76 Ways to Market Your Book for Free

Lightbulbs and books indicating ways to market your book for free

If you have a book deal, a publisher, and a book launch date, you should be proactively looking at ways to market your book for free. Not every new book has a large marketing budget. Even traditionally published books have very little dollar spend behind them, even if they are supported by a Big Five publisher. And self-published books? Forget it. Every dollar you spend eats into potential profits from the sale of your book.

Frankly, even if you do have a great publishing deal and a huge marketing and PR team, you should still be doing everything within your power to promote your book on your end. And please don’t tell me you don’t like marketing or the idea of creating your personal author brand. You’ve taken all this time and effort to write a brilliant book, it’s going to be published (yay!), so force yourself out of your comfort zone and do your darnedest to get people to actually buy and read the thing.

And it’s not just your book launch you should be interested in hyping up. Preorders are counted in your first week’s sales numbers when being considered for bestseller lists, including the holy grail: The New York Times Bestseller List. In other words, you should be actively pushing for orders and sales months before your book is set to launch, with a ramp up as much as six months prior, and full steam ahead at six weeks.

It takes takes time and effort to market your book for free, but it’s perfectly achievable. You just need to get a little more creative with your marketing strategy. Here are 75 ways to market your book for free that you can use before, during, and after your book launch.

Market your book for free on social media

  1. Create a Twitter profile and tweet book updates from it
  2. Follow and engage authors and writers using the #AuthorsofTwitter hashtag
  3. Create an Instagram author account and use it
  4. Follow book lovers and social influencers using the #Bookstagram hashtag
  5. Follow authors and writers using the #WritingCommunity hashtag
  6. Create Instagram reels to engage your audience via short video promos
  7. Post to Instagram every day in the run-up to your book launch
  8. Engage in Instagram takeovers to leverage other authors’ followings
  9. Create a Facebook author fan page, and invite your social network to join
  10. Run a contest or giveaway for your Facebook fans
  11. Join Binders and Sub-Binders groups on Facebook: communities filled with thousands of authors and associated author promotion
  12. Create a TikTok account and upload videos under the #BookTok hashtag
  13. Engage with other people’s content under all of these hashtags – they’re more likely to pay it forward if you do!
  14. Create a book trailer on YouTube
  15. Record yourself reading from your book and upload to YouTube
  16. Interview other authors on YouTube
  17. Include links to your author website and your book sales pages on YouTube
  18. Add your book as a publication on your LinkedIn profile
  19. Use a mail merge tool to send a notification to your multiple LinkedIn contacts about your book
  20. Pin your book cover graphic or quotes from your book to Pinterest, and include a link for people to buy
  21. Use Book Brush to create professional social graphics and sharable images for your book
  22. Create a Linktree account in order to share multiple links from your social profiles where there is limited space
  23. Use Hootsuite to manage and schedule of your social media
  24. State that you are an author on all your social profiles

Market your book for free on websites, blogs, and email

  1. Build an author website on free platforms such as WordPress or Google Sites
  2. Monitor your website visitors using Google Analytics, optimizing those pages that get the most hits for optimum engagement
  3. Add an events calendar to your website share where you will be on your free book tour
  4. Add a specific page for your book (one book = one page) and include plenty of “buy now” buttons, linking out to everywhere your book is for sale
  5. Use free design tool like Canva to create a media kit for your website that includes book graphics, author headshots, quotes and more
  6. Always include the same author photo across all promotional materials so that people can recognize you and associate you with your book. Your face + your book = your brand
  7. Ensure your book is listed on all the big directories and available for sale: Amazon, Bookshop.org, B&N, Smashwords, Kobo, and Apple iBookstore
  8. Create an Amazon Author Central account and related Amazon author page
  9. Populate your Amazon author page with your author bio, headshot, and book data
  10. Add an RSS feed to your Amazon author page with a link to your blog
  11. Ensure your book is tagged under the correct category (provided by Amazon), and write a full description, including your genre and relevant keywords
  12. Create a Goodreads author profile so that people can review your book
  13. Include quotes from your book on Goodreads
  14. Answer interview questions on Goodreads to engage with your audience
  15. Run a Goodreads book giveaway
  16. Encourage people to review your book on Amazon and Goodreads. These reviews really do matter!
  17. Submit your book to Kirkus reviews
  18. Enter your book for literary awards
  19. Sign up for a free BookBub account and create an author profile
  20. Register for BookBub’s free New Release alert that will notify your followers on your book’s release
  21. If your book is a debut, submit your book to be featured on Debutiful (be sure to give at least four months’ notice prior to publication)
  22. Submit your book to promotion websites like Goodkindles who regularly choose books to promote from free across their website, newsletter, and social media
  23. Reach out to relevant blogs and websites and offer to write a guest post, with a link back to your website and/or book
  24. Offer to contribute to relevant newsletters in exchange for a link to or short promo of your book
  25. Write and publish articles on Medium on topics relevant to your book
  26. Comment on other people’s blogs and articles. You can leave a link to your book, but don’t make it spammy
  27. Visit relevant forums and comment on threads; again, make it natural and not salesy!
  28. Create a press release and seed it out to free press release distribution sites
  29. Sign up to the HARO (Help A Reporter Out) newsletter and respond to calls for articles, blog posts, and interviews that are relevant to your book
  30. Create an author newsletter and send frequent communications in the run up to your book launch
  31. Add your book to your email signature with some nice graphics and include a link to purchase
  32. Ensure your literary agent links to your book on their social media and website
  33. Ensure your editor links to your book on their social media and website
  34. Ensure your publisher links to your book on their social media and website
  35. Ask your writing community, friends, family, teachers, co-workers, and dentist (basically anyone you know who has a website) to link to your book on their social media and website

Market your book for free in real life

  1. Reach out to your writer network and authors in your genre and ask them to blurb your book
  2. Send free galleys/advanced reader copies (ARCs) to influencers in exchange for honest reviews
  3. Submit your book to trade publications like Publishers Weekly, who announce new releases in print, online, and in their publishing marketplace
  4. Contact your local newspaper or magazine and ask if they will run a feature
  5. Contact national newspapers and magazines – can’t hurt to try, right?
  6. Host a real-life launch party that speaks to the theme of your book. Invite friends, family, and literary professionals (make it clear people are expected to pay for themselves, though!)
  7. Host a virtual launch party livestream via YouTube Live, StreamYard, or Be.Live
  8. Go “live” via social networks or use webinar tools like Zoom to host live Q&A sessions about your book
  9. Go on a free book tour. You can reach out to coffee shops, consignment stores, schools, book clubs, writing groups, and more. Most will be happy to host you
  10. Reach out to your local library and offer to do a free reading
  11. Reach out to your local independent bookstore and ask if they can host a book signing
  12. Encourage another author to host an “in conversation with” session with you. Two authors attract more audiences than one!
  13. Contact relevant podcast hosts and ask if you can appear as a guest
  14. If you have a Creative Writing MFA or related university degree, reach out to your faculty to ask if they can add your book to their alumni book listing
  15. Similarly, you can offer to give a presentation or panel discussion with current students
  16. Create a QR code that people can scan out in the real world, linking back to your website
  17. Send Facebook event invites for all your in-person appearances

Remember, now is not the time to be coy about your book launch. Shout it from the rooftops. Use good old fashioned word-of-mouth whenever you can. You need to get the message out to the widest audience as early as possible. And when it comes to marketing your book, the best cost is always free.

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