Tag Archives: promotion

A Good Resource for eBook Sale Sites

I haven’t had a lot of time recently to update my various pages for places you can advertise eBook promos, so I thought I would share this site I found:

https://blog.reedsy.com/book-promotion-services/

It has an especially nice feature that you can click a button to only show free sites.

I should soon have news on the publishing front regarding Ygerna. Just waiting for the file back from the editor. 🙂

Ygerna cover

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5 Ways to Promote Your Free Book 1 Series Starter – via Lindsay Buroker

I’ve mentioned before on this site that permafree can be a good method of getting eyes on your books, even if it is no longer as effective as it used to be. This week, Lindsay Buroker has some great suggestions on how to push those free books, despite Amazon’s attempts to hide them:

5 Ways to Promote Your Free Book 1 Series Starter

Highly recommended!

And once you have read that, you might want to check out my list of places where you can advertise permafree books.

Luck and skill to all. 🙂

Testing more ad sites: 99c sale of Chameleon in a Mirror

Chameleon in a Mirror

I have another 99c Countdown Deal on one of my books going this week, this time for my time travel, Chameleon in a Mirror. BTW, it also got a very nice review recently at The Reading Head. 🙂 Anyway, here’s the lineup for the ads:

Oct. 5 – Ereader News Today ($20) – 26 sales so far
Oct. 6 – Book Goodies ($5)
EbookStage? (free) – I have a question mark on this one because they wanted me to post a Tweet which Twitter rejected as spam. As a result, I’m not sure if they will actually promote the book or not.
Oct. 9 – Booklover’s Heaven (free)
Sweetfreebooks ($5)
Awesomegang (free)

I booked the following ad as well, but I don’t know when they will run it:
Choosy Bookworm ($18)

Total spent: $48

I applied to quite a few other free sites but didn’t hear back, so I’m assuming that the book won’t be carried there. I’m curious to see how this one compares to my recent Yseult promo, on which I spent about twice as much in advertising.

Before the promo, CIAM was at #553,601 on Amazon. This morning it was #9,970 overall, and #66 in historical fantasy. 🙂

I have another Countdown Deal of Shadow of Stone scheduled for later this month and will be testing a couple more ad sites then. As a result, I’ve decided to wait on the summary post of advertising options for 99c sales until after the Shadow of Stone promo, when I’ll have quite a bit more info.

Wish me luck! 🙂

Starting Out as an Indie Author: Alexa rankings for eBook ad sites

Starting Out as an Indie Author: Using Alexa

A couple of days ago, I blogged about the results of my most recent 99c sale — which went better than anything I’ve done since the last time I took out a BookBub ad, oh so long ago. It appears I’m getting a bit savvier about where to advertise.

So how do you go about deciding if a place is worth it for you to plop down the hard earned money you’ve made elsewhere in the hopes of someday making enough from writing to quit your day job? Well, I’m glad you asked that run-on question, because I’m going to tell you. The first thing I usually do is go to Kboards.com and search for the ad site I’m considering using to see if there has already been a discussion about it. Then I google the name of the site with something like “advertising” and “results” and other such search terms, to see if I can find out if other writers have been satisfied with the service. Sometimes (probably not often enough), I’ve checked the rankings on Alexa to see if the site really does get the kind of traffic it claims.

You can get into a rut with advertising, if you keep using the same sites over and over that have been successful for you before. It makes sense to hit different sites with (hopefully) different subscribers and readers who may not have seen your book before. So I found a couple of lists with sites I was unfamiliar with — adding up to so many that I knew any time I tried to figure out which to try, I would be end up feeling swamped and wouldn’t bother after all.

So I decided to sacrifice a couple of hours and weed out the lists a bit using Alexa. And since I’d gone ahead and done all that work anyway, I figured I might as well share it with my blog readers.

This ranking is by no means a guarantee of the effectiveness of any given ad site. Many sites are only for authors, with the ads appearing on Facebook and Twitter and other social media sites. Many sites these days inform their readers of deals through email, and aside from ad pages for authors, the site is little more than a sign-up for the email list.

Also, some sites only cater to select genres. I was very pleased with the results of my ad with Book Barbarian, for example, which is not exactly stellar in this ranking. But they only promote sff, so they are targeting precisely the readers I want to reach. And at a price tag of only $8, I suspect they are one of the better deals for writers in my genre. I fully intend to use their services again — with a different book next time. 🙂

But the thing is, an outrageously low ranking probably indicates that you are not going to see much of a result from a listing with that site. The worst ranking I encountered was 15,000,000 — and it didn’t even offer free ads. I did not include that site on my list. This irregular blog comes in at a little over 600,000, after all, to give you some comparison. (Which I only learned while writing this post. *g*) And I assure you, none of you wants to give me money to plug your book, although I would be happy to take it …

Price is another thing to take into consideration when weighing whether to advertise with any of the sites listed here. Not surprisingly, BookBub has the highest Alexa ranking. But the prices they charge are also far more than many indie authors can afford.

Since I compiled this list for my own use, when not otherwise noted, the ranking is for US traffic, which is where about 95% of my sales come from, making it most important to me. By the same token, I didn’t even check romance sites, since I do not write romance, at least not yet. I also did not bother to include any sites above a ranking of 500,000 if they don’t provide a free advertising option. I make no apologies for that, and no claim in the first place that this list is anywhere near complete. It was intended for my personal use, and I just happen to be sharing it with you. 🙂 Finally, I want to emphasize once more that this ranking alone does not indicate how effective an ad placed with one of these sites will be, given how many different factors play a role. It can only be one of several data points influencing the decision where to take out an ad. AND it is only current at the time of this writing (Sept. 10, 2015). Alexa rankings may be completely different a month from now.

The sites not already listed on my other promo pages (here, here, and here) I got either at http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/02/35-alternatives-to-bookbub/ or http://www.readersintheknow.com/list-of-book-promotion-sites. You can use those to compile you own rankings for advertising purposes. 🙂

Now on to Ruth Nestvold’s personal Alexa ranking list of ebook advertising sites:

https://www.bookbub.com/partners/pricing
2,176 US; 8,393 global

http://new.ereaderiq.com/advertise/
8,082

http://robinreads.com/author-signup/
9,683

https://ohfb.com/kindle-book-advertising-for-authors-and-publishers.html
16,171

http://manybooks.net/promote.php
17,124

http://digitalbookspot.com/ (bknights on Fiverr)
18,275

http://freebooksy.com/editorial-submissions
19,662

https://www.themidlist.com/submit
22,810

http://www.dailyfreebooks.com/promote-your-kindle-book.html
25,940

http://ereadernewstoday.com/bargain-and-free-book-submissions/ (ENT)
29,576

http://www.bookgorilla.com/advertise
37,273

http://digitalbooktoday.com/
38,161

http://www.theereadercafe.com/p/authors.html
45,262

http://blog.booksontheknob.org/subscribe-about-contact/authors-read-this
58,972

http://booksends.com/advertise.php
55,240

http://authors.choosybookworm.com/newsletter-and-website-feature/
56,149

http://fkbt.com/for-authors/
60,736

http://ebookstage.com/authorAreaPage.xhtml
75,536

http://www.indiesunlimited.com/submissions/
76,876

https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/advertise-books-2/
78,724

http://www.thefussylibrarian.com/for-authors/
82,796

https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/advertise-books-2/
98,369

http://bargainbooksy.com/for-authors
100,705

http://bookgoodies.com/submit-your-free-kindle-days/highlight-your-free-kindle-days/
116,216

http://www.xtme.de/submitting-a-free-e-book-to-xtmeenglishbooks/
130,042 global; 7,738 Germany

http://www.freebookshub.com/authors/
131,056

http://www.bargainebookhunter.com (can be booked through Hotzippy)
134,201

http://ereadergirl.com/submit-your-ebook/
161,376; NZ 2,827

http://askdavid.com/for-authors
161,996 global; United Kingdom 24,180 (also ranks in India and the US)

http://bookbarbarian.com/why-advertise/
179,531

http://www.freebooks.com/submit/
188,008

http://readingdeals.com/submit-ebook
188,357

http://www.ebooksoda.com/authors/
199,297

http://www.bookbasset.com/authors/submissions/
200,900

http://beezeebooks.com/book-promotion/
206,871 global; 975 New Zealand; also India

http://www.frugal-freebies.com/p/submit-freebie.html
211,208

http://awesomegang.com/submit-your-book/
211,254

http://readcheaply.com/partners/
213,980

http://www.iloveebooks.com/for-authors.html
222,842

http://addictedtoebooks.com/content/free-advertising
224,161

http://ebookshabit.com/for-authors/
237,735

http://www.freeebooksdaily.com/p/promote-your-free-book.html
248,641

http://www.booksbutterfly.com/order?tag=readersintheknow
251,520

http://indiebookoftheday.com/authors/free-on-kindle-listing/
251,886

http://www.ebooklister.net/submit.php
279,609

http://www.book-circle.com/submit-free-kindle-ebook-listing/
300,000+ global; 3,000 Phillipines

http://bookpraiser.com/submit-book/
293,107

http://www.ebookhounds.com/pricing/
308,789

http://ebookasaurus.com/authors/
318,623 (global)

http://www.bookbuzzr.com/plans.php
329,155

http://bettybookfreak.com/authors/
367,548

http://www.goodkindles.net/p/submit-your-book.html
371,292

http://booktastik.com/pricing-sale-estimates/
380,520

http://www.freebookdude.com/search/label/Promote%20with%20The%20Book%20Dude
413,117

http://www.peoplereads.com/list-your-ebook
518,197

http://lovelybookpromotions.com
593,211

http://contentmo.com/submit-your-free-ebook-promo
618,531; global 401,223

http://freediscountedbooks.com/submit/
620,927

http://www.armadilloebooks.com/
904,702 global

Hope you all find the list useful. 🙂

Starting out as an indie author: Where to promote a 99c eBook sale

Starting out as an indie author

Here are some of the sites I’ve found that will promote 99c sale ebooks (and often sale books up to $2.99, as long as the books are deeply discounted). Most of them are ones I use myself. I’ve left out a number of sites that have no information on followers or subscribers, as well as those that tend to get bad marks from the indie writers on KBoards. Even so, that’s no guarantee that all of these sites will be effective. I suspect a lot has to do with genre, since sites that work for me get panned by other writers, while sites other writers swear by have been a washout for me. So remember, YMMV.

Free

Books on the Knob

Bargain Booksy (Free and paid)

Bookscream

Read Free.ly

Reading Deals – Books should be a minimum of 50 pages long and have at least 5 reviews and a 4 star average. They also have the option to pay $29 for a guaranteed listing

Choosy Bookworm – Guaranteed listings start at $25. (My results with a paid listing were disappointing, but people report good results with their free slots.)

Awesome Gang – Also offer a featured 2 day listing for $10.

The Naughty List – For romance and erotica

EBookStage – Must have at least 5 reviews and a rating of 4 or higher. Require a number cross promotions for which you receive points. If you don’t have enough points for a free promo, you can pay for a slot. Prices start at $10.

Book Angel – Book must be PG-13! Only for books under 1 British Pound that are available in the UK store.

Paid:

Read Cheaply – Prices start at $25, depending on genre. Note: Do not try to book an ad with them if you’ve had a book listed within the last month. http://readcheaply.com/partners/

Bknights on Fiverr – https://www.fiverr.com/bknights/

Book Barbarian – Prices starting at $20. Requires at least 10 reviews and a rating of at least 3.5. Only for science fiction and fantasy. Usually necessary to book at least a month in advance. One book per author within a 30 day period. http://bookbarbarian.com/ad-requirements/

Bookbub – This is the heavy hitter in paid advertising; it is also Very Expensive. https://www.bookbub.com/partners/pricing

Ereader News Today (ENT) – Prices starting at $30.
http://ereadernewstoday.com/pricing/

ManyBooks.net – Prices starting at $25. Requires at least 10 reviews and an average of 4 or higher. My results here used to be quite good, but recently they have been disappointing, especially given the price. http://manybooks.net/promote.php

Booksends – Requires at least 5 reviews, with a high overall average, and an attractive cover, with a planned sale price of less than $3 and at least 50% off full price. Prices start at $10 and increase according to sale price and genre. Through this site, it is also possible to advertise with EReaderIQ.
http://booksends.com/advertise.php

eReaderiQ – It is also possible to book eReaderiQ separately. Prices starting at $5. http://www.ereaderiq.com/authors/submissions/dds/

Booklover’s Heaven
– For sale books priced at 3.99 or below. Requires 10 or more reviews and an average of at least 4 stars. $5 for a listing.
http://bookloversheaven.com/authors/

Buck Books – For 99c sale books. Books must be at least 60 pages long, and have at least 10 reviews with an average of 3.8 or higher. Prices start at $9 for fiction. Must be booked at least six weeks in advance.
http://buckbooks.net/buck-books-promotions/

BookGorilla – Prices starting at $40 depending on genre and price. Usually necessary to book at least 6 weeks in advance.
http://www.bookgorilla.com/advertise

Books Butterfly – Various pricing options starting at $50, depending on how many readers you want to reach.
http://www.booksbutterfly.com/order/paidbookslots/

Robin Reads – $40.
http://robinreads.com/author-signup/

ContentMo – Various promo plans starting at $1.99 a day.
http://contentmo.com/99-book-promo-2015/

Digital Book Today – Offers a variety of advertising options, some of which are free. http://digitalbooktoday.com/join-our-team/paid-and-free-promotions/

Ebook Discovery – Prices start at $14. https://ebookdiscovery.leadpages.net/ebook-discovery-authors-only/

Ebookhounds – $10 for a listing. Extra options available as well.
http://www.ebookhounds.com/books/submit/

The Fussy Librarian – Promotional options starting at $8, depending on genre. Books must have at least 10 reviews and a 4.0 rating, except for new releases. http://www.thefussylibrarian.com/for-authors/

FreebooksHub.com – Promotions starting at $10.
http://www.freebookshub.com/authors/

Kindle Books and Tips – Prices starting at $25. Books must have at least 8 reviews, at least 4 of which must be Amazon Verified Purchase reviews. No short stories. http://fkbt.com/for-authors/

GenreCrave – Prices starting at $50.
http://www.genrecrave.com/schedule-today/

OHFB (One Hundred Free Books) – Prices for a guaranteed listing start at $75. https://ohfb.com/advertise/

The eReader Cafe – Advertising options starting at $25. http://theereadercafe.com/sell-more-books/

Free & Discounted Books – Promotion for eBooks from 0.99-2.99 starting at $8. http://freediscountedbooks.com/99-cent-sales/

Hot Zippy – Various promo plans starting at $23. http://hotzippy.net/feature-your-book.html

Ebook Soda – Prices starting at $15. Kboards authors report that it isn’t particularly effective. http://www.ebooksoda.com/

Bargain Booksy – Prices for an ad start at $25 and depend on the genre. http://bargainbooksy.com/sell-more-books/

Book Goodies – $10 to promote a Countdown Deal.
http://bookgoodies.com/bargain-books/kdp-countdown-bargain-books/

eBook Betty – Listings with various review criteria starting at $18 http://bettybookfreak.com/authors/

Book Raid – Prices are per click. Don’t take Paypal, only credit card.
https://bookraid.com

Facebook

It is also possible to list your book on a number of Facebook groups specifically for 99c eBooks, usually while it is on sale:

Author 99cent Book Promotions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/444695995585913/

Addicted to eBooks: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Addicted-to-eBookscom/277297772316389

EReader1-US: https://www.facebook.com/eReader1.US/ Instructions are here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/ereader1-us/book-promotions-including-self-promo-by-authors-and-publishers-and-their-friends/448662358501661

If you are intending to do a free run for one of your books, check out my article on where to promote free books here, and permafree books here.

If you know of other effective sites for promoting a 99c sale, please let me know in the comments!

If you found this blog post helpful, perhaps you would be interested in the book, Starting Out as an Indie Author! You can learn more here.

The challenge of becoming visible as an indie — and an interview

As anyone knows who’s stuck their toes in the self-publishing waters, one of the biggest challenges facing indie authors is getting noticed. So that beautiful tree you cultivated fell with a satisfying crash? But if no one is there to hear it … you get the idea.

It’s the same thing when you throw your brilliant work of staggering genius out into the pond of all the other newly-minted indie authors — and the pond is so full, it doesn’t make a ripple, since there’s no water left.

When I first published Yseult in January 2012, KDP Select was a totally new element thrown into the self-publishing mix, and having a good free run with one of your titles was enough to give sales a push for weeks. Now, not only is it getting harder and harder to have a successful free run, the sales post-freebie are less and not lasting as long. KDP Select is no longer enough to draw attention to your books.

Back when I first started out, I did try a few other things. I wrote to review sites to try to get them to pick up my books, (without success) I did interviews and guest posts on other writers’ blogs, all those things they tell you to do to get the word out about you and your books. But the only thing that seemed to have an effect on sales was a successful free run. And now that isn’t even working anymore.

So how is an independent author supposed to become visible?

One of the things I’ve had some success with are group promos. I talked about that elsewhere, and I still think it’s one of the ways authors can help each other out and reach a larger audience. Which is why I’m participating in another one this month: Kindle Books on Fire. Check it out! If you have a US address, you might even win a new Kindle Fire!

Another thing I’ve been experimenting with more recently is paid advertising. I haven’t had the greatest results until now, but on Lindsay Buroker’s blog recently, she recommended BookBub, which sends targeted emails to readers of specific genres. Their list of fantasy subscribers is over 70,000. (BTW, if you’re an indie author or are considering going that route, I highly recommend subscribing to Lindsay’s blog. She shares a lot of useful information about her own self-publishing experience, and I’ve learned a lot from her posts.)

After reading about Lindsay’s experience with a 99c discounted book, I decided to try BookBub with a freebie of Shadow of Stone. The ad prices are staggered according to genre and the discounted price at which the book is being offered; an ad in the fantasy category for a free book right now is $45. They seem to only take one book a day per genre, however, so competition is steep. I think I got in because of my award nominations in traditional publishing, since Shadow of Stone still only has ten reviews. They also only take full length books, according to their guidelines, at least 50,000 words.

Anyway, results. Within hours, I’d recouped the money I spent on the ad — in sales of the companion novel, Yseult. Of course, this only works if you have books in a series. I saw a tiny increase in sales of some of my other books that are not part of The Pendragon Chronicles, but not much. It’s looking like the bump in sales of Shadow of Stone after the freebie would also have covered the cost of the ad. Yesterday, I had 9 sales and 13 borrows on Shadow of Stone. So I’m definitely going to try Bookbub again, as long as they will give me a listing, that is. 🙂

I also wanted to point anyone who might be interested in the direction of an interview with me up on the OWW workshop. There I mostly talk about my decision to go indie, but craft and theme as well. (The interview is about two-thirds down in the newsletter.)

As to recent writing progress: I’ve been slowed down a bit by a cold, and the fact that the colonoscopy I did this week is having some unpleasant aftereffects. (The results of the exam were negative, btw, which means that’s good for me.) But despite that, with the inspiration of Fast Draft, I’ve gotten 38 pages written on Ygerna this week, my Pendragon Chronicles prequel. That’s nowhere near the 20 pages a day we’re supposed to be doing, but I’m quite happy with it. Hopefully once health issues clear up, I can increase that.

I wish everyone a great week!

Results of ENT bargain listing for “Looking Through Lace”

About the time I was almost ready to publish Beyond the Waters of the World, Book 2 in the Looking Through Lace series, an email drifted into my inbox from the wonderful folks at Ereader News Today, announcing a new promotion opportunity, a listing for 99c Bargain Kindle Books. It was very timely, because I intended to lower the price of the first novella in the series for a limited time, to help stir up interest in the second book. So I signed up.

The bargain list with Looking Through Lace went up yesterday, and so far I’m very happy with the results, especially since I didn’t do a lot of extra promotion. Since the listing went live, I’ve sold over 90 books, and Looking Through Lace went from a ranking of 175,000 to 1,368 at it’s highest. Slipping now again, but it’s still #1,747 in the paid Kindle store, #1 in Science Fiction Short Stories, and #24 in Science Fiction Adventure.

It’s definitely worthwhile to experiment with new ways of marketing ebooks. And since the cost for this ENT promotion is a percentage of the profits, you really can’t go wrong or end up losing money, as you can with some other kinds of ads. You do, however, have to lower your price to 99c, at least temporarily, so the biggest cost for many writers would be in lost revenues, especially if the book is normally at a price point that earns 70% royalties.

I’ll be experimenting with a fixed-price ad soon. It will be interesting to see how that one goes compared to the ENT bargain book placement.

Great promotional opportunity: Ebooks for a Buck

I have the great good fortune that Yseult is presently being featured on Michael Gallagher’s book blog Kindle Books for a Buck (or less). Since he put up the link, I’ve sold 12 copies of the book. And that after sales ground to a halt earlier this month, I have no idea why. After a week of no sales, I lowered the price to 99 cents and started looking for promotional opportunities specific to that price point.

The most effective until now has been Michael Gallagher’s site. He features indie authors with books that fulfill certain criteria (in addition to the fact that they are a buck or less). You can check his requirements here.

So thanks to Michael for giving Yseult a much-needed boost!