Indie authors are writers who self-publish their books. Instead of having a publishing company financially backing their titles, the costs of editing, creating a book cover and marketing their books fall on them. With typically small budgets to start with, much of the total available assets for publishing are placed into editing and creating a book cover. With a limited amount of funds left for marketing, too many authors end up creating too little buzz about the titles they invested so much into.

The good news is that there are numerous ways indie authors can market their books without breaking the bank. The 8 marketing ideas for indie authors start at free, but all of them are below $200. Figuring out the most effective methods from this list at a rate affordable to the individual author is vital. Don’t just jump into any of these marketing ideas without first setting yourself an overall plan. Otherwise, those limited marketing funds may simply be a waste.

Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like. ~ Brian Chesky

1. Facebook Groups (Free)

There are thousands of Facebook Groups dedicated to helping indie authors promote their books. Some of these are general groups and others are genre-specific groups. You can post your books in these groups when they go up for pre-order, are released, or are on sale. It is an easy, free way to place your book in front of thousands of readers. Often, if you offer to share another author’s post in exchange for the same courtesy, you can place your book in front of an even wider audience.

2. Virtual Book Tours ($40-$200)

During a virtual book tour, your book will be shared on varying numbers of book blogs. The number of blogs ranges upwards from five. Virtual book tours might all occur on a single day, or be spread out through a designated amount of time up to a month. Hiring a virtual book tour company can range between $40 and $200, but is well worth the effort for the buzz created around your title.

3. Goodreads Giveaways ($120)

Goodreads is a website dedicated to books where users can share what they’ve been reading and write reviews. Authors can also use their authorized Goodreads accounts to promote their titles. The best way to do this is through a giveaway, which allows hundreds or even thousands of potential readers to try winning your book. The cost of a Goodreads giveaway starts at around $120.

4. Rafflecopter Giveaways ($0+)

Rafflecopter is a giveaway application that allows readers to enter by doing specific tasks. These tasks might include liking your author page, following you on Twitter, commenting on your blog post, or signing up for your email subscription. While hosting a basic Rafflecopter giveaway doesn’t cost anything, remember great prizes will bring in more participants. Common prizes include signed paperbacks, Amazon gift cards, and digital copies of your title.

5. Create a Website or Blog ($0+)

If you haven’t already created a website or blog, now is the time to do so. Your website will act as a command center for everything else you do online, and blogs are great at driving in organic traffic. It helps you show up in search results when people type your name into their favorite search engine and allows you to intimately interact with your fan base. There are both free and paid website creation options available.

6. Book Signings (Varies)

An in-person book signing can help you sell copies of your books and interact with your fans. Your local library or bookstore is a great place to host signings, but there are also mass author events that allow people to join for a small cost. The cost of book signings will vary greatly, depending on the cost of the table and the cost of initial paperbacks to sell at the signing. It is possible to host a book signing for $200 or less, and you can even spread the cost of paperback copies out over several weeks or months if you plan ahead.

7. Create A Street Team (Varies)

A street team is a group of your most loyal and dedicated fans. You can host your street team efforts through a dedicated Facebook group or forum on your blog. A street team can share promo posts, review your books, and spread the word about your titles through word of mouth. Many authors reward their street team members with exclusive giveaways, books, or even free merchandise.

8. Branded Hashtag (Free)

A branded hashtag can be used on several social media sites, with the primary ones being Twitter and Facebook. The purpose of this hashtag, which will be dedicated to only posts about your books, is that it groups all your social media activity. Fans can use this hashtag when sharing or promoting your posts, and you can use it to keep everyone in the know without information getting virtually lost in the crowd.

Conclusion

The eight marketing ideas listed above can help indie authors get the most bang for their buck, so to speak. The methods range from free to around $200, so authors will have to decide which ones are most worth their effort and investment. Remember to create an overall marketing plan before investing in any of these ideas, so that your efforts aren’t haphazard. Haphazard or poorly put together marketing efforts are less likely to succeed in creating buzz than a well-formulated strategy.

So, affordable marketing is done, if you’re looking for what types of books to go for your next project, read more at 7 Types of Books You Can Create for Kindle