A lot of experts and authors recommend using promotional service like Bookbub.com to get lots of sales and reviews which then boost your Amazon Best Seller Ranking. But most of us have been rejected by Bookbub for a variety of unspecific reasons.
Bookbub has customers to think about and by now, they most likely know what those customers buy. So any book that doesn’t meet the basic requirements of a good cover, title, and description will most likely be the first in the reject pile. But, if you’ve done all that right, then they most likely still want to see a bit of existing consumer demand – as seen by rankings and reviews. And by reviews, it’s probably a minimum of 10-20 4-star or better reviews! Yikes!
So what are your options? Are we authors then stuck at the bottom of the barrel, never to make it into Amazon’s internal marketing mechanism? You know that’s a rhetorical questions, so let’s take a look at other options for promotion.
Lists of Links
If you want a giant list of links, they are out there. There are quite a few of them listing the potentially hundreds of places to post your free book – and some will promote .99 cent books, too.
We’re currently querying the many book promotional sites out there and will publish an up-to-date, usable list including their acceptance requirements and possibly pricing. I’ll post that list soon.[Please sign up on the newsletter to be alerted when it’s ready] But, as mentioned above, we know there are probably close to a hundred sites out there to post to. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of sitting and posting. We’re probably talking about a couple of hours – that doesn’t excite me.
Here’s the process – Click link (assuming you have a list), make sure I’m on the right page, fill in a lot of blanks I’ve filled in a dozen times already, and submit – sometimes with a detour to paypal for a few bucks. … And click link… repeat process 40-100 more times… – As Snoopy would say, “bleh.”
Author Marketing Club
I’ve heard about Author Marketing Club, but their free marketing tool seems to just be links at the bottom of the page that are probably paid for. And you have to click them and do the actual submissions. If they offer another tool – I’d love to know. Anyone??
Actual Promotional Services
There are a couple of actual promotional services that will help you, or do it for you:
I’ve found and tried these two services so far:
1 BookMarketingTools.com has a tool that costs $15 and tries to simplify sending emails and submissions to 30+ sites. First you fill in a bit about your book like the ASIN. It fetches the book info from Amazon and then allows you to click through and finish off the submissions. Some require a bit of fill-in, others just need you to click submit. Then there are other links to sites you can just click and do the whole thing manually from scratch. This tool is ONLY for FREE books. It’s still a bit of work, but a lot less than doing it all by scratch.
2 eBookBooster.com has a tool that allows you to pay $40 to submit to 50 sites for your FREE book and a pending tool for your .99 cent book. In this case you pay, then fill in your basic info – ASIN and author details. They take care of the rest. In a few days, you’ll get emails letting you know the submission process worked. They will submit to 50 sites – I can’t verify they all are submitted to, but some will send emails – and some of those emails require you to click on a link to verify.
Just a note: For any site you submit to (yourself or using a service) there is NO guarantee that they will actually promo your book – just a fact of life.
I tried the first service with one book for a Wednesday & Thursday promo, and the other service with a second book for a Thursday & Friday promo. The rough results are below, but since the books are different, I can’t say that the service is the only difference in promotion. People might prefer one book over the other, so the results could be skewed for a variety of reasons, not to mention the days of the week. I also haven’t done an extensive analysis of which sites overlap or have higher value for promotion.