As a writer, you want readers to find your stories, but you may not have a lot of money to put towards that goal. After all, writing is often a hobby or part-time job, and it doesn’t make any income until the books sell…but the books can’t sell until people know they’re out there. So how do you get readers to know about your book without spending a lot of money?
Use Social Media. This is almost a given, but you definitely can get the word out that you have a book through Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social media sites. The question becomes how to promote your book tactfully, as it can get old to keep posting “Buy my book” and you can only post about new releases and cover reveals so often. Still, it’s a good way to interact with people and to show off your book’s cover, if nothing more.
Create A Blog. This can act as a place for fans to find you and also as a place to network with would-be readers, especially if you can weave your book into the posts. If your main character loves cooking, for example, maybe you could start a cooking blog. Or you can write about the city or history that inspired your story. The more people who know about you and what you do, the more people will know about your book.
Set Up Virtual Blog Tours. These can be entirely free. You find other bloggers who are willing to talk about your book or read and review it, and then turn them loose to share the news with the world. Such tours will “cost” you a copy of your book, and it helps to have digital marketing information ready for the bloggers (like a picture of your book with a hint about the book’s story or quotes about the book, all in a nice image), but they’ll reach people you might not, and even nicer, you won’t have to be the one saying “Buy This!”
Let Editorial Reviews Help. The best way to help word of mouth move a little faster is to have some other “mouth” doing the talking. When you can quote a unbiased reviewer as saying your book was “fantastic,” your characters “engaging,” and your plot “intriguing,” you have the tools to present your book in the best light, and you can use these quotes on the back of the book, in your digital marketing information, and other “spiels” on why people should buy and read your story.
Advertisements: Sometimes, an actual ad is really the best way to help readers find your book, whether it’s paying for a post or a sidebar advertisement on a website or blog. They don’t have to be expensive or flashy, but putting your book on popular sites gets your story in front of a lot of people, and that’s the whole goal of advertising. You wrote a story that is compelling; you just need readers to discover that for themselves, and ads can help make that happen.