9 free marketing ideas for self-published authors

When you have a self-published book, it can be challenging to find the time and resources to market your work. However, there are many ways that you can do this for free! This article will discuss nine free marketing strategies you can employ today to get your book so that more people know about it.

9 marketing ideas for self-published authors

Table of Contents

Start a blog or Website.

Blogging is a personal way for authors to express their thoughts and feelings about writing in general. Bloggers can offer first-hand experiences with specific work without coming off as trying too hard or selling something!

Your blog can be where your existing customers can come to for new content, but It’s also a perfect space on the web with lots of traffic potential for new readers to stumble on your work!

You can promote their book without any cost in time or money, which adds up thousands upon dozens (maybe even hundreds) times throughout your lifetime as your work towards your goals – whatever those may be.

Websites such as Blogger or WordPress are free and easy to use. Your blog is a perfect way to create a relationship with your readership and make them feel that they are a part of your world. 

You can also market or promote all your other works on your blog by adding an online shop, add widgets for social media or even sell merchandise and other services. Blog posts can help anyone from aspiring writers to professionals looking for a new perspective on their work or the general writing process.

Give readers the ability to stay in contact with you and have them sign up through email (or any other form) that will make it as easy as possible! You can also offer freebies like PDFs – this is useful when promoting new books, so they’ll know what’s coming out next without feeling obligated about buying something right away if all of their time isn’t available at one moment.

Create a mailing list

Use your blog to create and grow a mailing list for free. Your mailing list is one of the most valuable assets you can have for your self-published book.

When someone subscribes to a mailing list, they are automatically opted in and will receive all new posts (or emails). When it comes time to promote something on social media – like an advertisement or contest giveaway!

Having these people who’ve signed up allows them access when important information goes out. Additionally, this lets readers know what content appeals more than others based upon past articles by giving feedback at each step of the way.

Empower your readers by letting them know they’re receiving what interests and motivates their needs with a practical mailing list that is easy to use for both parties involved. (Which in turn will maximise leads while promoting.)  

A mail campaign’s power lies in reaching more people than social media and through an individual’s willingness and interest level. Unlike ads, they have a choice. Being selective ensures customers don’t feel bombarded when it comes time to pay attention so as well feeling appreciated instead of taken advantage of like on Facebook where either must be forced into things (by blocking future posts), which can leave some frustrated; knowing those who show up voluntarily have been interested enough thus far without any more coaxing to buy a product.

Social media is a cesspool of irrelevant content that can be overwhelming. Businesses are now turning to email lists because they’re self-serving, targeted, and don’t overwhelm customers with irrelevant information.

Consider using your mailing list and making people aware of what you are doing instead! You could reach out to new audiences, increase loyalty among subscribers (if they’ve given their email address for updates on the topics that interest them), and stand out from the crowd in an unconventional way.

Social Media

When used right, social media is one of the most effective ways to market your self-published book. You can’t go wrong with a Facebook post, tweet or Instagram image of you in front of an Apple Store signing books for fans!

However, there are two things to keep an eye out for when it comes to this strategy. The first is ensuring that posts have the potential links back up where people can find more about what they see – whether this is through purchase links (Amazon) or video trailers like Youtube. And second of all, don’t forget to follow up on your posts!

Whenever you post something new online, make sure to use a call-to-action: “Click here for more information” and then provide an easy link if people are interested  in what they just saw.

This way, your readers know how best to engage with your content beyond liking and commenting, which might offer little incentive outside encouraging another follower! Also, following through helps show potential customers service level expectations.

Many people think that Facebook is the only social media platform worth using.  In actuality, there are countless other sites that you can use to attract new readers and followers. It would be a shame not to take advantage of this opportunity!

But there is a lot of competition on these sites, so be sure to regularly post on people’s timelines. I love Facebook groups that offer tips, advice or just general encouragement. 

Facebook groups are a great way to network with other writers and make friends all over the world! So if you haven’t already, I would recommend joining some groups. You’ll find that members of these communities can be very encouraging and motivating! 

It’s not enough to just promote your work and expect tones of engagement. It’s a community. Engage with other people’s posts, make new friends, share feedback and regularly post your stuff too. Don’t forget to request constructive feedback.

Focus only one call-to-action/link at most per post, so people follow along wherever else that’s needed. You can also use social media to get book reviews to use on your website.

Book reviews

Book reviews are a fantastic way to market your book for free. They make the perfect addition to any marketing strategy – you can write them yourself or reach out on social media and other platforms, like blogs. Some people prefer to buy fake reviews, but you don’t have to do that; here’s a more honest way.

You have family and friends, right? Just ask them! But it’s not that hard to get them from strangers. If your book is available as a pdf, you can give it away or run a competition in exchange for reviews.  Reviews are like votes of confidence, and they have an impact on the success of your book.

Get reviews from as many places as you can! Websites such as Goodreads, Amazon, blogs, and other notable literature websites are all great places that can help you get reviews. Plus, it’s free; reviewers usually only require a free copy of the book to review it.

Book clubs

If you are anything like me, then all avenues are worth trying out to get our work seen and noticed by as many people as possible. Have you considered joining a few clubs in your area? Also, there are a whole bunch of online book clubs worth joining. They’re a little more time-intensive but can be worth the work if you have an extra hour or two to spare each day.

Book clubs are also a reliable place to learn from other authors what’s working for them. It’s also a good idea to take note of their names and contact information, so you can follow up with these people later if your book is successful. Generally speaking, it seems like the best strategy when trying to build professional relationships online.

Poetry sessions

One of the best environments to market your latest novel is at a poetry gathering. Open mics are usually free and open to the public, making it easy for you to promote yourself at these events.

Be prepared with flyers and business cards that detail what type of work you’re promoting and where they can find out more information online if need be (like your website). Of course, You should keep a couple of copies on hand as you may just strike a couple of sales too!

It is one of my favourite marketing techniques because it’s a lot more personal and intimate than other forms. It also allows you to hear what readers have liked best, so if there are any points in your book that seem confusing or overwhelming, consider focusing some sessions around those parts! 

Ask the organisers if you can plug your book for 3 to 5 minutes too. It’s a great way to help get you in front of a new audience. The event is free to attendees, but be prepared for some people not wanting it signed (always make sure they have the option before making them feel embarrassed!) or paying at all-just hand over your contact details and offer an autograph!  

Make friends during breaks and intermissions. Talk about your book, put it in peoples hands, and be sure to tell people that they can also buy the book online.

But don’t forget: these events require little preparation but still bring enough copies so those who ask about buying one from either their bookshelf after reading could purchase too without asking more than once!

Put your book in peoples hands while talking passionately (and truthfully), of course! Remember, not everyone is interested; being polite if someone isn’t will make a better impression on others around watching for potential supporters.

Amazon author page

Every author should create an Amazon author page. It’s free, and it will allow you to promote your book both on Amazon itself and outside the site.

The process is simple and can garner new followers, reviews and even sales. Your author page will also be shared on Amazon’s social media accounts, allowing you to interact with your followers and new potential readers.

Amazon author page is a place for people interested in reading more from the same writer or who want updates about future publications. The downside? Some sections require payment that can be pricey, so if you’re just starting as an author and on a budget, only use what is necessary. There are other great resources for free marketing that authors should use to help spread the word about their book! 

Goodreads author program

Another great platform to promote your book is the GoodReads Author Program. It’s a new feature that allows authors to send messages and notifications about their book and provide other ways for readers or potential customers to engage with them.

The program also offers a unique feature called “Author’s Spotlight” to feature you on the site. All you have to do is sign up with your author account, and Goodreads will automatically make it available for new authors.

The downside: there are no stats, so we don’t know how successful these kinds of promotions have been. Nonetheless, Goodreads is a great place to promote your book if you are a new author or don’t have many social media followers.

It’s a matter of trial and error until your book becomes successful enough where other people start buying copies just off word-of-mouth because they know it from someone else who has read and loved it.

Word of mouth

Word of mouth is still one of the most effective marketing strategies available. It is a strategy that any author can use to promote their book or content, but they need some tips on how best to do this for it to work.

Authors should consider hosting a launch party for their friends, families or coworkers so they can help out with the promotion of their new work while having fun at it as well! It is one great way authors get word-of-mouth marketing tips from others because there are always people who have books that speak on similar topics to promote theirs. 

Don’t be discouraged if not everyone comes! Keep asking around until someone gives some good advice. There’s no such thing as “a bad idea” when trying something creative like door-knocking strangers. It may take time, but eventually, all those hours will pay off once enough readers come across what we’ve been doing in other places.

Many authors come up with authors when word-of-mouth marketing happens organically through conversations about how much fun reading was. We feel confident knowing there are many ways to get reviews online, but nothing beats meeting new potential readers face–to–face.

Being a self-published author means we have to work a little harder than everyone else to get our hard work the exposure it deserves. I wouldn’t be picky if I were you. I suggest trying every platform and decide for yourself which platform and strategy work best for you. In closing, I hope this article will be of use to some new authors out there who are looking for marketing ideas.

If you haven’t written your book yet, here’s a simple 12 step guide to help you through. additionally, you can check out how to kickstart your Instagram poetry profile ASAP!

 

Webster Chagonda

About The Author

Webster Chagonda

Webster is the founder and managing director at Pick Me Up Poetry. His creative journey began at an early age as an aspiring musician, and by 2013, he was the arts & culture facilitator for the University of Johannesburg. He is currently pursuing a Business Management degree with The University of South Africa and aspires to make PMUP a household name by 2025.

About Us

Established in 2013, Pick Me Up Poetry is now a leading platform for spoken word, live music and literature, reshaping the African narrative one story at a time. We believe in Social Learning and Honest Expression. Join our Facebook group, Youtube or Instagram for more engaging poetry conversation.

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