Low-cost ways to market your book
I self-published a children’s book in July of 2017 and so far, it has been a positive experience. Learning about the process of publishing a book was priceless, and I’ve had fun meeting my readers. One of the challenges I’ve faced is in the area of marketing. I’ve learned through trial and error how to proactively market my book on a shoestring budget, and I’m excited to share some of what I’ve learned. Here are 5 low-cost ways to market your book.
Celebrating the release of your book with an author book signing/launch party is not only fun, but a strong marketing move. Independent bookstores are a great resource for this.
I made a list of my favorite independent bookstores in my city, and did a quick internet search for the ones I didn’t know about. Many of the websites offered information about how to request an in-store book signing, and an application for consignment sales of your book. In my experience, even if a bookstore doesn’t accept books on consignment (Half Price Books is a perfect example of this), they’ll be open to hosting an in-store book signing for you. I submitted my requests via the process on the website. For the bookstores that didn’t have a process available, I emailed or called the store manager. Some of the bookstores will take a small percentage of your book sales, and some of them charge a small fee for hosting you and your book.
I encourage you to connect with the independent bookstores in your city and get some book signings scheduled. I chose to also seek out stores in major cities a few hours away, but even if you start just in your own metroplex, it’s a great way to market your book. I have had book signings at BookPeople (Austin, TX), Half Price Books (3 locations in the D/FW metroplex), a popular independent toy store called The Toy Maven (2 locations in the D/FW metroplex), Best of Books, and Full Circle Bookstore (Oklahoma City, OK). Currently, BookPeople, Best of Books, and Full Circle Bookstore also accepted my book on consignment so they also sell my book for me. You will love the feeling of fulfillment when you see your book on a shelf in a real bookstore.
Online Radio Shows and Podcasts
This opportunity wasn’t on my radar when I started out to market my book. One afternoon I was scrolling social media and I saw a post from a page for authors called Authors Promoting Their Books. I decided to join the group, and was quickly introduced to the admin, Claire Harris-Perkins: marketing expert. I enjoyed her help and insight in the group so much, I decided to invest in her author interview services. For a small annual fee, I get 3 interviews on her online radio show, Book Talk Radio Club. Since my first experience working with Claire, I was excited about marketing my book this way. So far, I’ve had an on-air author interview on Authors Lounge Radio Show, and Authors-First Radio.
Facebook Groups and Social Media
In addition to networking with people who can help you with your book, Facebook groups and social media is an efficient and free way to market. You can connect with fellow authors in your niche, locate valuable book and publishing services, and ask questions or commiserate. Some of my favorites are Authors Promoting Their Books, Author Book Promotion, and Let’s Share Groups, Pages, and Books.
While my experience with this method is niche-specific (I wrote a children’s book), you can still apply it to your situation. Meetup is a wonderful resource for finding groups and clubs that have similar interests or can be used for networking. In my city, there is a group who hosts child-friendly, low-cost, networking events for parents who are small business owners or who have a product to sell. You have lunch and everyone takes turns pitching their wares. My book is well received at these events. I’m not allowed to physically sell copies of my book, but I can pass out free bookmarks that double as business cards. I also have a hard copy of my book with me for people to look through. A few times I’ve even been asked to share my book as a short story time with the kids.
Local Craft Fairs
Local craft fairs, arts festivals, and school fundraising carnivals are a great resource for marketing. These events do have a higher price tag than the others I’ve mentioned and often more time-consuming, but you have a larger sales potential. Don’t underestimate foot traffic. I participated in a well-known craft festival at a local church and sold every copy of my book. It was a fantastic experience for me, and I met some nice independent artists during the event.
With a little creativity, pro-activity, and effort you can market your book successfully. Have you tried any of these marketing techniques? Have more tips to share on the subject? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.