Promoting your self-published books can be a long, tiring, and lonely journey. But, as most authors know, there are many book promotion sites available to help with the marketing process so authors can get back to the task of writing more books.
A quick search on the internet will provide you with dozens of lists, many which claim to feature the “best” book promotion services.
But how do you know which book promotion services are right for you?
If you’re paying hundreds of dollars to promote your book to readers, you should expect to see a good return on that investment. But a good return can mean different things to authors. Some expect to see direct sales, while others are willing to pay for a promotion service with the hope of getting a few new reviews. Other authors might be happy to have some interested readers sign up for their email newsletter. After all, book marketing is a long-term investment.
Best Author Tools features many book promotion sites in our directory. But not all of them are recommended by our contributing authors.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know what promo sites provide the best return on investment? Is it even possible to find such an objective study?
I have a feeling that most indie authors are too busy to track sales results when doing book promotions. If they did, they might have a better idea of which services are truly the best.
But there are some authors who do track results. And some post results publicly.
Two Real World marketing campaigns using book promotion sites
I found a few author blog posts that provide some helpful details based on their personal experience using book promotion sites to help market their books. Here’s a quick comparison of two, noting similarities and differences in the authors’ results.
Nicholas Erik is the author of over a dozen novels across multiple series as well as The Ultimate Book Marketing Crash Course. On his website, Nicholas curates a list of “Recommended Book Promo Sites” that he actually uses.
But it’s better than a simple list.
Erik provides some actual numbers based on promotions for his own fiction books. He also categorizes promo sites into three tiers. Top tier sites give him the best return on investment. Tier 2 promo sites generate slightly less but still good results. Tier 3 sites are ok. Erik excludes any promo service that fail to produce noticeable results.
April A. Taylor is a best-selling author of horror and paranormal thrillers. She posted results of a specific book promotion campaign including amount spent, profit, copies sold, and sales rank. Over a seven day period, Taylor varied the book promotion sites used and recorded her thoughts on the effectiveness of each.
A few things these two author posts share in common
First, both Erik and Taylor ran their campaigns with book promotion sites and tracked results around a BookBub Featured Deal. Many authors believe that winning a BookBub deal is the holy grail of book marketing. Authors will say good and bad things about other book promotion sites, but I have yet to hear anyone dismiss BookBub.
Secondly, both authors agree on what they discovered to be the “best” promo sites.
Erik’s “Top Tier” sites are limited to BookBub, FreeBooksy, Ereader News Today (ENT), and Robin Reads.
Similarly, Taylor used BookBub, Ereader News Today (ENT), and Robin Reads on Day 1 of her campaign, her “biggest day by far.” She didn’t mention Freebooksy because her sale price was 99 cents.
After these top 3 sites, both authors rank Book Cave, Fussy Librarian, and Bargain Booksy quite favorably.
At Erik’s lowest tier, he includes Booksends, EReaderIQ, and Book Gorilla, which Taylor also used in her campaign.
Finally, both authors recommend a multi-day strategy using different services based on expected results. Rather than target one or two days which will not help long-term sales, Erik and Taylor suggest a multi-day strategy, using different book promotion sites on each day.
And here’s where they differ…
Erik’s and Taylor’s strategies differ in terms of when to target the best day for results.
Taylor’s campaign began on Day 1 with a BookBub Featured Deal. Obviously, that was her best day. Sales diminished after that until she ended the campaign on Day 7.
Erik recommends thinking in terms of a “gradual upward trend” over a multi-day period. To this end, he would schedule lower “Tier 3” and “Tier 2” book promotion sites over the first few days and a BookBub Featured Deal on the day before the last promotion day.
Obviously, results will vary based on many factors such as genre, cover, blurb, and the specific appeal of the book to the target audience. Not to mention good timing and a bit of luck.
Can I get a simple formula?
Remember, these author results are not a prescription but a guide. Results will vary. You might find some promo sites perform better than those recommended by Erik and Taylor. But if you’re looking to run a paid book promotion campaign, these sites are a great place to start.
And if you do get a BookBub deal, develop a clear plan for your campaign based around these top book promotion sites. Use Erik’s or Taylor’s method of tracking results (or some combination thereof), then publish your results in a blog post. If you do, contact me and I will update this post to include your results and a link to your post.
Leave a Reply