Question: What are some budget-friendly ways to promote a book that is already published?



The great news about book marketing is that no matter how long your book has been out in the marketplace, it’s never too late to put some effort into promoting it and generating some sales. As ALC President Keith Ogorek says, “Marketing is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” Creating awareness for your book is an ongoing process that can start well before your book is even released. If you want your book to sell, you will need to continue promoting and introducing it to new readers throughout its lifespan.

There are many effective avenues for marketing a book including advertising, social media, events, email newsletters, publicity, and more. These can range from costing you nothing to costing thousands of dollars. Very few authors have an unlimited budget for marketing, so it’s important to review your options, plan ahead, test some avenues, and determine what is best for your budget and book.

Here are 8 budget-friendly—and even some FREE—ways you can effectively promote your book after it’s published:.

Authors can use social media to engage with potential readers and build a following over time.1. Be Present on Social Media

Like it or not, social media continues to be one of the best ways to create awareness for your work and connect with potential readers. This is because of the massive reach it offers and the ability to easily communicate with people around the globe. And, it’s FREE to set up an account on any of the major platforms, create posts, and build a following. If you are not already present on at least one social media platform like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, you should start building that presence now.

The key to success on social media is connecting authentically with the people that will be most interested in you and your work. Rather than posting, “Buy my book!” every day, your goal for each post should be to entertain, inspire, or inform your followers. Let them get to know you on a deeper level. It can take some time to find your tribe, but with consistent and engaging content, you can build a meaningful following over time.

2. Optimize Your Website and Your Amazon Presence

“Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) may sound mysterious and complicated, but it really just means making sure people can find you and your work online. This can include an author website, social media pages as noted above, and author profile pages on websites such as Amazon and Goodreads. The larger your digital footprint online, the more people will organically discover your book and hopefully make a purchase.

An author website acts as a central “hub” for all other marketing, promotional, and branding efforts. It’s a place where potential readers, industry decision-makers, and the media can find out more about you and your book, including your credentials, contact information, social media links, upcoming events, where your book can be purchased, and more. Without an author website, you’re failing to maximize your online discoverability, making it harder for people to find you when searching the internet. The great news is that it’s easier than ever to create your own, simple website…and, you can even do it for FREE on platforms like Wix and Wordpress!

When present on any social media platforms, make sure your profile pages are complete and that any book descriptions and author biographies are consistent across platforms. You’ll also want to include your author website URL if allowed, and/or link to where your book is available for sale. In addition, you’ll want to claim your author profile pages on websites like Amazon and Goodreads. It’s FREE to go to Amazon Author Central to set up and optimize your author profile page and to link your books on Amazon, and to join the Author Program on Goodreads. These are the largest platforms for book sales and reader interaction and reviews, so make sure you have a presence!

If you have a large digital footprint across many different platforms online, you can use a FREE tool like Linktree to curate all of your different accounts, pages, and links under one web address. You can then use this web address on profile pages, business cards, and more.

3. Build an Email Marketing List and Create a Monthly Newsletter

Email marketing has the power to be more effective than social media and paid advertising, and can help you connect with your audience beyond just your book. When properly maintained, an email newsletter can lead to increased awareness of you, upcoming events, future books, and ultimately, more readers that are educated, entertained, or inspired by you. Platforms like MailChimp and MailerLite offer FREE, basic accounts to get started and help you manage your email list and communications.

Websites like BookFunnel and StoryOrigin offer features for building and managing email newsletters with a paid subscription, which might be a better option if you want to create a list more quickly or are looking for An author newsletter is a great way to build a following and sell more books.assistance with the process.

These days, there are an overwhelming amount of entities and companies competing for attention through email marketing, so make sure you have the time to sustain meaningful and consistent communications with your followers. If you approach the process thinking only about promotional purposes, you will likely fail. Consider your email newsletter an opportunity to provide value, hone your writing skills, and build long-term relationships. To entice people to sign up for your newsletter, you can offer something of value in exchange for their email such as free content or entry in a giveaway or raffle.

4. Explore Digital Advertising and Book Promotion Opportunities

Online advertising is where authors tend to see the biggest return on a monetary investment. This is because the majority of books are purchased online and readers are already there actively browsing. Digital advertising is also more affordable, with ads starting at just a couple of bucks per day. Other benefits include the ability to set a budget, target specific readers, and track the results. With digital advertising, you can determine your cost per click (amount you pay each time a consumer clicks on your ad), cost per conversion (amount you pay to acquire a sale), and the return on your investment (profit made from the ad).

Here are the 3 popular digital advertising channels for books:

Social Media Platforms like Facebook, and Instagram: Social media provides the perfect advertising platform for authors because you can target specific categories of people and invest very small amounts of money to test the response.

Amazon Ads: Amazon continues to be one of the world’s largest search engines and is also the largest online book retailer. If your book is available for purchase on Amazon, you can access their advertising platform through your Amazon Author Central page or through your Kindle Direct Publishing account. The advertising system can take some time and practice to figure out, but can be worth the effort and investment.

Book Promotion Service Providers like BookBub and The Fussy Librarian: You can apply to have your book advertised in the newsletters of these types of platforms. Many of these platforms promote discounted or free eBooks only, so if you haven’t created an eBook version of your book, you should consider making one to maximize your reach.

5. Look for Guest Blogging and Guest Podcasting Opportunities

Being a guest on other creators’ blogs and podcasts can provide additional exposure for you and your book, while also increasing your digital footprint and online discoverability. Consumers are hungry for new content, so these creators are always looking for new information and perspectives to engage their audiences.

Being a guest on popular podcasts can be a great way to create awareness for your book.To get started with guest blogging, reach out to established bloggers related to your book’s topics, genres, or themes, and see if they will post one of your articles on their blog. These guest posts ultimately push traffic and visibility back to your own blog or website through your author biography at the end of the article. Guest blogging is a win-win situation, because the guest writer gets FREE publicity for their book and the blog creator gets free content to add to their catalog.

Podcasting is a growing medium that offers great opportunities to reach people in a new way. According to Statista, there were over 82 million podcast listeners in the US in 2021, and "This number is estimated to rise even further, reaching over 100 million listeners in 2024.” As with guest blogging, being a guest on established podcasts related to your book’s topics, genres, can be a valuable tactic for garnering FREE publicity for you and your work, while providing content for a podcaster’s episode in their library.

6. Participate in Books Signings, Speaking Engagements, and Events

In-person events such as festivals, fairs, signings, and conventions can be a very effective way to create awareness for your book and even make some sales. Readers love meeting authors and when given the chance to hear about you and your book face-to-face, it’s difficult for them to walk away empty-handed.

The publishing industry offers a wide variety of events and opportunities where authors can present or attend workshops and panels, interact with authors, industry experts, and readers, and sell their books. Depending on your book’s genre or topic, it may even make sense to look outside of the publishing industry to see if there are events in other industries that align with your book.

If you’re just getting started with in-person events, participating in local festivals, signings, and fairs can be a great way to test the waters without making a large investment. Even your local farmers market might be a worthwhile event for setting up a small booth and selling your book. Libraries often host authors for speaking engagements or “meet the author” fairs, so be sure to check the websites of your local branches. And, don’t forget about your local bookstores and other retailers that may hold book-signing events. Some events may be FREE to participate, and over time, you may be able to work your way up to getting PAID for speaking engagements!

7. Organize a Giveaway or Discount to Create a Buzz

People love entering giveaways with the chance to win something fun or cool, and what’s cooler than winning a book or exclusive swag from an author that you follow? Signed book copies, bookmarks, pins, and character sketches are just a few giveaway ideas. You can execute a giveaway through your author newsletter, on social media, or through a platform like Goodreads.

It sounds counterintuitive, but offering discounts on your book or even offering it for free for a limited time can increase an author's overall revenue. How? By promoting these discounts through eBook promotional sites such as BookBub, BookGorilla, and Kindle Nation Daily, and gaining new readers that will help spread the word about your book. Author Marketing Experts CEO Penny Sansevieri has seen good success in using this approach with the authors she helps promote. She finds that it can be really effective when an author has multiple published books or a series of books and the deals can be rotated between them. Another way to give your eBook a boost on Amazon specifically, she says, is to offer occasional discounts which can improve your discoverability.

Networking with other authors can provide a great support system and new opportunities.8. Cross-Promote with Other Authors

So much of the writing process is done in private; however, writers don’t need to go it alone! The writing community is large and diverse with a variety of helpful groups and resources. Authors can meet one another online, but they can also meet each other at conferences, workshops, and other events. While networking, some writers create formal groups as support systems in today’s complex publishing world. For example, YA Chicks is a group of young adult authors that work together to achieve goals and do events. Racquel Henry, writer and editor, is a member of the group and loves the support system that YA Chicks provides. By connecting and networking with other authors, you might also find opportunities to pool resources and share a booth space to make an event more budget-friendly for all.

If you maintain an author newsletter, consider doing “newsletter swaps” with other authors in your genre. This involves providing your author bio and book information to another author, and they provide their information in return. You then promote each other in an upcoming email newsletter. This is a great way to find new readers that are already interested in your genre and it's FREE.

The process of marketing a book can seem overwhelming, so we recommend using the POEM Method of Book Marketing to plan your efforts and take some of the mystery out of the process. Any good, integrated book marketing campaign is a combination of four key activities:

Publicity: Using traditional and online media to build awareness for your book.
Online: Using digital channels including social media and your website or blog to communicate.
Events: In-person interaction with potential readers and others in the industry such as signings and speaking.
Multimedia: Engaging readers through photos, videos, podcasts, and more.

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