This is a guest post by Lisa Wheatley. Lisa Wheatly works for Top Aussie Writers in her spare time, where she creates unbiased essay service reviews. Lisa believes analytical thinking and an enquiring mind are her strongest points and does her best to put them to good use. She is a consultant to young entrepreneurs and feels that her understanding of the human mind allows her to accurately assess the abilities of young businessmen.
10 Low-Cost Ways to Market Your Book
For most writers, writing and publishing a successful book is a difficult task. That’s not because of hundreds of hours of hard work are the only way of coming up with enough quality for the readers. Nope. It’s something else.
You see, good writers can or can’t be good marketers. It’s the same with everyone else – we excel at something, and we suck at something else. In most cases, freshly published books must have good marketing in order to sell.
During today’s post, we’re going explore 10 ways to market your book at a low cost. In order to avoid wasting your time, I suggest you focus on just one or, at the most, two strategies. You need to take them, learn them, test them, optimize them, and complete them.
If you’re only reading web articles, watching videos, reading other books on “how to promote your book”, you’re basically avoiding action. No method could go beyond your grasps of understanding, so it’s a matter of whether you’re ready or not. Let’s get going:
1. Write a Blog around Your Book Topic
One of the first ways of promoting your book is developing a blog around it. Most of the books have websites, but not all of them are promoting themselves through blogs. By writing a post on the topic that is also present in your book, you’ll be able to show signs of expertise. Readers will perceive you as the “expert” in your field.
Therefore, from your customers’ perspective, buying a book that’s been written by an expert figure is much more convenient than buying a book that has been written by someone they have never heard of.
By developing your niche blog, you’re also improving your brand awareness, which ultimately leads to more sales. Blog content usually gets shared on social media channels. Your name will show up on plenty of News Feeds, and you’ll be able to attract more attention.
In addition, you should repurpose the blog content into other types of content such as videos, slides, infographics, and so on.
2. Contribute with Guest Posts on Niche Sites
If you don’t know what guest posting is, here’s what it means: a blogger/writer/marketer writes free articles for websites that have the same audience as them.
If for example, you’ve written a book about healthy living, your book might be tempting and interesting to athletes or people who care about their physical aspect. In this case, writing a guest post on a fitness blog could bring a lot of sales.
You must always publish quality, relevant content, as it’s the only way to really capture the reader’s attention. Once they’re hooked, they’ll be tempted to follow the links back to your own platform. If your landing page successfully grabs the user’s attention, it will lead him straight to your offering.
3. Contribute to Q & A Platforms
Q&A platforms such as Yahoo Answers and Quora might be goldmines for what you’re trying to do! There are so many individuals that ask questions and expect answers. Your job is to be present all the time, all while giving the right and helpful answers.
These networks have a lot of traffic coming in, as they’re highly advantaged by the search engines. Set up Google Alerts in order to scout the new questions that pop up every day in relation to your area of expertise. This is a free method, and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll passively benefit over time from it.
4. Contribute to Niche Forums
Niche forums – another good option for promoting your book without spending hundreds and thousands of dollars. In fact, it is all free, as you only have to consistently contribute and bring value to the other readers. Here’s how this works:
Find the three biggest forums within your niche of activity and create accounts on each. Take the time to personalize your profile, and have everything ready before you actually start taking action.
The next step is to look through various posts and threads, and figure out how you can add more value to the discussion. Keep contributing by answering different queries. Once you become “known”, many people will follow you back to your website either by clicking your forum signature, either by Googling your name.
5. Ask for Book Reviews (Even Before Launch)
You all know just how important book reviews are. The majority of individuals are looking for social status more than anything else. In case someone famous or popular makes a good comment on your book, your sales will significantly boost.
Of course, these reviews should never give the impression that they’re ordered and fake. You can avoid this sort of trouble by giving free samples to those who’re willing to leave an honest review at the end of their reading session. Start looking for reviews before the actual launch of your book.
For more tips on reviews, check out Nicholas’ post, How to Score Great Amazon Reviews: Resources and More.
6. Build Your E-mail List
Building and managing an e-mail list is probably the single most efficient and cost-effective way of conducting a business. What you’re doing is basically a business – offering your product in exchange for a certain amount of cash. Without a list, you’re losing a lot of potential customers.
Many individuals that will land on your website will leave and never come back. Many will, but it’s important to make sure that you help with the process. Offer them a way to “stick with you”.
You can create a freebie like a discount for your book, a free white paper, and so on. Once they’re on your list, you can continue offering value while also pitching your book over and over again.
7. Get Mentioned in Different E-mail Lists
You need to find websites and blogs that do e-mail marketing. Of course, they should target the same audience as you do. You’ll usually have to pitch the website owner with a professional e-mail or social media message.
The idea behind this method is simple: you’re making your way to where lots of your customers spend time at. If they’ve signed up to a newsletter, they’re definitely interested in learning more things, fixing more problems, and fulfilling more needs.
You need to develop a good deal with the webmaster. Ask them to feature your book/blog through their e-mail series, and reward them with something. Even though it may cost a bit, be sure that the investment is well worth it.
8. Give Away Your Book for a Limited Time
Giving away your book for free is not a bad idea. In case you’re a new author, giving free value will boost your name and reputation big time. People love free stuff.
Now imagine if they took this free book of yours, expected to be an average read, and concluded that it has changed their lives. That would make them wait for the next book of yours and pay big bucks for it!
You don’t have to give you book for free forever; you can choose to let it stay that way for a few weeks or months, and set the real price after the offer is over.
For more ideas on using giveaways to promote your work, check out Nicholas’ post, Pricing your ebook: Is free the new paid?
9. Create a Professional Presence on Social Media
Social media networks are the biggest attraction nowadays. Because everyone now has a smartphone, everyone can access Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and so on. Your customers are spending time on social media, so you also have to be present.
Start by creating a professional profile on a few social media channels that you believe will suit your book promotion efforts best. For example, LinkedIn is a good link to professionals from all over the world.
Then, you need to post quality content on a consistent basis. Follow people around, network as much as you can, and engage with your potential customers. If people see that you care, they’ll buy. The best way to connect with your clients is through social media, period.
10. Approach Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers are people that have a big number of followers and fans. They’re appreciated for something, so they’re much more influential than the average social media user.
You can approach influencers within your domain of activity by offering them your book for free and kindly asking them to leave an honest review. Alternatively, you can make them a direct offer: they promote your book to their audience, and you give them something else in return (money, contacts, information, etc.)
Following low-cost promotion methods hold a huge potential, even though they’re called “low-cost”. The secret is to be consistent and patient. If you take enough action, marketing will seem like a piece of cake. Once you sell more copies, you’ll be able to afford testing more promotional channels and methods, putting your book through a full ascension process.
11. One From Me
Here’s an extra tip, this one from me. Even though many of us already write guest posts, we often make the mistake of only posting on book-related blogs. However, depending on the theme of your book, you may have more luck posting on a blog that relates to your topic instead. Think recipe books and how much sense it makes to promote them on food blogs. And a romance set on, say, the Greek islands may be well promoted on travel blogs.
To help with this, I recently came across a post on Izideo with some 1,500 websites that accept guest posts. Find the niche that most appeals to your readers and contribute a guest post there. It costs nothing and will help with brand awareness and, hopefully, sales!