Wow! You don’t just need to do research to write you book. (Paid book advertising 2)

Having decided to take a more active role in selling my debut novel, I hit Google thinking that I would find websites that I could pay to advertise my book easily.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When looking to promote your free book days on KDP Select there are a wealth of helpful websites and blog posts listing various places (websites, Facebook pages, twitter feeds and more) that will advertise your free days, for free or in some cases for a fee.  When I had previously trawled these sites, uploading the details of my promotion at the time, I had seen that several of them offer paid advertising.  It seemed so simple.  I want to pay to advertised my book (okay, I’m only throwing a tenner at it, but this is an experiment!) and I thought that I could look through these sites and find the cheapest ones to spread my money the furthest-Hmm funny how nothing turns out as you expect.

There’s a catch, well if you’re me there is anyway.  The first problem I encountered is that although most of these sites do offer to advertise your work for a fee, most require that the book is on a minimum of half price sale at the time.  Well, if I’m going to be virtually giving it away why bother right?  I don’t think like that.  As I have said before.  I’m not in this to make millions.  Hell I’m not in this to make a living.  I just want some people to read my book so that I can build a steady  readership.  Perhaps discounting the book and advertising it will increase my sales.  The only problem is that the book is currently enlisted in KDP Select and I don’t have that option.  My last two free days are next week (yes CARVED IN STONE will be free in the 11-12 November) and I am not allowed to discount the book further than the $2.99 minimum it is currently priced at.

So once I had taken all the websites with that requirement out of the equation, that left me very little choice.

The next problem was price.  I’m not saying that I haven’t discovered good things about websites that charge up to $400 to advertise your Indie published book for a day, but that is simply out of my budget right now.  So a few more sites got dropped from the list.

Next came the issue of genre.  I made a mistake-I can admit I’m not perfect.  I wrote a book without any knowledge of the publishing and book selling industry and my book doesn’t fit into a specific genre.  I call it a steamy dark thriller-which it is, but that makes it difficult to place when your choices are romantic suspense, conspiracy/mystery or suspense thriller.  Hmm.  This problem is further compounded by the explicit sex scenes in the book.  I’m no prude-never have been, but it appears that these websites often are.  In favour of their more fragile readers, many of these sites do not accept erotica-fair enough, my book is not erotica.  It’s steamy, don’t get me wrong, and in places downright rough and very hot, but there are no whips, chains, riding crops or any other 50 shades type scenarios or toys.  But when they say erotica-read the small print here-they mean explicit sex.  So there went a few more websites.

And then there’s the review requirements.  Most sites left required at least 5 review – Yep got them.  With an average of over 4 stars -check.  On the Amazon.com site-ARGH! (Now is when I began pulling my hair out).  The whole point of this process is to get those reviews in America.  If I already had them I wouldn’t need to do this.

Okay.  So there was my list of woes.  I haven’t mentioned my bleary square eyes from sitting at the computer for two days doing all this, or my stiff neck, or my caffeine addiction, but wayhay, that’s life right?

Well after all this trawling I found two sites that I liked the look of.

Before I go on I would like to thank the Author Marketing club for there very useful Book Submission Tool where they have collated many suggested websites, not into a list but into a clickable page where a simple click sends you straight to the sign up for free book promotion page.  It’s brilliant and I highly recommend it for anyone seeking to promote their novel especially when it’s on promotion.

Author Marketing Club Book Submission Tool

I would also like to thank TCK Publishing for their Top Kindle Book Promotion Sites list.  Again a useful resource for anyone trying to market their book.  This one is better for 99p/99¢ promotions as the majority of the sites listed focus on those sales, but there are sites and prices for all options.  The list also gives you the Alexa ranking of each site, giving you an idea of the site traffic that you’ll be paying for.

Top Kindle Book Promotion Site from TCK Publishing

So I chose my two websites-

GoodKindles- who will do a basic advertisement for $9.95 and have little/no requirements

Book Goodies-who will do a basic advertisement for $10 as long as the book is priced under $3

So I just need to sign up right?  No.  Yet again I met problems: Two of them.

The first was easily rectified.  My book is in KDP Select and, as advised by amazon, the price is set at $2.99.  Even though I am in the UK, the price is set in USD.  So loading up my book to Book Goodies should have been easy.  It wasn’t.  After filling in their obligatory Author Interview form – Do please go and have a read, there’s a lot of information on there – I popped onto Amazon.com and discovered that my book didn’t qualify because it was priced over $3-HUH!

It turns out that even though I had set the price at $2.99, for some reason it as listed as $3.05.  I didn’t know why, so I emailed.  It turns out that if you view Amazon.com from America the price is $2.99, but from the UK there is an international Kindle delivery charge added making it $3.05(even though you cannot purchase the book from the American site anyway-I know as I’ve tried).  Hmm-why do they have to make everything so difficult?

Okay so problem one sorted-now for problem two.

Whilst doing all this research into the best places to advertise this book I found a few extra things out.  One of them is really obvious-People don’t like buying a book-at any price-if they see it a few days later for free.  I mean, well duh!  My problem is that I have CARVED IN STONE listed as free next week on the 11-12 November (that’s Wednesday and Thursday-so download it then and give me a review please!).  If I advertise the book, get sales and then they see the book for free I am going to alienate my customers which is the last thing that I want to do.

So here is the plan.

My book is in Kindle Select until the 20th November and is free on the 11-12th.  So, I am going to advertise it on the weekend in the middle.  When I have results I will post them here.

Now I’m off to take a nap.

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