This page is a work in progress. It will contain a list of websites where authors can promote their books. There will be two sections: paid and unpaid. There will also be a section for suggestions on where a book can be recorded to help spread the word about.
Last Updated: October 28, 2020
NOTE: I’ll record my experience, but I could run the same ad with the same book and have different results. You may run a similar book or different book, one offered for free, 99 cents or a different price and have better or worse results. Marketing is testing the waters to see what works and what doesn’t work, and results may vary.
Please, use the information below understanding there are no guaranteed results.
Promotional Sites I’ve Used and Results
You can list a free book for free twice a month, plus they have paid ads, which I haven’t used. Instead, I opted for the free option for the Northern Survival promotion because I had a few other ads booked for this day and two were paid for.
Placement: Northern Survival was free for the day this ad ran. On this day 325 books were downloaded and 322 pages were read by Kindle Unlimited members. However, I ran this ad with three others: Lovely Books Promotions, Just Kindle Books and eBook Deals Today.
Results: Because I had three ads running on this day, I don’t know how many sales or pages read this ad produced.
Conclusion: It was free, so the only thing it cost me was time to submit the ad.
eBook Betty charges different prices for different promotions. For more details about the price and the promotions, check out her site.
Placement: This time, I paid for an ad to promote a New Release 99-cent sale for Northern Survival. The price I paid to be on her website and in her newsletter was $12.50 USD ($17.05 CAD), which was a half-price sale.
Results: I’ve used eBook Betty twice before. In those, I was promoting a free eBook. I had reasonable downloads (more than 150 each time) and my ranking ended up in the low 100s in three categories. This time around, with a 99-cent book, results were poor, and I had run an ad with I Write Now on the same day. This was early in my promotions. Between the two ads, I sold 8 books and 0 pages were read by Kindle Unlimited members. Nowhere near enough to reclaim what I’d spent.
Conclusion: Move on. Don’t look back. While I could use eBook Betty for a free eBook promotion, my days of FREE are quickly coming to an end.
I Write Now
They have a few different promotions and prices. Check their website for the most up-to-date information.
Placement: I ran an ad to promote a 99-cent sale for a new release (Northern Survival). I chose the Standard package for $10 USD ($13.64 CAD), which listed me on their front page for three days, featured my book in their newsletter and shared the book to their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest)
Additionally: This was not a quick submission. I had to fill out lots of information, including searching for and adding four quotes from the book or quotes from reviews to give them material to promote the book with. They need at least 48 hours notice before the promotion begins.
Results: Unfortunately, their website doesn’t provide links to their social media accounts and because the name is generic, many results appeared when searching for it. However, after a few minutes, I found their Facebook page. I have yet to locate their Pinterest and Twitter accounts. Naturally, I wanted to see my promotion on these sites to see how they were presented.
This promotional ad ran on the same day as the ad for eBook Betty. Results were poor. This was early in my promotions, so the book was new to everyone who saw it. Between the two ads, I sold 8 books and 0 pages were read by Kindle Unlimited members. Nowhere near enough to reclaim what I’d spent.
Conclusion: Would I use them again? Maybe, to see if results are similar. However, I’ll try other sites first.
The Fussy Librarian
The Fussy Librarian has many price ranges for genres and several options to promote your book. Check their website for current prices and options.
Placement: I bought a promotional ad for the 99-cent sale of “Northern Survival” for $21 USD ($28.58 CAD). The sale ran from October 1st to the 5th, 2020. I opted to place the book in the New Release Bargain Book section. The promotion ran on October 1st. Since it was a new release, the reviews normally required were waivered.
When you sign up for an ad with Fussy Librarian, one of the check boxes asks if you want to be reminded when to schedule another ad. I had put 21 days, but you could put any number up to 365. Twenty-one days after my ad ran, I received a message from Fussy Librarian to remind me to place another ad. If I booked an ad within 24 hours, I got 10% off the regular price. Keep this in mind when you set that reminder.
Results: I had read many wonderful things about the Fussy Librarian. Many books have been sold (or provided for free) by multiple authors over the years. It’s so popular, bookings are usually a month in advance, so when I went looking to place an ad in late August, the first available date was October 1st. With that in mind, I was eager to see what a 99-cent book would do; I knew free books went like wildfire. Or at least I heard they did.
On October 1st, 11 eBook copies of “Northern Survival” were downloaded and 176 pages were read by Kindle Unlimited members.
Conclusion: Would I consider the results a success? No. I recouped less than $5.00. Would I do it again? Maybe to test results at a different time with a different book, or if I needed reviews for a book, but then a certain amount of reviews are needed to get a promotion with Fussy Librarian. I’m learning 10 reviews with an average of 3.5 stars or more is the magic number to reach to get promotions at popular promotional websites. If I had those reviews, why would I offer a book for free? I know, there are many reasons but logistically, it’s starting to make less sense. This is subject to change as is all my promotional decisions.
Promotional Sites to Avoid for Reasons Stated
New to placing ads on promotional sites, I was unaware of some of the warnings out there. While little red flags went up when I sign-up for an Awesome Guys ad, I was unsure how these sites worked and I didn’t know if they worked together (or didn’t work together). So when I received the confirmation email from Awesome Guys and they listed several other promotional sites, I was only a little hesitant. I booked an ad with one of their ‘affiliates’, but not the others.
Since then, I read on many sites, including in discussions on Goodreads, that Awesome Guys and all the sites mentioned in his email message are run by the same guy: Vince. He also encourages authors to complete interviews for his website to help add to our publicity. Word has it these interviews sit with crickets, no one directed to them unless we — the author — direct readers to that interview, which in turn, promotes Awesome Guy’s website.
Also since then, I’ve seen Vince do binge shares of interviews on his website to Goodreads discussions. Shared with a dozen other interviews in a matter of minutes, I doubt many authors/readers will click to read them.
That said, if you’ve had good results, continue. Here are the sites suspected to be owned and operated by Vince.
I’ll write more on these sites with specifics soon. A few in the discussion at Goodreads suggested they were scams, but I won’t go that far. However, I wanted to share what I found.
UPDATE: October 23, 2020: Two days after I posted this bit about Vince, my inbox received seven notifications from Goodreads, telling me Vince O’Hare posted author interviews to a discussion, and that he was looking for more authors to do interviews. This mass sharing is what I had spoken about.