3 Ways To Market Your Book For Free

This is part one in our Free Marketing series.

Authors are ordinary people with ordinary lives. Most of us have jobs, families, and responsibilities out in the world that, well, cost money (bills, bills, bills). In my life as an Indie, I have come across few authors who have plenty of money to spend on promotion and visibility for their books. It’s why I’d like to share some ways that I have marketed my books for free and gained some traction from the effort. All of these will take time so be aware that it’s necessary to carve out space in your schedule to explore them. Any author can do these regardless of how their work is published. The focus here is community and audience building. None of these will make you into an overnight celebrity.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual medium. Pretty pictures of food, scenery, makeup, were what originally drew me to it. But what’s often missed about Pinterest is that the majority of users are there to purchase products. It has billions of pins and users from around the world, and it is estimated that over 50% of people on Pinterest use it to help them make purchases. Those purchases could be your books!

My Pinterest page gets around 13k views monthly, although I’ve had to pin a lot in order to increase my numbers. When I first started playing around with Pinterest it was confusing. Through diligence, patience, and time, I was able to create an account reflective of the books I write. Pinterest allows you to organize your pins into sections, which is helpful in reaching an audience of people who share your interests. Since I write historical romance, my pins are sectioned into time periods, fashion for those time periods, old pictures of couples in love from the 20th century and late 1800’s. History, romance, scenery, and vintage books prevail on my boards. I have linked my blog posts, new releases, and cover reveals on Pinterest by creating pins that then get repinned by my author friends on genre group boards. When I finally started getting the hang of Pinterest, my sales experienced an uptick. I genuinely enjoy Pinterest and have found that commenting on pins I have tried has helped my views immensely.

Wattpad

What I like about Wattpad is that I’m able to post unedited chapters and gain feedback from my work as I create it. The key to gaining an audience on Wattpad has everything to do with consistent posting. I write a lot and had plenty to share. I placed up two of my free books, one manuscript written ¾ of the way to done and a brand new work in progress. Over the course of several months, my work received positive feedback and I started gaining followers (not many, but a few enough to be encouraging) by posting daily. I ended up having to take the summer off due to family responsibilities so I just kept posting conversations with my readers and joining in on forum discussions. What I have found is a place that is welcoming and highly encouraging to writers. Readers are sweet there and the site has a community feel. I freaking love Wattpad but most of all find it amazing that readers there enjoy my work. There are also plenty of talented authors with some cool stories to tell that could always use support.

Some authors post excerpts or sample chapters but I find this to be unfair. People go on there to read for free. So if you’re willing to build relationships with some pretty cool readers and authors, make sure you have work that will be easy to leave up for free. Because you’re likely not to gain direct sales from using Wattpad it might not seem like actual marketing. However, it’s a site that will help hone your craft, and that is a major component in incurring strong sales.

Perma Free

The most helpful technique I’ve come across thus far. There are two requirements for making a perma free work to its full advantage: an author must have their work available wide (not in K.U.) and that book should be part of a series. Specifically a completed series. Using my Coal Valley Brides series as an example: there are four books in total priced at $2.99. The first title, The Rancher’s Convenient Bride, is free. Sell through on the rest of the books depends on many factors, but this increased once I went perma free. The majority of my sales comes from that series and having given away literally thousands of copies of that first book. I have been able to price high because of this, get reviews for that first title and gain traction from readers who enjoyed the Convenient Bride and decided to move on to the other books. Perma free is a powerful tool used in other forms of marketing. Give them a trial run, let them decide whether they like your product, and so on. Chances are that, if your craft is good, readers will come back for more. I have discovered several authors this way and some of my readers have found my books from my free title. And given that it’s only one book I am still able to make some profit. Your book will not be undervalued just because it’s free. If anything, putting out your best work as a sample will be a strong benefactor in having readers interested in the rest of your books.

Please stay tuned for part two of this series. So what free tools or tactics have you used to market your work? Have you used any of the ones discussed in this article? How did they work/not work for you? Do you have any tools to share with your fellow authors?

Rose Andrews is a historical and fantasy romance author who writes about marriage, mountains, and adventure. She enjoys crafting stories about arranged marriages, marriages of convenience, and mail-order-brides in times of old and imagined worlds. Her sweetly toned, faith-inspired stories are about sassy heroines who wed good-humored heroes and live happily ever after. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and family, reading historical and fantasy romance novels to her heart's delight. Connecting with readers is her favorite part of publishing fiction.

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E.L. Skip Knox
Member
E.L. Skip Knox

I figure pretty much every corporation has its share of corrupt people and bad practices. I can't really go around checking on them all. Granted, Amazon's sins loom larger, but Amazon itself looms larger.

None of that excuses anything, but it's not like Amazon is over here being Bad while all the other companies are over there being Good.

There's a line I've quoted before: By the time I finally decided to sell out, I discovered no one was interested in buying. Not entirely sure what that means, but the old hippie in my does like the line.

Joy Lennick
Guest
Joy Lennick

Hi Rose, Many thanks for your interesting post. I shall certainly try Wattpad. I have written for many years and was successful via mainstream publishers. Fast forward to 2000 and how things had changed! One book ‘My Gentle War’ went to No.1 in the social history and memoir category on Kindle, but other titles have lagged behind. I’m a technical nerd which doesn’t help! Thanks again. Sincerely, Joy

argentquill
Member
argentquill

"Being part of a community." That is such a good point. There's reward in having comradeship and sharing interests with others. If you're trying to bring something to life with the written word, it's nice to talk with someone who would see that same life come into the world.

Brian DeLeonard
Member
Brian DeLeonard

I've never quite understood the connection between Pinterest and book sales. Books don't usually come with a lot of visuals. So Pinterest seems like a way of gathering an audience and then saying, "Ohh, hey guys, I have a book." How do you know – or do you have any tips for making sure – that you're gathering an audience of people who will be interested in your book?

writeshiek33
Member
writeshiek33

i am skeptical of whattpad as feel lot of people steeling work there so i am steering away from that

argentquill
Member
argentquill

It sounds like the greatest benefit of pinterest and wattpad is contact with a reading audience, rather than being dependent on getting an agent.
I have pics from my site’s gallery on my pinterest account, but I don’t think I’ve gotten an increase in traffic.
But I will definitely try your methods. I just need to find a way to appeal to people on pinterest whose boards reflect similar interests to mine, to click on links to my site, and repin my posts.
Thank you for sharing.

Antonio del Drago
Admin
Antonio del Drago

Of these three methods, which have you had the most success with personally?

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