4 Budget-Friendly Ways to Promote Your Book

4 Budget-Friendly Ways to Promote Your Book
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This story originally appeared on PR Newswire's Small Business PR Toolkit

There are an infinite number of ways for authors to promote their books. Since most authors cannot afford a full page ad in the New York Times Book Review it is imperative to make dollars stretch as far as one can. As a book publicist I am always on the lookout for effective, inexpensive ways to reach book buyers and the media.

Here are four budget-friendly ways to promote your book:

1. Facebook offers advertising to special interest groups. Let’s say you’d like to put your book in front of readers who like to read James Patterson books. You can do that now with paid ads on Facebook. The audience for these ads used to be based upon age, interests, place of work, gender etc. Now you can zero in on readers of specific books by what appears to be an endless list of authors and books. You can list numerous authors in your targeted audience group including Tom Clancy, John Grisham and many more. Facebook helps you create the ad online and it’s served up only to those who are fans of the authors you select. Is it effective? Ever wonder how some of the ads you see on Facebook seem to hit you at a perfect time about a perfect item? This is how they do it. Try it. It may work for you.

2. Tap into the power of Goodreads by using Listopia lists. How? Listopia is a free tool through Goodreads that helps readers discover new books to read. They can search for genres, topics of interest, favorite authors etc. Authors can list their own book on their list along with other books in the same genre to gain from their popularity and association. For example, if you have a book similar to The Martian then listing that book along with your book and other similar books, your book can benefit directly on Goodreads and as a bonus, it may show up on Google, Bing and Amazon searches.

3. Pursuing and winning book awards will give you another opportunity to reach out to the media, booksellers and agents. As a book publicist I see the media perk up when an author client has received an award. It’s the added credibility that gives them the assurance that the book is worthwhile. 

Awards also create interest in your book, which can lead to more sales and other opportunities, even a movie deal!  A book award sticker on the cover of a book may cause someone to stop in their tracks and consider picking up your book in a book store.  If you win you can say you are an “award winning author.” Doesn’t that sound better? Of course it does, and you get a little magic that comes from a third party endorsement because an authority says your work is worthy, and that’s priceless.

Most awards charge a fee to enter. Not all awards have a category for your genre and not all of these will work for every book. Check out my list of 35 Top Awards for 2016 here: http://j.mp/BookAwards2016

4. Nothing is more cost effective than publicity. People will tell their friends, family and co-workers about a book they’ve read about in a magazine or newspaper, see on television, or hear on the radio because the media offers an implied third party endorsement. That’s why getting book publicity is so important in starting the ‘word of mouth’ every successful author desires.

How do you get publicity? To start, write a one page press release about you and your book or hire a publicist to do it for you. Then email it to your local newspaper, radio station or TV station. Or look up the features reporter or the person who covers your topic and send them a letter along with the book.  Every book has a local angle, focusing on wherever the author is from or currently resides. Most members of the media are usually very friendly to a local author. Good PR often begins at home which can then lead to more PR on a national level.

Some of the most successful authors in publishing started with low cost marketing out of necessity. Most authors are unaware of all of the inexpensive and valuable promotional tools. 

The Bottom Line: Put some of these low cost ideas into your marketing mix. But, promoting your book using press releases is the best overall tactic to reach the most people in the most cost-effective manner. Do it today!

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