If you are looking for clever free book promotion ideas, you have probably written a book. Whether fiction, non-fiction or an Amazon KDP, you have now reached the tricky part.
Your book is ready to be read, ready to be sold, and you are certainly ready to receive your well-deserved earnings.
So what is missing? Marketing your book! You see, self-publishing a book is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of work and patience, and in the end you never know if it will all pay off.
But there is a silver lining.
All your earnings, every single penny, will end up in your pocket. No one else will benefit from your sweat (well, if we don’t count taxes, but that’s another story).
In this article you will learn how to promote your self-published book to maximise your earnings, every single strategy has been used by many authors and I have seen many of them in action. And they have been very successful when done right!
Here I will show you both how to promote a book for free and how to invest your savings to make sales.
Free Book Promotion Ideas
1. If you can make videos, open a page on Tiktok
Tiktok has conquered the world of literature with its Booktok fantasy books. A section of the app entirely dedicated to readers (of all genres mind you).
Readers who talk about books with readers who share their tastes. Videos full of reading tips, book reviews and literary chatter. In the beginning, people would read a book and then look it up on tiktok to see if anyone had mentioned it (how we love finding friends in the same fandom).
Now, however, people blindly trust the most reputable book reviewers on the platform, and if they recommend a book, they run out and buy it. If you like talking about books and are comfortable with videos, open your own platform.
In a matter of weeks, you will have a loyal following who will read, buy and promote your book.
2. Choose your target audience and make a list of their weaknesses
The most important tip, you need to find your target audience when you find yourself selling ANYTHING. Yes, even a book.
How do you figure out your target audience to promote your book?
Answer these questions:
- Who did you have in mind while writing?
- Are there similar books that inspired you? Who is reading them?
- What is the age of your target audience? Would 14-year-old boys read your book? Or would 40-year-old mums?
- Is what you are talking about a subject that appeals mainly to males or females?
- What does a day look like for your ideal reader? What are his or her interests?
Gather all these answers and create the ideal profile to promote your self published book.
Then, keep it in mind because you will direct every book marketing strategy towards that ideal person.
3. Use social media where your target audience is most present
Want to know how to promote a book on facebook? How to promote a book for free on social media?
You definitely need to understand your target audience, as each app has a different presence of people.
Facebook: More adult people, often with financial problems and looking for solutions. Good for non-fiction, anything to do with home, work and family.
Tiktok: Younger people, creative but distracted. You will need to grab their attention several times to get them to buy the book. Good for selling fiction, especially novels and fantasy. Good for journals and books that focus on improving the spiritual aspect of one’s life.
Instagram: Young audience, but harder to attract. You need to give useful tips to draw attention and promote your book. Also good for fiction and fantasy, but any genre is marketable with the right strategies.
4. Read extracts from your book on Tiktok
The audience on Tiktok likes to be fed, even when it comes to reading. Nothing personal, just something I’ve noticed over time.
They are there with a lazy mindset (me too), they don’t want to have to leave the app to see your book or get extra information.
So if you like free book promotion service for authors, a great Tiktok technique to get them intrigued enough on to buy your book on amazon is to read excerpts from the story in your videos.
Choose engaging pieces that are relevant to your target audience and I guarantee you will attract the right people and have a successful marketing strategy.
5. Book promotions in a bookshop (great for secret reads)
Give copies of your book.
This is one of the most ingenious book promotion ideas I could think of. The bookshop in my town, and I’m sure yours too, has a shelf dedicated to secret reads.
These are books wrapped in gift paper that people buy without knowing what they contain.
The only thing that ‘spoils’ the book is a note with three adjectives describing it.
Readers will buy the book without any expectations and find themselves in front of a work of art, your manuscript.
If they like it, they will spread the word. And, if you are really lucky, they will promote you on social media.
6. If you are good at editing, make movie trailers of your book
Not everyone feels comfortable showing their face and voice on the internet. For many reasons, insecurity, fear of (horrible) haters, or they simply want to remain anonymous.
And that is a very valid choice.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to give up tiktok or the ability to promote your book on social media. Or making videos for instagram and youtube. You can still use this method to promote your self-published book.
Only instead of making a video where you talk, you will create film trailers that show what your book is about.
People love creative edits, good background music and HD images can move and fascinate even the hardest of hearts.
But how do you make book trailers?
- Make a list of films that you think have scenes similar to what your book is about
- People kissing, cars flying, crime scenes – there are movies that show just about anything
- Use video editing software to put scenes and audio together: Picsart, Cupcut or Adobe Premiere Rush
7. Create items with quotes from your book (free)
How to promote a book for free selling themed accessories?
Did you know that you can sell T-shirts, canvas bags and gadgets all based on your book? And did you know you can do it for free?
I’m not going to pull your leg or advertise some weird course. I’ll explain.
It is called print-on-demand and it is a book promotion idea. On any of the sites that do it, you can create a graphic or a phrase and put it on the objects available. Mugs, hats, whatever.
Here’s how to do it for free or at low cost:
- Use Canva to create the graphics or quotes
- Use a site that removes the background from images
- Use a print-on-demand site: Redbubble, Printify or Gelato
Then you have two options:
Free: Make a video talking about your shirts and put the link in your bio.
Requires an investment: Buy two or three products and wear them in a video.
Both can work with a bit of luck. The upside is that even if someone only buys the product and not the book, you will have made money.
Remember: Put an identifying mark on your products; the name of your book, your name or your profile name.
8. Write a catchy Amazon description
The best Amazon free book promotion strategy is to use a good SEO, of course, but apart from that, to seem human (lol).
Write an Amazon description so catchy that even a non-reader would be attracted to it.
The most obnoxious Amazon descriptions are those full of useless adjectives like Great fantasy book, New York Times bestseller, a work of rare fiction.
The potential buyer doesn’t care about these personality-free opinions, they want to know the plot of what they’re buying.
And if you’re selling non-fiction instead, describe how your book will make their life easier and, if possible, add a personal growth twist.
Use all the space Amazon gives you to promote your book and interest future fans. Here if you need to know how to publish a book on amazon.
Paid Book promotion ideas
9. Contact a Booktoker
If you don’t have the time or energy to set up a Tiktok profile and do all the work to attract followers, don’t despair. If you have some savings set aside for promoting your book, you can make them work for you.
As we have already seen, Tiktok is full of readers ready to read anything of interest that you put in front of them.
So here’s what you need to do to get their attention FAST:
- Make a list of the Booktokers you like best.
- Identify who has the most followers BUT ALSO who gets the most views on their videos (in your case, it’s the actual views that count).
- Find out who among these booksellers provides a contact email.
- Contact 10 bookers and wait for someone to contact you
- Decide on a price you are willing to pay for a video promoting your book and let the videomaker know who will get back to you.
Make sure the video is what you want before it is published, and then all you have to do is wait for someone to buy it.
10. Contact a Youtuber whose fanbase is your target audience
Do the exact same thing, but with Youtubers instead. There are so many people on YouTube talking about books and sharing their reading with hundreds of thousands of fans.
The strength of YouTube is that because it has longer videos, the audience tends to be more loyal.
So they trust their favourite person’s advice more.
If you can find the right person to talk about the positive aspects of your story, I am sure you will be able to sell it to many, many people.
11. Write a guest post on a literary blog
What you need is an audience to talk about your book, and writing a guest post is a great idea if you don’t want to do all the talking.
If you want to decide what to say and how to present your manuscript, writing a guest post on a literary blog is a great way to promote your self-published book.
12. Run giveaways on social media
People love to receive free books. We all love to hold a good story in our hands, but it is undeniable that reading can become an expensive hobby over time.
For this reason, I assure you that no reader will ever turn down a free book, and a giveaway competition is a great way to create movement.
Instagram is great for running a competition, but you can really use any app.
Instagram is better if you already have an audience, Facebook is great if you use groups full of readers and Tiktok is great because a video can get millions of views. Here are some great giveaway ideas.
You can put these book promotion ideas into action today. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will start making sales. These book promotion ideas will get your book into the homes of readers whether they want it or not.
No, OK, we’re not forcing anyone’s hand, but they really are excellent book promotion strategies if you try them carefully.
Save this article so that you can come back to it whenever you want and choose one of these marketing strategies to try.
Try one free book promotion strategy for a week and if you see that it’s not working, choose another one.
Now that you know how to promote your self-published book to maximise your income, don’t give up; you deserve to see the results of your labour. Good luck!
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