Understanding Typical Marketing Expenses - article

Book marketing can be expensive or not, depending on your goals and your budget. There are lots of ways to keep the costs down by using free or low cost marketing options and limiting (or targeting) where you spend more money.

Free Stuff

Book reviews are generally free and thousands of bloggers are out there buzzing about books. Contacting these folks is easy. It’s an email and a three sentence pitch. Emailing special interest groups is another way to create “buzz.” To save cash, consider learning how to write a press release. Network with local media and build your own local book tour to bookstores, libraries and even readings in coffee shops. Contact local writing organizations for other opportunities to promote your books.

Many cities have book festivals. Get involved. Contact local public radio stations and TV shows to get the word out there. A popular way to connect with readers is offering free content on reader services like the Kindle and/or the Nook. This might be a short story for a novelist or a short article for non-fiction authors. Creating “buzz” about your book often takes more time than money.

Consulting Fees

Some folks need help with the big marketing picture. They have no idea where to start marketing their books. Publicity, ad campaigns, public events, and even social media can feel overwhelming and in some cases require specialized skills. Paid consultants can guide you around the common pitfalls of marketing and help you target your efforts in an effective way to generate awareness and sales.

Big Ticket Items

One big ticket item a book trailer. A book trailer is a visual advertisement of your book and to be effective requires a filmmaker. This is a nice piece to add to all those free blog reviews. Book tours can also be costly but effective.


Many authors offer swag to promote their books. Swag includes items like bookmarks, pins and stickers. It can also include such varied items as temporary tattoos, seed packets, or even lipstick. It’s also a good idea to build a simple basket of swag for local charity events. This is a great way to get the word out to your community about your books.

All authors reach out to readers in different ways. There is no one right way to reach readers. No one can do everything. Look at your options and pick the group of activities that best suits you and your budget.

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