There are plenty of ways to market your book for free. I've highlighted plenty of them here on this blog. But there are going to be times when you want, or maybe need, to spend some money on your marketing efforts. For many authors, the issue is finding that money. Here are some ways you can find and save the cold, hard moolah to round out your marketing efforts.
1. Go freelance
If you have a skills that writers need, there are people who will pay for it. This can be anything from editing and proofreading to eBook formatting and banner creation. This can be a great way to earn extra money you can bookmark for...bookmarks? Just make sure you aren't selling a mediocre product. Only put yourself out there as a professional if you are.
2. Garage sale
I don't know about you, but I have a literal garage filled with stuff I probably don't need. If you're as much of a pack rat as I am, you can probably make enough from one garage sale to cover all your expenses. Not sure you've got enough junk to draw a crowd? Reach out to other writers in your area and host a "dreaming the dream" garage sale.
3. Sell some books
I know. I've just asked you to sell your children. I also know you've probably got way more books than you need. They're most likely spilling off your shelves, covering all your flat surfaces and stacked on the floor. If you aren't going to read it again, consider heading to your local used book store and trading those pages in for more marketing buckaroos. It'll be hard, but you can do it.
4. Trade services
If there's something that falls outside your budget, you can try to offer up a trade instead. For example, you might want a professional head shot. Those aren't free. Maybe you can find a photographer who needs a website refresh (and you know how). By trading services, you can both get what you need without collapsing the budget.
5. Co-op where you can
Sometimes, marketing costs can be shared by splitting them with others. Those glossy bookmarks are pretty, but maybe outside the budget. You could team up with another author in your genre. You each get a side and split the cost. Netgalley is a great resource, but super expensive for an individual author. You can join a co-op that gives you a few months of exposure for a small fraction of the cost. The writing community is amazingly generous. Sometimes, you just have to ask.
Always set a budget before you start marketing and know how much money you are comfortable spending before the first dime leaves your hand. But know that there are ways to stretch your dollar bills to complete the marketing plan you need to launch your book to success.
Do you have other ideas to make and/or save money for marketing? Share them in the comments so we can all learn from your genius!