Promote Your Book on a Budget and Save Some Green

Promote Your Book on a Budget and Save Some Green

March 14, 2018  •  Aerio Staff

Feel like you need a pot of gold to promote your book?

Well wouldn't you know? It’s your lucky day!

No, we aren’t sending you a check. But we are going to share some book marketing tips that will help you feel like a lucky leprechaun when promoting your book on a budget.

1. Determine What You Can Spend

Before you do anything, know exactly what you have to spend—in money and time—to ensure low risk-high return marketing investments.  

One of the biggest mistakes made by those marketing a book on a budget is spreading themselves thin, without a defined target or goal.  

  • First, define your target audience by asking questions like: Who makes up my target audience? What are their demographics? Where do they interact?
  • Next, determine the action you want your audience to take (i.e. Buy your book? Provide contact information so you can continue to nurture the relationship?)

Once you’ve answered these questions, take a step back and determine how much money and time you can invest in a book marketing plan. For example, flooding your social media channels with promotional content might seem like a good move, but first consider how much time you can spend trying to get people to engage with you on Facebook.

A well-thought out book promotion plan is a colorful rainbow of varying tactics, all leading to that pot of gold filled with increased book sales. However, make sure you’re spending time, money, and effort on connecting with the right people in the right way.


2. Ask Around for Advice

Nothing beats picking the brain of someone with experience who has been through it before. Whether you’re reaching out on industry forums, tweeting at successful authors you’d like to imitate, or sending an email to a friendly publisher - you may be surprised with how willing people are to share book marketing tips rooted in years of experience.

Do this in a humble and impassioned way, and asking for advice may pay off in more ways than one—including getting on the radar of industry movers and shakers.


3. Be Visible

Asking around and putting yourself out there, where the book people are, increases your visibility.

Say you post a question on an author forum. It piques the interest of a popular author who then tweets about your book to his 86K followers.

Free publicity. It could happen to you!


4. Think “Free”

Ask yourself what you can get for Free (or at a very affordable cost).

A few places to start could include:

You don’t need to be a coding expert to make your place on the internet. Nor do you need to promise a web developer two month’s salary and your first born, to build a website capable of promoting your book. Or struggle trying to find a coder who can outfit your website with ecommerce functionality to encourage books sales online.

All of these things can be done with little to no financial investment. You will, however, find the costs in time and effort (building an email list without paying for one isn’t easy, but it can be done). That is why, before you start down any of these paths, do research. Follow the steps we’ve outlined and figure out which methods are best for you. Then, make a plan.


Book Promotions That Are Worth Paying For

So far, you’ve spent very little to get the word out about your book. Consider investing some of that excess green in these book marketing ventures:


  • Host a Book Launch Event – A book launch event might have some upfront costs, such as a rental fee for the event space, and advertising dollars to spread the word, but it’s a great way to get in front of your target audience and create excitement around your book. To seek a more inexpensive route, take stock of the relationships you’ve cultivated - is there a local bookstore you have a stellar relationship with, or a friend with a knack for entertaining? Don’t be afraid to ask for (free) help!


  • Plan a Contest/Giveaway – Giveaways, freebies, and contests, in all shapes and sizes, are excellent book promotion ideas. Consider planning a relatively low-cost contest or giveaway campaign, with a carrot your audience will really covet:
    • Wrote a sci-fi novel? Give away tickets to a local sci-fi convention.
    • Published a woodworking book? Consider a gift card to a home improvement store.

Contests and giveaways come with extra costs, but the return on investment will be worthwhile in book promotion.


  • Distribute Advanced Reader Copies – These are copies you send to retailers, reviewers, or select readers before your book is available to the public. You’ll have to pay printing costs, along with shipping, but it’s a great way to get a head start on book promotions and build that buzz.


  • Research Paid Advertising – Ads on Google. Ads on social media. Ads in wholesale catalogs. Ads in your local bookstore. With so many advertising options, there’s bound to be one that fits your target audience and budget. And if you’ve got some green leftover, advertising is a great way to expand your reach and build more conversions from the outside-in.



We hope these tips helped get your creative juices flowing, but the key thing to remember, as it is with all budget friendly book marketing tips—do your research. Don’t spend time or money on marketing ventures that are risky or won’t engage your audience. Budget and plan and you’ll do just fine.

Aerio Staff

Aerio Staff

Hi there! It's your friendly Aerio staff here, happily sharing a wealth of book selling knowledge with the world.