Tips & Tools for Promoting eBook Deals

I’m a curious creature who loves to experiment. So while I’ve only been a published author since March 2014, I like to think I’ve accumulated a bit of knowledge on this topic. In the past three years I’ve self-published through Smashwords, Draft2Digital, and KDP. My eBooks have been exclusive through KU and also offered more broadly. And I’m a hybrid author so I’ve seen marketing from both sides of the fence. The one thing I can say with certainty is that no one cares more about how well your book sells than YOU.

Advertising your ebook deals isn’t always cheap, but it can be if you put a lot of sweat into looking for websites that will promote for free or a minimal charge. What I’m about to share is geared toward self-published books, but I’ve done many of the same things when my publishers offered my books at a special price.

Before I landed my first BookBub advertisement, I toyed with various methods to increase my *FREE* and *$0.99* offerings. My best ranking was #18 in the Amazon overall list when I offered FAIR GAME for free. Yes, you read that right – the overall top 100 – not in my subcategory. That equated to 14,000 downloads. Of my book. Yippee! Those are results most authors would be happy to achieve with BookBub (and have to pay $250 for that privilege). Believe it or not, I only paid $10. Three more of my books hit the top 100 as well. My book offer for $0.99 hit #207 for approximately 600 downloads. While I can’t promise you’ll achieve the same results, I’ll gladly share what I’ve tried in the past few years so you might try it as well. 

(1) Set a date for your promotion (Free or $0.99 – but I highly recommend Free) that is at least one month in the future. It’s best to offer your book free for at least two or three days in a row. 

(2) Contact promotional websites early and request that they feature your eBook on the dates you selected in (1) above. There are a lot of websites that don’t charge a single penny. BUT THIS TAKES A LOT OF TIME. When I hit #18 for FAIR GAME, it was promoted on 15 different websites but I reached out to a total of 34. Some will select your book, others will not. Don’t take it personally. Most sites require at least one week notice. Many sites fill up a month in advance. Some are free. Others charge a fee. Some require a minimum number of reviews. Others don’t. Below are some tools to help you with this task:

  (a) This website has a fantastic list of promotional websites you can start with:

  (b) KDROI software can be purchased for a one time fee. The program is easy to use and essentially fills out the form for these ‘promotional sites’. It takes 5 minutes of your time, and a push of the button. There are approximately 30 sites linked through the software right now, but the developer keeps adding more as time goes by. This is a huge time saver. If you plan to promote often, then it is worth the one time cost. 

  (c) Sharon Karaa created a list of promotional sites and offers great data / food for thought. She updates the list periodically. You can get a copy here:!for-authors/tst10

(3) Join as many FaceBook groups that promote Free or Discounted books. There are a ton of them out there. Search ‘free eBooks’, ‘free Kindle’, ‘free Nook’, etc. On the day of your promotion write a post about your offer and include a link. Post to your own FaceBook page. You can even consider ‘boosting’ your post for a nominal fee. 

(4) Tweet about your promotion on that day. Don’t forget to use appropriate hastags like #FREE, #ebooks, #rt, #romance, #IARTG (indie author retweet group), #EARTG (erotic author retweet group), #promotethisbook, etc. Be sure to research the best time of day to tweet. If you have a group of author friends, ask them to retweet for you. Consider paying a nominal fee for a tweeting service like BookTweeter. This was the only fee I paid during my promotion of FAIR GAME.

(5) If you’re signed up on Reader’s Gazette, don’t forget to go to their website at least a few days before your promotion and log in the days of your promotion so they’ll tweet for you.

(6) Blog about it on your Goodreads Author’s profile. Not on Goodreads? Well, you should be. And if you belong to any groups on Goodread, look to see if they have a place to post ‘book deals / promotions’. 

(7) Consider a headline ad on If you put their banner on your website, they’ll give you one free headline ad per month. Make sure you put in your request one or two days before your promotion runs because it takes a day or two for the ad to be approved.

(8) Send out an author’s newsletter to your followers on the day of the deal.

That’s it!  

The best advertising for a book is word of mouth from the readers. But you first have to get your books into the hands of readers for them to spread the great word. That’s why I strongly suggest offering the book for free so readers are willing to take a chance on you. I’m sure only a fraction of the people who downloaded my book actually read it, still, I’m willing to bet it was at least 5%. That’s still a lot of reads. Yes, they’re getting your book for free, but they’re investing their time. My time is more precious than even my money. I saw a significant increase in sales of my other books for several weeks after the free promotion so it was well worth my time and effort.

Another interesting tidbit – FAIR GAME is book #2 in my Wish Come True series. Many sources suggest that you only promote the first book in a series for free, but my experience has been that any book in the series performs well if the book can be read as a stand alone story. This was part of my ‘experimentation’ phase. I’m such a rebel. And I had fantastic results. So forget what the best sources say and experiment a bit on your own to see what works best for you.

Another note of interest – promoting erotic romance is tough! Many of the promotional sites will not accept erotic romance, especially if the cover is overtly sexy. But there are some sites / tweeters out there who promote erotic romance. 

Don’t get me wrong. This is a LOT of work and a big time investment. However, if you really want your free promotion to be worthwhile, then put in the effort. Readers won’t know your book is offered for free unless you tell them! And we can’t all be on BookBub when less than 20% of their applicants are chosen for an advertisement. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t achieve excellent results.

Thumbs up and good luck!

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