You’ve written the book. You’ve edited until you can’t edit anymore. Your beta readers gave you the big thumbs-up. You’ve either found a publisher or decided to self-publish, and everything is ready to go.
Now, it’s time to promote.
Promote. The mere word is enough to strike immense fear and delightful giddiness into the heart of every writer. While it’s exciting to have your book out in the world, the thing won’t sell itself. And of course, for a first-time published author, cost is a factor. So, what can you do to promote your fabulous work on a budget? I have a few suggestions that are low-cost and will help you reach readers and entice them to read your book.
To start, business cards are a must. Create a logo and a slogan to help market your name. Remember that while your first book is no-doubt fabulous, you most likely will continue to write in the future, so you want to avoid having your book cover serve as your logo. Choose something that captures your personality and genre of choice - something that’s eye-pleasing and easy to remember. Hand these out liberally.
Embrace social media. For authors, I’ve found Twitter to be most effective. It’s tough to connect with strangers on Facebook, and there isn’t much more to do on Instagram than share your book cover over and over again. Having a website is a must, of course, and with WordPress and Google sites at your fingertips, there is no excuse not to have one.
Giveaways are a wonderful tool to draw readers in and keep them coming back for more. To up the ante, try making book gift-baskets with items that promote the different themes and main ideas in your book. For example, a story which takes place in a coastal town could include an ocean-scented candle, some “bling” from the town where it takes place, and, of course, an autographed copy of your novel.
Make bookmarks and give them away to libraries, schools, and bookstores. These are low-cost and easy to make, and it’s a great opportunity to make your book cover shine. Make sure to include the title of your book and your name on the front and consider paying a little extra to include your website and social media handles on the back.
Last, but not least, brag. Brag about your book to anyone and everyone who will listen. Memorize your book pitch and recite it as often as possible. There is something magical about word-of-mouth promotion.
Sure, you can promote your book in expensive advertisements, but by using some of these budget-friendly ideas, you raise awareness of your amazing creation and increase sales!
I’d love to hear some of your low-cost options for promoting your books! Please share them in the comments!
Bethany Masone Harar is an author, teacher, and blogger, who does her best to turn reluctant readers into voracious, book-reading nerds. Check out her blog here and her website here.