Ask KJ, Self Publishing

Book-marketing Services for Readers and Authors

Book marketing emails

As an avid reader, I receive daily emails from various book-marketing services. These services notify readers about discounts on both traditionally published and self-published books. Many featured books are even FREE. Through notifications from these services, I usually pick up five to 10 books each month, all for less than the cost of a monthly Kindle Unlimited subscription.

The first service I became a subscriber of was Ereader News Today. I don’t remember how I found out about this service several years ago, but it used to be my only source for discovering great Kindle book deals. I had no idea so many other book deal services existed! I also naively thought that ENT chose the books to feature in daily emails, which is only half-true.

When I published Click Date Repeat, I mentioned to my husband that I had my fingers crossed for it to appear in an ENT email someday. I thought it was a far-fetched dream that would probably never come true. (Funny, I know.) Imagine my surprise when I read in a marketing forum on the Kindle Direct Publishing site that authors can submit their books to ENT for consideration. While I felt pretty silly for assuming for so long that the books sent to me by ENT were handpicked, I was also excited to learn something every novice self-published author needs to know: You have a world of marketing prospects to choose from.

Here’s a list of the services I subscribe to along with what I have paid to have my book featured. (Note: Prices may vary depending on the genre of your book, and there are certain criteria that your book must meet to be accepted.)


Ereader News Today

Featured on September 26th – $35 (Women’s Fiction Category)

Readers subscribe here.

Authors submit your book here.


Riffle_sm

Featured on November 28th – $25.50 (Romance Category)

Readers subscribe here.

Authors submit your book here.


BookGorilla

Featured on November 29th – $50 (Women’s Fiction Category)

Readers subscribe here.

Authors submit your book here.


My book has not yet been accepted by this service. From what I gather, BookBub is the choosiest by far. (Based on the number of subscribers they have, they can certainly afford to be choosy!) I have analyzed their submission guidelines and tips and always pay close attention to the books that have been accepted, especially those that are self-published. I think I have figured out what I need to do in order to get my book accepted (wait until Click Date Repeat has a lot more reviews and publish another book), but it will take waiting quite a while before I resubmit.

These are the categories I have to choose from for my book:

Contemporary Romance – $580 (1,120,000+ subscribers – WOW)

Women’s Fiction – $440 (960,000+ subscribers)

Chick Lit – $60 (150,000+ subscribers)

*Prices are based on a book promotion price of less than $1.

Readers subscribe here.

Authors submit your book here.


Readers in the Know logo

Click Date Repeat was featured as Book of the Day on October 28th – FREE with a 60-day trial membership

This site prominently displays books that are discounted and allows authors to run giveaways. Yearly membership is $32.98 and includes free credits that allow you to sign your book up for Book of the Day.

Readers and authors register here.


Both readers and authors benefit from these services. If you are a reader, signing up for one or more service will keep you up-to-date on great book bargains and help you discover new authors. If you are an author, submitting your book(s) might put your work in front of hundreds to thousands of eyes (maybe even over a million if BoobBub accepts you), which could result in a spike in sales, new fans and an increased number of reviews on Amazon or Goodreads.

Please leave a comment if you have experience with any other book-marketing sites or if you’d like to add anything about the ones featured here. Thanks!

Book Reviews

To Read or Not to Read?

When choosing books to read, I rely heavily on reviews. Sure, I also consider covers and blurbs, but in the end, it really is what’s on the inside that counts.

Why do I read multiple reviews when choosing a book?

Reading a variety of reviews increases the odds of me choosing a book that I will enjoy. I can’t stand feeling ripped off after investing time in a book that didn’t impress me, even if I got it for free.

Another reason I read reviews is simply for enjoyment. To be honest, I’ve come across a lot of reviews that are more entertaining than some of the books I’ve read! (Check out the one- and two-star reviews for Fifty Shade of Grey to see for yourself.)

Review Snippet

What do I consider when looking at reviews?

Breakdown of Ratings – I understand that people like different things. As my stepmother always says, “That’s why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream.” With that in mind, I never dismiss a book simply because it has one- and two-star reviews. However, if more than 50 percent of a book’s reviews are lower than three, I won’t read it unless a Goodreads friend with similar reading interests gave it a positive review.

Length – I ignore one-sentence reviews that give zero insight into why specific ratings were chosen. I at least need to understand why a person liked or disliked a book. Did it move too slowly? Was the dialogue realistic? Did it end with a cliffhanger?

Mention of Typos – If a reviewer mentions the need for more editing, I generally won’t read a book. I can handle a few errors, but if there are so many that a reviewer feels the need to mention them, I am likely to pass. I might make an exception if I notice that the author has responded (in a non-combative way) to the reviewer asking for help locating the typos or simply stating that the errors have been/will be rectified. I’ve even seen authors offer to provide a refund to reviewers who mentioned being distracted by typos. Seeing authors reach out in this way tells me that they are passionate about providing the best possible reading experience to customers.

Disclosures – If a reviewer mentions being provided with a free copy in exchange for an honest review, I take the review seriously. The fact that someone is disclosing this in the first place tells me that the review is likely to be genuine.

Reviewer History – If a book doesn’t have very many reviews (or if a particular review strikes me as bogus), I investigate the histories of reviewers. On Amazon, this can be done by clicking on a reviewer’s name. In most cases, I can tell if someone’s review is genuine based on his review history. For example, if someone has only completed one book review (for the book I’m trying to decide on), then his opinion doesn’t mean much to me.

Is Amazon my only source for book reviews?

No, but it is the source I refer to most. If a book has very few reviews on Amazon, I also check to see what people have said on Goodreads and certain book blogs. I have seen books with only a few reviews on Amazon and dozens of reviews on Goodreads, and vice versa.

How important are book reviews to you when deciding what to read?