Pamela Koehne-Drube

Written by

Pamela Koehne-Drube

12 February 2024


Easy Book Marketing for Indie Authors

Easy book marketing for indie authors - Photo by Dominika Roseclay

You can’t get people to buy your book if they don’t know about it. It is up to you to make sure that your book gets seen by as many people as possible, and that means marketing it yourself. But not everyone is confident in putting themselves out there, and not every budget allows for a dedicated marketing campaign. So here are some tips for low-cost, low-effort, easy book marketing strategies for indie authors.

Join conversations

When you’re a self-published writer, the internet is your home. You probably spend a lot of time there already, so why not make it work for you?

If you have a book or series out in the world and haven’t done much to promote it, the best place to start is just by talking with people. Join book discussions on whatever social network you already frequent, and join conversations related to your book’s setting, themes, or content. Being visible is the easiest marketing you can do, and it gives you the opportunity to slip mention of your work into those conversations without making it look like a sales pitch.

Twitter, Goodreads, Tumblr and Facebook are some of the easiest places to join those discussions because they have active bookish communities that promote dialogue. Don’t be afraid to bring your work up in conversation; this is especially useful if your book talks about topics that others are discussing. So if you’re not comfortable pushing your book as a sales tactic, it’s much simpler to simply be an active voice in the community.

Make it easy for readers to find you

While this option takes a little bit of set-up, creating an author hub is the best thing you can do to ensure readers can find you if they’re interested. No amount of community engagement will help you sell your book if your readers can’t find you.

Your author hub could be anything from a dedicated author website, a blog, or even a specific social media site like Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or even a Goodreads author page. The most important thing is to make sure that you have a presence online where readers can find you and that makes it easy to purchase your books.

You want to be open about your work, but that doesn’t always mean active engagement. There are also passive things you can do to remain visible, like pinning a post about where to buy your book to your social media profile and including a short author bio and sales link in your email signature.

Author hub on laptop - Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

Tell people about your book

While this may seem obvious, telling people about your work is the thing that most new authors struggle with the most. We don’t want to come across as pushy if we’re too active in promoting, or too overbearing if we think we’re talking too much about our books. But there’s nothing wrong with being proud of yourself, so don’t be afraid to talk openly about your achievement!

Interactions about your book don’t always have to take the form of sales or marketing posts. The work itself is your biggest selling point, so instead of pushing people to buy, you can just talk about what your book is about. Be specific, not general. Most people won’t be interested in the general “vibe” but might have their interest piqued by what makes your work unique. I’m more likely to engage with a writer who tells me about what sets their story apart than one who just tells me I’ll like their work because it’s in a genre I enjoy.

And while this does require a bit more willingness to be proactive, don’t be afraid to reach out to those who helped you along your writing journey, like mentors and writing groups. The people who have inspired you and helped you get to where you are the ones most invested in your success, and will usually be happy to share your success with their wider community. For instance, here at Novlr, we love to champion our published writers. If you’ve published a book, we want to hear about it (seriously, get in touch)!

Keep your links handy

When you’re ready to market your book, always keep links handy. You never know when you might need to share them, and being prepared is the best thing you can do.

Keeping your links accessible online is the simplest way to do that. There are several tools you can use that will help make it easy. You can use a dedicated author website as a central repository for your links, social media, and portfolio. But websites like Linktree, Koji, and Campsite can also act as hubs for users to find all your important links in one place if they’re clicking through from your social profiles.

I also recommend carrying your links with you in an easy-to-share format. Keeping a notes document on your phone with copies of all your important links in one place will ensure they’re always available if you need them, or you can use an app like Pocket to keep them organised for you. You might even consider creating a virtual business card with your website, social, and purchase links on it that you can easily share with people who have NFC-compatible phones.

I also recommend using a link shortening service like Bitly or TinyURL to shorten your links. Not only does it make it easier to share, but it can also help track your link clicks, meaning you’ll know how and where most of your readers are finding you.

Writer building author brand and doing book marketing - Photo by Startup Stock Photos for Pexels

Deputise your friends and family

While your friends and family might not be the ideal readership, they can still be a great asset to building a community of people who love your writing. Let the people who champion you also champion your work.

Asking friends and family to share your work is low stakes. So just ask them. Ask them to share your book on social media and with their extended networks. You may be nervous about being open about your writing, but if they’re proud of you, you’ll have a whole army of book cheerleaders at your disposal.

You can also ask them to write reviews or even leave you feedback directly on platforms like Goodreads and Amazon, but I only recommend this if they are also your target audience. Sales platforms like Amazon give recommendations built on algorithms, so if your friends and family are the only ones reviewing your work in the early stages, then the algorithm will start recommending your work to people with similar reading and purchase habits, which can kill your potential sales if they’re not your target reader.

Ask for reviews

Despite not recommending asking friends and family for reviews, they are one of the most effective ways to sell books. Reviews help convince people to buy your book, and they also help boost your sales rank on Amazon. If you’re lucky, you’ll get organic reviews, but it’s more likely that you’ll have to be proactive and ask for them. That doesn’t mean seeking out individuals, it’s more about opening conversations and giving your wider community a friendly nudge that you’d appreciate them.

A big thing to remember is that readers don’t owe you reviews, so don’t be offended if people aren’t writing them. Instead, focus on making your community interactions positive. By talking openly with your community about why reviews are important, and not calling out people who give you negative reviews, people will be more likely to take the time to leave you one.

Another good way to get reviews is to send free copies of your book off into the world with requests for honest feedback. Approach reading communities who are already open to new books with an offer of a free copy in exchange for an honest review. It’s a great way to gather reviews from an already receptive audience.

Create Pinterest boards

This is a rather specific suggestion, but it’s an easy way to spread awareness of your work in a way that is low effort and fun! Pinterest is a platform that’s all about aesthetics, so you can put all the work you’ve done in finding inspiration for writing your book to good use.

pinterest pins
The Pinterest board of writer Kristen Kieffer

Pinterest is all about curated collections, so make sure your work is front and centre. Keep links to your sales pages and author hub handily in your bio, then create mood boards with an interesting aesthetic that will appeal to fans of your genre, and create graphics with quotes from your book. You can also use Pinterest to share and collect articles and reviews where you’re mentioned. It’s a low-stakes, fun way to increase your exposure.

You don’t need to be a marketing expert or a social media guru to promote your book. All you need is some basic knowledge of online communities and the willingness to put in some time and effort. No matter what your budget is, there are always ways to promote your work, so hopefully, these easy book marketing tips will help you on your self-publishing journey.