Home / Features / 35+ Alternatives to BookBub – UPDATED JUNE 2016

35+ Alternatives to BookBub – UPDATED JUNE 2016


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:

  1. 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.
  2. Good cover
  3. Good content (they may read the book – they want subscribers to actually buy books b/c they make money from that too)
  4. At least 100 pages
  5. Discounted or free – no more than $5.99, but usually under $3
  6. 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.


Cost(Differs by genre) # of Subscribers(Differs by genre) # of Reviews Required(4-5 star reviews) Affiliate scheme?
SPR Amazon  Promos From $349 (includes verified  customer reviews and high ranking) 67,000 plus social media of 47,000 0 No
From $10 121,000 10 No
BookSends $10-$125 100,000 5 No
BookGorilla $40-$75 100,000 5 Yes
bookperk Free-$100 not listed 20 No
Bargain Booksy $25-$50 50,000 n/a Yes
Ereader News Today $15-$25 not listed n/a Yes
Kindle Nation Daily $99.99 167,000 n/a No
eBookSoda $10 not listed 8 No
Buck Books Free not listed n/a No
Kindle Books & Tips $25-$100 150,000 (plus 600,000 app downloads) 4 No
Genre Pulse $10-$30 36,000 (plus 360,00 app downloads) n/a Unknown
Indie Author News not listed not listed n/a Yes
Awesome Gang $10 4000 n/a No
GoodKindles $7.95-$19.95 not listed n/a No
Read Cheaply Free not listed “substantial”
Reading Deals Free-$10 not listed 5 No
PeopleReads $7.99-$29.99 not listed 10 No
Book Bear $30 126,000 n/a No
Ebook Lister $5-$40 not listed 5
Digital Book Today $20 13,100 10 Yes
HotZippy-Logo-2014-Transparent-Resized $15 not listed n/a No
Book Club Reading List $49.95-$99.95 8000 n/a Yes
Book Goodies Free-$20 not listed n/a Yes
Books Butterfly  $1 per sale 107,000 1 No
Booktastik $5-$10 2900 n/a No
Daily Bookworm $20-$50 not listed n/a Yes
Discount Books Daily $10-$50 not listed “must contain positive, real reviews” Yes
Ebook Bird $5 not listed 10
Ebook Bargains UK £3-£15 ($5-$24) not listed n/a Unclear
Ebook Stage Free not listed 5 Yes
Ebookasaurus $10 not listed n/a Yes
Ignite Your Book $20 30,000 > 3.5 stars
Just Kindle Books $18 4500 n/a Yes
One Hundred Free Ebooks Free-$100 28,000 n/a No
Read Freely Free not listed n/a No

Non-Newsletter Promo Sites

Closed Due To Amazon Clampdown

Pixel of Ink


Book Canyon

  • Deborah

    Any service that guarantees downloads puts your KDP account at risk. They can’t guarantee unless they are doing something against the rules and Amazon has already warned authors about such services. Buyer beware!!!! You can lose your Kindle account and be banned from publishing to Amazon.

    • http://www.indiebookediting.com Cate Baum

      It’s actually possible – we do it here at SPR. We have huge reader lists, and we market to them, and this guarantees a definite percentage will review the book. We’ve had 100% success, and because we are simply letting readers know about the book and not buying the book or offering incentives, we are completely within Amazon guidelines. Just marketing percentages, bounce rates, behavior analysis etc. is all. I cannot speak for BookBub or other services, but that’s how we stay in guidelines and reach guarantees.

    • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com Cate Baum

      Yes, you are right Deborah. See updated tables.

  • Deborah J. Hughes

    The following site will submit your books to a variety of sites for you! I love their service, everything in one place. You fill in the blanks and they send the email!! http://bookmarketingtools.com/

  • scottbilker
    • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com Cate Baum

      Book Lemur uses affiliate tags, so not advisable in this climate.

      • scottbilker

        What climate?

        • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com Cate Baum

          Read the article – Amazon is clamping down on affiliate use for ebook sites. Not advisable to use.

          • scottbilker

            The article talked about how TFL (The Fussy Librarian) lost their affiliate account because of links in the emails. That still has no affect of authors. Author books are promoted in the TFL emails and people can still get those books from Amazon. The only problem is TFL’s, which is they don’t get paid by Amazon. And as far as BookLemur goes, they don’t have links in the emails at all. Readers must click a link in the email which brings them to the website. And all the links on their website will bring readers to Amazon to buy books. Again, the problem is not for authors that run promotions at these sites, it’s for the sites themselves making a tiny commission on sales.

            • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com Cate Baum

              I take it you run Book Lemur. You’d be wise to fully look into why using a mailing service with the same session ID or tagged links being clicked over and over again affect a book’s performance and rank in Amazon’s algorithm. It does affect authors, and I am not about to endorse any service that uses affiliate tags for that reason. I would direct you to Amazon’s Terms of Use on manipulation of sales rank: “You may not intentionally manipulate your products’ rankings, including by offering an excessive number of free or discounted products, in exchange for a review.” Using a tagged URL like this would be seen as a potential manipulation of sales or rank and could be very bad news for the book’s ranking, because Amazon would be able to tell you were over and over again leading customers to the same funnel for sales. In the real world of course we call it “advertising.” Amazon calls it “manipulation.” Whether we agree or not, it’s not a good way to promote a book. Best to use the clean URL only.

              • scottbilker

                Nobody is “offering free or discounted products, in exchange for reviews.” That’s if I paid you to review my book. Or offered you a free book to review my book. BookLemur simply selects books its subscribers may like to read. Like me saying, “Hey Cate, you may want to get Scott Bilker’s book, ‘Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt’ because you have an interest in Business books.” Or, “Hey Cate, I saw this great book today on Amazon that’s free. You may like it.” This is not manipulation by any measure. If it were, then every book signing is manipulation, every media interview of any author is manipulation, marketing of any kind would be manipulation. Authors and publishers need to get the word out about their books, which is the only way to promote a book.

                • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com Cate Baum

                  As I said, in the real world, these methods would be acceptable. It seems to me you really should be reading the Operational Documentation on Amazon Associates, which cites that you cannot lead customers from a mailing to Special Links, which clearly you are doing. Your website headline is “daily email alerts” so I think that’s a red flag for Amazon right there. You’re also changing your links to shortened versions on Facebook, also against TOS. “You must not use a link shortening service in a manner that makes it unclear that you are linking to an Amazon Site.” I hope you can makes changes and adhere to guidelines in the future to make sure your authors are protected and cannot be perceived as using services outside of the Amazon TOS.

  • Forewordz

    We’d love for you to consider Forewordz: http://forewordz.com. Our service is young but taking off. We are very supportive of indies and promote author newsletter links in addition to book links. Thanks!

  • Ebooksforfree Inc

    Another great site for free and 99c Kindle promotions is: http://ebooksforfreeinc.com/

  • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com Cate Baum

    Best is to look at each site’s criteria. Many promote non-fiction.