Author promotion is probably the last thing on a new author’s mind when publishing their first book.
Promoting a book is relatively easy. There are plenty of options for book advertising as well as book promotion services.
A new author also has plenty of alternatives when it comes to using free book marketing ideas and tools and social media.
But promoting a book continuously can often lead to your online contacts becoming ad-blind to your book marketing plan. This is why author promotion can be beneficial.
Book promotion or a book marketing plan is about trying to sell your book, the title, the cover, and reviews.
With book promotion, you want people to think, “Hey, this book looks interesting; I might buy it.”
In comparison, promoting yourself as an author is far more wide-ranging.
You want people to think, “Hey, this person really knows what they are talking about. I want to find out more.”
It is about creating reader interest in you as an author and in your thoughts, beliefs, and motivation to write a book or your books.
The benefit of promoting yourself as an author is that you can use a lot more avenues to create and attract reader interest.
Many of them are also much longer-lasting than promotional book posts and ads. This makes them well worth a little investment in time to help you find readers and potential book buyers.
If you are not sure what you need to do, here are some easy ways to get started on creating the building blocks for your author promotion platform.
1. Have a blog and use it
The best free author promotion you have at your disposal is your blog. It doesn’t matter if it’s self-hosted or on a free blogging platform.
All you need to do is write blog posts that are specific to the theme or subject of your books. The more you can write, the better.
Imagine if you are writing self-help books for cocker spaniel owners. You could write posts about cocker spaniel grooming, diet, or behavior.
For a fiction author, perhaps you are writing detective novels based in San Franciso. You could write lots of posts about crime in San Franciso or drug dealers and mafia bosses.
In either case, when you can get Google and Bing to index your posts, you are going to attract readers who are 100% interested in your writing theme.
When that happens, you will attract readers to your writing and your skills as an author.
And don’t forget to reply to comments you get because it’s a great way to build relationships. Comments also add to your content which is great for your SEO.
2. Add your Amazon Author Page
It only takes a few minutes to set up your Amazon Author Page, but so many new authors miss this terrific opportunity for free Amazon author promotion.
There are so many ways you can use Author Central to improve your book descriptions, add editorial reviews, and much more.
But most importantly, spend time writing your author bio.
Add all the information you can think of that makes you an expert in your field of writing. Every word you add will help readers find you in Amazon Search.
If a book blogger approaches you for an interview request, grab it with both hands. It doesn’t matter if it’s audio or in writing.
Sure, some book bloggers rank higher than others. But anytime you can have an interview published online, it can only add to your author promotion.
Never say no to a gift. You can also reach out to book bloggers to ask them if they are interested in doing an interview with you.
You might be surprised by how many will say yes.
It is a bit of a grey area as to how effective it is.
But you won’t do any harm by promoting another author on your blog in return for the favor.
It works on social media, but to a lesser effect.
The only time to be extra cautious is in exchanging book reviews on Amazon. There’s a good chance that Amazon will delete your book reviews because you are both Amazon sellers.
There are many sites where you can add your author bio. But make sure you use different versions to have the best effect.
You can add your bio to sites like about.me, Goodreads, Wattpad, Bookbub, and Linkedin.
There are plenty more that you can find, including WordPress and Disqus. Anytime you find a site that allows you to post your bio, do it.
Remember, every little bit helps.
6. Answer questions on Quora
Every day hundreds of people post questions on Quora.
Look for questions you can answer. You can set up email alerts to make it easier.
A great benefit of Quora is that you can add your author profile (again) and add a link back to your blog.
Quora is popular with a lot of marketers, so it’s an ideal platform for authors.
For easy and free author promotion, it’s an easy win.
7. Publish your blog posts on Medium
Medium is easy to use and offers you another free way to promote yourself even if you don’t get a lot of traffic on your blog.
Once you set up your Medium account, you can re-publish your blog posts to reach a wider audience.
All you need to do is import your blog post from its URL and then add a few finishing touches.
And yet again, you can add your author bio at the end of each post and get more exposure.
8. Get more Likes for your Facebook Page
Yes, every author has a Facebook Page. But most of them have very few followers.
The trick to getting more likes and followers is to buy page likes. Okay, it’s not free, but it’s not very expensive either.
You need to use Facebook Ads to get started. You can then set a modest budget of say $5.00 a day for a month or two.
Facebook likes cost between $0.15 to $0,20 per like, and they usually stick.
If you stay within your budget, you should attract hundreds or even a few thousand new followers on Facebook.
9. Build your mailing list
Sure, this takes time. But it’s worth it in the long term.
Add a subscription invitation to your blog. You can use a free account with Mailchimp to do it, allowing you to build a list of up to 2,000 subscribers.
If you attract more, you’ll have to pay a little. But it will be worthwhile if you can attract thousands of subscribers that you can communicate with directly via your newsletters.
10. Post photos with your dog or cat
Okay, it’s really corny, but it works.
Photos and videos with pets get more clicks than almost anything else on social media.
So put a bit of you and your fun times with your pet out there to get you some extra attention.
The best part about concentrating some of your marketing efforts on promoting yourself is that it will work for you in the long-term.
Many of the ideas in the list above are easy to do and mostly free.
They also help balance your marketing because you will not be seen as just another author trying to hard-sell a book.
It doesn’t matter what fiction genre you write in or what topics or subjects you cover in nonfiction books.
You are an author. But you are also a person with knowledge, interests, and experience that you can share with readers.
All you need to do is find a balance between your two marketing plans.
Yes, you have to advertise and promote your book. But don’t let it become your only form of marketing.