This is the second blog in our series looking at Free Book Marketing where we’re suggesting ways to market your books on a budget.
Today, it’s the turn of Book Promotion Sites.
So, in a nutshell, you can opt for a ‘KDP Select’ Countdown Deal or 5-Day Free Promotion (see https://chascannco.com/free-marketing-with-kdp-select/). You can set up one of these every 90 days on your KDP dashboard. An alternative to ‘KDP Select’ is to simply change your price manually to 99c. This won’t be possible for a book that you want to market for free unless you’re published elsewhere like Kobo and you’re able to drop the price to zero and then email Amazon asking them to price-match which they’ll do.
Whichever one you choose, it’s time to find some book promotion sites to set up your FREE or 99c deals.
How Do Book Promotion Sites Work
There are quite a number of websites for authors and publishers that offer to promote books either for free or they will charge. Just like anyone offering services, some are better than others.
Find the right ones and your book will be thrust into the e-book devices of a whole new set of readers.
As I’ve already alluded to, with these sites, you have a choice to pay for advertising your book to large numbers of people on social media, email lists or whatever is being offered. These sites make their money by adding Amazon Affiliate links so when someone clicks and downloads a book, they’ll receive a commission on anything that person purchases on Amazon within a space of 24 hours.
With paid ads, you’re guaranteed a spot on a particular site. Unfortunately, with free ads, it’s a bit hit-and-miss. When I’ve used book promotion sites, if I’ve signed up for 10, I’ll be lucky to be featured on 2 of them. What this means is that you’re not in full control of your marketing strategy but it’s still worth doing. The effect of being shown, even on just one site, is that your book will be downloaded en masse and help your Amazon rankings.
List of Top Free Promotion Sites
For a comprehensive list of Book Promotion sites – paid and unpaid – head to two of the most trusted websites in the self-publishing world – https://kindlepreneur.com/list-sites-promote-free-amazon-books/ and Reedsy: https://blog.reedsy.com/book-promotion-services/.
Here you’ll find sites that will accept your book at a discounted price (99c) or free or both. Some will charge a fee; some will be free.
Planning Your Push
The best time to begin one of these promotions is around 4 weeks before you plan to run it.
Some of these sites (and the ones below) need you to sign up first and it may take some days to be accepted. I’ve found with the book promotion websites, the majority need 7 days’ notice prior to your promotion going live. Occasionally, you may come across one or two that require 14 days’ notice so be prepared for this.
Just so you’re aware, KDP Select promotions begin and end at 00:00 Pacific Time which is around 8 hours prior to GMT (what’s the PT time now!) so a promotion that’s due to commence on 14th March will actually begin at 08:00 in the UK.
If you’re manually changing prices of your books, be sure you give Amazon enough time for the change to take place – allow 48 hours to be sure.
Don’t forget to plan out your promotions marketing strategy because with everything else on your plate, there are things here than can be overlooked unless you write them down in a logical order with dates.
If you have an email list, author Facebook page, Twitter account or whatever social media outlets you have, no matter how small, ensure they know about your deal a few weeks before it goes live. This will engender a sense of expectation. Let them know again when it’s live.
Facebook and Twitter Book Promotion Groups
Whilst contacting and placing ads on book promotion websites require forward planning, Facebook and Twitter promos can be set up during the promotion dates themselves. So, for the sake of argument, let’s say you’ve decided on a ‘KDP Select’ 5-day Free Promotion from 14th March till 18th March. I would contact all these groups on the 14th, 16th and 18th.
You can post your book details on one day only if you like but Facebook has a habit of showing your post only to a handful of group members each time so you’re maximising your effectiveness doing this three times during the whole promotion period.
It doesn’t take long once you get in the swing of it.
Two Paid Sites You Might Like to Explore
We’ve looked at book promotion sites and also checked out Facebook and Twitter groups where you can market your books for free.
In conclusion, I’d like to add two sites that you may want to look at – BKnights on Fiverr and James H Mayfield. I use these guys every time I have a promotion simply because they do the business!
BKnights‘ email list for his site now has 50,000 active readers and the site averages 5,500 unique visits a day. The fee is around $8 for free and discounted books.
James Mayfield will post your e-book deal to 10+ highly active Facebook groups with a member count of 500,000+ with added postings to unique, niche specific groups and pages if possible. In addition, your book deal will be posted to his personal Facebook Page and Group. James charges $14 and only deals with free books.
If you can invest in some of the book promotion websites or the guys mentioned above, it will make a difference to your overall promotion performance and may be something you will want to consider going forward.
Graham Cann is a #1 best-selling non-fiction author and CEO of Chas Cann Publishers
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