Are you looking for a way to promote your book for free? Regardless of whether you have an advertising budget or you need cost-effective ways to distribute your ebook, there are many strategies for you to promote your title to cut costs and spread your reach and influence.
Before we delve into the methods for promoting your ebook online for free, let’s look at some frequently asked questions!
Free eBook Self-Promotion FAQs
Why Does eBook Promotion Matter?
While paid book advertising works well to drive sales and publicity, self-promotion shows that you stand behind your work and believe in your content. It ensures you don’t remain simply a name behind a title, but instead, it creates excitement in your readers. It helps form an emotional connection that goes beyond just that of a buyer-seller relationship.
What Are the Benefits of Promoting Your eBook?
There are a couple of reasons why even authors with a hefty advertising budget choose to self-promote:
- Cost. Self-promotion is effective for connecting with buyers and boosting sales on a low budget. Even if you have an advertising budget, it’s a multidimensional way to gain exposure without having to invest.
- Exposure. Publishing a book is a major career milestone, regardless of whether or not writing and publishing is your primary job. Books often follow product launches, online course launches, and website launches as a way for brands and entrepreneurs to showcase competence and relevance.
- Networking and Connections. Self-promoting your book deepens your connections with the existing audience, expands your reach, and helps form new, lasting connections. It entails working with reviewers, other authors, and relevant organizations, which helps build your social influence.
Now that you know a bit more about why promotion is key, here are the top 10 strategies for promoting your ebook. We’ve decided to split these up into the pre-launch stage, the launching of your ebook, and post-launch.
Pre-Launch Book Promotion: Set the Stage for Massive Sales
#1. Share Your eBook Writing Journey
You’ll need to establish yourself as a read-worthy author before you even begin working on your book. Your brand, level of expertise, and online reputation among readers will reel the customers in. That is if you promote yourself the right way. You can do this by:
- Posting useful, inspirational content. Your blog posts, website posts, and social media posts (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) should reflect your passion for writing and imagination (fiction) or helping people solve certain problems (non-fiction).
Social media can be a powerful promoting tool if you create engaging posts your readers will want to re-post and share. Think about making your inspirational thoughts into quotes or change expert advice into useful tips and shortlists.
- Share your beginning steps. Post about your intention to write a book, topic, and the idea, and ask for feedback. If you haven’t yet started writing, or you’re just outlining your book, your readers’ online feedback can both spark interest and provide useful insight into their content needs and preferences.
#2. Give Updates on Your Progress
Are you interviewing experts or visiting interesting places to research for your book? Don’t forget to update your audience! Share posts, pictures, and videos so your readers know you’re working really hard to create valuable content for them.
#3. Polish Your eBook Cover
Readers judge books by their covers. No matter how hard you try, a dull book cover will drive readers away. Ideally, your book cover will esthetically align with your brand (color pallet, font, and style) but also contain images and symbols related to the topic and the reader’s pain point (need, problem).
You can design an appealing book cover on your own using free book cover templates and mockups that you can get online. Here’s our offering for ebook covers at The Urban Writers:
If you’re designing a book cover on your own, make sure to balance your colors, make fonts consistent and engaging, and polish the design until it looks like it was made by an expert. Don’t rush the process and focus on the message and purpose of your book.
#4. Announce You’re Finalizing and Publishing the eBook
- Email lists. Start your mailing list if you don’t already have it, and make an offering in exchange for signing up. Good practice examples include free downloadable short-reads, like book samples or actionable tools.
Once a significant number of people join your mailing list, you can continue to send updates on your ebook, including the publishing date, purchase instructions, where and how the book will be sold, other relevant posts, and updates, etc.
- Ask for early subscriptions. Offer an incentive for early subscribers, like a portion of content or other free useful products (e.g. a short video course, checklists and downloadables, quizzes, how-to guides, etc.).
Launching Your eBook: Leverage the Momentum for Free Book Promotion
#5. Start a Free eBook Launch Advertising Campaign
After you’ve launched your book, start promoting your book for free wherever you can. There are a couple of ways to do this:
- Group promotions. If you struggle to stand out on your own, why not do it with a group of authors? Book titles that revolve around similar topics and within the same genre are often distributed in mutual mailing lists and social media platforms.
- Social engagement. Instead of promoting your book as a stand-alone title, join forces with websites and organizations that are involved with work relevant to your topic. There are many digital organizations and websites that will gladly share your work if they review it and consider it invaluable.
Be prepared to pitch bits and pieces of your book to those organizations, but also return the favor. Review and recommend other author’s and organizations’ work in your online posts.
- Facebook groups. Joining relevant Facebook groups, either revolving around books or a particular topic, is a great way to spread the word about your title. The best way to do group advertising is to engage in quality discussions and offer educated, useful advice. It’s sufficient for a single person to ask for a title or a link to your book, and it will stay online for thousands to view and visit.
Online communication decorum is essential here. You should come across as non-intrusive to establish trust with other group members and only engage in discussions where you can contribute with unique insights, knowledgeable tips, and useful advice.
Make sure you’re always polite and assertive. Arguing and defensiveness quickly ruins online reputations, which could be detrimental if you haven’t yet built an online presence.
#6. Entice Readers
- Design a killer landing page. Your landing page must convince the reader the book is worth buying. The basic information and summary of your book won’t be enough to spark interest. Instead, you need to convince readers that the book is invaluable.
You’ll do this by designing a responsive landing page that includes promotional content, a shopping cart, and some form of customer engagement like a quiz, a free download, printable, or a highly useful post.
A landing page should provide actionable information but not solve a problem or satisfy a need all the way through. Instead, the reader will have to get your book if they want to learn more.
- Start a give-away. Having free offerings associated with your book sale will attract more attention and spark interest in your book. For example, you can start a competition where you trade a couple of free books or ebook downloads in exchange for something readers have to do, like sharing their stories or post about the book on social media.
- If you want to drive sales to your ebook, give a free-sample download that contains one or a couple of chapters. This way, you’ll give readers an opportunity to experience the value of your content and make sure it’s worth the price.
#7. Promoting Your Book on YouTube
If you don’t already have a YouTube channel, creating one is a great idea if you want to gain more readers for your book. Uploading videos titled around relevant topics and linking your book as a source of more beneficial information will do great to spark interest and boost sales.
Depending on your work and book topic, you can use YouTube to post slideshows, how-to videos, or Q&A videos in which you’ll share valuable information. The trick with videos is to provide a useful answer, but not all the way through.
The viewer should be referred to your book as a source to get the full scope on the topic. You can also create a short intro or outro (after the video ends) book advertisement that showcases your book cover and a call-to-action.
Post-Launch Free Advertising: Keep the Excitement Going
#8. Free Online Book Advertising
- Contact book reviewers. Engage in some networking and get your book in the hands of those you need the most: reputable reviewers. There are many ebook reviewers who will gladly go through your (un)published manuscript in exchange for a free copy.
It’s a win-win situation for both of you. You gain free exposure for your title and the reviewer gets a free, quality book they can recommend to their audience. This type of collaboration brings exposure and publicity to everyone involved.
- Post on social media. Publish posts featuring relevant content and quotes from your book. Include the pictures of your cover page and images of interesting content that can be found in your book.
Leverage positive reviews. Got good reviews on your book? Collect them and include into other pieces of promotional content, like:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Your landing page
- And much more!
Knowing that other readers found your book useful will instill trust and encourage other potential readers to join in.
#9. Guest Blog Posts
Guest posts can be very effective in attracting attention to yourself, your brand, and your book. You can reach out to blog authors and offer to write a post on topics that are mutual to your book and the blog in question.
If the guest post is relevant to the blog readers and to your book topic, you can use it to show that your book contains the solutions for readers’ problems.
#10. Podcasts and Interviews
Interviews of all kinds, whether blogs, videos, or podcasts, help spread the word about your book in a convincing way. A podcast is a great way to speak on topics being discussed in your book and also present yourself to future readers.
Being on a podcast helps readers perceive you as someone who is well-informed on the topic and has something useful to offer. You can use podcasts to share your opinions on a certain topic but also give free instructions and strategies that can be further explored in your book.
Self-promoting your ebook is important even if you can afford paid advertising. It shows you worked hard to write the book and provide quality and that you believe and stand behind your work. It also helps you establish yourself as an author by engaging with peers, a niche community, and your (potential) readers.
This article showed you the best ways to promote your book before, during, and after launching. Remember to start promoting your book before the launch by sharing your writing journey and progress. Post your progress on your website and social media platforms to show that you’re working actively and devotedly.
Once you’ve launched your book, use all reputable means to attract readers. Promote your book launch on social media, work on building your mailing list, and offer incentives for subscriptions and purchases.
Don’t forget to keep promoting your book after the launch. Attending podcasts and interviews, writing guest blog posts, and sharing your work with reviewers and on online platforms are all great ways to keep your title relevant.
But, before you can do any of that, your copy needs to be pitch-perfect. Here at The Urban Writers, we offer writing and/or editing, proofreading, formatting, and cover designs for both ebooks, Audible and paperback editions!