5 Ways to Promote Your Book for Free

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.

Free Book Promotion Ideas

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.

BookLaunch.io

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.

Special Offer

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.Christian Writers Market Guide

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.Christian Indie Publishing Association

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.

Related Posts:
Author: Are You Doing These Marketing Activities?
Marketing is a Mindset
Don’t Hobble Your Marketing Efforts

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Photo courtesy of Chronomarchie.

 

 

Don’t Lose Focus

The events in our world and our country in 2020 cannot be ignored. They are affecting all of us.  Yet, I would encourage you to not allow these events to sidetrack you from the message that God has given you.

Don't Lose Focus

I recently read a post by an influencer in the indie publishing world. This individual was advocating that indie authors take a break from marketing their books to spend some time dealing with the pressing issues in our country.

While this advice might be beneficial for secular authors, I don’t think it is good advice for Christian authors.

2 Timothy 2:4 says “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and teaching.” In season and out of season means when it is favorable to do so and when it is not favorable to do so – or when it is convenient to do so and when it is not convenient to do so.

We are in an out of season time. There is pressure all around us to jump on the hot topic of the moment. Don’t get sidetracked.

It is easy to get dragged down by worldly concerns involving conflicts and fears. When this happens, we get distracted from the hope we have in Christ.

Do not lose your focus. As a Christian author, your gaze should remain fixed on spiritual things that offer the hope, security, and peace people need in this trying time.

Whatever your message was before the events happening this year, it is still needed. People’s spiritual needs have not diminished with current events—in fact, these needs are growing since churches have not been open and people have been isolated.

People are still struggling with relationships, parenting, finances, health problems and other issues related to Christian living and spiritual growth. They need the hope you offer in your books. Hope both for this life and the life to come.

So, I encourage you to not veer from the message God has given you. Your message is timely. Your message is needed. God’s word never goes out of season.

Related Posts:
Five Tips for Staying Focused
The Responsibility Rests on You!
Sticking to the Basics

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Photo courtesy of Elena Taranenko.

Take the June Audiobook Challenge

June is Audiobook Month!

If your book is available in audiobook format, this month provides a great opportunity for you to promote, promote, and promote your book.

June is Audiobook Month

As an author, you don’t want to inundate people with just information about yourself and your books. Your followers—on social media, your blog readers and those who receive your emails—want you to add value to their lives. This means giving them information or entertainment that enriches their day.

So, here are two ideas to add value during Audiobook Month while promoting your books. Let these two suggestions get your creative juices flowing to help you create more ideas.

1.  Host a Giveaway of Your Audiobook.

Hold a contest and give away one or more copies of your audiobook this month. This is a great way to highlight your book and collect emails for your future email marketing efforts.

Unsure how to go about hosting an online giveaway? Members of Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) have access to the CIPA Guide: Online Giveaways, which provides instructions on how to host a giveaway and the best free and low-cost services available to help you run an online giveaway.

2. Take Part In and Encourage Your Fans to Join the June Audiobook Challenge.

The Audio Publishers Association is hosting the June Audiobook Challenge. Throughout the month of June, adults participate in the daily Instragram challenge. Here is how:

  • Take a photo of yourself doing the daily challenge (see chart below).
  • Post the photo on Instagram, follow and tag @audiobooks and use the hashtag #audiobookchallenge.

#audiobookchallenge

The Audio Publishers Association will DM the daily winner around 24 hours after the original post went up.

Related Posts:
Do Book Giveaways Work?
Author: Are You Doing These Marketing Activities?
What Successful Authors Do

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Use Direct Mail for Better Response Rates

The average response rates for an email marketing campaign are about 1%. That means if you send out an email promoting a special on one of your books to 100 people, only one person will act on your email and buy the book—if you are lucky.

So, the question that marketers ask is: How can we increase this response rate?

The answer involves direct mail. Yes, it is more expensive. But it can also be more effective.

According to a study by Millward Brown, physical media generates a deeper brain activity than digital media, leaving a longer lasting memory when compared to email or television.

Studies also show that direct mail has the highest response rate when used in conjunction with digital channels such as email, website, and social media. Check out this infographic on The Power of Direct Mail & Digital.

The Power of Direct Mail & Digital

Related Posts:
Direct Mail Is Not Dead
Are You Marketing Effectively?
Overcoming Roadblocks to Marketing

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

How to Land Local Media Coverage

Dream big. But, remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

The same is true for marketing your book. Maybe you have big dreams for your book. It all starts with a small step.

Marketing Your Book Starts with a Small Step.

This small step is done locally, right where you live. Whether you want to conduct author events like book signings, start a speaking ministry, or be a guest on television and radio, you must start locally.

In his new book, Landing Local Media, publicist Jason Jones explains why starting local is so important. He says:

Your local market is not only where you’re best known; it’s also where you’re most relevant. The chances of you landing local media are exponentially higher than landing a covered spot on one of the major networks, cable outlets, or national radio programs. Besides, before you appear before a national audience, you’re want to have honed your skills before a smaller and friendlier crowd—and local media can you do that.

Jason’s book provides great information on the following:

  • Landing Local MediaWho your local media is
  • What your local media does and how you can play a part
  • The myriad things you should do before you ever reach out to media
  • What to do when you’re ready to pitch
  • What to do once you’re booked
  • How to deliver a great interview
  • What to do when your interview is over

In my years of working with independently published authors, I see many of them making some serious mistakes both when it comes to trying to secure media coverage and in their interviews. Two really important pointers that I have given authors are also highlighted in Jason’s book.

1.  Publishing a book is not news.

Many independent authors think that publishing a book is news—even for their local media. A new book is not a news worthy event.

Local media outlets are looking for entertainment and information that will benefit their audience. This means unique stories about people and events in the community, service or products that meet a need, and experts who can expound on local news stories.

2.  Your radio, television or newspaper interview is not about selling your book.

Your media interview is not a commercial for your book. It is about providing entertainment or information to an audience. The purpose is for your message to add value to people’s lives.

When what you share resonates with the audience, they will look you up. If you mention your book briefly in your interview, they will remember that you are an author and find your book.

If you want to secure local media coverage, I recommend that you read Jason’s book, Landing Local Media. The book will give you the information you need to launch a successful local media campaign.

Related Posts:
Don’t Make These Rookie Mistakes
Are You Leaning Into Your Authority?
Grow Your Audience In Spite of a Pandemic

Don’t miss out on any of the great information shared in this blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Photo courtesy of langll.