Thursday, September 3, 2015

Book Promotion Doesn't Have To Cost A Fortune

with guest blogger, Amy Brantley.

Hello, everyone! ~waves~ My name is Amy Brantley and I own the book promotion company Book Promos by A Girl and Her eBooks. I'm also a fellow author, writing under the pen name Cora Maxine. As a fellow author, I greatly understand the need to find affordable promotion methods. Whether you're self-published or traditionally published, the need for promotion remains the same. While promotion may be a necessary task for all types of authors, not all authors have a lot of money to spend. The good news is there are a number of ways to promote your books without spending a fortune. I hope the following methods are useful to you and that you consider visiting my website for affordable promotion.

Free Promotion Sites

Whether your book is free or discounted, you can find several companies that offer free promotion. The downsides are that it will require you to fill out forms and there's no guarantee the company will promote your book. These sites get flooded with promotion requests. That's why it's essential that you choose your best book and offers to promote. For example, free books are going to be a big hit, but if you can't mark your book down to free, $0.99 priced books can also be big, especially if your book is normally priced much higher. Lastly, books that have hit bestseller lists or won awards will also capture a promo site's attention (be sure to mention any awards). In other words, these companies want to give their followers the best of the best.

Guest Blog Posts

Another free method to use is free guest posts. Again, this does require some work on your part. Most blogs are going to want original content that is at least 400 words long. While this can take a bit of time away from your book writing, it can prove beneficial, especially if you team up with a very popular blog. It's your chance to reach new readers.

Social Media Engagement

Facebook can be your best friend or a huge waste of time. The biggest mistake many authors make with Facebook is choosing to only use the site as a way to push their books. For real engagement, you want to connect with your readers and provide them with a source of entertainment. This can be done by providing funny pictures, making personal posts about what you're up to, and sharing content and articles that will appeal to your target audience. The more enjoyable the content, the more apt people are to share your posts and your page with friends.


Chances are you may already have a newsletter, but what do you say in it? Do you use your newsletter simply as a way to update readers about an upcoming book or do you give readers something more? Again, you should use this promotional method as a way to entertain your readers so they look forward to each issue. For example, provide exclusive excerpts to upcoming books, do giveaways, include character Q & As, etc. It's also nice to include something personal, like photos from a recent trip. Readers want to know the person behind the book, even if it's a made-up persona.

Street Teams

A street team is another affordable promotion tool that will cost you very, very little. Of course, the more you're willing to spend, the more successful the team will be. A street team is a team of readers that work to spread the word about your books. This is done through sharing your books with their friends, writing reviews, doing blog posts on their personal blogs, etc. You'll need to provide your street team with copies of your books for review and it helps to run small contests that will encourage them to participate. For example, you might ask them to share a post and then choose someone who shared the post at random to win a $5 Amazon gift card or book swag.

Book Swag

There are two approaches to book swag you should definitely consider. First of all, you can have bookmarks, jewelry, etc made to give out in giveaways or at conventions. These are great for capturing the reader's attention because everyone loves freebies. Another method is to create products for sale through a company like CafePress. These items will be purchased by your loyalest fans, but a cool design can capture the attention of other readers who will want to learn more about you. In other words, you can turn your readers into walking billboards through t-shirts, hats, tote bags, etc. It can also be another source of income.

These methods cost little to nothing to implement. They only require your time. However, you can also hire someone to do the legwork for you. Of course, if you're interested in spending just a bit more money, you can find a number of affordable services on my website starting at only five dollars!

Have you used any of the methods listed above? Were they successful?

Hi Everyone, Audra here. Isn't Amy amazing? She has so many ideas for book promotion and, if you choose, she'll do a fantastic job of promotion for you! I guess I'm a bit bias since she's done a wonderful job on Rough Road Home for me. I hope you take the opportunity today to chat and ask questions. I told her we were a chatty bunch : )

Also, don't miss the awesome giveaway Amy is offering. One Full Promo Pack will go to a could be you!!! There's more! Amy is offering an additional 10% off any order when you contact her.

Can a writer's life get any better than this? This could possibly be a close second to CHOCOLATE!!!

About Book Promos by A Girl and Her eBooks

Books Promos by A Girl and Her eBooks is a promotion company that caters to anyone who needs to see a boost in sales. Whether you're an indie author or an author working with a publishing company or even a publisher, I'm here to help you get your book in front of a larger audience.

As the owner of A Girl and Her eBooks, I've spent the past two years building a website and social following that now has over 10,000 followers. The services offered on this page share your books with those followers. I offer invaluable services that are priced for almost every budget.

Through Books Promos by A Girl and Her eBooks, I offer everything from services that share your book with 10,000+ followers to full promo packs to assistant services. You can see everything on the Services page. Do note that I also offer custom services. Whether you need help boosting your social network accounts or need a beta reader, I'm at your service. All you need to do is email me with your requests and I'll provide a timely quote.

About the Girl

My name is Amy Brantley and I've had a love of books since early childhood, but I feel that what makes me a superior book promotion consultant is my own work as an independent author. In other words, I know how important it is to see a boost in sales. I also understand the value of one-on-one service. I pride myself in providing personalized service and working to make your experience the best it can be. More importantly, I will never charge you excessive fees for the work I do. My services are priced well below the competition because I honestly care about helping authors meet their goals. 


Loves To Read said...

Hi Amy! Interesting post. I love author sites with photos. Their pets, hobbies, etc. Always interesting. Please enter me in the give away.

Terri said...

Wow! Great advice and a great giveaway. I'll take the advice to heart and would love to be entered in the giveaway.

Marketing is so tough. I don't mind doing guest blogs at all, but admit to being clueless about the sites and forms for free promo ops.

Thanks for sharing.

Elaine Stock said...

For me, especially at this timing, this opportunity would be far better than chocolate! Amy, thanks for this chance.

The Artist Librarian said...

Great post! Amy, I had a question about using a service like Cafe Press. Do you ever run into issues with using your book cover art or is it okay since you are the book's author? I guess I'm wondering who owns the image rights to your book cover and if it's alright with the publisher for you to use it for profit with a service/site like that (though it is publicity as well).

Please leave me out of the drawing today --good luck authors! What an awesome prize! =)

Jessica Nelson said...

Great ideas! Thank you, Amy.

Annie Hemby said...

Ohhhhh! What a great post! I've just been delving into book promotion stuff and learning the ins and outs. This was very helpful! Thank you! I can't wait to come back later today and see if anyone else has great suggestions to share :) Since I am new at this, I have no advice.

Happy Thursday, Seekerville! It's going to be a rainy one here.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Amy!! I brought the first pot of coffee! I am not as new as I was on this and I still have no advice. This is always an area I can use help with. Thanks for the great ideas!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Amy, you gave great tips, and congrats on starting your own business! Go you!!!!

Welcome to Seekerville and thanks to Audra for bringing you here. I'm always hunting for new ways to reach more people, and this advice is welcome!

Tina, I'm all over that coffee pot! And I've brought breakfast sandwiches for a hearty, end-of-summer, gosh-it's-getting-dark-earlier breakfast!

No sweaters needed in upstate today, though... We're in a sauna-style-fog!

Rhonda Starnes said...

Welcome, Amy! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful tips. I'm bookmarking this post for future reference. I've got to be prepared when I get that book contract!

Jill Weatherholt said...

Nice to meet you, Amy. Thank you so much for the helpful tips. I've printed your post...I'm going to need it! Great stuff!

Sandra Ardoin said...

Great ideas, Amy. I'm always looking for new ways to promote my work. I'll definitely check out your site.

Cindy Regnier said...

Welcome to Seekerville Amy. I don't have a book to promote. However, I am still hopeful there is a big 'YET' after that sentence. Great tips. I'll be saving this post for future reference. Thanks for sharing with us.

Mary Hicks said...

Hello Amy, and thanks for the great post! You gave us some good tips and ideas— and collecting ideas on promoting has almost become a hobby. :-)

It's hot and sunny here . . .

Audra Harders said...

Good morning, everyone! I hope you enjoy Amy's visit today. She has so many great ideas for book promotion, she did a wonderful job with my latest book, Rough Road Home. Time is so limited these days for all that's expected of each of us. Amy took the headache of promoting out of my hands. God bless her!!

Before I leave for work, I'm setting up the buffet table with a semi-hearty breakfast of egg and sausage burritos, butter pecan waffles and a to die for brioche bread that melts in your mouth!! Of course, I've supplemented Tina's coffee pot - always room for more coffee, right??

I'll pop in as I can, but I know I'm leaving Amy in great hands!!!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Amy! Thanks for the terrific tips for promoting our books.

Congratulations on starting your business. Authors can use all the help they can get with getting the word out about their books.


Janet Dean said...

Audra, thanks for breakfast! I'm energized for a busy day.


Wilani Wahl said...

Welcome Amy. Thanks for a great post. I will be saving your web site. Please enter me in the drawing

Amy Brantley said...

Hello everyone!!! Big waves. I'm so excited to be visiting with you all today.

About CafePress, I would recommend going through the proper channels to find out about your images. You want to make sure you have the proper rights and this was a very good topic to bring up.

Here are a few free promo sites that I've used in the past:

Free Book Dude
eBook Lister
Digital Book Today
eBooks Habit
It's Write Now
Best eBooks Free
Great Books, Great Deals

I look forward to helping in any way I can today so feel free to keep the questions flying.

I brought homemade elderberry muffins and iced coffee. Enjoy :)

Amy Brantley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Brantley said...

I also want to thank Audra for the wonderful comments about my business. I truly love what I do and value offering personalized service. No customer is ever just another number. I treat my fellow authors like great friends and am just as thrilled at their success as they are.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I have never had an elderberry muffin, so I'm Psyched!!!

Amy Brantley said...

Enjoy :) I picked the berries from my own yard :)

Myra Johnson said...

Welcome, Amy! Definitely a post I'll bookmark and refer back to! As a confirmed introvert, I am not the least bit fond of doing promo for my books, but I realize it's a necessary part of the publishing business. Social networking like Facebook and Twitter help me at least pretend to be an extrovert, since I can still hide away behind my computer screen and take my time thinking up clever (right!!) things to post.

Candee Fick said...

Welcome Amy and thanks for the great ideas. I'm in the middle of launch preparations and your post served as a bit of a reminder checklist to make sure I'm on the right track to start. With a tight budget, I'm investing the time factor into as many free options as possible so that when I need to pay something, it'll be an extra boost.

One fun thing I found on Etsy was small book charms custom made with your book cover on them. They'll make great thank you swag for a few lucky launch team members.

I'll have to go check out your website for more tips, but would love to win a promo pack. Because that would totally fit my budget!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning AMY and what perfect timing. I am just finishing a novel and need to get promotion going. I've done some of the things you've suggested and they do work. Doing something versus doing nothing = sales versus no sales. Its as simple as that.

So glad to know of your service because I was just thinking I need to find one. And here you are. YAY. I'll be in touch.

And thanks for joining us in Seekerville today. We always love to learn new things. Have fun.

Amy Brantley said...

I'll have to check that out on Etsy. That sounds really cool. Another fun idea is getting a calendar made with your different book covers or different quotes from your book.

I'm such an introvert myself. I don't think it's such a bad thing. I think it fits the career very well because, let's face it, we spend a LOT of time alone. Well, not truly alone. Our characters do keep us company ;)

Debby Giusti said...

Amy, welcome to Seekerville! Thanks for your promo tips and for the many ways you help authors!

A number of posts recently have talked about newsletters. Do you feel they're one of the most powerful tools writers can use? How often should we be sending out a newsletter? With each new release, of course, but at other times too? Would love your opinion.

Debby Giusti said...

Waving to Candee Fick!

I've seen the tiny book charms and love them. How would I find the vendor on Etsy? I haven't gone there...and need directions! Thank you! :)

Audra Harders said...

Candee, so glad you made it to Seekerville for the post today! You're doing so much to launch your debut book, it never hurts to have more tools at your fingertips. Amy does a great job working social media. I'm with Myra...introvert to the hilt.

Audra Harders said...

Good question about the newsletter, Debby. I try to keep up, but frankly, I never think what I have to say is exciting enough to subscribe to my newsletter. Any tips, Amy?

Amy Brantley said...

Newsletters can be hit or miss, but it really depends on the effort you put in. I find them a fun tool, but I don't think they're the BEST tool. The key is to offer your readers something that keeps them coming back for more. Think of fun ways to entice your readers. I plan to do a character Q&A soon for the release of my new book.

As for how often to send them out, I find twice a month to be a good fit. It keeps the readers attention without bombarding them. If you go too long, I think you lose the reader's attention. For example, I think that once every quarter is way too far apart.

CatMom said...

Welcome Amy! (Love your name, by the way - - my oldest daughter is Amy). :)
I'm not pubbed yet, but am saving your post - - great information here.
Thanks for sharing with us today.
Blessings, Patti Jo


Amy Brantley said...

Hi Patti!

Thank you :) I'm happy my dad got his say. My mom wanted to name me Hannah and I don't feel like a Hannah at all LOL

Good luck with your publishing efforts! It's well worth it in the end.

Debby Giusti said...

Thanks, Amy. I had thought quarterly would be good. Am now rethinking. Appreciate your help! :)

Audra, thanks for sharing Amy with us! :)

Happy upcoming Labor Day Weekend to both of you!

Candee Fick said...

Debby and others, here's the link to the Etsy vendor.

Just make it a "custom" order and in the notes section, tell her what book cover you want. They are too cute for words. :-)

Leslie Ann aka LA said...

Hi Amy, waving at you :)

I use Amy's services and I got a huge bump in newsletter subscribers, which translated into a larger number of opens and click-throughs on my newsletters. Her specials (she's running a fall promotion now) gives you great options.

LA aka L.A. Sartor

Amy Brantley said...

Hi Leslie!!! ((hugs))

Leslie's right. A Girl and Her eBooks is giving away a Keurig 2.0 K550 AND a $100 Amazon gift card! If you want to signup to be part of the giveaway, check out this newsletter:

Janet Ferguson said...

Wow! Great ideas! I don't have a book out yet, but if you want to put me in a drawing for when I do, go ahead! I'm staying hopeful and heading to conference soon.

Myra Johnson said...

DEBBY, I've been doing quarterly newsletters, too, IF I remember!!! I need to rethink my strategy as well. Already bookmarked Amy's post!

Walt Mussell said...

Hi, Amy!

Wish I'd had this over a month ago. I released my third book on Kindle Worlds. I can't control the price of those books, but there are other things I can do to market them.

Danica Favorite said...

Amy, this is fantastic!! A lot of good stuff in this post, and I am definitely going to be looking at these! You mentioned in the comments that the newsletter isn't the best tool. Do you have a tried and true favorite?

Jill Haymaker said...

Hi Amy great tips and ideas. I am getting ready to publish my second book and am looking for inexpensive ways to promote it. I will definitely check out your website. I would love to win your promo pack. It is all overwhelming to me.

Amy Brantley said...

Personally, my two favorite promo methods are my blog and Facebook. Those methods work so well for me, but other methods work better for other authors. What I like about blogs is that the more you post, the higher up you move in the search engines making it easier for your site to be found. I recommend posting a couple times a week, but at least once a week is good. On Facebook, you want to limit posting to every two hours.

Amy Brantley said...

As a special surprise, I'm offering a full year of promo for $350 minus additional another 10%! The price is normally $600 and includes the following:

30 Facebook Shares Per Month
Tweets 2x Per Day
4 Book Features/Blog Posts on My Site Per Month
4 Freebie/Deal Posts Per Month (free or deal book posted in my weekly posts plus in the A Girl and Her eBooks Newsletter)

Contact me directly for this offer at


Myra Johnson said...

Interesting point, Amy--limiting FB posts to every two hours. I could name more than a few who seem to post every two MINUTES!!!

That's one reason I love the scheduling feature of apps like Hootsuite and also FB pages. I can do a lot of my social media stuff in one block of time but still space out the posts. I really don't like going through my newsfeed and finding one long series of posts from the same person.

Audra Harders said...

Lots of good ideas floating around. I love it!

I like the way you do your newsletters, Amy, short and often, but not too often. BUT, you have great specials you advertise and books you're promoting. If an author wants to have a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter, what in the world would we talk about? You know, they don't let me out much around here. I'm lucky I notice the seasons changing : )

Personally, I need to find a way to stay in front of my audience between books without angsting over it continually.

Debby Giusti said...

Thanks so much, Candee!

Cara Lynn James said...

Great tips, Amy! I'm so glad there are people who can help us promote because I'm afraid I'm clueless. Writing comes naturally to me as it does to lots of writers, but marketing and promotion do not.

Amy Brantley said...

Natural posts are also a good thing on Facebook. I schedule posts, and love that feature as well, but sharing something from another page or just adding a random post here and there gives you a real boost. I find that the most popular posts come from sharing a post that's on another page.

Weekly newsletters are also great. I send out my Book Promos newsletter a few times a week, but I see it differently than promoting my writing. Once I setup an author newsletter, I plan to send those out no more than once a week.

Will check back in soon! Going to have dinner and then look at getting rid of a snake I just found in the bushes against the front of my house. Not gonna kill it, just relocate.

Amy Brantley said...

I certainly agree. I was a freelance writer for 8 years and when most of the income switched to the dependency of page views, I dove into online marketing. It was a must and I'm so glad I invested the time. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Amy, welcome! Thanks for sharing with us. I love seeing the different ways authors promote. I need to check out your website.

Paula Mowery said...

Thanks for the great info in your post. This is the part I struggle so much with - Promotion. Makes me shudder just typing it! LOL I would definitely like the opportunity to win the Promo Package. I think just the experience of working with a promo expert would be beneficial. Thanks again for your willingness to help authors.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi CANDEE. Thanks for sharing the Etsy site. I have used it before for promotion. They have some really cool products.

I like the idea of a charm with your book cover. Fun. And your suggestion to reward your influencers with a thank you gift is an important tip.

Sandra Leesmith said...

More great info AMY. I have been toying with the idea of a newsletter also but like AUDRA and wondering what on earth would anyone care about in my life? I find it a challenge to find things to post on Facebook since I don't have a bunch of cute kids to post. (Thankful for that really because I would never get any writing done. LOL)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Wow, that is a super deal for a year's promotion. Thanks for offering that to our Seeker friends AMY. HOw generous of you.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Just to be clear is that offer $350 for the entire year or is that $350 per month for an entire year?

Amy Brantley said...

HI, Sandra. It's for an ENTIRE YEAR!!! And you can promote as many books as you like :) How sweet of a deal is that?

Amy Brantley said...

I think something we often forget as authors is that readers love seeing that they have something in common with a favorite author. Share what books you're currently reading, the movie you just watched and what you thought about it, pictures of pets (I don't have kids either, but have 10 pets!), a craft you're trying out, etc. When I connect with some of my favorite authors I just love finding out what they enjoy doing and that we have things in common. :)

Myra Johnson said...

LOL, AUDRA, I'm with you--my life just seems too boring to come up with enough interesting stuff to put out my newsletters more frequently!

Audra Harders said...

LOL, Myra! My life revolves around a 2 mile radius of our house. You're such a world traveller compared to me!!! You, my dear, are NOT boring!

Audra Harders said...

Amy, thank you for joining us today. We all learned something from you and from each other. Thanks for the generous giveaway, too! We'll announce the winner in the Saturday Weekend Edition. What a great day!!

Amy Brantley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Brantley said...

It's been such a pleasure. It was nice meeting you all! If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me at any time at You can also friend me on Facebook

Thanks for such a great experience!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Amy! I clearly need help, since I have nearly 500 people signed up for my newsletter, and I still have not even sent out the first one!!! That would require figuring out how to do one, and I have been putting that off for a long time. LOL! I do have a street team since my last book was about to come out and my publisher said, "Create a street team, like, now." Me: "Okay." I love my street team, but I MAY have added too many people. 100 to be exact. And I promised them all a book. Yikes.
Anyway, I'd love to be in your drawing, Amy! Thanks for coming to Seekerville and sharing your knowledge!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hey, Audra!!! We need to have a catch up email, when you have time! I miss hearing what's going on with you!

Amy Brantley said...

I do offer newsletter creation services, if anyone is interested :)

Wow. Yeah, a 100 is a lot, but if they all leave reviews that's great!

Sherida Stewart said...

These are great....affordable.....ideas, Amy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'll keep your business in mind for the day I'm (hopefully) published. :)

Hope Dougherty said...

A timely post for my, Amy. Thanks so much!

Chill N said...

I'm late, I'm late, but must tell you how helpful the post is, Amy. I'll be sharing it with other writers.Thank you!

Nancy C

Amy Brantley said...

Again, thank you to all the writers and readers that stopped by. I hope these tips help :)

Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

Julie Lessman said...

AMY and AUDRA!!! Oh, gosh, I left a comment, but Blogger apparently ate it!

Boy, did I need THIS post today yesterday (and today!), because I am getting ready to release my first indie novel all by myself, so YES, I need promo.

I do everything on your list but street teams, but something I would really like to have is a listing of all the promo sites available out there, those that are free and those that have a price tag, in the order of the most productive. Do you have a list like that? And if so, is that a service you offer to authors, to promo their novel release on as many of these sites as possible?

Thanks, Audra, for bringing Amy here -- GREAT POST!!