By Donna Schlachter
Promotions—for most authors, mention that word, and they start rolling their eyes and backing away. Inherently, we don’t like promotions. It feels—well, like we’re trying to sell something that nobody wants. It makes us feel sleazy, like we need to take a shower. And if you’re a writer, you’ve probably felt like that a time or two.
But here’s the thing: promoting our work is all part of the circle of writing books. If nobody reads them, what’s the point? Sure, some of us would still write—at least for a while. And it’s not all about being a New York Times bestseller—although that would be nice. It’s not about seven-figure advances—although that would be nice, too. It’s not even about being recognized by a reader as we walk down the street.
After all, any talk of money is vulgar, isn’t it?
No. We live in a world where money pays for our hard work, and we even use it as a measure of success. Which means, selling books is also a measure of that success.
This month, I’ll provide resources for both paid and free promotions, and you can pick and choose what you’d like to implement into your marketing plan. Yes, you should have a plan! But don’t try to do it all. Pick one this month, one or two the next. Build up gradually.
Check out the online calendar that tells you what special annotated day is coming up. Look for days that match books you’ve written, either for location, time, occupations, or dates, then see how you might promote your book online on those days. Here’s the link: For example, October 10th is National Walk to a Park day, National Metric Day, and National Mental Health Day.
If your book is registered with Kindle Unlimited on Amazon, you can choose to put your book on sale on one of these special days, if you like. You can use up to seven days per quarter, so long as your book doesn’t expire during the listed days. You can use two days a month, for example, to spread out the saturation. Find this on your bookshelf, click on the three dots to the right of the ebook listing, then scroll down to the Kindle Free Book and the Kindle Promotion. There is no charge to participate.
Amazon has several new beta promotions available as well, including a Book Sale shout-out, and others. Check this out by going to your Bookshelf, click on three dots to right of ebook, and scroll to the bottom of the page. There is no charge to participate.
Find a writing or reading friend who has a newsletter, and ask them to host you in an upcoming edition by including your book with cover, blurb, and link(s). If they are a writer, and you have a newsletter, host them and their book in your newsletter. This is usually a free swap.
CelebrateLit.com – for faith-based books. They have a social media building program every month, sometimes more than one a month. Usually costs around $30 to participate. They do all the work. You can generally choose to require folks to subscribe to your newsletter, or follow your blog or social media link of your choice.
Ryan Zee runs BookSweeps promotions. Usually around $50, but they get lots of email addresses, and it’s well worth the investment. They have multiple call-outs a month, by genre, so keep checking if you don’t find what you’re looking for now. Great way to build your newsletter.
BookBub is a great promotional site to get your book listed, and you can apply for a BookBub Deal, where you pay for them to send your book information out to their members. Can be pricey, depending on genre, but most authors I’ve talked to have at least covered their fee plus a little more: Scroll to the bottom of the page for Publishers & Authors.
And here is a list of blog posts and lists of free and paid promotions available:
As with anything in the book world, check out the reviews; ask friends if they’ve ever participated with companies you aren’t familiar with; and don’t fall into the if-it’s-expensive-it-must-be-good trap.
Promoting your books can reap great benefits, depending on how you score success. Increasing your newsletter subscriber base; drawing folks to your Facebook page; gaining more followers on BookBub and Goodreads – reaching readers is your goal.
And there is nothing sleazy about wanting to gift your readers with a great story—Yours!
A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky-clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than 60 times in books; is a member of several writers’ groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter. She is taking all the information she’s learned along the way about the writing and publishing process and is coaching writers at any stage of their manuscript. Learn more at Check out her coaching group on FB:
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