One of the big debates for self-publishing, ebooks, and the publishing industry as a whole is promoting your work. How much? Where? How? Who? Some people apply the eighty/twenty rule, 80% of your time should be marketing and 20% of your time writing. Others say the best promotion you can have is your next book. Everyone has their own argument and in the middle of the fray are dozens of websites that cater to burgeoning authors.
What have I done? A little bit of everything but not a lot of anything. At first just put it up on facebook, twitter, google plus, and the blog. I didn’t blast it out in waves or send message to everyone I knew, just an announcement. The most I did was on the blog, previewing excerpts from the book. Then I Googled places to advertise, eventually getting the list I have below. Some are free, some are not, and I’m sorry, I can’t remember all the ones I did. If it was free though and I met the criteria, I did it.
The paid ones I was choosier with, and except for the latest one, I didn’t see much. I’ll discuss that in a minute,
I Googled and found several sites that feature just released or indie ebooks. I submitted to all of them that didn’t charge and I think one that didn’t. I think this did a good bit to drive sales. It kept Sorcerer Rising out there and made people aware of it. It wasn’t a lot by any means, and maybe if I’d released for a price point other than 2.99 it would have done more, I don’t know. Below are a few I used.
After that, I didn’t advertise at all except a few sites that accepted .99 books when I dropped to that price point for a week (that was a bust) and once a month or so back at bargain ebook hunter. I’m still trying to figure out if that did anything. The day the ad went up, I sold less books than I normally would but sold more for the whole rest of the week. That could be a false correlation though.
This last experiment (still ongoing) was with BookBlast.co and has gone great. It was twenty bucks for the .99 price point, and it has so far netted me thirty four sales in two days. Not enough to pay it back yet (I wasn’t able to do Select’s Daily Deal), but enough to get me on the top 100 for urban fantasy. Even though the deal was just for one day, I’m keeping the price at .99 for the rest of the day after for anyone else who partakes, then I’ll switch back to $3.49.
There’s a lot out there to keep it visible, and if it’s free, there is nothing to lose. I think some of the success I’ve seen (and yeah, I know it’s not a lot) has been because of these places. A few people seeing it at a time and deciding to buy it. I want to do BookBub when I launch the second, so I’ll compare how that goes (if they accept it) when that happens.
Below are several of the ones out there. It’s not comprehensive, but a good jumping off point.
http://www.freebookshub.com/ This was the one I paid for, $5.