eBook Promoters ~ The Best & The Worst Part 3

Written By: Jackie Weger - Jun• 09•15

ePromoter Hype

What to believe…or NOT

eNovel Round Logo (2)This is the third in a series of articles about ebook promoters and indie author services. One of the most difficult tasks we indies face is how to sort the gold from the glitter. Not a day goes by that we don’t get emails telling us what wonderful services the promoter can provide and how that promoter will take our books to glorious heights. Yep. And all we have to do is register and send $$$. I always ask: Who are you? What do you do? How much do you charge? One promoter responded:

“I’m a best selling author, my book sold 50,000 copies. I work with 4000 authors.”

The promoter is creating a private Facebook page and is going to share all that the promoter knows right there. Just Paypal $97 as the entrance fee to the Facebook page.  Well golly. I looked up the promoter’s book.  Let me share something here. If a book sells 50,000 copies, it makes a list: on Amazon,  on USA Today, on NYT. Did you know you can track the history of a book via  Kindle Nation Daily? Those 50,000 sales did NOT happen.

FREE Listen & Review promo codes on Choosy Bookworm June 27, 2015

FREE Listen & Review promo codes on Choosy Bookworm June 27, 2015

I checked the references sent me. None panned out.  There are people in this business who Eat Stupid for Breakfast. I’m not one of them. The promoter sent me an email insisting emails to me were private and telling me to cease and desist forwarding the promotion hype to people named in the hype. Folks, there is no such thing as cease and desist checking references.  NOTHING is private when you are selling a service. Not even if you stand on a street corner to do it. Indie authors need book promoters. We do. Just don’t promise what you cannot deliver. Tell us what you can do, and we can make the best decision for our book placement and promo dollars.

“When I first entered this indie universe, I was taken to my knees and my wallet flattened thinner than hair. I had to pick myself up out of the rubble and learn the industry.” ~ Jackie Weger

In eNovel Authors at Work we like promoters who listen to us, who engage their subscribers and are not building their subscribers lists on the backs of authors.  When we pay $$ to a promoter, every mention of our book and every cover needs to link to a book buy page, NOT to another page on the Website of the promoter. Here is a promoter eNovel found last month. Mike Smith, BeezeeBooks.com. He works out of New Zealand He builds an author a nice books’ page. Tweets our promos and the site has a decent Alexa ranking. It is a FREE site and great for exposure on FREE and priced books. Here is the caveat:

No indie book sells unless promoted. 

If you know different, tell us! The single task an indie author can do to check out a site that asks us to upload our books for a fee, is to check the Amazon Best Seller stats of books already on the site. If you find books with stats like this: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,400,295 or this: #1,439,644, do reconsider where you might best spend your promo budget for results. 

Here are a few more promoters that eNovel Authors at Work considers good value for our promotion $$$.

For promo results with BKnights see this entry on KBoards.

Would love it, if you Follow me on Amazon or subscribe to eNovel's newsletter.

Would love it, if you Follow me on Amazon or subscribe to eNovel’s newsletter.

I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel authors at Work. I don’t know it all, but I know what I know, and I learn something new every dang day. Comments are welcome. HTML is fine. Live links accepted. No erotica. I shoot it with my snake gun.

Fake Amazon Best Seller Logo found on a book on a website

Fake Amazon Best Seller Logo found on a book on a website

What a real  Amazon Best Seller logo looks like when a title was in promotion with sales of 3141 units @ 99¢

What a real Amazon Best Seller logo looks like when in title was in promotion with sales of 3141 units @ 99¢

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  1. Thanks Jackie. It’s so hard to tell what promoters are worth their salt. Some great advice here. Do your research before you part with any cash. Join author’s group and check on kboards and Alexa. Ask around. We’ve had great results from Bookbub, Ereadernews, kindle nation daily and BookSends. Great post

  2. Thank you for telling it like it is!

  3. Jo says:

    Great stuff, Jackie. I did have an issue with one of the sites you mentioned – I did a promo there recently and there were several hundred books in the newsletter, not arranged according to genre, and you give up scrolling down and down and down after a certain point. It was hopeless. But will try some of the others, definitely.

  4. Mike Smith says:

    Thanks Jackie for the mention of beezeebooks.com, we are soon to open a UK site with the same name http://beezeebooks.co.uk, currently it redirects to beezeebooks.com later it will be a stand alone site for mainly UK and EU authors (one way of getting over the spelling differences)
    Both sites will remain completely free to authors.
    all the very best
    Mike at beezeebooks

  5. Bob Rector says:

    Thanks Jackie for this valuable info. Having run a reasonably successful business for over 40 years I understand that advertising and promotion are normal business expenses. I also know that every product or service has a price point the industry deems reasonable – the going rate. The difficulty in doing business on the internet is that so much of it is smoke and mirrors and pure hyperbole. It is difficult to verify performance, as you have pointed out, but there is also no accepted industry rate for comparable services. It used to be if you contracted with a company or individual to provide a specific service, you met with that person one-on-one and developed a working relationship that at some point involved trust. This is virtually impossible to do on the internet. I applaud your efforts to check out so many of these “promoters” and gage the value of their product or service. Unfortunately the ebook market has been plagued by P. T. Barnum’s dictum that a sucker is born every minute and accordingly has been devalued to the point that I’m no longer sure the rewards can justify the efforts. I hope I’m wrong.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Thank you for commenting Bob Rector. IMO, it is always buyer beware and think for yourself. I do and before I open my wallet. The key is to sell books in the climate and market available to us. I do that, too and so do many of the authors in eNovel Authors at Work

    • Amy Vansant says:

      There are a lot of scammers out there, but you’re wrong at least in this way: I’ve tested the services I recommend (as have most of the members with most of the services) which is where the strength of the group really shines. If you pay for a BookBub or an ENT promo, the chances of making your money back or doing much better are tremendously in your favor. Your readership WILL grow. If you do nothing, the chances of a book languishing in “100k+ most popular” land are almost certain. The members who work the promo system are selling books. Proof. Pudding. Yummy. 🙂

  6. KJD says:

    “No indie book sells unless promoted.” Too right, but I’d go further and say that NOTHING sells without promotion.

    Once again, great blog, Jackie.

    I had solid success with http://sweetfreebooks.com/ last months. Good sales for not very much outlay. A win in my book.

    Also have two promos coming up with ereadernewstoday – fingers crossed.

    BTW – this is a great site and a heck of a resource for indie writers, thanks for all the help. 🙂

  7. Dale Furse says:

    Great info, Jackie. With so many advertising sites coming online all the time, it’s hard to find the best bang for our bucks. I realise too that different genres get different results so it would be good if the sites listed the genres they believe would do well or not so well with their paid promotions.

    Of course if they’re free, it’s great exposure no matter what the numbers are.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Dale Furse: Many sites do list the number of subscribers in the various genres. That is a clue to take into consideration. Most promo sites built their subscriber lists by offering FREE and 99¢ books. Some sites will not accept a title unless it is FREE or discounted because they know their subscribers will ignore it. We generate sales and borrows on crossover when readers like our free and discounted offerings. That is just the way the market rolls for indie authors. I’m good with it. I notice your title, Curse is doing wonderful on FREE: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425 Free in Kindle Store! Congratulations!

  8. Mike Markel says:

    As always, thank you, Jackie. Although the indieverse is, as some earlier commenters point out, full of scams, your efforts to explain how to verify the claims of promo sites not only help keep us from getting scammed, they also help bring some order to the Wild West. Disreputable promo sites will (eventually) go out of business, just as disreputable vanity publishers will, because writers will learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff. In this way, you are improving the outlook for authors and the whole indie publishing world.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Thank you for commenting Mike Markel. Here is how I verify performance:The royalty check Amazon deposits in my account every month. What we look for is consistency in performance. From July 2014 to November 2014 the market was in free fall. It wasn’t that our books were not good, it was not the promoters. Something else was afoot. Promoters told me they were seeing the least payout in affiliate fees since 2010. Kindle Unlimited happened. Promotion site subscribers flocked to those first 600,000 titles Amazon made available for READ FREE with a 30 day free KU subscription and abandoned our fav promoters. Yet, many of us still moved books in that climate.

  9. Thank you for continuing to provide indispensable resources to fellow authors, Jackie. There is so much misconception about what sells books, so good for you for telling it like it is. Mike Smith of BeezeeBooks is an exceptional man, the most giving book promoter I have come across. He also welcomes authors to sign up to his cross-promotion emails. He then puts you in a group of authors and you can then tweet and Facebook about each other’s free or KCD books. I am part of one of these groups now; it takes seconds to post the text he sends me and they come very sparsely so it’s not time-consuming. It’s great to do my bit for others, and to my delight I even saw that a couple of fellow enovelers are in my specific group! Thank you Mike for being so awesome!

  10. Mary Smith says:

    Thanks, Jackie, for another great blog post on how we can best promote our books. I’ll certainly try BeezeeBooks. I’ve never tried BKnights either. I like PeopleReads: http://www.peoplereads.com A promo for Drunk Chickens did well there recently. I wrote to thank Van and he asked if I’d like to have my book on the site header at no cost. I didn’t say no! It’s going to be there for a few months along my testimonial.
    Thanks again, Jackie.

  11. Rosie Dean says:

    Thanks, Jackie, for your concise, no nonsense advice. So useful in a world where being an indie can be a lonely place.

    As always, bookmarked and noted for future use.

  12. P.C. Zick says:

    I echo all appreciative comments, Jackie. I tend to be skeptical of everything until I hear from others about success or not. I love how you share so much of your experience with us Indie Authors!

  13. Julie Frayn says:

    Checking Alexa rank and looking at the stats of books have become a habit now, and a good one. It quickly tells me if an opportunity is worth pursuing now, putting on the backburner for re-checking later when the promoter has grown teeth, or tossing in the trash pile where it belongs. Not only for promos but for awards. I do love awards, but if they are obscure and no previous winners are succeeding currently, I keep my money and buy some valuable promo and sell some books… Because that’s the goal. Sell books.

    Julie Frayn
    author of Mazie Baby

  14. The best marketing education an indie author can get is to read your posts, Jackie! Again, thank you so much for sharing your research, insights, and knowledge!

  15. Polly Iyer says:

    Excellent info, Jackie. Indie writers get these pitches all the time, and you show the best way to separate the wheat from the chaff. And there’s a lot of chaff.

  16. Jerri Hines says:

    Jackie, You are absolutely right. You need to promote to sell books, but it is so important to find the right ones. Thanks for the information and help you have given all Indie authors.

  17. Amy Vansant says:

    There are SO many people out there preying on authors desperate to sell books. Makes my blood boil!

  18. You have done a great service to so many authors by compiling these lists, Jackie. Thank you!

  19. Mimi Barbour says:

    Great info – as always. Thanks Jackie 🙂

  20. As always, thanks for your tireless work on promoting books and outing the bad guys. Gonna try Hot Zippy for my next promo.

  21. Spot on again, Jackie. Indie publishing is a roller coaster ride, tied directly to promotions. So, if we’re going to pay for advertising, we have to put our money where it will benefit us most. Thanks for the caveats and the tips!

  22. Traci Hall says:

    Jackie, you have taught me so much. Thank you for your invaluable insights to this ever-changing industry. Good business practice matters! I’ll be checking out a few more of these places today. Jay at Choosy Bookworm is fabulous, with the read and review program that I believe was your brain-child. Puppy Love by the Sea just came out a month ago, and now has over 30 reviews!!

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Traci Hall! That is sensational news. Puppy Love by the Sea is a great book. Once you have it in promotion, it is going to earn dozens more organic reviews. I just saw this fab review on Amazon: 5*s. “This is an amazing story from the first page and I couldn’t put it down!!” http://amzn.to/1MU2HdA

  23. […] by visiting eNovel Authors at Work. To learn more about how to choose the best promotion sites read Here. Another member of eNovel, Effrosyni Moschoudi  has compiled a fabulous list of promoter sites, […]

  24. […] eBook Promoters – The Best & The Worst – Part 3 […]

  25. […] and welcome. I’m Jackie Weger, the founder of eNovel Authors at Work. This is the fourth in a series of articles highlighting  indie author promotion results. Getting […]

  26. jon says:

    Jackie. What a great post. Yeah we really do have to think smart. There are a lot of scam artists out there saying they will promote but can’t deliver. Thanks for the list of sites that have worked for you.

  27. E. A. Allen says:

    ContentMo has done NOTHING for my sales. A complete waste of money, as far as I can see.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      E.A. Allen: We appreciate your comment. What we know–not all authors will see the same results from promoters. Content Mo sends out tweets. I don’t know what package you bought…or if your book was promoted FREE or 99c or not discounted at all. Sharing this: All of my units are in Kindle Select so I sometimes see a lag in reports and oft time a halo effect. thank you for stopping by.

      Best Jackie Weger

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