Marketing your Self-published book


Marketing self published books can cost anywhere from zero to tens of thousands of pounds. It all depends on your situation. Maybe you’ve got a passion project that shouldn’t require a hefty budget. Or you've written and published a novel but for now, your budget screams "start light." Whatever the case, these 10 cost-effective tips on how to market a self published book can help.


10 cost-effective marketing tips for self published authors 

Anyone can self-publish and own the rights to their copyright, creative, and even strategic processes. However,that means owning the promotions too. Sounds daunting if you know nothing about marketing. However, using 'search', you’ll find tools and resources to help – like this list on how to promote a self published novel.


1: Craft your author brand

Before doing anything, take some time to develop a 'personalised' authors marketing plan, Crafting your brand helps blueprint how you’ll conduct yourself across marketing mediums like social media, email, online advertising, and beyond.

When thinking about your author brand, ask yourself questions like:

  • What aspects of my persona do I want to share?
  • What tone of voice do I want to use when interacting with my audience?
  • What kind of design elements best represent my vibe? (e.g. colors, fonts, graphics)
  • How personal do I want to get?

2: Set up your website and social media

In the world of self-publishing, selling books happens online. And to sell, you have to engage people online. That’s why you want to set up a dedicated website, social media account, or blog page for people to learn more about you. You can hire a professional to build your author website. But when you have a tight budget, there are solid options to do it yourself. Wordpress and Wix are easy go-to’s, with sensible costs.

If a website doesn’t fit into your budget, set up a free page on blog platforms like Medium or Tumblr. Set up at least one dedicated social media account as well. Twitter is popular with authors. 

3: Start an email list

Email marketing is a direct way to promote to your readers. Whether it’s updating your people about a new release or sending a holiday greeting, this is all about nurturing your contacts with continuous communication. Place the link to sign up to your email list on your website, social media bio, and on the back of your book. 

Trending marketing tactics may come and go, but your mailing list will always remain one of your most powerful marketing tools.” Read more on how to set up a mailing list for authors. 

4: Ensure your best cover design and book description

If your budget permits, prioritize your cover design. Search Google for professional designers you can hire. Your cover is important because it’s the first thing people see when browsing for books. Your design should be professional and enticing.

If you gotta do this one yourself, (read this guide on how to make a cover design free):

Along with the cover, your book description or blurb is another element people first come across. Make sure to add the strongest and most emotional hooks in the first few sentences. If have any awards or reviews from reputable sources, add those too. Here’s an example:..... also Check out these 10 book description hacks. 

5: Land book reviews

You can spend a ton of money on advertising your book. But people won’t buy when there are zero reviews. That’s just the nature of e-commerce. So before investing too much in promoting your self published book, ensure at least a handful of book reviews. Ask your family and friends for reviews. Reach out to influential bloggers in your genre. Read more tips on collecting book reviews

6: Run a pre-order period

Major bookstores like Amazon count book sales on the first day of release. That means you should collect sales during a pre-order period to increase your chances of landing in bestseller lists come launch day. On self-publishing platforms, setting up your pre-order campaign is fairly easy on Amazon, Apple, and more.  

7: Organise a launch event

Want to know how to successfully market a self published book? Celebrate the moment with a launch event! Beyond being fun, throwing a book party is a perfect way to engage with readers. Invite your entire network via your email list, social media, and other channels. Check out this guide that goes over everything you need to plan a virtual book launch. 

8: Try price promotions

Price promotions are where authors list their books for free or discounted. Most bookstores like Amazon have the option to set up your special pricing. Most Self-publishers do not recommend offering free books, 'free book grabbers' seldom read the book! 

9: Test out ads

A tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with online ads. Amazon is the mecca of online books, and buying ads on Amazon can help get your book in front of a wider audience. You can start with a budget as low as £3 a day. Read more on how to advertise books online. 

10: Network

Last but not least, join reading and writing groups in your genre. Share your own tips, chat with others, and get plugged in. Take part in book festivals to meet readers, industry pros, and potential business collaborators. Cross-promote by reaching out to blogs for a guest post and get more ideas for your book marketing campaigns.