Friday, March 25, 2016

Break Out That Wallet - Marketing Your Book Is Getting Expensive

It used to be pretty cheap to self-publish and market your books, but not anymore. I could order my books at a reasonable rate, along with business cards, and get interviews and advertisement for a 25.00 giveaway cost of a gift card to Amazon. Times have changed.

Between Facebook Ads, reviewer lists, marketing class, a website, and all the swag, I'm going broke. The only thing I can do now is hope it pays off in the long run.

I remember articles about self-publishing for free and posting on your fan page reached all your fans. Ah, the good old days. The fact is, that's now gone by the waste-side. Everyone wants money.

I wish I had better news, or could give you tips on doing it cheap, but I don't. The fact is the competition is fierce now and if you want your books to shine, you will have to pay for it. Not only financially, but with your time.

I do have a few suggestions to help you get the word out, but none of it is free, well in the long run. If you plan to only sell digital copies of your book and share it to Facebook, Twitter, and the like, you won't get very far. Sure your close friends and family might buy a copy, but the one's who don't have a Kindle will be out of luck. And don't depend on those people to spread the word for you. They have lives too.

So, what do you do? 

My biggest tip - build an email list. It's actually free! 

But that's the only thing that's free, other than uploading your digital copy to Amazon. Here's the thing - the only way you will be ahead of the game, is with lots and lots of reviews. And the only way to get those is through the people that have read your books and don't mind taking a few minutes to write one. 

But that's where the email list can really benefit you. If you manage to build relationships with your readers, in time, you will get those reviews.

Now the downsides - it takes time to put out a newsletter and keep track. And you need to have a landing page for them - usually your best bet is a website. Although some use their blogs. 

I don't suggest just having digital copies though. Printing paperbacks can benefit you in many ways. You can't go to book signings without them, or conferences. You need them for your launch parties, and you never know when you will meet someone and they want to buy a signed copy. So, therein lies the cost. Once you start doing these signings, you need to have business cards, bookmarks, maybe postcards. 

And if you really want to get the word out, then you will need to do guest blog interviews, including the ones that charge you, Facebook ads, and the list goes on.

So be prepared to pay out some money. And be prepared to giveaway your books and swag. It's like the old saying, it takes money to make money.

If you're interested in other marketing tips, leave me a comment. I'm more than happy to give you some ideas and share what I have learned lately.

Until next Friday, have a great weekend everyone and a Happy Easter. Don't forget to check out my free Fable giveaway on my website. If you like urban mixed with epic fantasy, then you'll like Fable! You can find it here:  

Love, Lisa


  1. Believe it or not, I haven't started an email list, Lisa. *Hides head* I've done other things like blogging, social media, Goodreads Giveaways, and so on, but doing a newsletter seems like one more thing on an author's plate nowadays. I don't doubt the power behind a list. That's how authors build street teams and super fans. I may just take you up on your marketing suggestion yet. But first, I want to get the next book out, which is one of the best marketing strategies an author can do. Cheers and thanks for the great post!

    1. Actually now would be the perfect time since you have a new book coming out. You could start by offering for free your first book as a download and build your list with that. This way you can announce your new book and hopefully gain sales right off the bat. ;-)