Speak with self-published authors and one opinion emerges constantly: selling your book is taking more effort in 2016 than it ever did in the past. Gone are the days when you can simply make a book free or cheap and sit back whilst thousands of eager readers download the book. The more-then-four-million ebooks on Amazon will not allow this, the number of authors using paid advertisements will not allow it. Authors are seeking new book promotion strategies that work in 2016.
Whilst there is no single promotion strategy that works for everyone, all the time, here is a list of strategies that authors are using, each with their own merit:
List of Book Promotion Strategies That Work:
BOOK PROMOTION STRATEGY ONE:
Build your own mailing list. Provide a link at the back of your book that goes to your sign-up page on your website. This implies you already have a website, and that you are using a mailing service. Popular mailing services are:
Mailchimp – the most popular, and most expensive choice.
Mad Mimi – A cheaper and popular alternative.
Mailerlite – A cheaper and popular newcomer.
Sendy – This one needs to be downloaded.
ConvertKit – A smart new one with great user interface, but not too cheap.
With a mailing list you can be sure to have a list of fans ready that will be eager for new releases, and that may give you a large number of reviews. You can also take part in author cross promotions with your mailing list. Author cross promotions mean getting together with other authors and advertising their books whilst they also advertise yours, and it is another popular ebook promotion strategy at present.
BOOK PROMOTION STRATEGY TWO:
Use the Kindle Select 5-free days promotion opportunity, or make your book permafree. Then promote the heck out of the free book. This will be successful if the book is the first in a series or if you have several similar books available – as the idea is that readers will sample the free book and be hungry for more of the same. It is a very useful strategy to increase your book ranking on Amazon, gain new followers and get reviews.
With those millions of ebooks on Amazon it is important to know that no one will know your book is free, unless you inform them! That means you have to announce your free book on all your social media outlets, and place it on as many free book promotion sites as possible. There are a large number of those sites. They have different price ranges, and you will also get a different number of downloads from various sites. Here is a brief list of sites:
- Bookbub – the most popular site of all. Apparently started by a millionaire businessman they can afford to do a lot of paid advertising for their site, which is why it has so many subscribers. But advertising over there is not cheap either – approximately $300 – $500 per ad per book. They are strict with cover and review requirements and authors do get turned away often. You’ll get thousands of downloads if you get in though.
- Freebooksy – another popular but not so cheap site. There are different prices, around $75 – $200 per book, depending on genre.
- One Hundred Free Books – A popular option, two options costing either $75 or $100. Results are usually good they say.
- Ereadernewstoday – To advertise a free book is either $35 or $40, depending on genre.
- FKBT (Free Kindle Books and Tips) – Quite affordable at $25 per posting.
- Freebookdude – Featured book promotion for one week is $30.
- Robin Reads – $50 for the Premium Deal, $40 for a romance book, others vary by genre. Free and discounted books accepted.
The trick is to get into as many sites as possible and book in advance since they get quite full. Unfortunately some of these sites require that the book should have a number of good reviews, and all of them check your book’s cover. Yip – those covers are important!
BOOK PROMOTION STRATEGY THREE:
Pay for online ads. That’s right – nowadays many authors pay for online advertising. These are the options:
- Amazon Paid Ads – this is a new feature made available to self-publishing authors in 2016, done through their Kindle Direct Publishing Ads site.
- Paid Facebook or Twitter Ads – you can choose pay-per-click or pay-per-impressions options. You need good images and banners for these though. Some authors use short 30 – 45 sec video trailers also.
- Goodreads Ads – not a very popular option since apparently not many people click on these, but there nonetheless.
- Google Ads – an expensive way to go, but will feature you in the front pages of their search engines.
- Side-banners on websites that offer advertising space. The price will be determined by how much traffic the website gets.
There is more to say on the topic of ebook promotions, but I think I have mentioned all the most important methods used. Needless to say good content and good book covers and attractive banner ads play a key role in the whole process. Do check out our ebook cover and banner design services.
For affordable cover options, have a look at our variety of premade ebook covers.
Does anyone else have any brilliant promotion ideas they wish to share?