Monday, June 8, 2009

Book Promotion on a Budget

Things I wish I’d known before I started out on the published author's trail, by Barry Eva

As all writers know there are many places on the web that offer you various services to help you become the “next best-selling author”, and while many are there to help you, some are just there to make as much money as possible from any unsuspecting author.

Plenty of places are out there, plenty of emails, and contacts come your way. However, before you jump on the sometime costly bandwagon, just see what is there for perhaps less money or with a better service.

See what the best “BANG FOR YOUR BUCK” might be.


Before you go anywhere remember these words….

Marketing and Pr doesn’t sell books - it gets you exposure!

As one of my fellow bloggers and radio hosts put it today…

Exposure=name recognition
Name recognition MAY equal book sales

Don’t think that just because you have your book being published you will be the next J.K Rowling. There are not that many authors out there who actually make a living from their books. So in other words:

“Dream of the day… but don’t lose touch with reality”


Before the ink is out of the bottle, let alone dry on the pages of your book you should have some items to aid your book promotion already set up.

You should look to set up the following:

Facebook Page
My Space Page
Book Email
Twitter Account
Web Site

There are plenty of places out there offering services for such things, sometimes charging over $1000. So let’s break these items down and see what there is on offer.


Facebook, My Space and Twitter etc. are what come under “Social Networking”.

I recently read a major publisher is now proud to offer a “Social Media Setup Service” that will help an author into “the world of social media”

You Got:
A blog on the popular and easy to use WordPress platform
A Facebook profile for your identity as an author
A Facebook page for your book
A MySpace page for your book

This was available at a “Special Introductory Price of $999”

I also received information from a “Marketing and Promotion” company, which offers many such items and their charge for setting you up with these services was $149

Setting up these Social Networking options and locations costs “$0.00… Nothing… Zero”. Any person who has access to a computer can go on the Internet, create exactly what these companies offer for nothing, and achieve the same results in under an hour.

One of the other things I noticed with some interest is that the blog being offered was on WordPress, which though very good, quite often might require you to have some knowledge of HTML coding to change certain formats and styles. For a person who perhaps does not have such skills, I would recommend a person uses “BLOGGER” ( as it is a far easier platform, similar to writing something in “Word”. It is equally as good for getting your information out on the web, and like WordPress “IT’S FREE”.

Twitter while the flavor of the moment, only gives you 140 characters to pass on your news, links or whatever.

There are many other “free” ways of passing on news VOX, XANGA, LIVE JOURNAL, MSN, AOL to name a few. You can even use the likes of (again FREE) where from one location you can post your news to many locations.

Many writers/readers groups such as SCBWI have their own blog sections.

One other thing that is very important is to be aware of how much time you can dedicate to social media. If you sign up for 50 sites, but never update them, then they’re useless.

While PING.FM helps you update multiple sites at a time, it is still limited in what it can work with, so authors really need to decide how much time they have and only sign up for the sites you can commit to.

Don’t forget, the more you’re out there… the more exposure, name recognition and “possibly” sales.

This is the first part of Barry’s 5 day document on book promotion on a budget. You can read the whole series at

Barry Eva (Storyheart)
Author of "Across the Pond"
Book Site:
Follow my daily blog at:
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Unknown said...

Thank you for posting

s.w. vaughn said...

These are great tips! I hope a lot of people see them, so they don't get suckered into paying money for MySpace, Twitter and Facebook (how crazy is that?!).

Good luck on your tour!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Excellent points, Barry. When I started out and knew NOTHING, I signed up for a book promotion package that had photos of bestsellers on its page. I got "featured," and a few other things. I paid $700, but didn't realize that I'd be lucky to sell SEVEN books for that kind of exposure, never mind the hundreds I'd need to recoup my investment. One secret most readers don't realize is that authors get only a buck or two for online sales. So for a $700 investment, you'd need to sell between 350-700 books to break even. Um. Not going to happen from one website!

Sheila Deeth said...

Thanks. Great tips for if I ever get that far. Good luck on the tour.

thewriterslife said...

Barry is getting to be quite the promotional king, isn't he??? WTG, Barry!