The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic distress for many people. As an independent author, you may be struggling financially.
As an author, you have at least one book to sell to generate a little income. Maybe you are struggling with sales. You don’t want to spend money on advertising and promoting your book because money is tight.
“You have to spend money to make money.” This common phrase may have you in a double-bind. You just don’t have the funds to play with.
Fortunately, there are many ways to promote your book without spending a lot of money. My book Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books is dedicated to helping authors market their books on a small budget.
Following are five no-cost marketing strategies that you can employ right now to help sell more copies of your book.
1. Create a Website
If you do not have an author website, you need one. Readers like to learn more about authors. One method readers use to find out more about an author is through an author’s website. Having an author website sends the message that you are serious about being an author, which raises your esteem in readers’ eyes.
If you do not have a website, you can create one for free. BookLaunch provides any author a free landing page. This landing page is easy to create and provides you with a custom URL.
If, for some reason, you are not able to create a website, then I recommend that—at the very least—you complete your Author Page on Amazon. You can then use this page as your website.
If you are unsure what a complete Author Page on Amazon looks like, check out my (Sarah Bolme) author page on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/sarahbolme.
2. Run a Price Special on Your Book
It doesn’t cost you a dime out of your pocket to reduce the price of your book. Consumers love bargains. Offer a summer sale on your book to get people to buy it now.
Scarcity drives people to buy. Think about the recent toilet paper shortage. Stores were short of toilet paper, causing people to buy more than they needed so they would not run out.
You can use this same idea with book sales. Make your special book price or discount time limited or limited to a select number of copies. This helps people choose to buy it now rather than wait until later because they don’t want to miss out on the special price.
3. Get More Book Reviews
Book reviews are marketing gold. As humans we operate with FOMO. FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out. When people rave about your book, then other readers will be more inclined to buy your book because they don’t want to miss out on the great information or story you provide.
One option for getting more book reviews is to give away a limited number of your books for free in exchange for a review. The saying “You have to give to get” applies here.
Sweeten your request for reviews by offering a select number of free books in exchange for a review. You can ask your friends and followers on social media, as well as the members of the forums and groups you belong to.
4. Write Articles and Guest Blog Posts
Writing articles costs nothing but your time. As an author, you are an expert on the subject matter of your book. This means that you can write and speak with authority on the subject and people will take notice.
You can leverage your author authority through writing articles and guest blog posts. Then you can submit these articles and posts to magazines and blogs for publication. When people read your article or post, they are exposed to you and your book, increasing the chances of more sales for your book.
You can find a list of Christian magazines that accept article submissions in the Christian Writers Market Guide. If you want to guest post, you can find a list of over 200 websites and blogs that accept guest posts at https://www.websitehostingrating.com/list-of-200-websites-that-accept-guest-posts.
5. Be Interviewed on Podcasts and Radio Shows
Exposure is key for selling books. After all, people cannot buy something they don’t know exists.
You can leverage your author authority to gain more exposure through radio and podcast interviews.
You can search for podcasts that speak to your subject using a podcast search engine like Listen Notes. Or you can sign up for Membership in Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) for just $75 and have access to a list of over 100 podcast and radio outlets interviewing Christian authors. The list alone is worth more than the $75 Membership fee.
The famous saying “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” applies to your book marketing. You must venture something—whether that is time, money, or effort—to gain book sales.
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Photo courtesy of Chronomarchie.