How To Promote Your Book: Budget-Friendly Tactics To Drive Sales

by Jack Thomas February 08, 2022

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When you are ready to release your book into the world (if not read this), the marketing possibilities might seem overwhelming. While you can pursue paid options, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to get your book into readers’ hands. Learning how to promote your book in these ways is the first step to achieving success. Begin with what you can do – a website, author pages, and information about your book. When these are ready, you can begin reaching out to others for more exposure, reviews, and maybe even some collaboration. After learning how to get book reviews, drive your sales even higher with some advanced discount strategies.


The Basics For Promoting A Book

Promoting your first book starts with building an effective author website & LinkedIn profile. After all, the website is the foundation upon which all other marketing is built. If your LinkedIn needs a makeover, read this article about revamping your LinkedIn profile. And read this is you want to grow your LinkedIn profile.

A good author website should explain who you are and give them the opportunity to join your mailing list. It should also answer any questions your readers may have. For nonfiction authors specifically, your website should show why you are the perfect person to explain the concepts in your book. However, before you jump into web design, you need to make sure to have a few things ready.

Author Bio & Picture

An author biography and picture are absolutely essential to have lined up before you begin building your website. If readers are clicking to your website, chances are they probably want to learn more about who you are and what your background is. This is your chance to show them who you are and, for nonfiction, to explain why you are an expert in the subject. For most book genres, a friendly picture similar to a LinkedIn profile picture and you can find more about building out your LinkedIn profile in this article. However, there are some markets in which a brooding, mysterious, or grim photograph is the right choice. Because you know who your readers will probably be, pick a picture that fits your genre.

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Author Website

Designing a website does not have to be expensive. Instead of hiring a professional web designer from the start, you can build your own website via a website template. If you're not web design literate, use Shopify. It is very cost effective and there are free design templates. Later, after you have built up a good reader base, you can upgrade to a fancier website. For right now, it is more important to maintain a simple website that answers your readers’ questions than to maintain a flashy website with lots of animations and effects. By starting small, you can grow your website as your book grows.

For more on leveraging the power of buying Expired Domains to sell more books read our detailed article about just that!

Create A Book Trailer

As you build your website, consider creating a book trailer. No, you do not need to have expensive video editing tools to make something that looks polished. For a small fee, you can purchase stock video clips. Using free video editing software, you can build your own book trailer. If you do decide to invest significantly into this trailer though it is not a bad investment. You need to get people excited about the book and this is a great way to do it.

Using Social Media

If you do not have a presence on social media, you should not feel pressured to build one just for promoting your book. It is entirely possible to successfully release a book without creating a social media presence from scratch. However, if there are social media accounts that you do actively use, you can absolutely use them to help introduce your book to new readers. 

Include your book on your profile on whichever social media platforms where you are active. This only takes a few moments, but, depending on your social media presence, can introduce a large number of people to your book. You do not need to create profiles on every social media platform you can think of, either. Stick to the platforms where you are active. Then, if it is your style, create posts about your book.

One of the most powerful tools you can use to promote your new book is your LinkedIn profile. Anyone you are connected with on this networking tool will be interested in your book, and you should tell these people about it. How is that possible? After adding it to your profile, create a small post to let everyone know that your book is available for their enjoyment or education. For more information on how to grow your LinkedIn profile read this article.

Add A Link To Your Email Signature

As your launch nears, you will be working to build buzz about your new book. One of the easiest ways to substantially increase its exposure is to add it to your email signature. Without spending a penny, you can introduce your book to potentially thousands of people. Because this strategy is passive, you do not need to spend a great deal of time selling it to people who are not interested. If a potential reader is intrigued, he or she can use the information in your signature to find out more about it.

Because your email signature is unique to your style, there is no single best way to incorporate your book. Maybe the right approach is to include an image of the cover, the title, or even a short description. However you decide to approach implementing this strategy, you will want to make sure to include your website or a way for potential readers to find your website.

While you can begin this as soon as you have a website, it is best to change your email signature closer to your book’s release. This is because pre-orders are not as important as initial sales. Also, people are more likely to order your book if it is available soon instead of having to wait weeks or months.

Getting Book Reviews

You can use all the words in the world to tell people why reading your book will take them on a journey they want to go on, but it will not convince them to read it. Reviews and word of mouth recommendations are the most effective ways to coax people to read your book. They help potential readers figure out what they can expect. For this reason, good reviews are gold. 

If you're considering buying reviews we sell them and you can click here to see more. So we obviously support that idea and have written another article all about just that subject: Should You Buy Book Reviews.

Because Amazon does not allow reviews to be published before publication date, how will readers be persuaded to buy an unknown book from an author with whom they are not familiar? One easy solution is to release one format before another format. For instance, set the release date for the physical version of the book a week earlier than the release of the digital format. This will allow people to read the physical book, and leave a review. Then, when the e-book is released, there will be a list of good reviews to help persuade potential readers that your book will give them what they are seeking.

If experimenting with Amazon’s publication dates sounds too complex, there are other options. Paying for book reviews prior to your book’s launch can give potential readers the information they need to know before making a purchase.

Our book review service includes more than just a book review – you will be making an investment that can help the rest of your book promotion journey to be a success.

Editorial reviews are another way to beef up your book’s reviews. Of course, to be able to feature these, you need to convince influential people to read your book and give you a quote. Who those influential people are depends on your book and who your readers are. 

Contacting these individuals on a person-by-person basis is time consuming and might not even result in any quotes worth using. This is another reason to submit your book for a paid review. It is not free, but gives your book exposure to audiences you might not even have considered. You will also get high-quality reviews that you will be able to include prior to the book’s publication.

Reaching Out To Influential People

For your book to be a success, you do not have to appear on national television. However, you do need to get people talking about it within your target market. Getting your book to people who will love reading it is a lot easier when the right people are buzzing about it. Who are these “right people?” That depends on what your book is about and who your potential readers are.

Start by figuring out where your potential readers are subscribed. Which influencers, podcasts, or blogs do your readers follow? Generally, getting attention from the right sources is much more important than getting a mention from an a-list celebrity. Of course, depending on your book and its message, getting mentioned by a celebrity or appearing in the media might be the right channel.

Once you have identified who your readers listen to, you need to begin getting your book on those platforms. Offering to write a guest post or article is an excellent way to begin. Depending on your genre and target audience, maybe you can even use research from your book to write an article that potential readers will find intriguing. If people who read your guest post enjoy your writing style and want to find more, they can navigate to your author website and purchase your book.

It is important here to distinguish between virtual media and hardcopy media. Virtual media is not limited by the same space limitations that hardcopy publications have to follow. For that reason, it is a lot easier to write guest articles for virtual media than it is for a hardcopy platform. Depending on where your readers spend time, it might be worth pursuing hardcopy publications like magazines. However, your offer to author a guest article is far more likely to be accepted by a virtual media platform because there is unlimited space on a website.

Connecting with other authors – especially those who write within your genre – is an important step in collaboration going forwards. Although not possible for everyone, conferences are another way to meet other independent authors. Before asking for their help to promote your book, read their book(s) and try to find a way that you can give to their readers.

What kinds of collaboration can you do with other authors? Giveaways and guest spots in newsletters are an excellent start. In a giveaway, the idea is that each participating author gives a book away for a limited time in exchange for readers signing up for your respective newsletters. As your mailing list grows, you can offer to feature other independent authors’ books on your newsletter while they promote one of your books on theirs.

We offer a service similar to this kind of email promotion strategy here

Creating a multi-author anthology is an excellent way to introduce new readers to great authors. Your readers might discover new books to fall in love with while waiting on your next book, and other authors’ readers may read your work for the first time. It can be a lot of fun collaborating with other creative people, and this is one more way to get your name out there to new groups of people.

Contributing to an anthology means short-form writing. If this is not your specialty, do not panic. Writing short-form can be a fresh creative experience that can open the door to new possibilities. It is also a way to introduce a whole new community of readers to your work. If you and the other authors decide to release a themed anthology, you may even end up having fun.

Moderating a Facebook group or LinkedIn Pod (more info here) exclusively for your readers means a great deal of work, which means you will have less time to write. Instead, consider teaming up with a few other authors to create rotating content. Not only does this split the workload, but it also pools your collective readerships.

Boosting Price Promotion Strategies

Limited-time price discounts can drive book sales. Remember that a reader who purchases one book at discount may enjoy it so much that your book gets recommended to an entire new circle of people. These people might then purchase subsequent books. By discounting the price for a short amount of time, you reduce that person’s risk, and he or she might take a chance on a book from an unfamiliar author.

The idea of a discount might be simple, but there is quite a bit of strategy involved in promoting your discounted book to maximize book sales. The most important platform to advertise your book promotion on is BookBub. Having your book selected as a BookBub Featured Deal is like hitting the jackpot, but is incredibly difficult to do. To have the best chances, make sure your book meets all the criteria, and submit as often as allowed. By the way our Email Promotion Offer is more cost effective and much faster.

Although your book may not be a BookBub Featured Deal, there is a way to mimic that level of success. Over the course of a few days, discount your book on a few different book promotion websites. This strategy, called promotion stacking, allows you to sell more books.

Beyond running promotional deals on external websites, you can also run discounts on your book via your website or newsletter. In addition to rewarding your newsletter subscribers, this also incentivizes subscribers to open and read the newsletter. The magic of price promotions selling books works because they are temporary, you will only be able to offer the newsletter discount for short periods of time.

In its most basic form, a reader magnet is an incentive for people to subscribe to your mailing list. If you do not already have a reader magnet, this is a strategy you will want to implement post haste. It is usually exclusive content of some sort, but could be anything from a novella to video content that enhances your book. As long as it is free, exclusive, and accessible after signing up for the mailing list, it is a reader magnet.

To use your reader magnet to its full potential, remember to include it in your book’s front and back matter as well as somewhere in the text. While there are some who believe that a reader magnet is too distracting to include in your book’s text, there are ways to incorporate it with elegance. You simply need to be creative. Nonfiction is easier than fiction – all you have to do is slip in a reference to a checklist, chart, or additional material at some point in a chapter. If you write fiction, you may need to get more creative. Perhaps you can write a novella, book, song, or even recipe that originated in your fictional world.

Learning how to promote your book on a budget is simpler than it sounds. It involves setting the stage with an author website, author pages, and, if applicable, social media. Once that is ready, you can begin pursuing and paying for book reviews. Because book reviews are essential to increasing book sales. Finally, you are ready to reach out and begin building relationships with other authors, readers, and people that influence your readers. After your book has been launched, you can pursue advanced discounting strategies to increase sales.

Want to buy a book review?
Click here to learn how you can get a premium book review from us!


Jack Thomas
Jack Thomas

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