Long-time readers of this blog will know that cracking the conundrum of book promotion has been a consistent theme (obsession?) of mine. In a nutshell, it’s an almost impossible, and certainly Quixotic, quest. With that by way of introduction, here’s a brief update on my sampling of the many promotional eBook newsletters out there. Relatedly, you can also buy each of my books for the next few days for $0.99 apiece.
We’ll start with the sites that I would recommend to other authors, and then turn to a dud. You can find a much longer list of providers I’ve tried, and the costs and results, here.
Unquestionably the best value I’ve found so far is Buck Books Daily Deals. If you happen to be looking at this post today and scroll down to the bottom, you’ll see The Lafayette Campaign as one of only five books featured today. The cost? A mere $12. The Alexandria Project ran yesterday, at the same price, and sold 24 copies. Not an enormous number, to be sure, but the highest number of sales per dollar I’ve ever had for a paid promotion, and at the high end of sales as well, even when compared to much more expensive services.
Buck Books is a little quirky, in that nowhere on the site can you find who to contact in order to suggest your book, or how much it would cost if your book is accepted. I found out that information through another author blog, and will now repeat that favor by passing along the updated information here: the person to contact is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The other site I’d like to recommend is Free Kindle Books and Tips. Like Buck Books (and unlike most other sites), it features only a small number of books each day. Today you’ll see five free books and seven discounted titles, one of which is The Alexandria Project. FKBT charges $30 to include your book at their site and in their newsletter. I ran The Lafayette Project there a few weeks ago, netting 44 sales (as usual, at $0.99). Not as high a ratio of sales to cost as Buck Books, but twice the sales, putting it at the high end for any service I’ve tried so far.
Now to the site I’ve added to my list services not to use again: BookZio.com. I’ve tried them twice, with dismal results, notwithstanding the fact that they are comparatively expensive for their more comprehensive package ($39; their cheaper service package is $19). The first time around, one sale resulted from a $19 ad run, and the second time, no sales followed from the $39 program.
And finally, a tip that may help in getting accepted by the more successful services, which are much more choosy about the books they accept. After being turned down twice by eReader News Today (one of the best performing sites) after having been accepted an equal number of times before for the same books, I went back to review their criteria for selecting books. This time I noticed that the size of the discount, as well as the actual price, is relevant. In the past, I’ve assumed that only the price matters.
I went back to their current deals page, and sure enough, while there were books listed with only a $2.00 discount, they were in the minority, with $3.00 and up being much more frequent (to date, my books have been fully priced at $2.99 and discount to $0.99). So my next experiment will be to raise the full price of my books to $4.99 for awhile before trying out ENT (and BookBub) again, with the discount still being to $0.99. As usual, I’ll let you know what happens.