Ebooks   ➡  Nonfiction  ➡  Business & Economics  ➡  Marketing  ➡  Publishing  ➡  Self-publishing

Breakthrough Marketing at No Cost

Breakthrough Marketing

At No Cost


Robin Beck and Nadine May

Published by:

Kima Global Publishers

50, Clovelly Road,



South Africa

© Robin Beck and Nadine May 2014

ISBN 978-1-920535-83-4

Web site

With the exception of small passages quoted for review purposes, this edition may not be reproduced, translated, adapted, copied, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or through any means including mechanical, electronic, photocopying or otherwise without the permission of the publisher.


The Aim of this Book

Something about us

Building a Platform

Getting Started before You Begin

What is a Platform?


Liking Sharing and Commenting

Set up a Fan Page

Some Unwritten Rules

Linked In


Abbreviated URL’s



Author’s page on Amazon

Other Marketing Opportunities on Amazon

KDP Select


Amazon Reviews





usernames and passwords

Booktrailers on YouTube

Web site

Public Networks

Time You can Spend on Social networking

Social Marketing Management Sites

Article Writing


Radio Interviews

Sound Cloud

Public Lectures


Conferences and Festivals

Last but not Least

Some Shameless Marketing

Requirements for submissions

[]The Aim of this book

We aim to give you a nuts and bolts practical approach to the various techniques that we have found to be successful in getting your book noticed.

Huge numbers of books are published every year (in 2013 close to 700 000 in the USA of which 390 000 were self-published). The numbers get even bigger for eBooks. There are even sites which advertise up to one million free ebooks. There were a further 270000 titles published by traditional publishers in the rest of the English speaking world in 2013. The figure for self-published books in these territories is not known. What does this mean for you as an author?

We are aware that you as an author are proud of your book and what you have achieved (and so you should be – you have exposed your life to the world here), but how do you gain recognition for it amongst the vast ocean of competing titles? More than ever it is all about marketing.

Our aim with this book is to give you a head start in enabling the right reader to find, buy and recommend your book (and to do that without spending any of your hard earned money); well maybe a little!

[]Something about us

Robin Beck

Robin owned and ran his own printing business and was later in a partnership which offered production services for at least eight independent publishers. When this partnership came to an end (for no bad reason) he founded Kima Global Publishers in 1992. Like all start up publishers it began with one title (which went to a second edition and is still in print), but has since grown to be international in scope. As you can imagine, the world of publishing has changed radically in these 22 years and Kima Global has kept up with the latest trends and developments.

Robin has always been generous with guidance and advice for authors, seeing this as a service to them to guide them to become successful authors. This tradition continues in this book.

Nadine May

Nadine May is a successful author with five books to her name. She specializes in visionary fiction. She joined Robin in the publishing house in 2001 after he published her first book and went on to take on a number of tasks including: cover design, production management, and marketing. She is currently working on her 5th novel and also gets paid for articles on her subject. She too is generous with her time in guiding new authors through the minefield of marketing.

This book is a continuation of our tradition of guidance and we wish you every success in getting your book exposed to the world. The time that you spend doing this cannot really be considered ‘work’ because time spent nurturing your book (your new baby) is never a burden. You are passionate about your new book and where there is passion time passes quickly.

[]Building a Platform

One of the first questions a publisher will ask you when you submit a new manuscript is details of your platform. If you do not have one then you will find that they are likely to lose interest quite quickly (unless you are a world famous sports star for instance). These days it is not only what you know, but how you present it and most importantly who you know. Actually it is not so much who you know, but rather who knows you!

If you intend to self-publish then it becomes even more important to have a platform because you will then not have the resources of a publisher at your disposal.

[]Getting started before you begin

Do not make the mistake of getting started with publicity only when your book has been published. There is a technique used in Wicca called Priming the Pump. What this means is you can begin building excitement about a forthcoming book up to three months ahead of your proposed publication date. You can even use teaser paragraphs or catchy phrases to generate curiosity.

Ideally your book should not be generating a platform, rather there should be a call for your book as a result of having a popular platform.

[]What is a platform?

A platform can consist of a number of elements which might include:

 FaceBook,

 LinkedIn,

 Twitter,

 Google+

 A web site

 A blog.

 Pinterest

Other elements might include activities like:

 Public lectures,

 Radio interviews? TV exposure

 Workshops,

 Speaking at or attending appropriate conferences and other physical networking opportunities.

 Festivals and trade fairs.

Newsletters have become passé because no one has the time to read them anymore, but face to face meetings in groups appropriate to your topic are nearly always good. A sales table at the back of the room still works well.

Little tips that help include making sure that you end your personal emails with a signature that includes your web address and an About Me profile.

Our very first major tip is this: if you are an author then use the name that appears on your book whether it is a pseudonym or your given name! This is then also the name you are known by in cyberspace.

In other words what is important is that you stand behind your work whether you use your birth name or a professional name. The days of hiding behind a pseudonym are long gone.

Nadine May is not the name she was born with. It is her name as a novelist, but today most people know her as Nadine May which has become her real name so to speak. She uses that name on all the social networks, and also sticks to the same photo of myself for consistency.

If you Google her name Nadine May (I’m not sure how it appears on other search engines.) you will see her own little profile box on the right of the Google search engine screen. Is that not cool!


Facebook has become a vital part of marketing. In terms of images you will need a photo of yourself. It needn’t be current, but you should be smiling. We personally do not accept friendship requests from people without a photo and can also get quite picky if we find that we only have a few friends in common. Having a banner has also become important because it can show in one image what you are about. Facebook calls this a cover and one can upload an image by opening your profile, then hover your cursor over the top left hand corner where you will see “Update Cover Photo”.

Look for friends with common interests. It is natural for people to look for friends they have in common because you should seek out people who will likely welcome what you post.

[]Liking Sharing and Commenting

In general you will not be able to interact with others unless they accept your friendship and you accept them. ‘Liking’ someone or their post means that you will be accepted by them and your posts will appear on their page. ‘Sharing’ a post will mean that the post will appear on your time line or that of a page that you manage such as the Fan Page for your book.

[]Set up a fan page

It would be a good idea for you to set up a fan page for your book. It will mean a separation of your personal and business life. The followers for your book will not have to wade through personal or family stuff and will therefore only see material targeted to their interest, while you get to know your customers and fans. These days there is an avalanche of mostly impersonal material going past our eyes, so personal interaction becomes most important in order to gain and keep their attention.

[]Some unwritten rules

 Firstly there are various levels of privacy filters that one can set. As said before post as little as possible of private or personal stuff

 Secondly we suggest that you only post content that you want the world to know about. Do not post private content, do not gossip, post hearsay or spread scandal; posts that you might regret later.

 Thirdly it is a good idea to check the credibility of other people’s posts that you wish to share. There is a lot of disinformation around and obviously you don’t want to repeat this. One good site to check credibility is Snopes.

 Do not forget also that FaceBook is monitored by the NSA for ‘trigger words’, although this is unlikely if your content is not controversial. It is now possible to enable a double password setting where get a notice on your cell phone every time someone other than you attempts a log on (even if it is government). You then have to allow or disallow access by entering a second secret password.


This network is aimed at business profiles and is frequently referred to by people who want to know more about you. Setting up a profile here is easy and essential for you as an author because it will give you a professional edge. Once again look for people you know and endorse or recommend them. Those that you support are likely to also recommend you.

You will also find various author’s and writer’s discussion forums on LinkedIn.

It is also possible to present your profile more attractively by linking a Branded.me home page to your LinkedIn profile.



Twitter is a must, but for us (to be honest), we did not initially see the value, somehow prejudging it to be trivial so we were not all that active there at first. However it has to be admitted that Twitter is an incredibly powerful marketing tool.

It is not considered good Netiquette to only post advertising tweets. Especially at the beginning of your Twitter membership it is a good idea to post catchy quotes and profound sayings. These can be original to you, quotes from your book, or any quote that calls to you. If people like them they will start retweeting, adding to your exposure. Later on you can start including some promotional tweets where you include buying links.

It would be good to build up a file of tweets for future use so that you do not have to think them up afresh each time. We would suggest at least one hundred to start with and add to them as you get inspired.

[]Abbreviated URLs

In view of the very limited number of characters allowed and the fact that some buying links (to Amazon for example) are really long it is good idea to start a collection of abbreviated links. One of the best sites to do this on is Bitly. Here you can categorise and make collections of shortened URLs which is extremely useful when developing lists of possible tweets.

One can also share directly from your Bitly page to any social media you choose. If you find someone who is willing to help you put the word out about your book you can also allow them access.



This network site is almost as good as Facebook and / or Twitter. It’s easy to manage and you can post your own marketing news onto many of the community groups. Here you can attract lost of followers as well.

Every morning Nadine makes it a habit to open her Facebook page and see what others have posted. She then likes it, or posts a comment. It’s very image driven, just like Facebook, so she does a lot of sharing from this site. You can also share across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all the posts you like or admire.


Every author, meaning someone who has an ebook or both a printed book and ebook with their name on it should have an author’s membership page on Goodreads. It’s important that you add your own library to this site, so other readers and authors can see what your interests are. If you have a Wordpress blog you should add the link address as well as those of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any others that you might be a member of to your profile settings.

Goodreads is an amazing sharing filter I would call it. Any activity you have on Goodreads will appear automatically on the left on your Facebook page.

[]Authors page on Amazon.com

The moment your book or ebook appears on Amazon you MUST sign in to Author Central.

Make sure that you biography is attractive and that all your social networks like Twitter, Goodreads, a Wordpress blog and your own YouTube channel (if you have one) are linked.

Why? This is because in today’s economic times customers make careful choices so they will want to find out everything they can about you.

[] Other marketing opportunities on Amazon

Amazon offers quite a lot of options to market your book..

[]KDP Select

If you have published a Kindle book then you have an option to enable it for KDP Select. This will allow you to offer your book as a free download for a period of 5 days. The idea here is that you will gain a lot of exposure in the hope that readers will like your book enough to recommend it to friends. The downside is that Amazon require 90 day exclusivity during which time your title may not appear on any other web site including your own (and don’t try and cheat because they check up on you!).

During the time we tried this we had up to 650 downloads in the free period but it did not result in any increase in sales afterwards. The 90 day restriction became hard to bear, so we no longer recommend this option.


If you offer a physical book as well as an ebook (as Kima Global does with all our more recent titles), this option allows anyone who buys a physical book to buy the Kindle edition at a reduced charge. We consider this to be a good idea, because the customer gets an almost instant download of the Kindle edition and can start reading right away while they wait for the physical book to reach them.

[]Amazon reviews

Try to encourage friends and customers to write a review of your book. Amazon will bump up your ranking if you can get five or more reviews. In order to post a review the person must have an Amazon account and have purchased a book – although strangely, they need not have bought your book.

It is not easy to get people to write you a review, but if you explain the value to you then it might motivate them. One can also make a plan with someone for them to write a review in exchange for a free copy of your book, especially if they are well known.


Having a blog at Wordpress can be more effective than having a personal website. All these networks are for FREE and having a blog that acts like a web site means less time spent.

You can do almost the same on a FREE Wordpress blog as you can on your own website. It all depends on the individual. Nadine has several blogs on Google but usually only adds things on there through the social network buttons below a YouTube video or an article on the net.

One of the brilliant things about Wordpress is that it features an automatic RSS feed. This means that all the activity on a Wordpress blog, if it is a post, will automatically appear in your Goodreads, Facebook and on your Amazon author’s page, so if readers want to find more out about you, the will find it there.


Pinterest is an image driven social media site. We all know that a picture can tell a thousand words, so images can be a powerful aspect of your strategy. Various boards can be made according to taste, e.g. food art, nature, gardens, tiny houses and many more.


It is useful to sign up here as well and develop what they call a backstory. What this does is place a bespoke ‘signature’ at the foot of all emails that you send out.


Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site? You can use your official portrait or a personal logo. In general it is better to use a design that is clearly identifiable even when reduced to a tiny size. Kima Global uses their three triangles logo.

This site was developed by the founder of WordPress so you have to sign in with your WordPress username and password.

[]Usernames and passwords

Talking about usernames and passwords you accumulate so many in the end (and periodically they have to change as well) that it is a good idea to make up and keep a little Excel or Access file with all the details and print it out to keep handy. Personally we do not keep sensitive passwords like bank log ins on there, but rather write them out by hand and keep them separate just in case you get hacked.

[]Booktrailers on YouTube

Many authors have what we call book trailers. To create a book trailer takes skill and time, but to have your own personal YouTube video account is easy and it’s for FREE To see an example click here.

What is very nifty is that you can post your own book trailers on your amazon page as well as on many other social networks like Facebook, Goodreads, your blog and website and many other public network sites about your own topic.

[]Web site

Having your own web domain and site is not as complicated or expensive as it used to be. All the free or cheap ones are template driven. In other words you choose your style and then the color scheme to suit your branding and then all you need is compulsive copy and appealing images. It will of course take some time and some basic computer skills to get it right, but it really is not that hard, and producing something for your own book can be great fun.

One can get a basic free web site from http://www.wozaonline.co.za if you are in South Africa. There is a plus to this because it is Google- friendly.

Another good option is http://www.webs.com. Here you can get a free (but very basic) site, but they do offer various other options. The next option up from basic costs $5.99 / month at the time of publication, which includes a shopping cart which allows you to offer three products. We know that this book is about no cost marketing, but we consider this is a small price to pay if you want to offer your book direct to your fan base without giving major discounts to one of the big online stores.

Another option would be Hostgator starting at $5.95 / month with all the bells and whistles.

[]Public networks

These are websites with an option to become a member on that site. In Nadine’s case she is a member on several sites and on one of them she became a moderator. See the Goldring Game of Enlightenment.

You can also write articles on these websites, or link your blog address and other social networks there. What now happens is that when people type in the name that you have used for all your social networks, they will immediately get connected to sites that give the visitor more information about you and your work.

[]Time you can spend on social networking

For every individual author or writer this is very different. You will discover which social networks you are more drawn to compared to others. What is important is that you attract followers.

It’s the followers that will be your customers in years to come when you write more books. The authors who do make money with their books do not stop after writing one book, but they branch out and write sequels or more advanced works. If writing is your passion, then that is no problem.

[]Social marketing management sites

We can almost hear you say to yourself “This is all very complicated and if I do his properly it will take a huge number of hours out of my day!”. Yes indeed but sites like Hootsuite have been especially designed to make managing your content feeds seamless and semi-automated. You can create content that will be automatically posted on all your networks (no need to duplicate effort).

Twitter is a high speed but ephemeral site so to make the most of it you should ideally tweet every hour and repeat some of them too. With Hootsuite one can schedule tweets to go out every hour over a 24 hour period, something that is not possible manually.

[]Article writing

We mentioned before that the most important tip for any author or writer is to create a following. That applies to anyone who aims to earn an income on the internet. It does not matter what your topic is, so long as you attract followers who are interested in the same topics as yourself.

Nadine is a fiction author, so her topics vary. She has created nine main characters that all appear in her novels. Each character has different skills and interests, so she has wider topic choices, but otherwise readers do not mind reading about the life of an author after they have read their book!

For years she wrote an article for her website every week, and then also sent out newsletters to the people who signed up for them as a result of the public shows she was on and she used to link these articles in her newsletter. That has now all changed.

She discovered writing websites that are looking for content. Google favors websites that have a lot of content, because that is where they can place adverts due to the vast traffic.


What Nadine stresses as an author is the incredible learning curve she discovered by posting articles on HubPages. She asks you to please sign up, look at the one video and make a start on one article. You will find that they like you to put paragraphs into a capsule and you have the option to add a heading to each capsule. Just go ahead and do this with your own creation and watch how many words you are posting in your first article by using several capsules.

In this way you will read your own writing from a new perspective. If you do that with five articles and each article has around 1200 words it will still be only seen by you. You are still in boot camp and by now you will have learned a lot about HubPages and how it works.

[]Radio interviews

Internet radio interviews about you and your book can be fun and do reach an audience around the world. The nice thing about them is that they are usually archived and have podcasts made of them, and this in turn means that you can collect these interviews and place them on your web site and throughout social media (being careful always not to over advertise yourself).

If you have media editing program such as Camtasia you can also make a ten minute clip for YouTube using images from your book or other suitable images.

Nadine has had several interviews on Blogtalk Radio. Robin has had interviews about publishing on Webtalkradio (Philip Mereton Show), and we have both been regular guests on The Abstract Aimee Show on 2 Oceans Vibe radio.


This is a must membership –for free – where all your radio interviews can be published.

Some of our authors get requests for interviews on one of the FM radio stations, but we have not found that this does much good, partly because it is a shotgun approach, whereas internet radio shows have specific interest groups and partly because the shows are recorded.

TV interviews are great if you can get them, particularly if the producer will allow you to have a digital copy which can be edited and re-published (with permission) on YouTube.

[]Public lectures

There seems to be continued demand from various groups for speakers, so it might well be useful for you to develop a talk which will have to include a PowerPoint presentation to keep the audience’s attention. You are unlikely to be paid for the talk, but what is most important is to have a table at the back of the room from which to sell your book. Depending on the size of the audience one can sell up to 50 copies in an evening – not bad going considering the knock on effect of the subsequent word of mouth.

If your talk is successful the organisers of the talk may well forward your name to other groups, and so your reputation grows.

Best selling author Graham Hancock in a recent interview emphasizes the huge importance of maintaining personal contact with your readers. He allows a full hour after every talk just to meet and interact with his audience. Learn from a master!


If your work is suitable, offering workshops is another way of getting your work out there. It is also quite a nice idea to bump the price up a bit and include a copy of your book. We have found that attendees like to take home a book to reinforce their experience.

[]Conferences and Festivals

If you are already offering public lectures speaking at suitable conferences and festivals can be a good idea. Conferences can gain quite large audiences and facilities are to sell your book are usually offered. In the case of festivals it might be necessary for you to take a table in the traders area because there is usually only a ten minute gap to clear the room between the finish of one talk and the start of another.

You can close the talk by encouraging the audience to come to your stand or booth to get their book signed. At the stand you can also swop business cards with people. When you get home (usually exhausted) you should follow up by looking for your audience on Social Media and making a point of befriending them or following them.

[]Last but not least

Nadine is always on the lookout for out-of-the-box ideas to promote our Kima Global titles and she found a unique cross marketing idea in using the zazzle platform. Zazzle is a site on which customers can order a wide range of products including cushion covers, tablet and cell phone covers, tote bags, canvas prints, wedding invitations and many others. The nice thing for the customer is that these can be personalized and delivered anywhere in the world.

Nadine designed most of the book covers for our authors and thus holds the copyright to these images. She has been able to use portions of these images to create other products like wedding invitations, cushions and tote bags. These products all include buying links to the original book. The image below is what she has been trying out.

Here is the link to our Kima Global online gift shop.

[]Some Shameless Marketing

We offer quite a few services, some of which are free or included free with paid services:

 Professional assessment of your manuscript (free)

If your manuscript is accepted for publication we will typeset and format for e-book (.epub and mobi) at a cost of only $320.00. Included free (at no extra cost) are:

 Proofreading and correction

 Cover design (with input from you, the author).

 Upload to all major platforms (and quite a few lesser known ones)

 Facebook cover page for your fan page. This image can also be used as a blog banner.

Our royalty rate for eBooks is 50% of net. We think that this is quite generous.

Printed edition

If there is a need (you already have a platform, lecture circuit, offer workshops etc.) then we can also offer a physical book edition at a cost of a further $320.00. There is a requirement for the author to order a minimum of 20 books in order to justify us going into print.

 We offer these 20 copies (and any future order) at a discount of 40% off the retail price. The profit made from the sale of these will contribute to the author’s financial recovery. The author needs to sell approximately 40 copies to make a full recovery.

 The author should be located in the U.S.A., the United Kingdom, Australia or South Africa. Neighboring countries like Canada, Ireland and New Zealand are also acceptable, but additional freight costs will apply.

 The printed edition will be offered for sale at all bookshops in the USA, the UK, Australia and South Africa.

The royalty rate for printed books will be limited to 10% of net. This is because of the additional costs and trade discounts involved in selling physical books.

For more details visit our consultancy web site.

[]Requirements for submissions

 Full manuscript (or first three chapters plus word count of complete work)

 Synopsis for fiction or reasons for wanting the book published if non-fiction.

 Short personal biography or claim to fame.

 Details of your platform.

Logging out

We have kept this book in a ‘quick read’ format because we know that our readers do not want to waste time on waffle or bloated text. You will agree that it is simply packed with useful tips. We have made it as accurate as we can at the time of publication, however things do change (especially quickly in today’s world) so if you would like to leave feedback or make suggestions for future editions you are welcome to contact us on [email protected]. Response may not be immediate, but one of us will come back to you.

It’s our sincere hope that this ebook has helped you to become bestselling authors and that you will be able to reach your target market without incurring any major costs. Yes, it will require an investment in your time, but we are sure that you love what you do, so you will absolutely love to do this and watch the results.

Robin & Nadine

Breakthrough Marketing at No Cost

Would you like to learn a whole bunch of insider tricks and tools to market your book (or actually any other product or service) at nil cost to you? The book that you have spent so much time creating and perfecting will simply not be getting out into the world unless you begin to practice these fun marketing exercises and we have proved that it needn’t cost you money, just time that you will love to spend with your book. We invite you to get started right away!

  • ISBN: 9781920535834
  • Author: Robin Beck
  • Published: 2015-10-23 16:20:07
  • Words: 5293
Breakthrough Marketing at No Cost Breakthrough Marketing at No Cost