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5+ Free and Easy Marketing Strategies to Promote Your Novel

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You've written a book, and now it's time to get the word out. But you have a major problem: You don't have a lot of money for book marketing. Scratch that. You have no money for book marketing.

Is it possible to market your book for free?

Absolutely. Promoting your book for free will take a little more time and effort, but it’s doable. Bookmark this guide. This is your ultimate resource for free and easy book promotion strategies.

Is Book Marketing Necessary?

Writing and publishing your book is the easy part. The hard part is getting exposure for your book. There are over 4,000 books published every single day. That means that your book will look like a speck of sand in the desert. You can’t wait for people to come to you. Sure, people search on Amazon and browse their local bookstores, but getting found that way is only dumb luck. You need to be intentional when promoting your book to target readers. This requires strategy and ongoing effort.

By the way, you need to take an active role in promoting your book, whether you’re self-publishing or working with a traditional publisher. Your publisher may offer basic marketing, but it’s up to you to increase your exposure and make your book a success.

Book marketing isn’t one and done. It’s continuous. After you’ve written a book, you should never stop promoting it. The following tips will help you create evergreen book marketing strategies. Let’s get started.

1. Create a Website and Blog

Promote Your Book for Free

What’s the first step to market your book? Create a website to serve as your professional home online. Share who you are, what you’ve written, where to buy your books, and how to contact you.

Because this guide focuses on free marketing strategies, it’s only fitting that we give you free website builder options. Wix, Weebly, and Strikingly are popular, free website builders that you can use temporarily to get established.

I say “temporarily” because your ultimate goal should be to build a premium website (using WordPress, Squarespace, or a hired web design service) because it looks more polished.

However, when you’re just getting started and don’t have options, these free website builders enable you to create your own author website. This way, when someone searches for you online, they’ll find your “owned” space, not just your social media pages. This is crucial because you have more control over how you look and what you say on your website.

In addition to your website, also create a blog. While your website will contact “static” information that’s not subject to change, like your bio or contact details, your blog will be your space to add “dynamic” content. You can blog about anything book-related, but I recommend focusing on book reviews in your preferred genre. This allows you to attract your target readers and, once they’re reading your post, promote your similar book to them.

Find out how to build an author’s website from scratch here.

2. Start an Email Newsletter

After creating a website, start building your email list. An email list is essential for book marketing.

An email list is essential for book marketing. Here's why:

Here’s how it works: Use a freemium service like ConvertKit or MailChimp to start collecting emails for your list. You can advertise your email list on your website, blog, and social media pages.

But you can’t expect people to sign up just because you ask. You’ll need to give them something in return, like a free sample chapter from your latest book, to incentivize the email list invitation.

Once they sign up, send them emails regularly. Your emails should be mostly entertaining or educational with only about 20% of your emails as self-promotional. This ensures that your readers are more likely to stick around and not unsubscribe. You want to build a relationship with your readers so that you can promote your book in a non-slimy way.

3. Create an Amazon Author Central Page

Almost every book on the planet is now available on Amazon. If your book is published and for sale on Amazon, you need to claim your Amazon Author Central Page. This is a free personal page on Amazon that you populate with your author bio and other relevant tidbits about your books and writer life. Readers can follow you on Amazon Author Central and get updated when you share new blog posts or release a new book.

Click here to read our post on how to create your Amazon Author Central Page.

4. Get Thee to Social Media

Promote Your Book for Free

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the beauty of social media. Social media is the great equalizer of our time. Whether you’re a best-selling darling or a newbie novelist, you can get on the same social media platforms and build strong communities with your target audience. You don’t have to have any money to start.

Here are the most relevant social media platforms for authors:

Pinterest

Start sharing on Pinterest. Pinterest is the platform for raising awareness and motivating impulse buys. Pinterest is a visual search engine, so to appeal to the Pinterest user, you need to create a striking graphic that grabs their attention. Fortunately, you can do that for free, too! Find and customize free Pinterest templates on Canva and then create “pins” (which are Pinterest visual bookmarks). Link these pins back to your website or your book listing.

Instagram

Use Instagram to share a lifestyle or inspiration. Like Pinterest, Instagram is visual, too. But Instagram is less focused on selling a product and more focused on building a community. Use Instagram to gather fans and then inspire them. Post visually stylized quotes from your book or ask for and then repost images of fans reading your book. Also take the time to share things that motivate you to write, like a beautiful photo or a sentimental story. Build a connection.

Be sure to create a bio on Instagram that links back to your website.

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media platform with over two billion users. Definitely consider Facebook as part of your social media marketing strategy. While Facebook is great for paid marketing, there are many ways to promote your book on Facebook for free, including:

  • Building a Facebook Author Page
  • Running a contest or giveaway to your Facebook fans
  • Developing a Facebook Group for your burgeoning community
  • Posting live videos where you connect with your readers (you can also do this on Instagram)
  • Joining and getting active in reader groups (being careful to add valuable input more than to promote yourself)

Here’s an author’s guide to using social media.

5. Use YouTube

YouTube is both social media and a search engine. This platform is perfect for increasing your exposure because your future readers also watch videos about books, their favorite authors, and their favorite genres. Use YouTube to get found. Create a book trailer, talk about your writing process, and interview other authors. Be sure to add detailed information to your description box (that sits under your videos). Include links to your website and your book listing.

Another benefit of YouTube? It can be monetized. You can actually get paid to promote your book.

Learn more about YouTube marketing for authors here.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t have any money to put toward marketing your book, you’ll have to do extra work, but you can still get great results. These marketing strategies are easy and wildly effective. Incorporate these strategies to generate more awareness for your book.

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