As an indie author, you might not have a large marketing budget at your disposal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a big impact.
In this article, we’ll explore ten effective strategies to promote your book without spending a dime. From leveraging the power of social media to collaborating with fellow authors, these ways will maximize your book’s visibility and connect with your target audience.
1. Increase your presence on social media
When we say social media, we don’t mean only Facebook or Instagram. Consider signing up on TikTok, Twitter, Threads, and LinkedIn. This way, you will reach a wider audience since your potential readers can prefer different platforms.
It’s vital to update your pages regularly to keep your readers interested. A content plan will help you to produce high-quality and diverse publications.
2. Get first reviews from ARC or beta readers
Other readers’ advice belongs to the top reasons why people buy a certain book. But where to get reviews if you’re an aspiring author and it’s your first published novel?
There’s a way out: Turn to ARC or beta readers. In most cases, you don’t have to pay them as they are often ready to help you in exchange for free copies. You also can ask your family and friends to share their impressions about your book on Amazon or Goodreads.
3. Participate in thematic events
These include writers’ conferences, book signings, workshops, talking to students, fairs, book clubs, and more. Your task is to go there and talk about your book, no matter how much you enjoy spending time at home watching Netflix.
When visiting events, you can give people a sneak peek into your writer’s journey, routine, rituals, and publishing process. Readers are usually interested in such things, so take advantage of a chance to draw their attention to your personality and works.
4. Collaborate with local libraries and establishments
You probably have some libraries in your cities, so take advantage of them. In most cases, they will gladly help a local author succeed and gain new readers. You can leave a few free copies there.
Moreover, contact local cozy cafes. Many people enjoy calm afternoons or evenings, drinking coffee and reading a good book. Offer establishments some copies of your story, which will be available for their visitors for free to read inside.
5. Polish your Amazon page
If you sell your book on Amazon, ensure your page is attention-grabbing and informative. Your photo should be recognizable and vibrant, while your bio and book descriptions are catchy and intriguing.
Don’t forget to set up your Amazon Author Central account. Many authors forget about this platform, taking care of KDP only.
But this dashboard will help you to customize and manage your author page. It also allows you to track your book rankings, interact with reviews, chat with readers, and more.
You can add editorial reviews, book recommendations, and other content to your page using it.
6. Network with other authors in your niche
Did you know that 2023 boasts 4600 more US writers than 2022? It means many new authors appear each year, and you can find someone to collaborate with for sure, even if you’re an aspiring one.
We’re talking about this because if you want to network with other writers, finding a fellow at the same popularity level is vital. Unfortunately, a famous writer with ten thousand fans may not want to work for free with an author who is just starting to gain a readership.
Networking with another author in your genre will help you both to reach new readers since you have the same target audience. You can write guest posts for each other blogs, arrange joint giveaways or lives on social media, and even start a podcast.
7. Join Substack
You can’t argue that email marketing is a powerful tool in 2023. But if you don’t want to figure out how different tools work and pay for services, try only one – Substack. This platform is gaining popularity and has millions of active users.
Substack is a subscription-based newsletter service combining the functions of Mailchimp, Patreon, and Medium. So, you can use it for sending newsletters and blogging at the same time.
You can find a guide on using Substack for book promotion in our blog.
8. Optimize your website for search
When potential readers search for topics related to your books or your author’s name, a well-optimized website is more likely to appear at the top of the results. Thus, SEO helps to increase your visibility and attract more visitors.
How to optimize your content? Simply put, you must use keywords in your blog posts and other sections. Also, add visuals and structure your texts to make them more attractive and easy to read.
By the way, SEO applies to your Amazon page too. You can use Keyword Tool or other platforms to find proper words and phrases.
9. Start a Pinterest account
Do you still think you don’t need Pinterest to promote your books? Stop! Pinterest has over 463 million users monthly, so your potential readers are definitely among them.
First, you can use this platform to grab the audience’s attention with your book cover. Then, create exclusive and valuable visual content, for example, your characters’ looks, the story’s settings, or lists of helpful writing tips.
1o. Arrange contests, challenges, and giveaways
Such activities create a sense of excitement and anticipation among readers. Moreover, by offering prizes or gifts, you can generate a buzz around your book, increasing its visibility and attracting more attention.
The terms of giveaways or contests usually include a step when participants must share your post via their social media. Thus, it will expose your book to new potential readers who may not have discovered it otherwise.
While promoting a book with limited resources may present challenges, it’s certainly possible.
Social media, reviews, participating in events, networking with fellow authors, SEO, Substack, and Pinterest can help you effectively promote your book without breaking the bank.
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