book marketing on a budget

Success for Self-Publishing Authors?

If you can IMAGINE it, you can create it” said Napoleon Hill.  “Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes”  And Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) said:  “People who do not have goals work for people who have goals.”



Here is the Secret for Writers:
One single step every day and in three months you will have a great author platform, and you will have established your author brand.  111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free makes it really easy for you. Just follow the small steps in this guide book, written by an experienced publisher and marketing specialist.  If you follow these steps, you WILL become a successful author.
The Only Guide Book that Authors will Ever Need.
It might not be that easy to become a truly successful self-published author, when you have to learn everything from scratch.  But there is help: Get a cornucopia of detailed instructions and tips for your book marketing.  Both, publishing novices and experienced authors will find these information immense valuable and helpful.
Includes Almost 600 Direct Links.
Readers of our latest book will be provided with over 111 tips, (and almost 600 links) on how to successfully promote their books for free – in an “organic” way.  Successful publishing cannot only be done through content writing, networking, but through many other small, savvy steps during the writing, publishing and book-layout process – which are described in detail.
Detailed Plans and Smart Strategies for Your Book’s Success.
This author guide to free (or very low cost) book marketing and professional publishing, provides authors with valuable tips and hands-on instructions how to connect directly with their readers, how to find lots of bloggers and reviewers, establish a solid platform and strengthen their author brand.
Content marketing secrets and the latest social media networking tips will enable authors to capitalize on their writing, their competence and to increase their readership tremendously.
111 detailed-explained tips, and hundreds of links will help every self-publisher to find and implement numerous “passive” book marketing steps – in detail explained throughout this how-to-manual, leading the way to publishing success. Here are the chapters:


Long-term Investment:
Using these steps will turn out to a long-term time investment.  They won’t initiate an immediate spike in book sales; rather, they will improve the amount of your readers and the exposure of your books.  Remember: all of your writing is an asset that can keep making you money for decades to come!

A certain time-commitment will be necessary, at least in the beginning, depending on your level of your involvement.  Yet, you will learn how to connect with reader communities, book bloggers, reviewers and social media followers and the more you use these marketing tools, the faster you can handle them.  Which means that your fan and reader base increases.  Some of these tasks are not obvious “book marketing” tasks, but they are essential for your success as an author.
For Whom is this Book Useful?
Self-Publishers and authors who work with traditional publishers alike will profit from this book marketing and publishing guide. Get inspirations and encouragement from someone who has 35+ years of experience in print and e-book publishing, book marketing, online writing and magazine publishing.

… and WHERE can you get this useful author guide book?


How Authors Find an Audience


Authors don’t need a finished manuscript – they need an audience first!  Alone in 2015,
more than 500,000 new English-language books have been published.
If you are an author with a 90,000 word manuscript ready to roll – just hold your horses – see how much work you have to do to find just ten people who are willing to buy your book.

Make Sure Your Book Has Readers Before You Publish.
If you can’t build a small audience, how can you expect to build a large audience?  In order to survive the crowded space, some publishers are enhancing their efforts to help with their books’ discovery.  Quality content has always been the top priority of successful publishers.  However, with growing sales through online retailers, a book’s discoverability has become nearly as important.

Work hard to make sure your story and the writing is the best it can be, let several beta readers go through the manuscript, have it professionally edited.  Create an outstanding cover image.  And in the meantime: put your novel on hold and focus on short stories,  blog articles or even a short free e-book as a teaser and network on social media.

Promote Your Future Book Through Short Stories.
Savvy authors are building excitement and attract readers to their upcoming books.
Short stories or prequels can be the backstories for the longer book to come or standalone narratives that add to a reader’s knowledge of the characters or scene.

Create Buzz and Momentum.
Have fun to create several backstories for the longer book to come.  Don’t see prequels as a marketing gig, they are valuable parts of your author platform and brand.  Don’t forget: Promotion of your book must start long before you finish your manuscript if you don’t want to lose sales and success!

Competition is Growing by the Day…
Do what you as a writer likes most: WRITE!  Not only 90.000-word-manuscripts, but also short stories and blog articles.
Without even the bare minimum of an audience (or even good friends) your book won’t get picked up, and certainly won’t sell.

It’s not only “writers write” but also “author audiences”.  Wise words:  “If you want book sales, buy books.  If you want book reviews, write reviews for all of the books you read.  If you want people to like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter, like your readers’ and friends’ Facebook pages and follow them on Twitter.”

Sean Blanda:  “Call it the ‘anti-marketing’ plan: by building genuine connections with readers we can dramatically improve the chances of success.”

Who Offers the Best Value for Your Dollars?


Fantastic Tool for Authors: Promotion Service Reviews.
Ever wondered where to advertise your KDP free days or any other book promotion?  John Doppler from SelfPublishingAdvice compared mailing lists, readership numbers, and the cost for e-book discovery services: “Free and discounted e-books can be a powerful tool for increasing sales, but only if readers know about the deal.  We have gathered the data on eight popular services so you can compare pricing, audience, and features to find the right platform for promoting your free and discounted books.”

The mailing lists of ebook discovery services can (not necessarily always will) place free or discounted books (or those at regular prices) in front of thousands of interested readers, potential book purchasers and reviewers.

How to Use this Tool:
First, choose your category and sub-category and click on the price button (free and up to $2.99 and over).  You will be provided with a list of the services from best to worst value, determined by the cost to reach 1,000 subscribers (CPM).  The higher on the list an option is, the better its value.
For example in the thriller category “Fussy Librarian” offers the best value at only $0.17 to reach 1,000 subscribers, while BookBub is at the lowest ranking with $0.69 to reach 1,000 readers.

Here is a random example from the category Mystery, sub genre Thriller for books $2.99 and over:

Free Books
$0.99 Books
$1.99 Books
$2.99 Books (and over)
Service Category Reach Cost CPM (cost to reach 1.000 subscribers)
Fussy Librarian Thrillers 96,109 $ 16.00 $ 0.17
Bargain Booksy Thriller 124,200 $ 50.00 $ 0.40
BookGorilla Thrillers   185,500 $ 100.00 $ 0.54
BookBub Thrillers 2,760,000 $ 1,900.00 $ 0.69

Conclusion by SelfPublishingAdvice:
“Books priced at $2.99 and over, the clear champion is The Fussy Librarian.  Fussy Librarian has a smaller membership, but their correspondingly lower fees do not vary with the price of the book.  Fussy Librarian has approximately 121,000 subscribers.  Authors can promote their book to a second genre list at half price!  With superior CPM for higher-priced books and the best CPM across nearly every fiction category, Fussy Librarian presents an outstanding value for a surprisingly low price.”

Bargain Booksy ranks moderately well in fiction genres, particularly in the higher price brackets.  However, Bargain Booksy really shines in nonfiction categories, where it sits at the top of most rankings.

Freebooksy does not fare quite as well as its sister site, generally resting in the lower half of its genres.  The popular categories of Mystery, Cozy Mystery, and Thrillers are a notable exception.

Affiliate Programs:
Almost all these services are affiliated with online book retailers and receive a tiny percentage (around 4 per cent) of each book sale, unless it is free. If you are an affiliate yourself, the percentage will go to the book promoter, not to your account. But this is a negligible detail, just wanted to let you know.
The only service who is not disclosing their affiliate connection is BookBub.  In their very detailed privacy page, they disclose: “We may share some or all of your personal information in connection with or during negotiation of any merger, financing, acquisition or dissolution transaction or proceeding involving sale, transfer, divestiture, or disclosure of all or a portion of our business or assets….”
SelfPublishingAdvice Provided a Great Free Service.
Thanks to John Doppler, who analyzed the strength and weakness of each promotion service in this review, lists the requirements (mostly at least ten! book reviews, better than 4-Stars), the most popular categories, and lots of other important information, such as the return on investment (ROI), including the websites of the promo services.
Don’t miss to bookmark this terrific resource and work with the information, provided by John Doppler.


Don’t Forget these 3 Basics Book Promotion Tools


Why do authors often not even use the free “tools” they have at hand to promote their books?  I don’t want to bash book marketing skills of authors here – the opposite, I want to help you to succeed.  And remind you to use the basic free tools you have at hand to promote your work.
As you know from my books and thousands of articles I wrote during the last couple of years, I am recommending either free “111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free” or very inexpensive “Book Marketing on a Shoestring” ways of book marketing.
What do I Mean With Free / Low-Cost Tools?
How much did you pay for a link to your Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, or  Barnes & Noble, or other online retailer book sales page? Uploading your book at these online retail websites is totally free and they do not charge you for providing a link, nor do they charge authors for storing books and offering the titles for sale.  Only when a customer purchases and downloads a book they subtract their commission.  Did you know that trade publishers have to pay for prominent shelf spaces at bookstore chains to display their NYT Bestsellers?

You as an author who sell through Amazon (or other online retailers) receive even a free author page which you can fill with images of all your book titles, and with up to seven other photos, with articles about yourself and your books, with book trailers, events, a link to your Twitter page …

How much did you pay for your book cover?  Ten dollar, one-hundred or five-hundred dollar?  An attractive cover is essential to sell your book, no matter if print or digital.  Once purchased, you have dozens – if not hundreds – of marketing possibilities, to use your book’s cover.

Let’s see how you can use these “Free Tools”:

1. Links to Sales and Author Page
You might remember that I wrote a blog post last year about this (arrogant) author.  She was a participant of one of my book marketing seminars, and a first-time book author.  I offered her generously to post and tweet about her title for free – before the book’s launch to ten-thousand of our followers and blog readers. I asked her to send me all the book’s information (blurb, title, links, etc.).  Months later I received a one-sentence email from her: “My book … is now available on Amazon, please look it up”.  I was appalled and almost furious.  You can imagine that I did not “look it up”, instead I deleted this email and all online ties / following on social media, etc. with this rookie writer.  What did she think? Other writers pay hundreds of dollars for book promotion – and she is not even giving a link to her sales page?


2. Links to Your Website / Blog and Your Sales Page.

Your First Step: Shorten Your Online Retail Links.  No one wants to see or use this link:
Shorten it to this link (everything after /ref is not necessary):
Or even shorter, using
International Book Sales Link
A smart software developer created a program that lets you send out one link, and no matter where your readers are, they come to their own country’s Amazon website.  It works great.  Try it out with our own Amazon sales link. Just sign in with the developers site:  Two more companies currently offer a similar service: SmartURL  and Georiot.

Link your Google+ Page to Your own Website.
Get more recommendations for your site in Google search and grow your audience on Google+.
Comment on Other Blogs.
Take the time to find bloggers who write about topics similar to those you write about. When they have something good to say or you can add something to what they have written, leave a comment on their blog.  Each time you do so, you leave behind a link to yourself, your website, or your blog.  If people who read your comment find what you have written interesting, they will click on the link to find out more about you.  They may then decide to become regular blog readers or subscribers, newsletter subscribers, or book buyers.
Signature Link in all Emails.
Every day you send out dozens of emails to friends, business colleagues, your doctor, lawyer or accountant, or to potential readers or editors … Email signatures (a.k.a. sig lines) are powerful, low-cost, high-return marketing tools (a virtual business card or ad) for writers.  But very few authors use this free way of getting the emails recipient’s attention to their books.

Gmail makes it real easy to create an email signature.  Email signatures can be added under “settings” in your email service. At Gmail it is the small tool icon on the upper right part of the your email page. Click on it to come to the “settings” page and scroll down to Signature: (appended at the end of all outgoing messages). When you click on the link underneath, that says “Learn More” you will find tips and samples for email signatures, and how you can create signatures for the Gmail app for Android, the Gmail app for iPhone and iPad, and mobile web browsers.
Your email signature should answer who you are, what you do, and how you can be contacted. In times when people are overloaded with information, use an email signature that is minimal and does not require much space. When using, you can place all your information, including an image, in one single link. You will be surprised what a great and attractive tool it will be. Best of all: You can link your blog to and always show your latest posts to visitors.

Link when Guest Blogging or Writing for a Magazine / Newspaper. 
To write for other blogs or websites, including LinkedIn, has lots of benefits, from building authority to generating backlinks to your book sales site.  Include a link or two to a post on your own blog / website or to your online sales page.  The anchor text of the links should have a search engine friendly keyword.  Never write: click here.  Always use specific keywords from your own articles.

Link to Your Amazon Author / Sales Page.
Most Important is: Create a Perfect Amazon Author Page. It takes a long time until your own website will have the amount of visitors, compared to your Amazon Author Pages (provided you send out the link to it wherever there is a possibility). See an example of a great author page at Fiza Pathan’s Amazon presence.
Be the “face” of your books and create an author page for each Amazon “country” – your author page is NOT transferred to, or, for example.

  • Add a professional author photo & biography
  • Add all your books
  • Add videos (e.g. trailers for your books)
  • Add up to seven additional photos, e.g. you writing your books or scenes from your book
  • Add images or graphics from your books content
  • Add a biography – make sure to update it frequently
  • List events, such as book readings or book launches
  • Add your Twitter address so people can see your latest Tweet and easily follow you
  • Set up the “Search Inside/Look Inside” feature
  • Add an RSS feed, linking to your blog – a great way to get your blog in front of new people and encourage them to follow you
  • View and edit the list of books you have written – the Amazon system doesn’t always get it right. If you have written more than one book, it will link your titles together, and allow your readers to find all of your work.
  • Edit your product description and “about the author” section, and add any professional reviews you have had to editorial reviews.

3. Cover Images
Your book cover is valuable in marketing terms. A stunning book cover is one of the best marketing tools for any writer! Use it generously – even before your book’s launch. We are a visual culture; naturally it influences our book-buying habits. It’s a fact that buyers for the chain stores for example will order more copies of a book they find visually appealing, so their opinion counts.
Social media is an increasingly important discovery tool for all forms of entertainment. This is where authors should show off their book’s cover:

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Vine
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • Google+
  • Goodreads
  • Twitter … you name it.

Start a cover poll, long before your book’s launch, and get input from your readers. Try several color versions, or a monochrome version.
The next step is a cover reveal, a couple of weeks before launch, and even before you start your pre-order period at Amazon or iBooks.
Embed links to your Instagram or Flickr site in photos you use on blogs, share it on social media sites such as Twitter, Google+, FB, or Tumblr. Doing this draws visitors from third-party sites to your photo pages. Pinterest for example created a feature that allows sharing from Flickr, automatically showing proper credit and a link back to the original photographer.
Tagging and grouping photos: You can use up to 75 tags to describe your photo of the book cover, way more than on Amazon or any other page for that matter. 75 tags are a lot of possibilities to let people know about your book! Don’t forget to add notes, including a link to explain your photo, mentioning your book.
Flickr is not the only site where you can show images of your book and its topics.  Find a list of the best photo sharing sites on Social Times or on Wikipedia where you can even find the number of registered members and their Alexa Web Ranking.
Create a slide show about your book on and use your cover photo several times in a variety of displays.
Join KindleBoards, Wattpad, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Bibliophile, Book Buzzr and dozens of other reader communities where you can show the cover of your book.
Create or join Google+ communities, network with readers and writers, post your blog articles or – in rare cases – blandly promote your book, showing the cover prominently at the timeline. ONLY on a few of the communities allow this, others don’t accept it. Read their terms before joining.

Last but not least:  Send your book’s cover image to all your readers, friends, followers, to your family and even to your local newspaper – always along with a link to your sales page or your author website.  It does not cost you a dime.  But chances are, that they buy your book for themselves or a friend, or recommend it, along with an image and a sales link that you provided. 


3 Tips to Create Excitement for Your New Book



Try to engage your potential readers early on. Create excitement through a book cover or any other kind of poll.  Use polling and surveys to add an element of fun to the conversation. People love to take surveys.  It will build community engagement, real relationships and interest, and will leave readers more receptive to your next book promotion. With simple online surveys you can take your social media networking success to an entirely new level.

  1. Invite your networks to provide honest and immediate feedback. For example, ask members to choose which of  – at least three –  book covers they like best and let them share their thoughts about the design.
  2. Or you can let them choose the name of your protagonist.  Again give them at least three options, but explain in which time or century the story unfolds and give them a hint what kind of novel you have written.
  3. You can also create a survey which online retailers should carry your book beside Amazon, and give at least five additional company names.

Include an incentive to encourage your peers to complete your survey. For example: draw a winner of the most popular book cover chosen, the most popular name or the and most chosen online retailer.  Offer a Kindle or a small digital camera as the first prize.

Free or Very Low Cost
SurveyMonkey has a free, basic poll version, SodaHead as well.  TWTPoll offers  a pay-as-you-go version for $7 per survey.  Get lot’s of practical tips how to incorporate your poll at a variety of Social Media sites on an article by SocialMediaExaminer.



If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,150 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? There is also the “SHARE” button for easy sharing at Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.


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Tips for Worldwide Book Distribution

. ebook-distribution Aggregators handle distribution, sales, accepting payments, and are managing your account with the online retailers. Avoid those distributors, who take a 10 or even 15% commission (on top of the retailers margin)  for every book sold. Not everyone has a Kindle, many folks are die-hard Apple iBook fans or using a Nook, or order from Kobo. Why forego these sales? Good to know: there are alternatives to aggregators who don’t reduce your revenues – no matter how many books you sell. Read the whole article on our new blog here: Don’t forget to sign up there, to get the blog posts directly.  




Tagged: Apple iBooks, Book distribution, eBookpartnership, how to sell your ebook worldwide, new blog,

Early-Bird Discount for Writers Seminar til Feb 26

Signing up before February 26 for the Writer’s Seminar in Atlanta, Georgia, saves you $20 

Receive lots of useful information for your further literary career in this workshop. Find out how to navigate the modern publishing world, get hundreds of valuable marketing tips during this seminar while in the relaxed atmosphere of a group of writers. Learn how to promote your book without even spending money for it. Get practical hands-on tips to market your book and earn more money with leveraging your manuscript.
These are the WRITERS SEMINAR’S main topics:

  • Learn about the new publishing & pre-publishing process
  • Identify your target readers and their demographic
  • Find out how to reach these readers online and off-line
  • Create your own brand and your platform
  • Choose the type of publishing that is right for you
  • Market and publicize your book successfully on a budged
  • Prepare your next bestseller & find free book publishing funding sources
  • Leverage the content of your book into other markets & earn more with your writing

Read more details and sign up here before Feb 26 for this one-day-seminar for only $59:

If you live further down south:
On Saturday, March 22 we offer the same seminar in Sarasota, Florida! 




If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:  Or visit
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,020 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+


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Tagged: Atlanta Georgia, book marketing on a budget, Book Publishing Tips, Decatur GA, Decatur-Atlanta, Early-Bird-Discount, how to publish a book, Writer Club Atlanta, Writer Seminar

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