Aug. 14, 2017

My Online E-book Promotion Sites Experience

In this article, I discuss my recent experience with online eBook promotion sites. These are my experiences and yours may differ. During each promotion I used only the online promotion services listed, of which I tweeted and posted about the promotion continuously on Twitter and Facebook, of which I have a good following on both. I did it this way to track the progress of sales; therefore, I did not stagger promotions on the same day. I did, however, arrange for sister companies of the online site to also perform promotions during the same week, but on separate days, as this also allowed me to track progress more efficiently.

Here are the results.

AWESOMEGANG – the fee to use this service was $10. The promotion ran on a Friday. The package included being listed on the home page and tweets done on Twitter the entire day of the promotion. I can’t remember if this site had an email list and if my book would be distributed to readers who preferred the genre of my book. This company has been around since I’ve been published, and the owner, along with his partner, owns several online promotion sites. I have used Awesomegang in the past, but always staggered the promotion on the same day with quite a few other promotion sites, so tracking the results of prior promotions was too difficult. This was the first time I used Awesomegang solely for a day with no other promotions arranged around it, other than another from one of what I call its sister companies, but on a different day. The results were six books sold that day. Unfortunately, the title I was promoting had been discounted to $.99, so if we do the math, I paid $10 and got $.35 for each book sold, which totaled $2.10 for the day, which was a loss of $7.90.

BARGAIN BOOKSY – I will definitely try this company again in the future, because their fees are a little higher, but if you do not reach an adequate amount of sales during the promotion, this company will actually refund your money, as they did with me. Choosing the right day to promote a book can be tricky all in its own. Couple that with how well your cover competes against other authors’ covers that are also promoting on the same site that day plays a role in how well your promotion go. That being said, the package was $100. The services included being listed on the company’s homepage, as well as being distributed to their email listing. All Indie authors know the importance of using email listings during promotions, so I thought surely this promotion will go quite well. Unfortunately, and I place no blame on the company, as I only used them once and I’m not sure what happened, but I didn’t receive any sales on this day, although their email listing was an adequate number for the genre I was promoting. My cover was good, and this particular novel had done quite well since its release, so I’m not sure why I had the results I got. Like I said, I will definitely use this site again, as I think this was a one-time occurrence and perhaps something went wrong that neither the company nor I had caught which led to this result.

BKKNIGHTS ON FIVER – I liked this promotion service, as it doesn’t cost much to use. For $11 I was listed on the homepage of a website the person of this service uses during promotions. I had a total of 6 sales that day, and in my opinion, this was a successful promotion, as I earned back the fee paid plus a few bucks profit. Hey, I didn’t lose at all, so I consider this site a good one for me to use again in the future, especially if I stagger them with other online sites for maximum sales in one day.

BOOK PINNING – this particular site is on Pinterest and is absolutely free to use. Authors are allowed to pin the covers of their books onto the homepage on the day the book is discounted. I thought what the heck and gave it a shot. I didn’t see any sales that day, but it didn’t cost me anything. I mention this service because I will use them again in the future. I’m not sure how long they have been around, but hopefully, they are increasing their daily traffic, and when that happens, this site will see more progress the longer they are up and running.

DISCOUNT BOOK MAN – this site is also owned by the person that owns Awesomegang. I paid $15 and the package included being the sole book promoted on the page it was listed on the company’s online website. The results were a total of 3 books sold that day. I liked this site in that I didn’t have to compete against other authors’ covers. I’m not sure what kind of traffic this site currently has or its click rate, but hopefully, they will increase their daily traffic and future promotions will fare better amongst their readers, but for this particular promotion I paid $15 and earned $.35 for each book sold, so if we do the math $15 - $1.4 = a $13.60 loss. Another thing I want to mention was this promotion was actually a four-book boxed set that I promoted on other sites and earned anywhere from 60 – 200 downloads per day, so I’m on the fence about using them again.

EBOOK LISTER (not to be confused with Ebook Booster) – this company is different from Ebook Booster and there's more than one company using this name! The Ebook Lister  I used charged me $25.00 in return for them listing my book on twenty-five websites on the same day. They do provide a disclaimer that warns authors that they submit the books to other websites, but it’s up to the websites to approve and list your book. I thought since they were submitting to twenty-five sites, at least some of the sites will approve the promotion because I had used many of them in the past and had positive results. I arranged the promotion to last from Friday to Sunday. Ebook Lister sent me a list of sites they submitted my book promotion, along with links to the websites. I checked from Friday to Sunday and not a single site on the list promoted my book. Of course, this resulted in no sales, as readers visiting these twenty-five sites did not see my discounted book promotion. I contacted Ebook Lister and gave them my complaint of not being listed on a single site, and further explained that since I had only used them for the entire weekend my Kindle Countdown tanked and had zero sales. The reply I received was a mention of the disclaimer this site gives to authors before they submit their promotion details and make payment, which in all fairness is true (the disclaimer is listed for authors to see). I went back to them and explained that I had seen the disclaimer and that I expected some of the twenty-five sites to list my book. It took some doing, but my money was finally refunded. Needless to say, unless I hear positive feedback from other Indie authors who have used this site, I will not use them again in the future.

FREE DISCOUNTED BOOKS – The first thing I want to mention about this site is when I had used them when I first became an Indie author, along with three other sites, of which I staggered the promotion on the same day, I ALWAYS hit Amazon’s top 100 bestsellers under the genre of Thriller-Suspense. Any of you who know anything about genres, you know that to hit this list is hard since I’m competing against New York Times Bestsellers, such as Stephen King, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, etc. The list is endless! BUT, when I used them in the past I always hit the list and stayed on it, usually peaking around #40, and in one case ranked #14 right smack in the middle of James Patterson and Stephen King (J). This company was bought out by the partner of the guy who owns Awesomegang. Since the changeover I have used them two or three times and the results were exactly the same each time, which was I had 2 sales by early morning and nothing else for the rest of the day. I think what made this site more successful before the purchase was they were a sister company to other sites, and also submitted your promotion to quite a few sites, allowing your promotion to have more exposure. But since the purchase, I haven’t seen that they do this any longer, and instead offer a list of websites for you to list your book on multiple sites on your own. I paid $10 and had a loss of $9.30.

JUST KINDLE BOOKS – this was the first time I used this particular site, so if anyone has used them in the past, please do let me know what your results were, as I’m on the fence of using them again in the future. To leave me a private message, simply go to the tab that says Newsletter. Don’t worry, I will see that you’re simply replying to this article and won’t include you on my email listing. J Anyhow, the fee was $35 and I was promoting a 4-book bundle set at $.99. I had a total of 3 sales for the entire day, so this was not a successful promotion in my opinion. Keep in mind that when I do online promotions I choose to promote on the days of the week I see the most sales on, so I don’t believe this part played a fact in how poorly this particular promotion did.

READ FREELY – this site is absolutely free to use and I think they also offer paid packages. I chose the free listing on the home page, where it stayed a total of about 3 days. No sales came from this promotion, which was a single title being advertised at $3.99. I will definitely use this site again in the future, as pricing is a big issue, along with genre and how well your cover appears and competes with other covers. This site also allows you to do an author interview and includes buttons on the page so you can share the interview immediately on just about all social media outlets.

Some of you are probably reading this thinking I suck at marketing on online websites. Haha! There are several sites I use often and always have positive results even when I promoting a discounted book at $.99. Those sites are Addicted to Ebooks, Bargain Ebook Hunter, Ebook Booster, Ereader News Today, Free Booksy, Pixel of Ink, and the Fussy Librarian. I would also like to mention Steamy Romance Books, as this was one of the sites I used to use in the past and always hit the top 100 on Amazon, but I believe this company is now owned by the same person that purchased Free Discounted Books, so I have not used them since then. However, I do plan on using Steamy Romance Books again in the future.

I hope my experiences helped you. Feel free to leave feedback if you’d like.