If you’re an indie author, chances are you spent most of your budget on your proofreader, editor, cover designer and maybe a branding expert. So, if funds are low, how are you going to afford to promote your book?
Have no fear, cheap ways are here, and I’ve tried them all.
I used these techniques and found within six months of trying them all that my monthly income had increased by 300 percent. They all took very little time to set up, and were worth the investment, because they brought me a profit. Before you try any of these, though, I caution you that they will only work if you had your book properly edited by a professional, your cover is eye-catching and designed by someone who recently took a course (cover trends change yearly!) and if you have a website, a Twitter account, and a Facebook Author page set up. Once you’ve done that, you can implement these techniques.
1. Tweet about your book. Use Booklinker.net to set up a universal link to Amazon, so that no matter what country your potential customer is from, it will lead them directly to their Amazon store. You can also add beautiful promotional photos to your tweet with using Canva.com
2. Ask any followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to send you photos of themselves with your book. You can offer them a free copy of your next book, or if you aren’t sure when that’s going to happen, a complimentary second copy for their friend. Then post them on your most followed form of social media. Readers love interacting with authors, and this gives you lots of great, free photos to share around the web. You might want to set up a special folder in Pinterest just for these photos. You can integrate this idea with a Rafflecopter (Rafflecopter.com) which engages your Facebook and Twitter followers and gets you new readers to sign up for your mailing list. Mine was the most expensive technique on this list, but I got over 200 new and engaged subscribers in a few weeks.
3. Set up a Kindle Countdown Deal or Free Book Deal and then do a paid promotion to announce the deal via Bargain Booksy or its sister company Freebooksy for your first deal day, and for later days in the deal, Book Sends, Fussy Librarian or, for those in the UK, Book Hippo, which is free! I know, it seems wrong to put the book you spent so much time writing down to 0.99 or even free. I fought against the concept for months, but when I finally did a free book deal for my first book, and then advertised that it was free using Freebooksy, I made back all the money I’d spent having my second book professionally edited. You do need to spend some money in this business to make money. Once you leap and give it a try (baby steps at first, don’t break the bank!) you’ll be amazed at the results. You’ll have a higher ranking in the Amazon charts for a while, so more readers will learn about your book, buy it, sign up for your mailing list (especially if you’ve mentioned the mailing list at the end of your first and second book) and more reviews, which will result in even more sales. It takes time to build momentum, but it does all work like dominoes once you promote your first book for a low price, or free.
You needn’t put your book in Kindle Unlimited (exclusive to Kindle) just to get it free – there are ways around that so that you can put your books on Kobo, iBooks etc. – and everyone writes about this (price matching) so I won’t cover it here because it’s a long drawn out process. I am exclusive to Kindle and it’s working very well for me, but you can still put your book to $0 for a few months via price matching, and see if that results in more reviews and sales of your other books.
It’s all an experiment, and the industry is changing every month, and so I would suggest that you spend very little on these simple ideas and on any paid promotions at first, but do dip your toes in the water, and gauge how they perform for you over time. Then, if you’ve found success, use part of your profits to advertise some more.
Good luck, and don’t forget to keep on writing! Even just 50 words a day is better than nothing.