Karlene Cameron and Dark Awakening

There is nothing more fulfilling than completing your romance novel and having it ready to go to market. As exciting as that is, the reality is that there is still a lot of hard work to be done if you want your book to be a success. It’s not everyone who can afford to hand the job of promotion and marketing over to a third-party provider, which means you’ll need to get creative and do it yourself.

If you are short on money, the good news is there are still ways to get your romance novel to the masses on a shoestring budget. While I’m a romance writer at heart, I’m also a marketer by day. So I’ve leveraged my 20+ years of experience to bring you the best (and cheapest!) ways to take your book to market.  Let’s take a look at a few.

Guest Blogging – This is not a new way to promote and get your message heard, but you should be careful about the blogs you choose to write for. Ideally, you should be looking at blogs that are in the romance niche, as this will deliver the best shot at getting positive results. Also, make sure that when you guest blog, you are allowed a link back to your site, or to where your book is being sold. I am always quite happy to help authors reach new audiences. If you are interested in writing a guest blog on my site, submit your idea via Twitter (@AuthorKarleneC), Facebook, or leave in the comments below. I will get back to you within 24-48 hours.

Discounts for Reviews – As well as spending some time on blogs, be sure to do the book forums circuit. There are several but my favorites include OnlineBookClub, Amazon’s Romance forum and FanPop. There are a lot of people in those forums who will gladly read and review your book if you give them some sort of discount. If going this route, be professional, and do not ask for a positive review in return. You have to take the good with the bad.

Create Social Media Accounts for your Book – Chances are that you already have an individual account on all the major social media networks, but consider creating individual accounts for your book too, and then link them to your personal account. Those other accounts can be solely reserved for book related information, such as promotions, press releases, etc. Consider investing time in social networks like Empire.Kred, where you can earn ‘shares’ for your social activity.

Facebook groups are another great resource. Be sure to read the community rules so you know if your link to your book will be welcomed or shunned!

Put Together a Virtual Book Tour – Taking to the road to hit brick and mortar bookstores can be pricey, but a virtual book tour can be done for free. With this type of tour, you essentially hit different blogs every day, talk about your romance novel, and answer any questions your readers may have.

Reddit Q&A – When you promote and market your book, have a date in mind where you might be free to answer questions from readers. Reddit does this type of thing regularly, and makes it easy for you to set up a meeting with fans.

Be sure to explore subreddits that are specific to your book’s genre. For example, one of my favorite subreddits is r/suggestmeabook which as 1.4M members or r/booksuggestions which as 409k members!

Go Live on Social Media – Facebook and Periscope, as well as a few others, allow you to broadcast live, which is a great way to stay in touch with readers, talk about your book, and basically answer any questions that people may have about your novel and writing process. It’s also a great way to put a face to the name on the cover of your book, and you will find that people are often inspired to buy when they like the person they are buying from.

These are just a small handful of options that you can use to market your book on a shoestring budget. Get creative, and get the word out any way you can.

How do you market your book? Drop me a line below and tell me which channels work best for you.