For authors, learning how to promote your book for free or as cheaply as possible is one of the most challenging tasks in self-publishing.
But promoting your book doesn’t need to take hours and hours of your time every day.
Let’s do a recap and define how to market a book.
Any action you can take to bring your book to the notice of potential readers is of high value.
It doesn’t matter if it is an expensive advertising campaign or a short post on one of your social media platforms.
Your marketing aim is the same no matter what book promotion tools you use.
When you advertise a book, you are trying to encourage as many people as possible to notice and consider buying your book.
But it is important to remember that it is not about finding people to contact to buy your book.
With that in mind, let’s look at how to promote a book for free, or at least for as little cost as possible.
20 Ten-Minute (Mostly Free) Ways To Promote Your Book
How to market your books? Think of it like this.
Attracting social media followers is all about finding people, connecting, and then communicating.
It’s a slow and time-consuming process.
Online marketing or promoting your book is about getting your book out to the world.
You want to do it in as many ways as possible. You want to attract the attention of as many people as possible.
The more eyes you can attract to your book, the better your chances are of making book sales.
Ideally, for Indie publishing, the different ways you use to do this should be both time and cost-effective.
They should also have a long-lasting effect.
Easy ways to promote a book in only a few minutes
With these goals in mind, here are 20 book marketing tips to help your book sales after publishing your book.
Each idea will only take around ten minutes for you to complete.
But unlike a quick post on social media that is lost after an hour, each one has an element of long-term promotion.
For most of them, once you complete it, you will have a long-lasting book promotion link.
You don’t need to do all of these ideas in one day.
But if you take a few minutes each day to do one or two, it will help you improve your book promotion.
1. Re-Post one of your 5-star book reviews
You can add one of your book reviews on Facebook and Twitter along with your book cover image.
Then pin it to the top of your feed so every visitor will see it – for weeks or months.
To get the link to your review on Amazon, go to the review on your book page and click the permalink button.
Then copy the address from your browser and use it to promote your book for free anywhere you like.
2. Open a Pinterest account
Pinterest helps you to gain image search traffic to your website or blog.
It’s an ideal social network for book covers because it works by attracting interest purely from images.
Here is a quick screenshot of my Pinterest referral traffic from my Google Analytics account. You can see how it can deliver a steady stream of new visitors to your blog.
3. Add a comment on a popular book blog
Look for articles on three high-traffic book blogs and post a comment.
It’s an easy way to promote your book for free to a targeted audience of book lovers.
You’d be surprised how many people click on comment links, which will lead readers to your profile, email address, author website, or blog.
It’s a bit like a book tour, but it is much easier and quicker for you.
Tip! Make sure you have a Gravatar image that will appear next to all your online comments.
4. Add a comment to a newspaper article
Look for a major online newspaper lifestyle article that accepts comments.
Make sure it is a non-topical article, though. Avoid politics.
Once again, your profile link as a published author will be valuable in gaining some traffic to your blog and books.
Carefully read your author bio or profile on your social media sites and online bookstores.
Has it been the same for a very long time? Does it need refreshing to make it more appealing to readers? Can you improve it?
I am sure you can.
Authors hate writing bios and would much prefer to write a book instead. But it’s a task that you have to do.
If it has been a while since your book launch, perhaps you could recheck your book trailer, too, and improve it.
6. Publish to Medium
This is one of the easiest ways to promote your book for free.
Open an account on Medium and re-publish your best-performing blog posts or short stories.
It’s a very easy process to import articles from your blog.
Medium can help you gain a lot of new readers.
Remember to put a link at the end of the article to your author’s website or blog.
7. Do you have a Facebook Page?
If not, create one.
Your personal Facebook profile page is for your friends and family and not for business.
You can invest a little money in Facebook Ads to get Likes for your page.
On average, the cost per click is about 8 to 15 cents per Like, which is cheap advertising.
It is a wise long-term investment to get people to read your book because Facebook users rarely, unlike a page.
8. Open a short URL account
You can open an account on bit.ly and shorten all your commonly used book links.
They will look far more attractive when you post them on social media or add links to your blog posts or comments.
Tip! You can edit these short links so that it includes your book title or author name.
With bit.ly you can change this very ugly book link:
To this attractive and meaningful link:
Which one do you think will work better and attract more clicks?
9. Run an ad
You can quickly set up and run ads on Facebook or Amazon.
Okay, it’s not a free book promotion, but running ads for a short while is relatively inexpensive.
But with either, be prudent and stay well within your budget.
10. Place an ad on your blog
Find three of your best-performing blog articles and place your book cover image as a text-wrapped image ad.
You can insert a link to Amazon, or you can use a universal link to all your book retailers.
It doesn’t need to be a big image. Size it to suit your article.
Where better to advertise for free than on your site?
It is also a great way to promote your book if it is on pre-order.
11. Guest post
Make contact with bloggers and ask if you can write an article for them.
Many sites have a Write For Us or guest posting page.
Keep your eyes open for opportunities to promote your writing to a much wider audience.
Tip! In fact, some writers don’t even bother with having their own blogs.
Having articles published on popular sites often bring far more traffic, readers, and, importantly, social shares.
12. Free ebook promotion
Offering free ebooks is a bit of a lottery.
But hopefully, someone will read your free Kindle books and be kind enough to post a review.
Online book clubs often choose free ebooks, so it’s worth a try.
On this point, I discovered I had a new book review recently.
I think it came by way of a free Kindle copy of an ebook I last offered for free well over a year ago. Now that really is long-term free promotion.
If you have a WordPress blog, you can also offer a free ebook download for your readers.
13. Is your book cover eye-catching?
Now, be brutally honest with yourself, or better still, ask people what they think.
If you don’t have a top-quality book cover, take a few minutes to search for a reputable book cover designer and hire one.
Also, check how your cover looks in thumbnail size. It is the first impression of your book that potential buyers will see, so it has to be good.
If you are on a budget, you can create a free ebook cover.
The free version of Canva has a lot of free ebook cover templates to help you design a better ebook cover.
Another option is to create free 3D book covers. It only takes a minute to do it.
14. Buy affordable long-term book promotion
Book discovery is vital for all authors, from book launches to promoting backlist book titles.
Authors need readers to develop a fan base, but it takes a lot of time to connect on social media.
That’s where a little extra book promotion can help.
There are many book promotion sites offering different types of book promotion services.
But you should stay within your budget and select the right service for your needs.
15. Read an article about SEO
Read an article about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and put one or two ideas into practice for your blog or website.
Search engine traffic is by far the best way to attract new potential readers and book buyers, day in and day out.
16. Check your book metadata (SEO for books)
Check all your book metadata.
This includes your book description and your keywords and categories for your book on Amazon KDP or any other online retailer you use.
Can you make a few small changes to your categories or keywords that would help readers find your book more easily?
Book discovery by user search on Amazon is the most powerful way to sell books.
Check and change your categories and keywords to make your book more discoverable.
17. Is your book in KDP Select?
If your book is not enrolled in KDP Select, why not try it for three months? See if you can attract Kindle Unlimited readers.
Or, if you have been in KDP Select for quite some time, perhaps try open publishing for a while.
18. Change your book price
Is your book too expensive, or even perhaps, too cheap? Should you offer a discounted book?
Try changing your book price for a few weeks.
19. Use the Amazon book widget
Add Amazon’s embedded book widget to your website or blog.
It looks fantastic and gives visitors a chance to read a preview of your book and buy it directly on your site.
It is one of the best widgets to help you sell books.
Every bestselling author has one. If you haven’t done so yet, create your author page on Amazon Author Central.
You can add your blog feed, change and improve the look of your book descriptions, add editorial reviews, and much more.
Yes, you can add your book’s editorial reviews to your Amazon book sales page, and they will not be deleted.
An Amazon Central author page is a must-have promotion tool.
Tip! You can create your author pages on Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Amazon Germany.
Bonus Tip – Update your email signature
If you use email a lot or have a mailing list, this is as close to word-of-mouth advertising as you can get.
Add your blog, Amazon Author page, or even a thumbnail or your book cover to your email signature.
Your daily emails will then be automatic and ongoing book advertising for you.
Extra Bonus Tip – Start promoting your next book now
This one is not a ten-minute tip.
But start working on letting people know well before your next book is published or even before you write it.
It’s never too early to tell people about your books, and it will be a great source of new material for your blog.
Do you want more book marketing ideas and how to promote your book for free?
You can read our article listing 17 ways to promote your book in under 90 minutes.