These are the best book promo sites around for boosting your sales, broken down into various categories – with something for all budgets and experience levels, even some freebies for newbies! Check the final section for hands-on advice on how to build a proper marketing campaign.
And don’t forget! You will get WAY better results from any marketing if you publish your book properly. My guide is here and free.
There’s a whole section at the end on how to use what I call Deal Sites, but you might hear others called Ad Sites or Promo Sites or Reader Sites – you would think a community of writers would have nailed down the nomenclature after ten years, but there you go.
Deal Sites are basically like Groupon for ebooks: you pay a fee to have your book listed in the daily offers – usually sent out by email – and you get lots of sales or downloads in return. Readers get cheap/free books, your book jumps into the charts, everyone wins. There’s a lot more to using these sites effectively in terms of strategy, but those are the basics.
The Big Daddy of promo sites deserves a category of its own as it is a different beast. A much larger beast. BookBub arrived on the scene several years ago and utterly transformed book promotion, to the extent that they have way more juice than everything else here combined. Which is no surprise when you discover they have over ten million voracious readers subscribed to its lists.
Sign up as reader to the BookBub Featured Deals email and you’re asked to pick your favorite genres from 30+ categories. You get daily emails with a range of books in your genres: household names, undiscovered gems, traditionally published, small press, and self-published – a real mix of free books, 99¢ deals, and a few $1.99/$2.99 books – but even those are usually heavily discounted. I buy a few books a week from this email – it’s great!
Getting your book into BookBub’s Featured Deals email is expensive. You can check the full price list here, but what you will see is that a 99¢ will cost anything from $164 for the smallest list right up to just over $1,000 for the very biggest lists – but your book will be going out to 2m-4m readers, and you could sell thousands of books. Authors typically report making their money back in twenty-four hours, and enjoying sustained sales for a period afterwards also. Also keep in mind there are much cheaper sites below, if that up-front cost is too high a barrier.
It’s a little cheaper to get a freebie featured, and more expensive for higher-priced books (I don’t recommend doing the latter). My last free run generated over 37,000 downloads, just to give you an idea how many hands you can get your book into.
The biggest stumbling block with BookBub isn’t the cost, as considerable as it is, but in the difficulty of getting picked. You must apply, and BookBub says it only accepts 20% of applicants. (I’m guessing Dan Brown has a slightly better chance than that of getting accepted, so you and me are probably facing lower odds than 20%.) If you are exclusive to Amazon, or don’t have very many reviews on your book, or your presentation isn’t superb, your chances of getting picked are very slim indeed. But if you want to apply, your first step is to sign up for BookBub Partners account – which I recommend doing anyway, and populating your books on the platform so readers can discover them.
There is another way to reach this passionate audience of 10m readers – one which I’ve written a guide to called BookBub Ads Expert – and I also have some other resources like this video guide below. Generally speaking though, the BookBub Ads platform is not for beginners; I recommend they peruse the options below instead.
Free promotions are often the easiest and cheapest to put together, and the greatest return in terms of just getting your books into readers’ hands. Here are my preferred sites in (rough) order of relative power. Those in bold are strong recommendations. The rest are for more aggressive pushes. Only need one? Pick Freebooksy.
- Freebooksy ($30-$110)
- ENT ($40-$50)
- RobinReads ($45-$85)
- Fussy Librarian ($17-$43)
- BKNights ($5+$5 to be featured in the email, which is the good part)
- EReaderIQ ($10-$30)
- BookBassett ($8.99)
- Free Kindle Books & Tips ($25)
- ManyBooks ($29)
- BookRaid (from $0.10 a click up to a max charge of $30)
Some sites are better value with freebies, other with discounts. Most only accept 99¢ deals, but that’s almost always the best way to run a discount anyway so don’t sweat it. Those in bold are strong recommendations. The rest are for more aggressive pushes. Only need one? Pick Robin Reads.
Also check the genre-specific deal sites below for further options.
These sites are recommended for both freebies and discounts, as long as your book is the right genre, of course.
- Red Feather Romance (Romance/Erotica – $100-$125)
- Book Barbarian (SF/F – $35-$55)
- Red Roses Romance (Romance/Erotica – $20-$40)
- Book Adrenaline (Thrillers/Mystery/Crime – $15-$25)
Your genre isn’t listed? Hey, I feel you. But these sites are among the newer of those featured, so hopefully things will continue to develop in that manner. Some of the above are innovating in other useful ways, like allowing you to feature more than one book. Speaking of…
Some new services are finally popping up to push several books at once – ideal for a series. As always, bolded items are stronger recommendations.
- Freebooksy ($125-$200)- this is a brand new promo, replacing the old series promo which wasn’t raved about. This is very different – a truly innovative promo that goes direct to your series page on Amazon and can drive strong sales across your series, especially if there are multiple discounts running alongside your free Book 1. Very new, but initial results are great. More on how it works.
- EreaderIQ ($10-$25) – this is a regular free/discounted promo but they let you add mention of up to four more books (for $3 each) as long as they are $2.99 less. Other nice add-ons include being able to flag if the book is in Kindle Unlimited, a link to the audiobook, and so on. The other books featured don’t necessarily have to be in the same series.
- BookBasset ($21.99) – this is a featured author promo where they will also let you add up to four more books of yours (included in the price), as long as they are $2.99 or less; they strongly advise at least one book is free. These can be any books from your catalog BTW.
- BookDoggy ($18-$20) – this is also more of a regular free/discounted promo but where they let you add a mention of your series page – a cool add-on I wish was universal.
I was in two minds about including BookDoggy in the free/discount sections up top. The price is reasonable, but I’ve never been able to get a clear read on how many sales/downloads it was bringing in, as I had too many other things running. Feel free to share in the comments if you have strong feelings either way.?mn
A warning: list builders are best used to augment your organic list-building efforts, not to replace them. If your list is predominantly from list-builders and competitions and the like, then you might have an issue. That said, they have their place, and I like using them strategically. These are two of the best around – and BookSweeps especially can drive strong, high-quality sign-ups.
The latter only runs list-building promos occasionally, but does do a lot of other stuff, like…
Both BookSweeps and LitRing also do worthwhile BookBub Follow promos (and LitRing does occasional Amazon Follow promos. The reason I’m separating them out is you need to take the caveat from the listbuilder section above and triple it here. At least with email, you know if you are carrying deadweight, and can re-engage (or cull) persistent non-openers. There is no way to even identify deadweight in your Amazon/BookBub Follows, let alone do anything about it. Use sparingly, but I think they are fine for something like getting you your first handful of followers.
Times are tight! If you have a restricted budget, and can’t just jump on everything here, these are my top value, lower cost picks from everything available – including some freebies for you too.
Fussy Librarian – first-time users can use the code 10OFF on checkout to receive $10 off their first free book promo (making what was already good value even cheaper).
And then out of the sites previously mentioned, Freebooksy is the best value for freebies if you can afford (go with ENT or Fussy Librarian if you can’t). Robin Reads and ENT vie for top spot for discounts, but BookBarbarian gives them a run for their money if you write SF/F. The Freebooksy series promo is very new, and looks like it might be very lucrative, but it’s not that cheap. EreaderIQ will have way less juice, but it’s a nice option if money is very tight.
Keep in mind this, though: I’m firmly of the opinion that it’s better to let your books slide for a while and organize a really good promotion every so often, than to be promoting all the time and using lesser value sites. Consider it.
Building A Campaign
Stack your promos, as indies like to say. Amazon rewards consistent sellers over those which spike and collapse, so stringing together five days of consistent downloads it always desirable.
What? You want more? FINE.
Here’s my course on how to build your marketing campaigns using all these deal sites, and a few more tricks too. Oh and it’s FREE!
Pop your questions on book promo sites in the box below. I’ll get a ping right away, and answer you once I’m finished alphabetizing my collection of fine hams.