This is a question I have been trying to answer for the last six months. There’s a lot that goes into promoting a book, even if you plan to only use free options. If you want to win, you don’t want to publish your book, put a pinned post at the top of your Twitter and Facebook accounts and forget about it. You want to put some thought into marketing, even if you have no marketing money.
1. Create Your Cover – get your copy of GIMP or Photoshop and get to it. You need your cover for promotion, and you need it as soon as possible. You really want to have this finished two to three months prior to the publication of your book so that you can do some advanced marketing.

2. Choose a Pre-Order Date – If you plan to do pre-orders, choose a pre-order date that is ahead of your publication date by two to four weeks or longer, but keep in mind that your book will need to be finished so that you can upload it.

3. Choose a Press Release Date – Your press release date needs to be ahead of your pre-order date by at least a week.

4. Choose Your Publication Date – You want to have this planned out well in advance.

Those four above dates are extremely important. You can’t start your promotions until you know all of these dates. You will also want to gear your promotions around these dates.
5. Get Your Author Website – If you do not have a website, you can get one for free. I currently use Weebly, and you can have as many of these as you want. I have an author page, a wannabe writer page and a freelancing website on Weebly. Once you have your website, get some content on it. At a bare minimum, you want a Home page, Author Blog, About the Author and a Contact Page.

6. Get Your Social Media Accounts Sorted – If you don’t have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat, Instagram, ect, you need to get them. If you have them, you need to reconfigure them around your new author persona. This probably means changing your website addresses to reflect your author webpage and changing your profile pictures to yourself or your book cover.

7. Get Hootsuite – Hootsuite has done some major limiting of the free account these days, but it is still usable. Your limitations are that you can only have 3 social media accounts linked to it, and you can only do a maximum of 30 posts across those 3 accounts, so 10 each. That is enough to get you 2.5 days of scheduled social media posts. You can’t be online 24 hours a day, so this is better than nothing. Hoostuite will push your posts for you whether you are at your computer or not.

8. Locate Book Promotion Groups and Webpages – There are a ton of them out there. However, you have to be vigilant. Some of the sites require you to pay a fee. Others require that you have X amount of review on Amazon and a certain star rating before they accept you. You won’t have either one of those things prior to your publication date, and you may not have them for months afterwards. If you plan to look on Facebook, the keywords you want are “Author Book Promotions”. Once you get into a few of these Facebook will feed more of them down your right sidebar, and joining becomes a breeze after that.

9. Get Spammy! - If you aren’t used to advertising or are completely against advertising, you are going to have to get over it quickly. The only way people are going to know about your book, is if you get up and scream the title along with your name and provide the links to your published book. You can get creative with it. I’ve gotten creative with it. There are things you can do to make it look less like an advertisement, but the word about your new published book is only going to get out if YOU tell everyone you know and everyone who walks by you and everyone you don’t know.
Now that you have all the information you need to get started promoting your book, sit back and relax with a different good book from author Stacey Carroll. (See what I did there.)

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