Book Promotion

Using Book Promotion Sites Effectively

As writers, we often spend weeks or months out of the year promoting our books, taking away from precious writing time. This is a necessary evil if you want to make it as an author, so that’s what we do. We build our websites, craft newsletters, post regularly to social media, host giveaways, attend events, and network–but what do you do when that isn’t enough?

Do you need an extra tool in your book selling kit? Maybe try a book promotion website!

What are Book Promotion Sites?

Book promotion sites do exactly what they say–promote books. Strategically using these sites can produce short bursts of higher sales, some for free and others for a fee. Book promotions can have an impactful place in your marketing strategy, if you take the time to do the research to find the right promotions for your books.

Most book promotion sites require that your ebook is free or cheap, and many have a screening process to ensure quality in their book recommendations. A screening process might sound inconvenient, but it’s better to have your book amongst carefully selected publications than to toss it into a pile of garbage. The more selective websites have better reputations with their readers–and often a much larger readership–making them more valuable for you to pursue.

Some promotion sites are site-based only, meaning they’ll list your book amongst others on their actual websites. Some send out daily or weekly newsletters to their mailing list with book deals. Some post to their social media accounts. And some do a mix of these and more. I’ve seen several websites that even write full reviews for selected books.

Book promotion sites want to recommend quality books to keep their readers’ trust, and they want bargain or free books to provide their readers value.


How To Effectively Market A Book in 2021

The Real Reason Your Current Promotional Strategy Isn’t Working and How to Fix it in 3 Easy Steps!

How to Pitch to Book Promotion Sites

How you apply to have your book featured on a book promotion site will depend on the site, but there are some trends to expect when pitching.

  • Most sites will require your book to be listed as free or at a significant discount. Like I said, the value they provide for their readers is book deals–showing their audience books at full price isn’t adding anything that they couldn’t get at a bookstore.
  • Many sites–particularly the sites that charge a fee–will require your book to meet certain quality standards. This is again something to keep their readership’s trust, and it is to your benefit. If you pay to have your book listed amongst books that lack quality, that suggests your book also lacks quality.
  • Most sites have a no-tolerance policy for erotica, hateful content, or anything that might be controversial. Because of this, you will likely have to find erotica-specific book promotion sites if that is your genre.
  • Niche sites will require your book to fall into their specific categories or genres. While this might cut you off from using EVERY site, that isn’t something you’d want to do anyway. Finding your niche makes it much easier to rack up sales than if you were pitching your book to a general audience. Finding specific promotional sites for your genre can turn over more sales than a less specific site.

Each site will have a sign-up form with basic contact, author, and book information for you to fill in. Most promotion sites will at least want your basic author and book information, but every site is different. You should find a guideline on or near the submission page for each site.

Now let’s look at some options for book promotion sites. We’ve broken them into free and paid, but many of these sites offer both for different packages.

Free Book Promotion Sites

While many book promotion sites will charge a fee to promote your books, there are some free options. There aren’t monetary barriers to entry for these sites, but many of them have quality barriers. This is good! You’re better off submitting to websites that have some kind of screening process, because that means readers will take their including your book as a sign of endorsement.

Here are a few free book promotion sites to check out:

Frugal Freebies, like a lot of other book promotion sites, requires that your ebook is free before you post it. There are no restrictions other than that for Frugal Freebies. They will post your free ebook to their blog and other influencer pages.

Indie Book of the Day requires your ebook to be free, but they also screen for poorly done book covers, bad reviews (or no reviews), and other signs of a bad quality book. That makes Indie Book of the Day a little more reliable.

It’s Write Now has free and premium options (from $10 to $20). They require your book to be $3 or under, available on Kindle or Audible, with family friendly cover content.

Indies Unlimited has free and paid options for book promotion. You can list your free or 99 cent ebooks by submitting your book information and a download link. Erotica is not allowed on this site. 

Bookangel requires books to be under one euro for all readers, but it is free to submit.

Freebooksy requires your books to be free, but their affiliate Bargain Booksy accepts book submissions between 99 cents and $5. Both sites offer free submission, but you can also pay to guarantee a spot.

Patty’s eBookaroo stands out from a few other book promotion sites because they don’t require free books or huge discounts. As long as your book is 99 cents, whether that’s a special promotion or its regular price Patty wants to hear about it.

Paid Book Promotion Sites

As with anything, free alternatives to paid services are going to have drawbacks. If you’re looking for a more prestigious company, larger audiences, longer features, or other services, you might be ready to invest in book promotion. Here are a few sites that charge for their services–though many offer a free version as well.

BookBub is probably one of the most popular book promotion sites, and they have some of the stricter guidelines you’ll see. They want the best deals, error-free content, and for your book to be free or listed at a 50% discount. This chart can give you an idea of pricing, but it varies depending on genre and price of your book–the higher your book’s price, the higher BookBub’s promotional fees.

Bookdealio is a newsletter for ebook deals. They look for free books or big discounts, so if your book is always a low price, this one probably isn’t the best option for you. To run a 1-day promotion can cost between $70 and $100, depending on the category, with extra charges for social media posts. They also offer the option of a full-price book promotion at $250 for two weeks.

ManyBooks requires your book to be free or at a 50% discount, they have quality control, and they offer three tiers of promotion. For a spot in their daily newsletter, you’ll pay around $29. To publish your book to the site is $39, and to get a professional review and inclusion in their blog and monthly newsletter is $79. 

Armadillo eBooks has options for free and bargain priced ebooks. $25 will get your book promoted to 15 sites.

Goodkindles has options from $25 to $45 with promotional services like blog posts, social media content, newsletter spots, and more.

eReader News Today requires your books be free or on sale, available on amazon, and full-length (meaning no children’s, nonfiction, cookbooks, or other books under 125 pages). They look at reviews, cover design, and content to ensure quality and lack of controversial matter.

eBookBetty requires books to be priced at $2.99 or lower. They offer website feature and a newsletter spot at prices starting around $12.50.

ExciteSteam is a newsletter for romance novels with at least a 4-star review average. Their prices range from $15 to $75 for different newsletter packages.

For another romance newsletter option, check out Red Roses Romance. They obviously only accept books in the romance genre, and they only accept books that are free or listed for at least a 50% discount.

Robin Reads requires your books to be free or 99 cents, error-free, and a full-length book. Robin Reads stands out from the others by the information they give concerning their readership. You’ll find download rates broken down by genre and lots of other illuminating data on their website. Here’s their pricing breakdown:

eBook Deals Today charges between 5 and 10 dollars depending on which service you choose. They will post your book on their website and several social media accounts. Again, your book has to be free to be eligible.

LitRing offers much more involved services, like ad training and other marketing assistance. 

Their prices range from $25 to over $250.

Book Basset provides two promotional services for authors: Featured Authors Posts and Guaranteed Freebie Posts. A book for the Featured Authors Post must be priced below $2.99, and it runs for $21.99 per day. The Guaranteed Freebie Posts is for free ebooks, and the slots go for $8.99 per day.

BookDoggy offers a lot of bang for your buck with a newsletter spot, indefinite feature on their website, personalized Facebook posts, book trailer promo on their YouTube channel, and full book buy links for around $20.

BookAdrenaline is for my mystery and thriller writer pals. They want books in those genres only, free or at a 50% discount, and they require it to be professionally done and highly rated. An extra requirement for BookAdrenaline is that your book is a standalone or the first in a series–they will not promote sequels. If your book is accepted, the fee for feature will be between $15 and $30, depending on your book’s listing price. As with other services, the cheaper your book, the lower the fee.

IndieBookLounge has much fewer barriers to entry than some of the others we’ve looked at, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good because maybe your book has a higher chance of being featured, but not so great because that means the reputation of the site will naturally be lower than the more selective ones. Prices here are between $4 and $20.


How To Effectively Market A Book in 2021

The Real Reason Your Current Promotional Strategy Isn’t Working and How to Fix it in 3 Easy Steps!

What do you think? Are book promotion sites for you? Do any of these stand out as a good fit for you and your books? Check them out! See their guidelines, restrictions, and success rates, then give it a shot! It might be just what your book sales have been waiting for.


Self-Editing: How to Self-Edit a Book With Specific Strategies for Success

So you’ve finished your book… now what? Self-editing is what. Now it’s time to learn how to self-edit it—and properly.

Finishing the first draft of a book is a tremendous accomplishment that’s certainly worth celebrating. But it doesn’t get any easier from here.

The next step is one of the most tedious and important aspects of publishing a book—self-editing.

Sure, almost all self-published authors will hire an editor in some capacity. Before that step, you do have to edit the book yourself and only yourself (unless you use Scrivener footnotes editor or other editing tools, that is).

Learn How to Self-Edit & What You Need to Hire a Pro Editor

Book Editing Checklist

Download your FREE guided checklist to help you self-edit, or to guide you and give you a baseline for setting expectations for copy editing and content editing services. Get it now!

Here’s our guide to self-editing your novel:

  1. Understand the need for self-editing
  2. Difference between revising and editing
  3. How to develop a self-editing plan
  4. Start the self-edit process
  5. Different types of verbal read-throughs
  6. Discover your self-editing style
  7. Edit one chapter at a time
  8. Start self-editing TODAY

At the very least, every author will receive feedback from multiple readers before the launch date, but self-editing is key because eliminating obvious errors and minimizing mistakes in the manuscript will give hired editors and beta readers a greater opportunity to provide corrections on the things you missed.

Why do we need to self-edit our books?

After completing a rough draft, it’s very tempting to immediately hire an editor and hand over your manuscript. But no writer can state their rough draft is the very best of their work.

And after all, the better the draft you submit to an editor, the better final product.

An editor will surely help improve a manuscript, but before placing that rough draft in an editor’s hands, each writer should be able to answer yes to the question:

“Did I make this manuscript as strong and as good as I could have?”

There’s no way the answer to that question is yes after only writing the rough draft. Take pride in your work and make sure it’s your best before someone else reads it.

Before beginning the self-editing phase, there are three important things to keep in mind:

  1. The Difference between editing and revising
  2. Self-editing requires patience because it takes time
  3. Devise an editor plan for after the self-editing phase prior to starting

The Difference Between Editing and Revising

Editing and Revising sound very similar, but knowing the subtle differences can make self-editing a lot easier.

Throughout my career, I’ve engaged in a lot of different writing styles. Depending on the outlet and audience, writing style may differ, but one constant is all writing needs edited and revised in some capacity.

Of course, one of the most essential parts of the self-editing phase is knowing the difference between editing and revising. I’ll lay out the subtle difference and explain how to achieve both in order to turn your rough draft into a sparkling text for your editor.

Editing and Revising definitions according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Editing – to prepare for publication or public presentation; to alter, adapt, or refine especially to bring about conformity to a standard or to suit a particular purpose.

Revising – to look over again in order to correct or improve; to make a new, amended, improved, or up-to-date version of

On the surface, they sound exactly the same. To be fair, editing and revising are similar, but not exactly the same thing.

In a basic nutshell, editing is fixing basic errors like capitalization, punctuation and spelling. Revising is the act of improving specific writing such as sentence structure, chapter structure and word choice.

A good self-edit will include both edits and revisions to a manuscript.

Develop Your Self-Edit Plan

Before getting started with self-editing, though, keep in mind that Self-Publishing School advises not to wait, but to reach out and/or hire an editor after you finish your manuscript. Performing that task upon completing the rough draft will allow the author to hand over their manuscript right after finishing the self-editing phase.

Editors are often booked two weeks in advance. Waiting to reach out to editors until after the self-edit could mean there’s no movement on your book for at least a couple weeks.

Now you’re ready to begin.

How to Start Self-Editing

The self-editing phase will include re-reading your book at least three times. Self-Publishing School calls them verbal read-throughs. With each one, you will be looking to address different aspects of your writing.

In the self-edit of my own first book, I devised three different types of read-throughs.

The three different types of verbal read-throughs in self-editing:

  1. Reading for structure
  2. Reading for readability
  3. Reading for grammar and word choice

Each read-through during self-editing should be done out loud.

Verbal Read-Throughs for Self-Editing

Self-Publishing School teaches to read your manuscript out loud to yourself. I couldn’t agree more. It may seem a little silly, but it’s much easier to find errors while reading the entire book out loud than silently.

Find a quiet spot alone so you can read out loud.

Following my three different types of read-throughs and reading them out loud will enable you to make your book as good as you can.

#1 – Read for Structure

Remember that great mind map and book outline you constructed before even beginning to write the rough draft? It’s time to break those back out.

As you begin to re-read your manuscript chapter-by-chapter, follow along with your outline as well. This will allow you to make sure every detail is in the right place and nothing is missing.

This is how you can structure your self-edits for chapters:

Those chapters on your outline and in your book should all have a clear and concise topic. In some ways, one could think of the individual chapters as their own little books. Each one connects to the others, but they can also stand alone.

Double checking chapter structure is the first real key to self-editing.

One personal example of how revising chapter structure helped my book:

In my own rough draft, the first chapter of my book, His World Never Dies: The Evolution of James Bond, explored the popularity of the Bond film series and how the series’ portrayal of masculinity has changed over the years.

self editing process

When I devised my outline, it seemed natural that these two topics were tied together since Bond’s masculinity is why so many men and women have enjoyed the series over the last six decades.

But I had two problems: the chapter was more than 4,500 words while the other nine chapters in my book were all around 3,000. Even worse, the first chapter bounced between these two ideas that I thought were connected—Bond’s popularity and masculinity.

Upon my read-through, the chapter felt clunky and long. If readers shared the same sentiment, they might not continue to read the rest of the book.

In self-editing, make sure each chapter has one clear and concise topic.

Revisions were needed. It took a lot of work, but I divided the first chapter into two — one that focused on the series’ popularity and the other on Bond’s masculinity. After I made this decision, I read through the entire chapter again, picking out which paragraphs applied to which specific topic.

Following that step, the two new chapters were too short, which meant both needed more words. I had more writing to do.

But by dividing the chapter, rearranging the paragraphs and adding more details, I had made some very strong revisions.

I now possessed two chapters that started my book on the right track — with each chapter standing alone and focused on one topic.

This is how to go through self-editing for sentence structure & transitions:

Double checking sentence structure is the second important part of step one in self-editing.

How each book idea flows to the next is the second aspect to consider during the “structure” read-through. The use of transition words and phrases—next, then, furthermore, on the other hand, etc.—can be very helpful to achieve this.

But the same concepts to ensuring chapter structure should be applied to sentence structure. Make sure to complete your entire thought on one subject before jumping to the next whether from chapter to chapter or inside a chapter.

Proper transitions and book flow will allow readers to keep going naturally. It could prevent them from ever putting it down!

Learn How to Self-Edit & What You Need to Hire a Pro Editor

Book Editing Checklist

Download your FREE guided checklist to help you self-edit, or to guide you and give you a baseline for setting expectations for copy editing and content editing services. Get it now!

#2 – Read for Readability

It’s very likely that you know your book topic better than anyone who reads your book. That’s especially true if you are writing a memoir, but that will likely also be the case with a self-help book or non-fiction commentary on something such as the James Bond film series.

After double checking the structure of your book, the second read-through should ensure every chapter, every paragraph, every sentence and even every word makes sense.

Ask yourself these questions when editing for vague details or over-explained thoughts:

  • Did I gloss over any details that a beginner to my topic might not know?
  • Did I forget a vital detail to a personal story in my memoir?
  • Does it feel like I’m bogging down my reader with unnecessary details not important to my overall point?

Keep these questions in mind during the second read-through of the self-editing stage.

how to self edit

In the second read-through, place yourself in the mind of your reader.

For my book, I needed to ensure every scene of a Bond film I explain was properly detailed to my audience. I have seen the Bond movies dozens of times, but not every reader will have, so it was important to make sure even readers who haven’t seen the films can understand what’s going on in a particular scene.

Here’s how to self-edit awkward phrasing:

In this step, authors should also be able to find awkward phrasing. This is the biggest reason why we advise reading your manuscript out loud. Sentences that don’t make sense or that need to be reworded will stick out when spoken in voice rather than read silently.

#3 – Read for Grammar and Word Choice

As you may have guessed, the first two read-through steps are making revisions to your manuscript. In this last step, authors will be performing both edits and revisions.

Once you’ve nailed down your book’s structure and readability, you’re now ready to double check grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation.

It’s important to leave grammar until the last step of the self-editing phase. Otherwise, you will need to repeat this step after revisions are complete.

Double checking word choice was vitally important in my own self-editing.

I tend to repeat the same words without even realizing. In my first rough draft, I had the same transition word used multiple times on the same page or the same verb or adjective deployed on numerous occasions in the same chapter.

Get out a thesaurus and utilize different words where applicable—just be sure these words actually make sense (as we all know thesauruses can’t always be trusted).

This doesn’t mean change every noun to a fancier word in attempt to sound smart. Nobody likes a smart ass. But avoiding repeated words while expanding your vocabulary in a colloquial way is the last step in self-editing.

Other tips for self-edit read-throughs:

  1. Find a style that works
  2. Try re-reading only a chapter at a time & the whole book together
  3. Again, read the manuscript out loud

That’s the end of the actually steps needed to complete the self-editing phase, but there’s more to it than just simply reading through the manuscript and making alterations.

Find a Self-Edit Style That Works for YOU

Are you more of a paper and pen person or do you love using track changes on writing software like Microsoft Word or Google Docs?

There is no right or wrong, but finding your best preference and consistently repeating it through each read-through is essentially.

Personally, I loved the good, old-fashioned pen and paper for my self-editing. I find it easier to read out loud from a paper than a screen. It also allowed me to easily keep track of all my edits and revisions with a pen.

You can do the same, though, with track changes like in the example below.

how to self edit

Printing out your manuscript and/or working with track changes is essential to the self-editing phase.

After each read-through, make the changes in your official manuscript, so they are present for the next read-through. Then repeat the process.

For all the read-throughs, I would print out a new copy of my book.

NOTE: To save paper, reprint on the back of the previous manuscript.

Self-Edit One Chapter at a Time

Most self-published authors have other jobs. If not, they still likely have very busy lives because everyone does. That probably makes performing an entire read-through for the whole book in one sitting very unlikely.

However, there are advantages to self-editing the whole book in one read-through during a single day.

Pros to read-throughs in one sitting:

  1. Easier to receive entire picture
  2. Repeated phrases and words can be more apparent
  3. Reading it as the fans would

Reading the entire manuscript together for chapter and sentence structure is a good idea because it’s easier to get the entire picture of how the book fits together.

It’s also easier to pick out repeated phrases and words. If you wait several days between reading the first and final chapter for structure, you may not realize you repeat yourself too much or that you have the exact same sentence in two places.

The readers that never put your book down may experience it in an entirely different way than you did if you never performed an entire book read-through in one sitting.

Cons to read-throughs in one sitting:

  1. General tiredness
  2. Grammar and spelling edits may suffer
  3. Threat of rushing through it
self editing

There are plenty of advantages to only re-reading a chapter at a time as well. For one, going through an entire read-through in one sitting can take hours and is very tiring. In the last few chapters, you might not be as sharp at catching errors as you were at the beginning of the process because of fatigue.

All self-editing can be tedious, but checking for grammar, spelling and punctuation is particularly banal. It’s even harder when tired.

Furthermore, if the goal is to get through the entire book with one read-through in one sitting, but you only have a set amount of time to do it, there’s a distinct possibility that you will rush. That’s not a good thing either.

TIP: Try both techniques to see which self-editing works for you.

The one-sitting read-through is better suited for when checking for structure. It’s better to read one chapter at a time while editing for grammar and spelling.

If your book is truly too long for a read-through in one sitting, then don’t worry about it. More than likely, that means readers won’t be reading it all the way through at a time either.

SPS 092: Using Books To Start Multiple 7 Figure Companies (And How I Sold 700k Copies Of 1 Book) with Mike Michalowicz

Today I talk with Mike Michalowicz (author of Profit First and many other books) about how he’s started multiple 7 figure businesses on the back-end of books he’s written. We also talk about:

– how he sold 700k copies of his book, negotiated double the advance, and why he decided to fire his agent and do it himself

– why audiobooks are where all the money is in book publishing

– the 2 types of people that will help you sell more books and grow your business

– A “backlist”; what is it and why is it important for long-term book sales

– Why you should self publish if you want to make money from the book

…and a lot more!

This interview is a blueprint for building a business using books. If you want to grow your business using a book…don’t miss this episode!

How Mike Creates Business Ecosystems Around Published Books

Mike is the author of several successful books, including Profit First, Clockwork, The Pumpkin Plan, and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. His most recent book, Fix This Next, is another book in his series that he is using to start and grow companies.  

Being an entrepreneur his entire life, Mike is familiar with the challenges of starting a business. “I’ve had some great successes and was able to sell a couple of companies.” In addition to his successes, he has also experienced significant failure. After experiencing a life calamity, Mike had to regroup and restart his life, including his business. “I started writing everything down that I didn’t know about the business.” His list went on for several pages, and when reviewing his plan, he asked himself if there was a better way?

Mike started the process of backward design and started asking himself if profitability could be generated before the end? This journey started him on the research path, leading to writing for the Wall Street Journal, and his articles proceeded to become books.

“Ask people if you can make money writing books and people that say no, it’s crazy, don’t do it, most of them have never done it.” When he ran into Tim Ferris and asked him if he could make money writing books, his response was ‘you could be a millionaire writing books.”

Find out which lessons Mike wanted to learn, how he comes up with book ideas to start companies, and how he builds a business ecosystem around his published book. Learn why readers of your published book are better prospects for your business, why you shouldn’t write your book focused on leads, and how he organizes multiple companies on his back end.

Show Notes

  • [01:46] Why Mike decided to write his first book.
  • [03:11] Restarting his life as an author.
  • [06:24] How to land a licensing agreement with a company.
  • [10:12] Common mistakes authors make when writing books.
  • [14:29] Perks to working with licensee companies instead of building from the ground up.
  • [17:05] Why his first book is so profitable.
  • [24:05] How Mike gets book deals without having an agent representing.
  • [29:02] The breakdown of Mike’s book sales by type of book.
  • [32:45] How to move the most books in different stages of your book marketing.
  • [37:47] Why leaving video reviews on other people’s books helps your book sales.
  • [40:29] The Penguin book publisher secret from Mike’s perspective.

SPS 091: Publishers Hate Him! Thinking Like An Agent & Getting Publishers To Compete To Give You A Massive Book Deal with Nathan Latka

Nathan Latka was the most polarizing speaker at Author Advantage Live. A lot of the audience loved him. The rest of the audience hated him. 

…and so much more. Listen to this episode and let me know what you think!

Nathan Latka’s Publisher Bidding War

Nathan is the principal of the private equity firm Founder Path. Besides, he is the executive producer and host of the Top Entrepreneurs Podcast and produces his Facebook show. His book, How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital, is #3 on the Wall Street Best Seller list.

He decided to publish a book because he is a lover of competition. “I’m really competitive, I like to play games, and I like to play games that have money attached.”

You want to think like an agent when you approach a publishing company. “You have to control or have a clear path to controlling distribution.” Nathan started his prep work almost two years prior with his first step launching a podcast, so publishers knew he had a channel in which to sell his book. Secondly, he reached out to CEO’s with a promise that if they bought his book, he would dedicate space in his book to their business, along with a link back to their site.

After receiving tremendous response from companies, he used this data as collateral to land an agent. Once landing an agent, he and his agent contacted publishers with a focused script. Three publishers replied back to start the bidding war, which gave Nathan leverage for his book deal.

Find out the most critical question all publishers ask that you must have an answer for before you step foot through their door. Learn why Nathan wanted to get onto the cable for interviews, what he put in his marketing weapons tool chest, and how he created a quality book.

Show Notes

  • [02:21] Writing a book for his business and company goals.
  • [06:09] How Nathan created the bidding war among publishers.
  • [11:00] Why Nathan wanted to get on cable as part of his book contract.
  • [13:32] Using transcription to get from content in his head to content on the page.
  • [17:14] Why he put his image on the cover of his book.
  • [20:01] Nathan’s top three marketing strategies for marketing his book.
  • [22:43] How to get your book opened by referencing specific pages.
  • [25:29] Marketing your book on podcasts.
  • [32:17] The one page document which Nathan used to raise over a million dollars at age 21.