by Shannon Bell
Authors, especially when starting out, don’t have huge marketing budgets. What money we do have, we want to hold onto. Whether you have a traditional publisher or go indie, marketing your book is still up to you. This means you need to try to use the various free marketing tools that are available to help promote your book as much as possible.
1. Facebook Events
Facebook Events are built into the Facebook platform. The idea is to create a “Launch Day” event where you invite a large number of people. You can also invite other authors to come in and do giveaways throughout the day. Offering a gift card or another prize for the person who invites the most people gives you an opportunity to increase the number of attendees–and, therefore, increase the visibility of your book that’s going live on the specific day.
Within the Facebook event, there are many things to help you promote. Create a graphic banner to have in the event so people know all about your book and where to buy it. Contests can be run to give people a chance to win an e-book or swag. You can also ask people to share the event or a link with your book details on it with their friends, which gains even more exposure for you and your book.
Rafflecopter is a great website to help you with giveaways. While there is a paid option, you can use the free one–and it will connect to your Facebook author page as well. It manages a giveaway and helps you to broaden your audience at the same time. People will receive entries for the giveaway based upon visits to your author page, sending out a tweet, and other qualifications that you identify when you create the giveaway. When the contest is over, Rafflecopter even reminds you via email to pick the winner.
Newsletters are golden opportunities to gain readers and tap into new readers. You have a captive audience when they receive your newsletter in their email inbox. Growing your newsletter is easy, and it can be done on Facebook, Twitter, and more. MailChimp is a free website and tool that will manage your list and give you templates to use to set up a newsletter as often as you wish to send one. An app is available that will even put a newsletter subscribe button inside your Facebook author page.
4. Later Bro
Later Bro is a website that allows you to schedule tweets on Twitter in advance. You log in and then write out all of your tweets. The benefit to this is that you can schedule a large number of tweets across several time zones. Capture specific hashtags you want to focus on, such as #TeaserTuesday and the genre of your book.
IFTTT is a web and mobile app that stands for “If this then that.” IFTTT allows you to automate a significant amount of your social media so that you’re not spending so much time in the different platforms. You can set it so that each time you post a picture on Instagram, it is also sent out via Twitter and/or posted to your Facebook page.
The app allows you to link multiple social media accounts, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, as well as a WordPress blog. It saves time and allows you to tap into audiences within the various social media platforms. This way, your book gets the exposure it needs without you having to spend a significant amount of time posting back and forth.
Combining these five, free marketing tools with a well-thought out marketing plan allows you to gain more traction with your target demographic of readers. You can get your book in front of more eyes without spending any money. More importantly, you engage with your readers rather than simply throwing your book up for sale in front of them constantly.
Learn more about author marketing strategies by joining author and blogger Shannon Bell, at 7 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, for CONVERSATIONS Around the Writers Table, hosted by editor and creativity coach Gina Hogan Edwards. In the second half of the hour, you’ll have the chance to ask questions regarding marketing and social media. To get details for how to listen and learn, click HERE.
Shannon Bell has written multiple books to help authors with their marketing plans, including 97 Facebook Marketing Tips for Authors and Launching Your Book: The Ultimate Marketing Workbook. She is a bestselling vampire romance author and is the marketing chairperson for the Florida Writers Association. Her marketing books, as well as her vampire novels and other books, can be found at: www.amazon.com/author/shannonbell.