Promotion: What’s Worked and What Hasn’t (A Discussion You Get To Lead)

Since someone asked for a post where we can share our experiences with different methods of promoting our books, I thought I’d dedicate this post to that very thing.  It will work like a discussion thread.  If you want to participate, simply say what has worked or what hasn’t in the comments below.  Then feel free to comment on others who leave comments.

I’ll be moderating the comments to make sure people are being civil to each other.  Please keep it nice, guys.  I’ve seen some of these discussions end up nasty on some forums.


  1. G M Barlean says:

    I had increased sales when KZUM aired a chapter of my book and an interview with me.
    Advertising with EReader News Today resulted in wonderful sales and great rankings which lasted quite a while.
    Paying for Net Gally to do reviews was a complete bust for me. I recieved no reviews and the woman I worked with did nothing at all to help me out.
    I don’t really see sales from my social media outlets.

  2. sknicholls says:

    Ereader News today worked best for me in the beginning before FB changed the way they post to newsfeeds. Sales brought me onto best sellers list and word of mouth carried me over several weeks. I have not had much luck with small promoters. The Alexa rankings will let you know how much traffic a site gets before you invest a small fortune into promoting on websites that get little to no traffic. Fussy Librarian has provided a few sales. They send out emails like BookBub, but aren’t nearly as big or as expensive. ENT is just starting their email campaign, so I expect things will improve there over time as well.

  3. Toni Betzner says:

    This was a really good idea. I just had a poll on my blog to gather similar information. I’ll be checking back to see what everyone says. It sounds like I need to check out Ereader news. Thanks

  4. The best promo I’ve done so far has been Facebook parties. I always get a good increase in sales during or after them. The bad thing is, it’s hard to sustain those sales.

    I tried Fussy Librarian. It worked fairly well for a .99 book, but I didn’t see much sales increase for one of my 2.99 books. Since FL isn’t that expensive, I might try it again since I did it during normally slow sales periods the first couple of times.

    I’m still considering boosting a couple of FB posts for $5-$10. I’m doing that in my day job, and I’m getting customer interaction.

  5. I’ve tried book trailers of varying qualities and haven’t seen that big of significant sales or interest after them.
    I should try some of these sites. They might be helpful to me

  6. Beth Caplin says:

    I haven’t had much luck paying for advertising/blog tours. I’ll tweet a line from my book(s) with an amazon link, or a line from a recent review, news about a sale, etc. I also follow people who are interested in the subjects I write about and develop relationships, which certainly takes longer, but the reader relationships I’ve made have helped so much – and not just with sales.

    When in a pinch, you can never go wrong posting kitten pics. People love that stuff.

  7. Getting plugs in relatively high-traffic blogs have worked the best for me. Fortunately, those are free, but they do require a lot of legwork and self-promotion (which still feels awkward to me). Good reviews haven’t even come close to matching those results, and Facebook group posts or paid ads have been a real disappointment for me.

  8. I went somewhat whole hog last year and purchased advertising in genre magazines and program books, sent 2 of my books to Book Expo America, and also paid for boosting posts on Facebook. So far, the only thing which began to work was switching distribution platforms, from Smashwords to Ingram Spark, and also in person presence at science fiction conventions to sell and sign books. I have a page on Facebook, which is only now starting to garner some interest after promoting it twice. I don’t get reviews since I have do not pay for getting them. I prefer customer reviews or commentary, but since I am not on Amazon (for reasons which would take another thread entirely) I don’t get them, and Amazon had long ago removed any reviews I had from credible sources. Barnes & Noble does not post reviews. I have added “buy now” buttons to my site but I don’t know how many people have visited the site, since there have been no more than about 5 buys in total in the last year. I did book trailers but no one looks at them. So there is no real or sure way to reach readers if they are not looking at all.

    It seems your site is “untrusted” by Norton. Please investigate so I can reply directly.

  9. M T McGuire says:

    I have a four book ‘clean’ science fiction romance series. My sales have really picked up since I finished the series and made the first book free. Every now and again I run ads in Ereader News Today, Pixel of Ink, Read Cheaply and with BKnights on Fivrr. I have tried Bookbub but they refuse to touch my book.

    The results are a great improvement on before. I used to sell about 20 books a year, now I sell about 18 a month. I am still absolutely stumped as to how one gets sales for books off Amazon but other channels are beginning to creep in. I’d love it if my sales went higher but I’ll take where they are over what was happening before. After all while £30 a month is pretty poor, it’s better than the £50 a year I was making before!

    Theresa, I have wondered about Ingram Spark. I’m currently with Lightning Source – their UK subsidiary – with a publisher account for the paperback versions of my book. However I’m leery about going for spark for ebooks because they were unable to confirm how much it would cost to load the books onto their ebook distribution system or whether it would cost to upload new versions. I’d kind of like to know the basic stuff like that before I sign up!

    I have never got anywhere with Facebook and I have no intention of throwing money at it. I think my blog might be useful in some ways which I have not yet fathomed out. I am also trying to get a mailing list going so I can send stuff to the people who are kind enough to follow my blog or sign up for mailings.

    Er… that’s about it.

  10. My sci-fi romances were barely selling but since I paid for some ads at Goodreads, I’ve noticed a slight increase with at least some getting sold every month compared to none. It’s not a very popular genre anyway, I guess! I’ve heard people say their ads don’t do well with hardly any clicks and this has been true for my sci-fi ads, but I have noticed on the info email they send out that the views are huge without the clicks. To me, that is worth it. It’s up to you how much you want to pay for the ad, and you have the option of rolling unused money from one ad to another (which I have done and comes in handy for new releases when my finances aren’t too good to afford another ad!). My contemporary romance ads seem to get a lot of clicks depending on the content matter, but again, if you look at the number of views it far outweighs the clicks and that’s fine, it’s way more views than the book would get otherwise! Someone pointed out on one of the forums there that clicks don’t mean sales, it just means its been added to the viewers’ want lists, but I know for myself I often see an ad and then I’ll go straight to Amazon to check it out.

    Another promo way I want to try again (did it once a long time ago), is All Romance eBooks newsletter, which goes out to thousands of readers. It’s a good way to get your cover checked out. You do need to publish there as well to do this.

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