Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Best Free and Low-Cost Ways To Sell Books


The ASPIRE Book Marketing Method

There are thousands of ways to market your book. Rather than being empowering, that can be daunting to try to sift and sort through all those strategies. This is why I set out to identify the best of the best strategies that can generate potentially thousands of book sales… all without costing you an arm and a leg.

Enter The ASPIRE Method. This is a collection of the most effective book marketing strategies. If you’ve been around the author world for a while, you’ll see most of these strategies aren’t “new.” Instead, these are the tried-and-true methods that will work for years to come to sell your books.

A - Ads
While ads aren’t free, with a platform like Amazon ads, you can run ads for as little as a dollar a day. For some books, I’ve seen returns of over 5x. That means for every dollar invested, the author made over $5 in royalties.

That said, some authors make little money (or even lose money) on ads if they don’t have the right approach dialed in. So I recommend running ads only after you have a great cover, solid description, and at least 10 reviews in addition to studying how the advertising platform works.

S - Social Media
No matter what genre you write in, chances are, your audience is on social media. The point of social media though isn’t to shamelessly post your book link in groups. Rather, it’s to build real relationships with readers and fellow authors. You can do this by contributing to author and reader groups. Once you have these relationships developed, you can then invite people you’ve connected with to subscribe to your channels. 

P - Platforms
Hal Elrod sold over a million copies of his self-published book The Miracle Morning. He said his #1 strategy was going on podcasts. Platforms, which include podcasts, publications, and stages, allow you to get in front of your ideal readers for free.

Both fiction and non-fiction authors can find plenty of podcasts and publications that feature authors in almost every genre. Once you’re featured on a platform, make sure you have a link to drive people back to your own email list.

I - Influencers
When I looked at the last ten books I bought, over half of them I purchased because someone I trusted recommended it. Imagine having a big name in your genre promoting your book for you. This is the power of influencer marketing.

The key to getting influencers to promote your book is to, counter-intuitively, NOT try to get them to promote your book. At least not at first. Instead, start a relationship with them.

Rather than approaching them with a “What can I get?” attitude, approach them with a “What can I give?” attitude. You can do this by sharing their work, providing them a glowing testimonial, and even just offering them sincere words of appreciation.

Then, once you have a relationship established, see if they’d be interested in checking out your book. Influencer marketing has been responsible for thousands of sales in my business, and I did this even when I was a ‘no-name’ author starting out.

R - Reader Referrals
Your readers and fans can be a great source of sales. Your fans often WANT to help you spread the word. Your job is to give them a clear direction on exactly how to do that. The key here is to ask yourself, “How can I make it easy and fun for readers to share my work?”

Simple strategies include offering prizes for readers who post pictures of your book on social media and providing them with graphics and text they can post. 

E - Email Marketing
All roads lead back to email. Every other strategy ideally builds your email list. The biggest authors I’ve talked to all said their email list is responsible for the vast majority of their sales. So whether it’s going on podcasts or posting on social media, the goal should be to eventually bring people back from those places to your email list.

Once a reader is on your list, make sure you’re engaging them regularly with entertaining content that keeps you top of their mind and primed to buy your books. 


The good news is, you don’t need to do all of these things. If you only did one or two of these strategies, such as guest podcasting and email marketing, that could be all you need to build a prosperous author business.

Bruce Lee said, ”I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

So if social media isn’t your thing, that’s cool. You may find you’d rather build relationships with influencers or write guest posts. The key is to find what plays well to your strengths and go all in. With this approach, you’ll find you only need to do a few things extremely well to achieve your most ambitious author goals.

Derek Doepker 

Derek Doepker went from being a broke valet parker to a 7x bestselling author. He's sold over 75,000 books sold using free and low-cost marketing strategies. He now shares these strategies with authors through workshops, courses, and retreats empowering them to turn their passion for writing into a thriving business. Discover more about his work and download a free copy of Why Authors Fail at https://bestsellersecrets.com


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Reader referrals and reviews have always been a big boon for my sales.

Jemi Fraser said...

As a newbie I haven't done a lot of marketing yet - thanks for the tips!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is such wise advice about the influencers.

nashvillecats2 said...

I'm still trying to complete my fifth book ( To Celebrate My Late Son's Life) found this very useful.
Take care.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I like your good news that you can only pick a few of your tips to do. Thanks for breaking it all down in simpler steps for us.

Maria said...

Estou feliz pois diante de Jesus todos os dias posso refletir sobre a comunhão com Jesus Cristo redentor venha sobre todos o arrependimento de nossos pecados k são tantos misericórdia e piedade de todos nós senhor e pai de nosso senhor Jesus Cristo redentor venha sobre a cura dos corações 👏

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks for the helpful information, Derek. As a new author, I'm learning how to do promotion, so I appreciate your insights. And thanks for featuring Derek, Elizabeth.

J.Q. Rose said...

Interesting that all these "old" tried and ture methods of promotion still work today. Thanks for sharing!