problem in republishing the same book again under your name.
6. Blog, blog, blog.
Keep posting regularly and often on your blog as every post you write adds to your search engine listings. It’s the best free promotion you can get.
It is too easy to forget how important search engines are in bringing potential readers to you and your book.
Just make sure you stay on topic and don’t post trivial nonsense.
If you do an author interview on another blog or write guest posts, promote them on your blog or author website and your social media sites.
If you want to go to the effort of setting up your own self-hosted WordPress blog, it is really worth the initial learning curve as the free and paid tools and plugins that are available really can increase your blog’s traffic over time.
7. Advertise your books on your blog.
Why fill your blog with a column of advertising for other products when you have your books to sell?
If you have a free ebook offer, tell your readers about it and direct them to your book page on Amazon.
Make sure though that your ads click through directly to where readers can buy your books or get them for free.
Draft2Digital has a new Universal Link that creates a link to all your ebook and book retailers, which is a fantastic book marketing tool.
You can submit your book to a lot of free sites, but if you work hard on attracting visitors to your blog it can bring far greater rewards.
8. Feed your blog.
You want people to read your blog posts, so make sure you use a delivery service such as Feedburner, Hootsuite or dlvr.it to post every new article on your blog to all your social media platforms.
Like a book, blog posts also need to be promoted to be successful.
Always have a prominent social media share and follow buttons on all pages of your blog and website. Always, always, always.
One share by someone with a big following on Facebook or Twitter can attract a huge spike in visits to your blog.
Social sharing is second only to organic traffic from search engines, so it really is a big deal.
10. Have a website.
Old fashioned now perhaps, but a website is still the best way to provide long, detailed information to your potential readers about you and your books.
Again, it adds to your search engine presence and links back to your blog and all your other social media platforms.
Of course, you can incorporate your blog and website into one site, but blog visitors are usually interested in quick information.
Having prominent links from your blog to your books on your website serves to cater to readers who are genuinely interested in finding out more about your books.
There are always new ways to promote your self-published books.
Of course, there are many more ways you can promote your self-published books and the items in the list above should not be taken as anything more than suggestions to consider.
No matter what techniques you use for book promotion or book launches, always think first about what your aims are and what you want to achieve.
Of course, you want book sales, but what route do buyers take to get there?
In my case, my main aim is to attract traffic and potential readers to my blog, and from there for people to learn about what I do and then perhaps be interested enough to investigate further.
One of my blog readers told me that he had bought one of my books – after having read my blog for over six months. I think he is probably typical of many readers who have bought my books.
No one buys a book by an author they know nothing about.
So inform them.
I started my working life as a lithographer and spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
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