You’ve written a book (or books) and published it on Amazon or another site for authors. If you want the money to start rolling in you have to switch your focus from writing to marketing your work. Luckily, you don’t need a degree in marketing to get the word out about your books. In this post, I’ll provide some tips for how to successfully advertise your books for free to your target audience.
What to Include in Your Ad
You don’t want to create a beautiful advertisement and not include essential information like where readers can purchase your book. So, at the very least, your advertisement should include your book title, author name, an enticing blurb, where your book is sold, and a link that takes readers directly to where to purchase it.
Adding images to your advertisements might sound a little scary if you don’t consider yourself a design expert. But a simple visual can be very effective and gives your reader a sense of what your book is about. Canva is a great place to make free ads quickly in sizes that work well with different social media sites and can be viewed on any device.
You can start small with a picture of your book cover and a blurb, or an interesting quote from your book. Don’t put too much text on it as it will be small on social media and people probably won’t spend time reading the whole thing. Make sure the font is easy to read and in a color that contrasts with the background.
If you want to be a little fancier, you can also search for images that fit with your book’s tone and aesthetic. For my sample ad for Twitter below, I downloaded the center photo and the lips graphic from Pixabay.
Book Cover Mockups
This great tool at DIY Book Covers allows you to upload a picture of your book cover and they will make a 3D mockup on a book cover, a tablet, and/or a phone for free. You can download it as a jpg or a png with a transparent background and add it to your advertisement.
This way your reader can visualize what your book will look like on their own device, while telling them what formats your book is available in. For my sample ad, I downloaded only the tablet and smartphone option because my book isn’t available in paperback.
I don’t have much experience with book trailers, but I was able to make my own in Powerpoint. I uploaded some images I found on Pixabay, added some text, downloaded a royalty free song clip and turned the presentation into a video. If you keep things simple and don’t try to do too much, you can make a nice trailer in about fifteen minutes.
Where to Advertise
Marketing can be overwhelming for even established indie authors because there are so many different channels where you can advertise your work. If you’re just starting out, find one or two websites where your readers hang out and stick with those. You can always branch out later if you want to.
Twitter and Facebook still seem to be the most popular places to advertise. If you’re an erotica writer like myself, Facebook isn’t exactly welcoming, and won’t let you advertise on their site, though they accept other genres. Goodreads is a great place to connect directly with your readers and share your visuals, blog posts, and create giveaways to increase interest in your books.
Since you’re creating visuals, Instagram is a good place to post them if you also like taking and uploading photos. When you’re not posting ads, you can still engage your readers. Bookstagrams, where people take photos of books with candles, white fairy lights, and other accessories are very popular. A decent cell phone camera and the right filter can really draw people into checking out your book.
If you write romance, Pinterest can be a good place to post your book ads and your aesthetic to get readers interested in your writing. If you have an author website and post excerpts or writing advice then you can gain a lot of followers through Pinterest.
Schedule Your Ads
To save time and make sure I’m reaching my target audience when I know they’re online, I use Hootsuite to schedule my advertisements. Hootsuite works with Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest if you have business accounts. I currently use it for Twitter.
I just started using Tailwind to schedule pins on Pinterest. I’m using the one month trial period for free, and I plan to pay to continue to use it after my month is up. I use it more to promote my blog posts with tips for writers than I do for book promotion, but I follow several romance writers who use it for their stories and seem to be doing quite well.
Tailwind gives you excellent data about which pins are performing well, any repins you get, and will schedule all your pins for you during Pinterest’s peak times. I’ve already seen an increase in viewership on my Pinterest page since using Tailwind for the past two weeks.
If you start slow and keep it simple, you can easily create beautiful advertisements to engage your readers and get them to buy your books. You’ll be a marketing whiz in no time!