Unfortunately, not many of us have unlimited funding to get word out about our books. Luckily there are some free and inexpensive methods of promotion.
1) Email signatures – Most email programs include an option for a “signature,” one or more lines of text added to each outgoing message. You can include name, contact information, links to social media, quotes, etc. However, you should keep this short, possibly three to five lines, to avoid alienating readers.
2) Review other books in your field - By becoming a reviewer on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Goodreads, Smashwords, etc. you can attract readers. Post reviews of other books in your genre and use your own name accompanied by “author of the book…” When people read your reviews some will click through to your book.
3) Alumni notes - College alumni magazines are always looking for graduates to brag about. Check the magazine or college website for submission requirements.
4) Goodreads Author Program and giveaways – Features include prelaunch advertising, buzz-building, and book giveaways that they will administer for you (you still have to provide the actual books). Thousands of readers have been known to enter individual giveaways. Check out goodreads.com/author/program
5) Create your own book trailer
– For several years authors have been creating and posting book trailers on YouTube.
allows you to create a 30 second video with ease for free. You can use Animoto’s stock images or upload your own (or a combination). Longer running times and additional features are available for a fee.
6) Make public appearances – While blog tours can be successful in allowing interaction with readers the best and often most effective advertising is still face to face. Any time you can connect with an individual you have a better chance at leaving an impression and making a sale. Check into local book clubs, writers groups and conferences where you can speak and give away or sell copies.
7) Create your own merchandise
– business cards, pens, pencils, notepads, magnets, post cards, calendars, mugs, and clothing are all popular ways to advertise. Look into your local printers as well as online sources who often offer free samples and reduced rate packages. Ex. www.vistaprint.com
offers your first 250 business cards free if you use one of their designs. They also frequently offer some of their other merchandise for free.
What other free or inexpensive ways do you utilize in promotion?