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 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.
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.
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