15 July 2015

Book Marketing on a Budget: Thrifty Ways to Market Your Writing

Some say that the success of a book can be divided into two categories: 10% quality of the writing and 90% marketing. As an independent author, you more than likely do not have a large promotional budget at your disposal. If you have already paid for professional editing, and book cover design, the funds for anything else after the book has been published may almost be non-existent.

The good news is: Although it wouldn’t hurt to have some serious cash to throw at your promotional efforts, savvy and motivated authors can spread the word about their books very effectively for less, and sometimes even for free.

- Set up a professional-looking author website. Domain name registration and hosting can be quite affordable these days. Create a great looking website, equip it with social media integration, perhaps add a blog and all sorts of other goodies that will help you sell more books.

- Ensure your site is media-friendly. When you start approaching the media, you do not want to make it difficult for them to find information. Set up a press kit on your website that has everything the media might require to cover your story. Consider including previous press quotes, your bio, author photo and book cover, a Question and Answer sheet, links to your social media profiles, and any other information you want to pass on. 

- Guest blog posts are an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. It can boost your search engine rankings by contributing articles to other peoples’ sites. Find some like-minded bloggers and ask if you can write a piece for their blog. Alternatively, do a blog exchange and trade articles.

- Plan your book launch party early. Events that combines a reading with a signing and Q&A session seem to be popular. Don't be afraid to flaunt your awesomeness! 

- Hold a social media contest or giveaway. People love to win, and they do not mind sharing tweets and Facebook posts about contests. You can have some fun with this. 

- Promote yourself in your email signature. Many take their email signature for granted. However, it is valuable real estate. Don't forget to include contact info, website link, and maybe even a quote from your book!

- To ensure the story of your book launch grabs the media’s attention, write a catchy press release. When it's time, send it out through some of the online press release companies such as: http://www.prfocus.com/,  http://www.1888pressrelease.com/, andhttp://www.prlog.org/. And don't forget about local magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations.

- Establish your social media presence; utilize Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. I find that it has helped me to narrow my list to three that I enjoy using most and that give me the best results. There are too many choices out there; I simply can't be everywhere.  

- Don't forget to follow-up with people that helped you...a fan, bookstore owner, literary critic, family member...the list goes on. Stay in touch and show them that you appreciate them. Send an email, thank you card (I know, it's so last century, but people love them!), or an inexpensive gift, such as a bookmark.

- Host a book party or ask a friend to host one for you. It is a sort of miniature version of a book launch/signing but on a smaller scale and quite informal. These events do not even require catering; small snacks will do fine.

- If someone is singing your praises, consider posting positive reviews to your website. These snippets will speak volumes to your potential readers. Let your social media followers know any time you get lots of media coverage.

These are just a few ideas to help you build your author platform. There are many more out there. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to add to this list in the comments section!

Piper is the author of military lifestyle books and RV travel journals. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+


  1. I've been following some of yur guidelines before finding your post and will do the rest as soon as I can.

  2. These are all great, Piper. Thanks for sharing.