Digital Marketing

Book Marketing: How to Get Recognition on a Budget

(Guerrilla) Marketing your printed book

The following are some of the things I have implemented to market some of my own books, which have received top ratings on Amazon and hundreds of likes on my official Facebook author page.

All it will cost you is some time, some gas, a lot of creativity and perseverance, and less than $200:

$40 – for 1,500 business cards at Vistaprint
$75 – for 20 copies of your book (if less than 300 pages) at CreateSpace
$1 – for a roll of tape at the dollar store
$30 – for a Facebook ad
$50 for postage (to send 10 copies of a book to 10 different people)

If you’re on a budget, get copies of his book for $75 and 1 box of business cards for $10. Almost anyone can lend you a tape, and you can hand-deliver copies of your book instead of mailing them.

Your strategy:

+ Create an intriguing Facebook ad and set your ad 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 on to someone who might be interested. Make sure your handwriting is clear. ($5-8 per book printing, plus $5 postage if mailing 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 syndrome, post a link to your book on the Down’s Syndrome Association, Downs Side Up, and Down’s Syndrome Scotland page. Most page owners are fine 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 gets your name out there. FREE (you can actually pay for the rest of your marketing efforts!)

+ Subscribe to a writer’s magazine like Writer’s Digest. You can also read free copies at your local public library. ($15 per year or FREE)

+ Social Networks – Create a profile on the following and maintain them regularly (schedule at least one day a month – it will take just a couple of hours to maintain them all! Fill in your username, password and a link to your profile in one place , like this file.

(Facebook pages should be created for your main characters, your books, and an author page for yourself)

Good reads:
Alter ego:
Their website:
Amazon Author Page:
Crushing words:


+ Ask local bookstores if you can make an appearance or signings. Most small bookstores appreciate this, and it benefits them too. I recommend that you offer the owner a flat fee or commission for each book you sell. (FREE: You can even pay for your other marketing efforts!)

+ Most public libraries will host appearances and readings by local authors, usually on topics such as “Women’s Fiction,” “Black History/Literature,” “Hispanic Heritage,” “Mystery Month,” etc. contact them and see if they will present 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 other week. Here you can make connections that can help you get a job as a freelance writer, ghostwriter, get your name out there, and can 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 enter the book fair and give away business cards or copies of your book(s). (The cost will vary). An alternative FREE option is to volunteer for the event. Check the event website.

+ Book Clubs: These really do exist, and if you’re an author, people will buy copies of your book, read it, and sit and discuss over tea. Be sure to offer your books at a decent discount to club members. You can find book clubs on Meetup or Booksprouts. PaperbackSwap is like Netflix for books, and you can lend copies of your print 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 – you can really pay for your time!)

+ Writers clubs, like the ones on Meetup (free!)

+ Chat Rooms – Although they are fading away and focusing more on adult entertainment, regular chat rooms are still a great way to connect with readers. (FREE!)

+ Book websites, such as Shelfari, Goodreads, Whichbook, Librarything, Gnooks, TheStaffRecommends, GetGlue, Blippr, 22Books. (FREE!)

+ Donate copies of your book to libraries and universities, or school libraries if it is a children’s book. Again, handwrite a note on the inside cover asking the reader to rate your book and share if they enjoyed it. ($5-8 per book printing)

+ Put business cards (tape up if necessary, but don’t damage property!) EVERYWHERE many people can see them: bus stops, tables at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, mailboxes at apartment buildings, cash registers at Target and Walmart, INSIDE SIMILAR BOOKS AT LOCAL LIBRARIES, on the shelves of your genre section at a large bookstore like Barnes and Noble (ask management first if that’s okay with them), bulletin boards, grocery stores (usually they have a bulletin board), doctor’s office waiting rooms (here you can also leave copies of your book), movie theaters showing a movie of the same genre as your book(s). Be creative, but keep them in places where a large number of people can see them and display them prominently. ($10 for 250 cards, less if you buy more)

Note: Tried leaving business cards door to door in my neighborhood, used 380 cards and only got 1 new like on my Facebook. The other way above works better. Also, if you use this strategy, be sure to avoid places where books are on scheduled consignment. That is, the books they have are on the shelves for about 3 months and then the unsold copies are returned to the publisher. These places include Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, KMart, Target, etc. If you choose to do it anyway, be sure to only place your card on 1 copy of each title.

+ Make sure your cover looks good as a small icon. Remember that your book may be listed with several other books, and if your image is out of order, no one will click for more information.

+ Likewise, make sure your business card grabs people’s attention. Plain cards tend to get filed away or thrown away without a second look. Use an eye-catching image (not necessarily of you) and consider printing something unique on the back (an excerpt from a story, images, motivational words, etc.), things that will entice people to keep the card on their desk at work or fridge at home. ($10 for 500 cards)

+ Take control of your online presence by opening an account with Yatedo. This website monitors search engines and can maximize searches by moving sites that are not relevant to you further down the list of search results. It also helps you monitor any negative websites that may affect your online reputation. (FREE)

+ Sign up for Google Alerts ( This will send you an email every time a new website or result appears on Google, and will help you keep tabs on websites that may be illegally selling your book (Thailand, China, and India are notorious destinations for this sort of thing). It also helps you find if someone has posted a review or something about you online that is instantly searchable. (FREE)

+ Get a review. There are many ways to do this – you can pay $400-550 on Kirkus Indie, but remember they may rate you negatively and won’t issue a refund. Another less expensive option is PW Select from Publishers Weekly, which costs $150. However, despite paying them, they may not review it. What you pay with them is the consideration of the review, not a review itself. ($150-550)

+ Consider doing a booktrailer. Many writers are doing this (James Patterson, Dan Brown) and it gives you the opportunity to access the millions of YouTubers. Be sure to tag your video with common search terms (coming soon), plus some very specific terms (knife murder). Do a YouTube search to get an idea of ​​what these are like. (FREE – thousands of dollars)

+ Make a press release and send it to local newspapers. This is fast, easy and FREE. Lots of newspapers (and don’t forget the fine print, like your local township newsletter or newspaper). Newspapers need to fill pages, and sometimes the news just isn’t there on any given day. Press releases are used to fill this space, but make sure you follow the proper format or they won’t even consider you. (FREE)

+ Create an Amazon author page (central author). This adds credibility to your work and to you as an author, as well as placing you in search engine results. EVERYONE should do this, even if it hasn’t been released yet! (FREE)

+ Create a Wikipedia article for yourself and/or your publisher. It will take some time to master because you will need to cite sources before it is approved and published, but it will help you rank in search engines and more. It also adds credibility to you as an author, since there aren’t many freelance authors out there. Again, don’t submit a bio that you would put on an Amazon author page. TAKE TIME FOR IT. (FREE)

+ Gifts. These are powerful marketing tools. Make sure the item you are giving away clearly identifies you and your product (book). An excellent and inexpensive option is stickers. I created stickers in the shape of my latest book (cover) that have the title of my book and my name as the author. I bought 24 sheets from Vistaprint (if you order business cards they will offer them at a deep discount, but order only 1 sheet – you’ll see why later). Once you complete your checkout process, Vistaprint will take you to their limited-time offers page, with a clock beginning a 10-minute countdown. When it reaches 0, the offers will no longer be available. This is where you’ll buy more decal sheets at a fraction of the discounted price. The first sheet cost me $5. After paying, each sheet cost me $1.50. You can break them down into individuals and ask the manager of ANY store (though preferably a bookstore) if they’d mind giving each customer one in their bag or whatever, and you can do that with branded pens, pencils or ballpoint pens. whatever. Most managers will, because it seems like they’re the one giving the gift to the customer. ($1.50 -?)

Remember that when you are a writer, you belong to the class of “creative types”. So when it comes to promoting yourself or your work, why use that creativity? There are many options for getting the word out about you or your work, and many of them are free. Now go out and get famous!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1