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  • Writer's pictureCandace Nola

05/21/2024 Marketing & Promoting

Now that you are set up online and ready to reach the masses, the question still remains, how? How do you reach beyond your internet reach, and out into the world? This is where the real marketing and promoting begin. You have the platforms. Now what to put in it and how to drive readers to it?

There are many sites for authors to use for the sole purpose of promoting your books to readers. These websites allow the author a wide variety of features like email collection to build mailing lists, group promotions, ARC delivery for reviewers and newsletter swaps.

For promotion, Bookbub runs a targeted reader email that authors can purchase a daily deal promotion and their book will be featured on the day of the promotion to readers in your genre. BookSweeps, Freebooksy, Bargain Booksy, and the Fussy Librarian all operate on the same idea. They have thousands of readers that sign up to receive a targeted email based on their genre preference of free or discounted books. These emails go out daily and new books are featured each day.

The authors typically see an increase in sales and download the day of their ad, and sometimes for the next 2-3 days. Prices vary, as do their guidelines. Make sure you spend some time researching each one and decide on the best one for your needs. Several of these sites have both a free book newsletter and a bargain book newsletter that goes out each day. It is up to the author if they want to offer a free book or a discounted book.

Each of these platforms offers author profile pages, featured deal of the day, or series features and some other tools. Performance does vary with each of these, depending on your genre, how your book is presented and a bit of luck.

There can be an overwhelming amount of these sites and it can take some time to get the hang of each one, to see good results and to figure out which site or sites you want to go with for the long-term. I strongly suggest keeping a password notebook on your desk somewhere if you decide to go gung-ho and join them all. It will become a chore to remember all of those sites, logins and passwords. Personally, I am doing two at a time and watching results before dropping the least lucrative one and trying a new one.

How do I know which sites are best for promoting? The short answer is “you don’t.” Trial and error, my friend, trial and error. Just like so many other things, there are options. Generally, they function the same: you pay for a feature spot in a newsletter or some type of featured promotion for your book. The website has readers and/or subscribers that have joined up in order to receive those book promotions. Each site will have its own set of pros and cons and overall, they function just as they claim.

However, the deciding factor comes down to the subscribers on those sites, or rather, which of them opens their email the day your book is being promoted. Sadly, it's the luck of the draw. Add in your choice of free books or bargain books and you could have excellent results with a free book promotion versus not-so-great results with a bargain book promotion. 

The point is, you need to try several out, several times, and see which one works best for you. Keep in mind, all of this hinges on YOU.

Who are you? Can they find you online? (See the prior Social Media Presence Post) Can they see the book online, being promoted and hyped up by people other than you? Did you do a blog tour? Do you have a website about you, and your books? Do you have something free they can read to get to know your style before they buy? 

All of these things go hand in hand. Creating that online presence is key to becoming more visible as an author, especially when you begin to promote and market your material. Take the time you need to build this presence before you begin spending too much on promoting. In the meantime, build your name up through other media outlets such as Facebook author groups and Instagrams 'bookstagrammers' and TikTok's 'booktok.'

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