Monday, August 19, 2013

Marketing Your Book Successfully on a Zero Budget

Lindsey Rietzsch
After all that hard work you've made it - you're book is live on Amazon! So, now what?

You can't just stop there and hope that somehow your book will start selling itself. If you take this path then you and your book will quickly be forgotten before you were ever discovered.Can't afford a marketing or PR rep? No problem. Here are eight tried and tested (by myself) suggestions for boosting your book sales and making a name for yourself as an author.

Facebook/Twitter (and Pinterest)- Over the past few years, facebook has replaced the blog! Start a fan page on Twitter and facebook. Yes, this should be separate form your personal account. You can link them so that anytime you post something on facebook it automatically posts on Twiiter as well. I have an author page (since I have a few books) and a separate page for my fiction series. Anytime someone likes my novel page, my book cover will show up on their facebook page for all their network to see. It's a free way to promote my book. Be sure to post something at least every other day if not once a day - to keep fans excited and in the loop. Remember, they are your marketing team so you want to keep them talking about your book.

A great way to keep fans interested is through contests and giveaways. Get creative - have a writing contest where fans rewrite the ending to your book. Do some trivia to see which fans know your book the best. Post updates about books you have in the works. Do a drawing and set a deadline for people who share and like your facebook page. Give away copies of your book or other prizes you think would be enticing. Sometimes you can make friends with other authors through Goodreads and exchange books with each other for giveaway prizes. 

Be sure to post your book on Pinterest as well! Because Pinterest is all about images, this works best if you have a great book cover. Be sure that the image is linked to your amazon page or fan page. 

Goodreads - Make sure your book is listed on Goodreads. If it's not, get it on there quick! If you don't already have a goodreads profile, set one up. It's quick and easy to do. Goodreads is a bookworm magnet. It's where you'll find many of your fans and your target market. Once on there, make yourself a regular. Join book clubs that are in the genre of your book. Start new discussions and join ones that are current. By contributing to the book club scene you'll soon gather a following of friends and fans. Most book clubs have sections just for authors, where you can promote your book and any giveaways you are doing. It's the perfect place to promote your book on release day especially if your book is free or you are doing a special. Just a caution - Goodreads members tend to be a bit more brutal with reviews. Also, don't forget to post reviews on books you have read and seek out new books to read. Don't just be in it for the taking - you need to give a little in order to get back.

Youtube Video Preview -  Take advantage of the power of Youtube! Make a short video under two minutes just through Windows Movie Maker. It doesn't need to be anything fancy or expensive - a slideshow of images and titles with the right music can get people interested. Just be sure that you don't use images or music that is copyrighted unless you have permission or have paid to use them.

Be sure you upload it to Youtube and share it from there. If you just upload it from your desktop to Facebook you do yourself a huge disservice - all those clicks are counting for nothing. On Youtube the more views your video gets the more people will find it and share it. Here is an example of one I made a over a year ago. Yes, it is a bit amateurish I will admit but it did the job I needed it to do. It's under three minutes but most people don't have an attention span of more than two minutes, so keep it short.

Be sure to have your book cover on there and leave the viewers wanting to know more about your book. It's wise to have your facebook page or a link to where people can purchase your book on the video.Once it's ready, begin sharing it on Facebook,Twitter and Goodreads.

Become and Expert - Once your book is published and even having a little success people will come to you asking for help so they can publish their own books. Take advantage of this. Post these Q&As on your facebook page, Twitter and Goodreads. Share what you know and become and expert with what you have experience in.

If you write non-fiction you have a greater advantage. You can become an expert on your subject. Look for opportunities where you can write articles and guest posts on your topic. You can get your foot in the door with TV and radio interviews when you have expertise/tips to share with an interested audience. Speak at expos, participate in workshops and local community events. Get someone to film you whenever you speak. Once you have spoken at a couple of events you can set up a portfolio that will add to your credibility.

Give Back (win/win)  - Don't always look to earn cash for your efforts. Most people don't want to pay someone they have never heard of to speak or teach a workshop. Instead offer win/win scenarios. For example, offer to give away 5 free books in exchange for an opportunity to speak for 30 minutes at an event. The event coordinator is happy, the audience is happy and you are happy. Or swap blog interviews. You feature an author/book on your facebook page in exchange for that author promoting you. You can find these opportunities on Goodreads. 

Amazon Reviews - Little reviews certainly won't help with sales. The more reviews and activity you have on your Amazon page the higher your sales rank will be. The best way to drive people to post reviews on your Amazon page is to do a giveaway. As soon as you reach 20 reviews, you give away five great prizes. The odds are good and people will be interested in a chance at winning something. Giving away your book isn't that enticing as your reviewers already have it. Again, exchange books with other authors (get them autographed) and use them as your prizes. A $10 visa gift card is also a great prize and easy to mail. Once you reach 20 you can begin another contest and set another goal.

Blog Tour - Seek out bloggers who are willing to feature your book and interview you. Try to arrange it so that they will all feature you during the same week. Try to get at least 7-15 blogs to feature you especially during release week. This will do wonders to your Amazon ratings, rank and your facebook following. You want to create a media frenzy as big as you can - all at once. Be sure to create a small press kit with your bio, picture, book cover, contact info and links to send to each of the bloggers so they have what they need to make a good post. Never send out mass emails - personalize each email and follow up.

Word of Mouth- If your book really is a great book, this will happen on it's own. Make bookmarks as a form of business card for your book. Business cards may get thrown away but a bookmark has a use especially for a bookworm. Pass them out at signings and other events where you can reach interested readers. Any way you can personalize your promotion efforts the better your chances will be for people willing to spread the word to their friends. Strike up friendly conversations wherever you can. Express gratitude towards your readers and fans and leave them with a positive experience.

Book Signings/Web Interviews - Farmer's markets, craft fairs, boutiques, neighborhood book clubs and small local bookstores are great places to have book signings. Even small ice cream shops may work a deal with you. In exchange for you holding a book signing and bringing people into their shop. They giveaway a free ice cream with every book purchase. You can agree to give them a percentage of each book sale, to help cover the cost of the ice cream. Be sure to promote it like crazy to your friends and family on Faecbook and Twitter.

If your book is only an ebook, offer to do free interviews via Skype. Fans can arrange an interview for their book clubs. They'll get one on one time with you to ask whatever they desire about you and your book. It's a win/win. You can also giveaway a free eBook with each book club interview.

Summary - Overall, there are many ways to promote your book without paying a marketing company to do so. You just need to get creative and get to work! Good luck, and don't forget to post your questions, comments or ideas below.

1 comment:

  1. The bookmark business card idea is GENIUS!! Great ideas, Lindsey!