Marketing is necessary if you want to get sales but what's the best way to market a publication for free? Find out the effective marketing strategies that worked for me.
Understand How Marketing Works
Today's question is after self-publishing, what's the best way to market a publication for free? So that was a question that came in today and I hope we can answer that. So weird to start. Well, it's an excellent question because obviously, you have created a book.
And now the question is, how are you going to get it to sell? Many people have the idea that just writing a book and getting out there. Well, people are going to want to buy it and they will just start buying the book and that should be enough.
The problem is that this can be very disappointing for many authors and self-publishers. You create the book and you spend so much time. You have got everything perfect, you have edited it and you put it out onto Amazon and nobody wants to buy the book.
Well, maybe there is something wrong with the book. But that is not the correct answer. The correct answer is you are going to need to do some marketing. Check out my free Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist. It's free and will help you get started with your self-publishing journey.
Let me tell you a little bit about my story. I started with no marketing. I didn't even understand how marketing works at all. So I put some books out and I discovered very quickly that this was not going to work for me.
I was not making the sales that I wanted to be making. And the books themselves were I thought, they were well done, they were edited. I followed all the main instructions but I didn't understand how to get the marketing.
So I came up with some clever ideas. I said, what if I post the books on Twitter? How will that do for me? So I would post links to the books on Twitter and I would have them on free campaigns. Then, I would see some downloads.
Check out this related article: Can You Sell Directly To Readers?
I was so excited to see the downloads coming in but then after the free period was over, there still were no sales. So I thought maybe I'll try dropping it into Facebook groups. That was another strategy I tried and finally, I started doing it. Paid people even to post these and send them out to their groups.
That also did result in my ranking going up a little bit. Even that those rules have changed and so it simply didn't work. That was until I discovered ads but before we move on to that, there are a couple of key answers here to get things going.
It Won't Hurt To Spend A Little Bit
So the first thing is free marketing is probably the wrong question. We should be asking how we can use our money as effectively as possible? Because obviously if you are earning your money back on the marketing that you are doing, then there is no reason you should not use money.
If I can spend $1 and get $2 back, well that was a good use of money. So free is not necessarily the right choice. There are ways of spending very little money now.
Before we even get to marketing, most people have already made a mistake. They don't have a good design on their cover so that is a big one. In terms of making sure that if your cover is a good one then that would be a key issue there.
The keywords that you have for your book are all incorrect so people searching are not going to find your book. Your description is completely off and that's one of the keys. You have to keep in mind the first thing people do is they see the thumbnail of your book.
They first do a search, so are they going to see your book or not? The second thing is they see the thumbnail, which then tempts them to read the title of the book. After they have read the title, then if that's good, they will click on the title and that will take them to the description.
Check out this related article: If you could add something to the publishing process that you have not seen, what would it be?
For which they can read the description they can then decide whether they want to buy or not buy. Mistakes in any of these areas will prevent them from moving to the next step. So by getting those correct in the first place, we're going to reduce the need to pay additional money for the marketing side.
Running ads is an absolute must and you can do it very inexpensively. So this is something you are also going to want to consider doing. I know when I started running ads I saw a jump in the sales almost immediately. Nowadays, this is incredibly important.
You are going to want to run ads because like I said, when somebody searches, you can make sure your book shows up on the page. Even though you have to pay every time somebody clicks on it.
But if the math is being done and the ads are being run correctly well, then you will discover that you can make your money back on the ads. Even though it's getting a lot more competitive, this is still one of the key ways of making money.
It's A Give And Take Strategy
The next one is getting reviews. Ideally, you would get it from your email list. You would have people that sign up in your book. You would have a place where they can click to get a free resource. It can be a free mini-book that you can give out or some other resource.
As a result in exchange for their email address, you will give them that free thing right once they are on your email list. Then you are free to contact them. They have signed up and you can inform them of your new books coming out.
Also, you can ask them to leave reviews. If they become true fans, they will try to help you out. There are other ways of getting reviews but Amazon has issues with a lot of the different methods. Whether you are talking about reviews swapping or paying VA's to find review/people to review your book.
Many of these methods have become very ineffective and also in violation of Amazon's terms. Getting reviews from the email list is by far the way to go. Reviews from friends and family is also a violation of Amazon's terms. So these are just a few things to keep in mind when you are going about doing it.
Check out this related article: Can you get help from online sources to publish a book? Are there any free sites which help?
You will notice that most of these are free if you are using MailChimp for example and also just making sure that you are covered and everything is optimized. Otherwise, I would be doing running ads on Amazon not on Facebook or someplace else.
The only way to earn your money back is going to be on Amazon these days. So that's another thing. You can also post links to your book inside forums that may be on the same subject which is another way of getting readers. It is not going to be super easy for most people and it takes some effort to figure out how exactly you are going to run these ads.
What have you found? What methods of marketing work for you? Have you found ways that are free or cheap that helped you sell your book? Or are you still frustrated why?