10 Free Ways to Promote a BookAug 04, 2021
There are a million ways to launch a book—some expensive, some not so expensive and some utterly free. Today we're talking about 10 free ways to launch a book:
1) Create a sales page for your book.
Most authors have a website or a page on an existing site that contains a description of their book as well as the cover. But what if you approached the book as something you're selling and not something you hope people just buy? To understand the difference, check out this post. It explains how breaking the book pitching page down to a message from the author, with testimonials and bullet points, can make the book about the reader and not about the author.
2) Pitch media.
I've said this before but if you want media attention and don't know where to start, get thee-self to Help a Reporter Out (HARO). Subscribe to their newsletters and then, whenever a journalist is writing about a topic related to your book topic, reach out and explain why you're the ideal source. Also, search for journalists writing about your topic and pitch them ideas over Twitter or find their email addresses on sites like Hunter.IO.
3) Put together a Launch Squad.
I talked about this in the Reviews episode but the best way to launch a book and get it to the #1 spot in all its categories is to gather a group of people to read the book a month ahead of time and then, a few days before the official release, buy the book on Amazon and post their review. It's a simple system and it's a system that works.
4) Create a book trailer using Clips.
There are a million ways to create book trailers but easily the easiest, quickest and least expensive is using the Clips app, which allows you to add images, text and music in less time than it would take you to research video editors on Fiverr. The videos you can make aren't fancy but they definitely do the trick.
5) DM your social media contacts.
It's laborious and certainly may irritate some but sliding into people's DMs can be an effective way to let them know about your book. You may think, "Well, I posted about it so they know." Er, chances are they didn't see the post and if they did, they got distracted by the cat video they watched right after. A Direct Message to your Instagram followers, Facebook friends and/or LinkedIn contacts—even if it's a generic one you copy and paste—will definitely move some copies.
6) Create quote cards on Canva.
Canva is God's gift to those who are flummoxed by Photoshop, easily allowing all of us to use the same font, colors and images from our book cover to highlight some of the book's best lines.
7) Throw a virtual party.
Whether it's on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Zoom, a virtual launch is a great way to gather folks from across the globe. But rather than just throwing a party to celebrate your book, try to incentivize people to come. For Make Your Mess Your Memoir, I threw a "Messy Pitch Party" where I asked two writer friends to co-host and we allowed guests to pitch their book ideas to us.
8) Submit your book for a Readers Favorite review.
I did that for Make Your Mess Your Memoir and ended up with a lovely early review that I could post in places (and which Readers Favorite also posted in a few spots. You can also pay for reviews in Kirkus (click here for info) and Publishers Weekly (click here for info). You can also submit your book to BookBub for a featured new release or a featured release (while those cost money, you will more than earn back your investment if they select your book to feature).
9) Make mock-ups of your cover.
An amazing site called Adazing gives subscribers an opportunity to upload their book cover and create images of that cover in a field, in a library, being held by a group of children and every other scenario you can possibly imagine. While you can pull the sneaky move I used to and just keep getting mock-ups of different covers by inserting new fake email addresses, the best money you could ever spend is investing in the software so you can continue to create mock-ups of your cover, guilt-free! This affiliate link gets you access to the entire $198 archive for more than half off.
10) Ask friends with newsletter lists and popular blogs to mail for you and/or allow you to guest post.
All of our lives would be easier if we had lots of friends with massive email lists. But we make do what we have, which is a few friends who have maybe not massive ones. It doesn't matter. If you have a friend with one person on their list, that is one more reader for you. And that reader could love your book so much, he or she tells his entire list of a million about you. You just never know. I did this for Make Your Mess Your Memoir and also did guest blog posts on a couple of writing websites and all of it helped.