We’ve talked about how and why to make a budget for promoting your book. We’ve discussed five ways you can promote your book for free. And now it’s time to talk about actually spending your marketing budget.
Today, I’ll give you five promotions you can do for $5 or less. I’ll also include some ideas for how you could spend a little more if you have a larger budget or decide you’d like to borrow from next month’s marketing fund. Let’s jump in!
Promote Your Facebook Page
This, of course, depends on you having a Facebook page. If you have a page with a very low number of likes, you can run a promotion for 24 hours that will only run you $5 but have some great return. Why is the return so good? It’s because Facebook cleverly shows the ad to people who are likely to be interested in your page, based on their friends who’ve already liked you, and on the interests they’ve listed on their Facebook profiles. I know that sounds creepy to some of you, but it’s a goldmine when it comes to finding new readers!
To promote your page, go to your Facebook page and find the “Promote” button. Facebook will walk you through creating your ad. Make sure you set an end date, because otherwise Facebook will run the ad continuously, charging you $5 every day.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your promotion:
- Make sure you have a compelling cover photo on your page. This image is used prominently in the ad, so you will want to have a photo that includes some words that tell a little bit about you or your book.
- Likewise, make sure you have a great profile image for the page. Don’t just upload your rectangular book cover and expect to look professional when Facebook automatically crops off the top and bottom!
- Fill in all the profile details for your page. Make sure you have plenty of information about yourself and your books for any prospective fans to read when they visit your page.
- Have some good content posted to your page already. Link to your recent blog posts, or have some questions ready for your fans to answer. An active page is more compelling than a dead one!
Stretching the budget: If you have a little more to spend, increase the number of days you run the promotion. For $15, you could run the ad for three days and potentially triple the number of new likes you receive.
Boost a Facebook Post
This is similar to promoting your Facebook page, but this time you’re going to be promoting a single post. You might choose this option if you’re announcing a new book or if you’re running a sale.
To boost a post, find the post you want to promote on your Facebook page, then click the “Boost Post” button. Don’t be frightened away by the size of the default budget (mine was $200!). Click on the budget menu and pick “Choose Your Own” to type in your $5 budget instead.
Here’s how to make sure your boosted post is successful:
- Fill in some interests. Facebook will target the post to people who have listed the interests you choose. If you’re promoting, say, a science fiction novel, you could enter interests like reading, sci-fi, books, and so on. Also, if your book is aimed at only one gender or a certain age group, you can choose to target specifically people who fit the bill.
- Boost a post with a photo. Facebook is very image-oriented, so posts with pictures automatically do better. Make sure you have an eye-catching image that will make your post stand out.
- Write a good summary on the post you’re boosting. Give a compelling excerpt or an attention-grabbing headline. This has to stand out in someone’s News Feed. Make it count!
Stretching the budget: If you have a little more to spend, you could increase the promotion budget to reach a larger audience with your boosted post.
KDP Deal Sites
I covered submitting to KDP deal sites that are free in the last post. But there’s more! Most KDP deal sites also offer a paid option, which guarantees your placement on the site or in the e-mail newsletter. As with a free listing, you’ll want to make sure you follow the submission guidelines for each site. Also, since you’ll be shelling out your budget for this, check each website for stats on how many people you’ll reach and see what kinds of books they usually feature to help you decide if this audience is a good fit.
Here are a couple of KDP deal sites that you can submit to for $5 (at the time of this writing):
Stretching the budget: Most of the deal sites cost more than $5 to guarantee placement. Here are some that are $15 or less (at the time of this writing):
- eBooks Habit (KDP Free)
- Free Books Hub (KDP Free and Countdown)
- HotZippy (KDP Free and Countdown)
- eReader News Today (KDP Free and Countdown; $15 for certain genres)
Feature Your E-book
Your book doesn’t have to be on sale to purchase an ad! There are a number of e-book listing websites offering promotions that don’t have to be tied to a sale. As always, check to see how many people you’ll reach and how well your book fits the usual offerings before buying an ad.
Addicted to eBooks was the only promotional site offering an option for $5 I had on file. I’m sure that if you do some digging, you can find some others.
Stretching the budget: Most of the sites listed above have higher-priced options. For example, Addicted to eBooks offers a sidebar ad for $15. If you have a little more to spend, you can try one of the more expensive options that might improve your reach. If your book is brand new or doesn’t have many reviews, you might also consider KBoards’ $15 Book Discovery ad, which is meant to bring exposure to new or overlooked books.
Invest in Your Education
This one doesn’t sound like it will directly cause more sales. Believe me, though, a little bit of learning about the market is a great way to boost your earnings. If you can find out what makes your Amazon rank tick, or educate yourself on how to better pitch your book, or anything like that, you’re doing yourself a favor. And the good news? Many of these books are less than $5 for the Kindle copy!
My personal recommendation is Let’s Get Visible, a book that opened my eyes to how Amazon’s ranking system works and how you can use that information to your advantage. Quite possibly the best $4.99 I ever spent on my self-publishing education.
Stretching the budget: Buy a book that’s more than $5 (Might I humbly suggest my book Finding the Core of Your Story?), or purchase a paperback so you can read it without a device.
Hopefully, you now feel confident in the ways of spending your $5 to promote your book. Next time, we’ll look at five more free and cheap ways to get the word out about your book.