THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Fifty Things Under $50 Bucks To Promote Your Book

These days it seems like everyone's book marketing budget is a little tighter. If you're feeling the pinch, or if you're just looking for some great free stuff to do on your own, here are some tips that could help keep you on track.

1) Buy your domain name as soon as you have a title for your book. You can get domain names for as little as $8.95. Tip: When buying a domain always try to get a .com and stay away from hyphens, i.e. penny-sansevieri.com - surfers rarely remember to insert hyphens.

2) Head on over to Blogger.com or Wordpress.com and start your very own blog (you can add it to your Web site later).

3) Set up an event at your neighborhood bookstore. Do an event and not a signing, book signings are boring!

4) Write a few articles on your topic and submit them onto the Internet for syndication. You can submit them to sites like ezinearticles.com and articlecity.com.

5) Check out your competition online and see if you can do some networking.

6) Do some radio research and pitch yourself to at least five new stations this week.

7) Ready to get some business cards? Head on over to Vistaprint.com. The cards are free if you let them put their logo on the back, if you don't they're still really inexpensive.

8) Put together your marketing plan. Seriously, do this. If you don't know where you're going, any destination will do.

9) Plan a contest or giveaway. Contests are a great way to promote your book.

10) Google some topic-related online groups to see if you can network with them.

11) Send thank you notes to people who have been helpful to you.

12) Send your book out to at least ten book reviewers this week.

13) Do a quick Internet search for local writers' conferences or book festivals you can attend.

14) Create an email signature for every email you send; email signatures are a great way to promote your book and message.

15) Put the contents of your Web site: book description, bio, Q&A, and interviews on CD to have on hand when the media comes calling!

16) Submit your Web site to the top five directories: Google, MSN, Alexa, Yahoo, and DMOZ.

17) Write a great press release and submit it to free online press release sites like: PR4 - http://www.prlog.org/ , http://www.1888pressrelease.com, http://i-newswire.com, http://www.prfocus.com

18) Write your bio and have someone who can be objective critique it; you'll need it when you start pitching yourself to the media.

19) Schedule your first book event!

20) Start your own email newsletter; it's a great way to keep readers, friends and family updated and informed on your success.

21) Start a Twitter account and begin tweeting. If you don't think Twitter is significant, think again; it's been a major part of our marketing strategy for over 2 years now (before anyone even knew what Twitter was).

22) Develop a set of questions or discussion topics that book clubs can use for your book, and post them on your Web site for handy downloads.

23) Add your book info or URL to your answering machine message.

24) Start a Facebook Fan page. Fan Pages are much better than groups because they're searchable in Google.

25) See if you can get your friends to host a "book party" in their home. You come in and discuss your book and voila, a captive audience!

26) Find some catalogs you think your book would be perfect for and then submit your packet to them for consideration. If you're unsure of what catalogs might work for you, head on over to http://www.catalogs.com and peruse their list.

27) Go around to your local retailers and see if they'll carry your book; even if it's on consignment, it might be worth it!

28) Add your book to Google Book Search.

29) Research some authors with similar subjects and then offer to exchange links with them.

30) Start a Squidoo page and make sure it's linked to your Twitter Account and Facebook Fan page.

31) Make sure your blog is connected to Amazon.com via their Amazon connect program (yes, it's free).

32) Ask friends and family to email five people they know and tell them about your book.

33) Leave your business card, bookmark, or book flyer wherever you go.

34) Subscribe to Google Alerts and make sure that you are getting alerts under your name as well as your book title(s), brand, and keywords.

35) Pitch yourself to your local television stations.

36) Pitch yourself to your local print media.

37) Work on the Q&A for your press kit. You'll need it when you start booking media interviews!

38) Pitch Oprah. Go ahead, you know you want to.

39) Is the topic of your book in the news? Check your local paper, and write a letter to the editor to share your expertise (and promote your book!).

40) Stop by your local library and see if you can set up an event. They love local authors.

41) Do you want to get your book into your local library system? Try dropping off a copy to your main library; if they stock it chances are the other branches will too.

42) Go to Chase's Calendar of Events (www.Chases.com) and find out how to create your own holiday!

43) Going on vacation? Use your away-from-home time to schedule a book event or two.

44) If your book is appropriate, go to local schools to see if you can do a reading.

45) Got a book that could be sold in bulk? Start with your local companies first and see if they're interested in buying some promotional copies to give away at company events.

46) Don't forget to add reviews to your Web site. Remember that what someone else has to say is one thousand times more effective than anything you could say!

47) Trying to meet the press? Search the Net for Press Clubs in your area, they meet once a month and are a great place to meet the media.

48) Want a celebrity endorsement? Find celebs in your market with an interest in your topic and then go for it. Remember all they can say is no. Check out the Actors Guild for a list of celeb representatives.

49) Ready to get some magazine exposure? Why not pitch some regional and national magazines with your topic or submit a freelance article for reprint consideration?

50) Work on your next book. Sometimes the best way to sell your first book is by promoting your second.