Last Updated on November 17, 2022 by Ben Oakley
It’s an unusual aspect of the self-publishing industry that many authors are unwilling to share their free book marketing ideas.
Two reasons why. One, the author thinks they’ve stumbled upon a golden goose and doesn’t wish to share it with anyone else. Two, they have no ideas.
Jump onto any author or book forum where self-publishing is discussed, and many of the posts will be about how to market a book and get more sales.
And despite the straightforward questions asked, many new authors are met with derision by their peers.
In fact, some authors reply with anger at another poster asking for marketing advice.
If you’re on a forum like that, ask yourself if you’re really getting the help you need or are just cannon fodder for a group of authors fighting amongst themselves for that one extra sale.
Here are 10 easy to do, straight forward, no BS free book marketing ideas. Most of it is unsurprising but it’s all free.
1. Social media
Not every social media platform is going to work for every author. I find that Twitter yields better results than Facebook – but that’s my experience.
Social media sites are free to use and can help build an audience of readers and connect with other authors. Don’t let your profile die, keep it up to date and relevant.
2. Author website
Yes, an author site can be built for free. The most common website builder in the world is WordPress.com. You can open an account, build a site, and add content for free.
Now your site is up and running, you can begin adding content to it. You don’t need to write about your book if you don’t want to.
Many successful authors blog about the writing process, the journey, their lifestyle, likes, hates, and topics unrelated to writing. The world is at your fingertips.
4. Cross promotion
This is one of the best free book marketing ideas out there, but it scares a lot of authors off. Find an author in your genre and start talking about cross promotion.
Readers are insatiable, so don’t be afraid of getting into bed with your perceived competition. All authors involved in cross promotion usually see an increase in sales. And it’s FREE.
5. Write the next book
I know, you’ve heard it all before.
- ‘Write the next one in the series.’
- ‘Make a series.’
- ‘Write the next book to get more sales.’
- ‘Keep writing.’
The truth is, if you want to be successful as a self-published author, or any author for that matter, then you won’t achieve it with only one book.
FACT: James Patterson would not be the biggest author on the planet with only one book. He dedicated his time to building an industry around his name – and hundreds of books.
Of course, you might not ever write hundreds of books but sticking with only one title is the fastest way to the bottom of the mineshaft.
In the old days – any time before 2000 (I’m feeling old) – networking was reserved for events, meetings, and community halls.
Now, you can network with anyone in the world through email or social media. Networking with other authors, publishers and industry freelancers is a sure-fire way to success.
7. Local radio discussions
Radio is not dead. The local stations are hungry for content. Contact your local station and request a few minutes on the air to discuss your book or writing journey.
Despite what we read on social media (Twitter), local press and radio WANT to give a platform to local creators and businesses. Unless you’re paying for ads, getting on the radio is free.
You can also turn it into an exciting blog post, and shout about it on every platform you have access to.
TIP: By the same measure, you can also get a guest spot on a relevant podcast, or a piece in your local paper.
8. Amazon Author Central
If you’re selling your book through Amazon, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be, then you can sign up for a free Amazon Author Central account.
From your account, you can add a feed to your blog, fill out your author profile, and have more control over how your books are presented. You then have a link on Amazon for your author name.
9. Guest posting
Do you find yourself to be a prolific writer, or want to put yourself out there? Writing guest articles and posts on other blogs is a good free book marketing idea.
It doesn’t even have to be another author site, if could be a subject you’re passionate about, where you can link to your own blog or Amazon page from there.
10. Don’t become arrogant
You’re likely reeling in horror. How is not being arrogant a free book marketing idea? Well, YOU are the product, as well as your book.
Being modest, thankful, and true to yourself, are traits that can take your writing career to the next level.
Being arrogant and entitled, especially when it comes to criticism and reviews, is one way to send your writing career down the drain.
There are many more free book marketing ideas out there. As with anything, trial and error are the best way forward. If it doesn’t work for you, ditch it. If it does, then you’re good to go.