• Published a book you want to tell us about? Uploaded a YouTube video you want to share?

    Normally you'll need 100 posts to self-promote, but with an upgraded membership you can do so with your first post.

    Find out more here: Become a Supporting Member

Promotional tools

Nick B

author Nick Bailey, formerly Quellist.
Joined
Feb 13, 2014
Messages
1,847
Location
UK
I couldn't find a thread dedicated to promotional tools, pages and stuff so thought it might be handy. If anyone has any favourite sites, or tools, post them up here. After all, the more people use them, the more see them, and thats the point isnt it.

iAuthor - I made a page on iAuthor last night, very easy to set up and this morning, when I checked the site, which has a dashboard to see stats and stuff, I had had around 30 clicks overnight. Don't think thats bad for an unknown guy in one night. You can link sales sites to click and so on. Free.

PostWaves - Don't know much about this, I did an advert and it is on and being seen, but it isn't very transparent wbout how it works exactly. Adverts looks nice, not sure how much exposure it is getting. Free.

Booklaunch.io - you can make a nice page about your bookl launch, I didn't set this one up, Darren did, but it looks good, with links tomsale sites and so on. Free.

I am looking into BKNights on fivrr,quite a few people saying it works, so will give that a shot too.

List up the sites you use, how effective you think they are, if they cost etc.
 

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
16,982
Location
blah - flags. So many flags.
There is a great thread by @FibonacciEddie I'll try to link to in a mo which has been doing this.

I have tried a few things over the last year and thought I’d share my views/experience...

Oh - and things like bkknights (which gave poor results for me) are really only for when you discount the title.
On another note my blog this week will be about why waiting until the book is out to promote, seek reviewers etc is probably not as effective as building in Advance - paying it forwards, if you like - and might have some useful stuff in it. Might. :p :D
 
Last edited:

Brian W. Foster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
69
This is one of the most comprehensive lists of book promo sites that I've found:

List of 100+ Book Promotion Sites & Free Submission Tool

Note that these are mostly, like bknights, intended for promotion of discounted or free titles. Generally speaking, my understanding is that discounting works fantastic for the first book in a series if you have 3 or more out.

For full priced books, it's a lot tougher. If you're in KDP, some authors have had success with the select advertising. I ended up spending a bit more money than I made, but I didn't do a lot of experimenting. If I would have just focused on my best keywords, I could see it making more money. Also, it'll give a better ROI for first book in a series.

When the question "where do I promote a full-priced book?" is presented to indie authors who know marketing, the number one response is typically "Facebook ads."

The general consensus among indie authors seems to be that the absolute best marketing that you can do is building an email list.
 

ratsy

www.scifiexplorations.com
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
4,644
When Lake Manor first released I tried using some Promote your work groups on FB and I'm sure there was no success at all, so I won't be doing those anymore. But it was worth a test!

Yes BKnights, which has been worth the 5bucks for me, is only when you run a promo. We have talked about running Book Barbarian, Read Cheaply, and if possible Bookbubs, and those are important to running promotions.

@Brian W. Foster While I agree that promo pricing is good for the first in a series, it is also good to get a group of sales in a short time frame, raising your ranking on amazon, and getting visibility, because at the end of the day, that is key to getting sales from people you otherwise wouldn't touch with your product. Hopefully you carry this higher ranking after the promo and can get some continued sales at full pop.

I will concur that everything I hear from indie authors is have a newsletter, email list, and that will be your best too for letting fans know your next thing is out. And a lot of indies I follow do paid advertising/promoted posts on FB too.
 

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
16,982
Location
blah - flags. So many flags.
This is one of the most comprehensive lists of book promo sites that I've found:

List of 100+ Book Promotion Sites & Free Submission Tool

Note that these are mostly, like bknights, intended for promotion of discounted or free titles. Generally speaking, my understanding is that discounting works fantastic for the first book in a series if you have 3 or more out.

For full priced books, it's a lot tougher. If you're in KDP, some authors have had success with the select advertising. I ended up spending a bit more money than I made, but I didn't do a lot of experimenting. If I would have just focused on my best keywords, I could see it making more money. Also, it'll give a better ROI for first book in a series.

When the question "where do I promote a full-priced book?" is presented to indie authors who know marketing, the number one response is typically "Facebook ads."

The general consensus among indie authors seems to be that the absolute best marketing that you can do is building an email list.
Discounting can work for standalone books too - what doesn't work so well is free standalones, but this still works for a series. Facebook ads seem to get a mixed reception.
Email lists - this is one I've been slow on and remain slow on (and am having tech problems, I think, unless @Juliana gets a mail tomorrow with my web update.) But I have a lot of traffic to my blog and it remains the best reach-out tool I have. (That and my facebook profile.)
 

CWScott

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
57
For first in series (with no other books out) I ran a .99c promo using bknights, ENT, and Bookbarbarian. Made my money back and then some.

When I got book 2 out, I ran a free promo on book 1 using Bookbarbarian, choosey bookworm, and Freebooksey (I paid for their better options). Ran one promo a day for three days. Freebooksey was probably the best. Gave away a few thousand copies of book 1 during those three days. But, continued to sell at full price for another month afterwards, and had maybe 60% sell-thru to book 2. My best month ever.

I've been experimenting with amazon ads. Not sure they're worth it, but still learning. Have not tried fb ads yet. Just make sure to plan in advance. The promo sites book up fast. Some of them have minimum review requirements as well.

Hungry authors has a promotional package for new releases. Pricey, but I might try that for my next first in series. I have not tried promoting at full price, but would like to find some sites willing to do this. Normally the less you discount the book, the more the promotional site charges though.

Bookbub is the holy grail. I am going to try this if I can ever get accepted.
 

Brian W. Foster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
69
Email lists - this is one I've been slow on and remain slow on (and am having tech problems, I think, unless @Juliana gets a mail tomorrow with my web update.) But I have a lot of traffic to my blog and it remains the best reach-out tool I have. (That and my facebook profile.)
Mine's been building slowly. My book has been out almost a year, and I have a little over a hundred on my organic list. The new thing, though, is cross author promos. I just sent out a couple of freebies to a list of over 2000 and got a pretty decent response. Not sure how that will translate into sales when I release in a couple of months, but it makes me feel better having almost a thousand people actually open my email.
 

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
16,982
Location
blah - flags. So many flags.
Mine's been building slowly. My book has been out almost a year, and I have a little over a hundred on my organic list. The new thing, though, is cross author promos. I just sent out a couple of freebies to a list of over 2000 and got a pretty decent response. Not sure how that will translate into sales when I release in a couple of months, but it makes me feel better having almost a thousand people actually open my email.
I have a novella that I might well use a freeby to grow it. I have a good SM presence - just not yet on a mailing list, but see no reason I can't change that.
 

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
16,982
Location
blah - flags. So many flags.
For first in series (with no other books out) I ran a .99c promo using bknights, ENT, and Bookbarbarian. Made my money back and then some.

When I got book 2 out, I ran a free promo on book 1 using Bookbarbarian, choosey bookworm, and Freebooksey (I paid for their better options). Ran one promo a day for three days. Freebooksey was probably the best. Gave away a few thousand copies of book 1 during those three days. But, continued to sell at full price for another month afterwards, and had maybe 60% sell-thru to book 2. My best month ever.

I've been experimenting with amazon ads. Not sure they're worth it, but still learning. Have not tried fb ads yet. Just make sure to plan in advance. The promo sites book up fast. Some of them have minimum review requirements as well.

Hungry authors has a promotional package for new releases. Pricey, but I might try that for my next first in series. I have not tried promoting at full price, but would like to find some sites willing to do this. Normally the less you discount the book, the more the promotional site charges though.

Bookbub is the holy grail. I am going to try this if I can ever get accepted.
I did bookbub in the Uk twice. It was a blast. :)
 

Nick B

author Nick Bailey, formerly Quellist.
Joined
Feb 13, 2014
Messages
1,847
Location
UK
When we've got more reviews behind us, going to try bookbarbarian, they seem to have a good rep at a reasonable price. We'll get a discount countdown on at some point, do them, bknights and I'll talk to garry about bookbuzz.club

Till then, need to build up some reviews! So far have a 5* on each of US and UK. Sales are happening, so fingers crossed it'll pick up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vaz

Brian W. Foster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
69
When we've got more reviews behind us, going to try bookbarbarian, they seem to have a good rep at a reasonable price. We'll get a discount countdown on at some point, do them, bknights and I'll talk to garry about bookbuzz.club

Till then, need to build up some reviews! So far have a 5* on each of US and UK. Sales are happening, so fingers crossed it'll pick up.
Note that most promo sites waive the review requirement for newly published works.
 

ratsy

www.scifiexplorations.com
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
4,644
@Quellist Also keep in mind Book Barbarian can be fairly full in the schedule. I booked a month and a half for the one I have at the end of August.
 

CWScott

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
57
I believe some sites will count reviews from goodreads and possibly librarything. Worth shooting them an email. I think I had only 8 or 9 on amazon and a few on libraything or goodreads when my book was accepted the first time.
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
22,648
Location
Highlands
There's also the possibility of paid for reviews - I did originally pencil in Kirkus Reviews, just to have a quote from them, but others are suggested as offering better value:

Kirkus Reviews: Is it worth the money?

There's also Netgalley, though when I researched it previously, I noticed that unknown authors tended to get very few reviews posted to blogs.
 
Top