Marketing Your Book on a Shoestring Budget + a free checklist
You have spent hours writing your book. You now have a published book in your hands. What a powerful, intimate moment for you as a brand new author! Congratulations!
The panic strikes in and you realize, “How am I going to market this thing?” You didn’t think much about the marketing piece while you were writing because, well, you were busy writing! And now you’re looking at your budget thinking, “I don’t have any money for marketing!” So what does a new author do under these circumstances?! As an author of three books and forgetting to plan marketing strategies for my own books, I have been in these same situations and I want to share what I have done to create excitement and revenue for my own books.
Have a small launch party
Invite your most supportive friends over and have a launch party. For one of my books, I made a Facebook event and invited people to come over to my house for my brand new book. I brought drinks and some snacks for it as well. It was really nice! It was cheap, inexpensive and fun! I had five people show up where we all sat around and talked while eating and drinking. And yes, all five brought my book.
Launch parties can be as big or small as you want them. I didn’t have any fancy give aways for my guests or any prizes for them. I kept it small and on budget. Find local events for your books. Look to see if your local library is having any events where you can sell your books. For example, during the month of November, a local library is hosting an Author Day where they are allowing authors to come in and host their books. The tables are free and all I have to do is show up and sell!
When my first book came out, I went to the local Farmer’s Market and had a book signing there. It was quite profitable and I enjoyed meeting other locals inside of my town. I ran into a few people who wanted to wait to buy my book since they were from a different state. My suggestion is to have a flyer ready with a Bit.ly link that will lead them directly to your sales page.
Find speaking engagements
You are now an author and you know what that means? You’re an expert! You have credibility and clout that others do not! Take advantage of that and if you’re not public speaking shy, then reach out to networking groups and ask if you can come out to speak to their group about your area of expertise. Many groups welcome outside speakers and would love to have you part of their group! Sell your books afterwards as your fee!
Paid Speaking Engagements
One other unique way to get paid to speak is to reach out to networking groups, churches, organizations or the like and let them know you have a special opportunity for them: You will speak to their audience and will waive your speaking fee (even if you don’t have one!) if the company, group or organization buys a certain number of books in return. Then you’ll mention the director’s name on stage and everyone will get a free copy of your book. You get paid, everyone gets your book, and the organization gets their name mentioned from an authority such as yourself!
Host a Webinar
Webinars are a great way to get your name out there and build your email list. Did you know that you can take a few points from your book and make it into a 30-40 minute webinar speech? If you have a business and want to grow it, hosting a webinar can be a cheap avenue to get noticed as an established author. Your points can come from your book and then when you get to the sale - whatever that is - you can throw in a free eBook with your client’s order as a bonus!
Use your book as the foundation of an online course
Is your book educational? Can you use that information in your book and take people on a journey by turning it into an online course? Creating a course only takes time and if you put that time into your book, this can be a great upsell, whether you run a business or not. You can even create your own “ad” for your book to place at the back where people can see that they can purchase your online course if they want a deeper, one on one experience to get them to take action!
A few things you might need…
Before I let you go, I want to mention that before you begin selling your book, you may want to invest into these items to make your life (and the life of your customers) easier:
- Square card reader (free!)
- PayPal account (free!)
- Stripe account (free!)
- High quality webcam if you are interested in hosting webinars or online courses
- (Logitech C920 webcam is what I am using)
- EIN number
- Educate yourself with your state tax laws to make sure you’re staying within their guidelines with taxation for your books
- Meetup account for speaking engagements
Regardless if you’re in the stage of writing your book or are already published, you can do any of these things at any time for your book. It doesn’t matter if you have $0 or $100 for marketing your book, you can turn your book into a money making machine if you know how to leverage it correctly.