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Only 3.5% of children’s book authors earn more than $50,000 for an advance on their book. Most only receive between $1,000-$5,000 and some receive NOTHING! This means free marketing ideas may be all your budget can afford.
Times have changed over the past few decades and authors are required to do more and more to promote their books. Even if your publisher has offered some marketing help, every author should be using these resources for book promotion.
After all, they’re FREE and can only help you sell more books.
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3 Free Marketing Ideas to Help You Promote Your Book:
Unfortunately, our book will not sell simply because we wrote (No matter how much we wish that was true!) Instead, we need to put ourselves and our work in front of people and attract their attention, so they’ll be scrambling for the book shelves.
But how do we do that? Especially when we really don’t want to expose ourselves to people?
The importance of book promotion:
Some of us would rather poke our eyes out with a hot skewer than be visible online. And others don’t want to come across as annoying through their self-promotion.
I get it. I’m also self-conscious of walking around in my bathing suit with a room full of Victoria’s Secret models. But we live in a world where those insecurities don’t matter. We have to own our stuff!
And for writers, this is through book promotion. We have to let people know A- that we are writers and B- that we have a book coming out. Otherwise, no one will know to buy it!
Isn’t the whole point to see your book? I thought so.
Here’s the good news, self-promotion doesn’t have to be inauthentic or salesy. In fact, it’s better if it’s not! So don’t worry. You can do this.
Free online sources to use:
1. Create a Goodreads Profile
Goodreads is an online database for readers to tell others about their books they’re reading and find new books to check out. There are also interactive reading groups that you can connect with based on what you enjoy reading.
Anyone can set up an account (And if you don’t have one, you should get one even if your book isn’t coming out yet). Once you have a book coming out, you can apply to their author program so you can promote your book and interact with readers.
2. Add Readers to Your Email List
An email list is one of the best ways for you to interact with readers. And unlike a social media platform, you own your list so no one can take that away from you.
You can use both your author website and social media to help grow your list. I suggest using Mailerlite to collect and send emails.
- It’s free up to 1,000 subscribers
- You can set up automation for new leads
- You get a link that you can share across all your social media platforms.
- It’s super easy to use
You can set up your account here to get started. Some things you can send your email list are any updates with your book, freebies that they’d want, anything to create a personal connection with you, if you have a new book coming out, etc.
And don’t worry, people who love you and your books will also love reading your emails!
3. Promote through Social Media
This one seems like an obvious one because we hear about social media so much! However, these platforms have changed TREMENDOUSLY in the past five years, so you can’t rely on organic engagement alone anymore.
The goal of social media is to promote posts that other people like, which means you need to create engagement on your posts in order for them to be seen. You can do this by posting funny GIFs, shareable quotes, asking a question, taking a poll, etc.
But DON’T feel like you have to be everywhere. There are so many sites and it’s impossible to be everywhere. Instead, choose 1 or 2 specific platforms that you want to post to and post often.
(Just my own thought, I’d pay for Facebook/Instagram ads to promote your book the week before/during its release to create the most buzz, instead of trying to be a Facebook or Instagram expert.)
**Check out my post on how to use social media to promote your book here!**
The key to creating a tribe of readers:
The difference between selling a book and connecting with your readers is one thing: your approach. Anyone can say buy my book, but readers only will if they’re given a good reason on why they should.
This is where you come in. You need to tell the readers WHY they need your book and how they will benefit from that. Even fiction reads hold value (Escape, enjoyment, loving character, irresistible plot, etc.)
Determine what your hook is and how you can pique curiosity. Then be authentic and reveal yourself as the writer to your audience to create a connection. And don’t worry about appearing stupid or something, just be yourself!
Be sure to use these free marketing ideas to help promote your book once you’re ready. It’s never too early to start either. If you don’t have a book coming out, you can still engage with readers on Goodreads and through social media to make it easier for you later.
Remember: be authentic and connect with your readers as a human. Don’t just try to sell a book. It will be so much easier to create lasting fans.
For more articles to help you promote your book:
- The Complete Guide to Author Websites
- How to Create Your Website
- How to use Social Media to Promote Your Book
- The #1 Marketing Tool All Authors Need
- How to Win a Twitter Pitch Party
- How to Easily Market Your Book
- Build Your Brand with Rhys Keller
- How to Host a Book Launch Online