Book Marketing: How to Get Recognition on a Budget

Following are a few of the things I’ve implemented to market some of my own acim, which have received top ratings on Amazon and hundreds of “Likes” on my official author page on Facebook. If on a limited budget, get the copies of your book for $75 and 1 box of business cards for $10. Almost anyone can lend you tape, and you can hand-deliver copies of your book instead of mailing them.

Create an intriguing ad on Facebook and set your advertising budget to $1 per day. ($30 per month) Mail copies of your book to tv / radio personalities, bookstore owners – and include a handwritten note asking them to read the book or pass it along to someone who may be interested. Make sure your handwriting is clear. ($5-8 per book print, plus $5 postage if you mail it priority)

Post a link to your Facebook page or website on a relevant Facebook page – for example, if your book is about a child with Down’s Syndrome, post a link to your book on Down’s Syndrome Association, Downs Side Up, and Down’s Syndrome Scotland page. Most page owners are OK with you doing this as long as the topic or book is relevant. FREE! Get articles or stories published in a magazine like Harper’s, Tropics, Apex Magazine, etc. This usually pays you $0.50 to $1.00 per word, and it gets your name out there. FREE (can actually pay for the rest of your marketing efforts!)

Subscribe to a writer’s magazine like Writer’s Digest. You can also read copies for free at your local public library. ($15 per year or FREE) Social Media: create a profile on the following, and maintain them regularly (schedule at least one day a month – it should take you just a couple of hours to maintain all of them! Fill in your username, password, and a link to your profile in one place, such as this file. (Facebook pages should be created for your main characters, your books, and an author page for yourself).

Ask local bookstores if you can do an appearance or signings. Most small bookstores welcome this, and it benefits them as well. I recommend you offer the owner a flat fee or a commission for each book you sell. (FREE – can even pay for your other marketing efforts!) Most public libraries will host local author appearances and readings, usually with themes such as “Women’s fiction”, “Black History / Literature”, “Hispanic Heritage”, “Mystery Month”, etc. contact them and see if they’ll feature you at one of those events. (FREE!)

Networking – attend parties, events. Dress to impress! A good place to start is, which hosts a networking event for local professionals every two weeks. Here you can make connections that can help you land work as a freelance copywriter, ghostwriter, gets your name out there, and may help you promote a book. Plus, they’re fun! (and FREE!)

Book Fairs – take advantage of your local market. Most cities and towns will host a book fair, and it’s usually not too expensive to get a booth. Or, you can buy a ticket to get into the book fair and give away business cards or copies of your book(s). (Cost will vary). An alternate FREE option is to volunteer for the event. Check the event website.

Reading clubs – These actually exist, and if you are an author people will buy copies of your book, read it, and sit around and discuss it over tea. Be sure to offer your books for a decent discount to the members of the club. You can find book clubs on Meetup or Booksprouts. PaperbackSwap is like Netflix for books, and you can lend out copies of your printed book in exchange for someone else’s. I recommend including a handwritten request on the inside cover for the borrower to rate your book on Amazon and Goodreads if they enjoyed it. (Free – can actually pay for your time!)

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