How to Promote Your Book Without Breaking the Bank

You’ve written a great book that you know will help your target audience. The temptation is to think your work is done and that the book’s usefulness means it will somehow promote itself. This is a common mistake amongst self-publishing experts and it’s the main reason why a book doesn’t get its author the publicity and recognition he or she deserves. The fact is, writing the book is only half the battle; the other half is promoting it.

Marketing is sharing what you love with people who want to hear about it.
Joanne Penn

So, how do you promote your book, especially if you’re a one-person operation on a tight budget? The good news is that there are a surprisingly large number of methods, most free and many for little cost. Before we explore 50 methods at your disposal, here are three which can generate you a large amount of interest in a short space of time:

  1. Offer 100 free copies. Internet marketing expert Brendon Burchard used this method to generate buzz for his book The Millionaire Messenger which went on to become a New York Times bestseller. Burchard created a promotional video offering to send customers a free copy of his book in return for a review (positive or otherwise) on Amazon. (Burchard was careful to charge for postage and packing – “So I don’t lose my shirt” – and customers were happy with this). The purpose of this exercise was to build post-launch buzz and start building his personal brand and authority. It worked. Today, Burchard heads a multi-million dollar internet marketing business.
  2. Be interviewed. You can make it known you’re available to be interviewed to discuss your new book. You can approach podcasters, bloggers; register on sites such as Internet Guests Directory or Help a Reporter Out; let social media know you are available for interview. Content creators are always hungry for good content and the chance to interview and author is valuable to them.
  3. Promote your book on LinkedIn, Twitter and by using Facebook ads. LinkedIn may be going through the wringer at the moment but it’s still the largest network of professionals in the world.. If your book is targeted at a business audience, it makes sense to promote here.
         Use Twitter to promote extracts of your book to your target market and industry influencers.
         Use Facebook ads to laser-target your audience. First, build a web page (a “landing page”) to promote your book. Next, create a free incentive (e.g. bonus material not in the book) for free download in return for the visitor’s email address. Promote this landing page on Facebook.

50 simple and cost-effective ways to promote your book

Cathy Presland of Author Unlimited has produced a useful list of 50 ways to promote your book without breaking the bank. From her article:

If there’s one questions that is eternal and ongoing in our author community, then it’s how to sell more books. We have solutions for you — 50 of them in fact — which should be more than enough ideas for ways to promote your book:

  1. Write an in-depth blog post on a topic related to or covered in your book, and then reference and link to your book in the post and at the end.
  2. Make a series of how-to videos for YouTube related to you non-fiction book content.
  3. Run a contest or a giveaway for your book from your website or Facebook page using an app like,, or (there are others — just do a search for Facebook contests or giveaway contests). There are lots of rules and regulations around contests depending on where you live but if you use an app they will help guide you through this. You can do this with print or digital versions of your book and remember just to double check with your distributor or your publisher that what you are doing is OK with them).

Read the full post here:

Takeaway points

  1. A book is the new business card. You can use it to establish your authority and credibility. It’s how many of today’s leading experts had their break.
  2. Most self-publishing experts think their work is done once they finish writing. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. You can’t just rely on the quality of your book to get it discovered. You need to be proactive and promote it through various channels.
  3. Leverage other people’s audiences to promote your book, i.e. appear on people’s podcast shows; setup a YouTube channel; convert a chapter of your book into a slideshow for Slideshare or a series of posters for Pinterest.

Action steps

  1. Build a landing page to promote your book and build your email list.
  2. Pitch a guest-post to a leading website around the topic of your book.
  3. Land a speaking gig. If you’re nervous about public speaking, learn by joining Toastmasters. Public speaking is an important part of building your personal brand.

Photo credit: Jon Mountjoy via / CC BY 2.0

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