This post was first published in February 2016. Because Amazon clamped down on affiliate-linked services using free or discounted books to garner affiliate fees from Amazon in May 2016, we have added a new column below that shows which services use an affiliate tag to profit from the book’s sale and could affect your book’s campaign. Note this is probably only affecting free books, as then Amazon was paying out on a loophole into the negative, but we advise to proceed with caution with any service that uses an affiliate tag system.
So let’s move on to the information.
As most indie authors are probably aware, BookBub is the place to sell books. Amazingly, if you get listed in BookBub (10-20% probability, depending on the book), you’re virtually guaranteed to at least break even, so there’s nothing to lose even if it’s pretty expensive upfront ($30-$375 depending on the genre). The problem is that 20% probability. Many, many writers have been faced with this email:
Due to limited space in the email, we’re only able to feature about 20% of the titles that get submitted to us. The editorial team reviews all the submissions that meet our minimum guidelines for a certain category and price point, and selects the titles within that group that they believe will perform best with our subscribers. Other titles the editors reviewed were a better fit for our readers’ current tastes, so they have not chosen your book for a feature.
While this title isn’t the right fit for our lists at the moment, we appreciate your interest in working with BookBub and encourage you to keep submitting your titles for editorial consideration. Please wait at least four weeks before resubmitting this book for review
The reason it’s so effective is because they’re so selective. Their reader base knows they’re getting a good deal on a good book, not just another 99 cent book with no track record.
Fortunately, BookBub is not the only game in town.
The sites listed below come with the following criteria: these are for paid listings, not listings of free books, though many of these also offer promotions of free books as well. Additionally, these services follow the BookBub model: advertising via newsletter, not via banner or blog post. Also some were left off that just aren’t very good. A site with 10 Twitter followers does not suggest it will be a good use of your marketing money. See here for a complete list of book promo sites. See here for SPR’s own marketing packages.
Most of these sites have similar requirements:
- A fair number of 4-5 reviews, often from verified purchasers. These reviews can sometimes be combined from different retailers or split between Amazon.com and .uk.
- Good cover
- Good content (they may read the book – they want subscribers to actually buy books b/c they make money from that too)
- At least 100 pages
- Discounted or free – no more than $5.99, but usually under $3
- Ebook only
Here is a list showing the various services (starting with SPR’s own, which unlike many others also includes Customer Reviews and ranking proven over the last 2 years, and requires no reviews or book size). Click the logo to visit the links.
Non-Newsletter Promo Sites
- Book Basset
- Book Circle – Affiliate Tag used
- Addicted to Ebooks
- Ebook Deal of the Day (UK site) – Affiliate Tag used
- Free & Discounted Books
- The Books Machine
Closed Due To Amazon Clampdown