Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Most Effective Advertising Resources, According to Authors

*This post will be updated periodically. If you know of a wonderful advertising resource which needs to be shared, please contact me."

I asked authors all over the world about their favorite/most effective places to advertise their books. Here's what they said: 

Facebook seems to be a favorite among authors, including author Holly Kelly, who said, "I promote in Facebook groups (lots of them, daily). It's free, and I've sold thousands of copies of my books - so it has worked for me."

Author Kathleen S Harsch, like many authors, suggests that "Being a guest author on a well-read blog." This method is used often in blog tours (read more about it here.)

If your book isn't listed on Goodreads yet, either you or your agent aren't doing your job. With over 10 MILLION users, this site is a must for every author. There is also a giveaway feature that authors swear by. 

Several authors, such as Patricia Kiyono, have mentioned EReader News Today"Once you get ten Amazon reviews, EReaderNews today is phenomenal for getting your book out there. Your book needs to be 99 cents (my publisher will lower the price for this promotion) and then you pay a percentage of the sales generated from click-throughs. I've had three books featured on their daily lists and ALL have ended up at #10 or higher on Amazon lists!"

Picture is a review site that focuses on books and does free book promotions for authors, the only requirement is that your book has to be listed on

Special thanks to Florence Osmond for sharing this!

Picture features one indie book per day, which is awarded their "Indie Book of the Day" award. This book is featured on the front of their page with its blur, author bio, and Amazon review. Read their selection criteria before submitting your book.

Special thanks to Florence Osmond for telling me about this!

Kindle Direct Publishing lets Prime members borrow your book for free for one month (which give you a LOT of free advertising), allows you to set free and sale prices for giveaways, and give you a bonus for being a KPD member. The downside is, you sign to exclusively sell that ebook on Amazon.

"I thought it might be a good idea to run the giveaway the week before Christmas and then return my book to $2.99, on the 23rd right before the sales boom. So, I set my five days up and held my breath. The result was tremendous. I gave away 2200 books in 5 days. I got a ton of reviews, sequel notification emails and Facebook friends. My book rating sky-rocketed (from 15,000 to 6,000) and I began selling quite a few more titles each day. I went from selling five books a day before Christmas to selling 15 a day after the promotion. And the wave still hasn't peaked. This month I am selling twenty-five books a day with little to no promotional leg work." - Katie French 


I was suspicious of at first, but I've done quite a bit of digging, and this site is legit. It has helpful resources like *marketing tutorials and lists of Amazon reviewers you can submit your book to.

Most features of their site are free to members (email address is required for sign up), but they do offer a premium membership that costs money.

*Disclaimer: I have not gone through their marketing tutorials yet, so I don't know about the quality of their information, I'm just going on what other authors have told me. 

Picture does free and paid book promos. I cannot recommend the paid options yet, as I've not heard much about them and their subscriber numbers are relatively low for such, but the free option is a way to get your book seen by 9,800 daily email subscribers.

"The Midlist highlights talented authors who we believe produce books that are bestseller quality, even if those books aren't necessarily bestsellers on the charts."They promote approved "high quality" media books for free via email list and social media.

The Midlist does both free features and paid advertising. Be sure to build up some following, get great reviews, etc. before submitting to them. To possibly be featured, you must meet their criteria: Books must be free or on sale, must be submitted 10+ business days before your sale or promo date (unless it's a long running promo that's not ending before you might get featured.)
"We select titles based on a combination of literary merit, reader activity around the title, and social brand engagement around the author. We also pay close attention to data around what our readers are most likely to click on, download, or purchase, which are large factors that determine the types of books we accept."

Listmania and "So You'd Like" by Amazon
Both FREE, you create lists of things that people will like if they like something similar. These lists show up as people are browsing on Amazon. You MUST read and follow Amazon's instructions!
For example, you can put a competing book on your list, and let others know that if they like that, they may also like your book. Their readers can be your readers. It's simple, free, and VERY effective!

Press Releases and Advertorials
"Surprisingly, a press release can be an inexpensive form of book promotion. It's not because the world is so interested in the fact that Juli Herren just published a multimedia "novel in snippets" for tablet and smartphone -- it's because of the fact that so many people make a living off the re-purposing of press-release content. The search-engine "spiders" will seize upon this activity with vigor, which works to the author's advantage."
Juli Herren


Wattpad is a community where authors of all levels can share what they've written, and readers can see it, comment, critique, and vote on it, for free. While some authors do and have acquired huge followings, you don't have to post an entire book for free. They also offer a Featured Book option that costs $25. Personally, I consider this to be a great deal because your book will be well advertised to many of their approx. 25 MILLION users per month. 


Costing $3-$6, The Fussy Librarian is an amazing way to get your ebook out to 13,500 daily email subscribers, and potentially into schools!

Requirements: Must have 10 4 star Amazon reviews (or other, see requirements here), must cost $5.99 or less (the prefer $2.99), and have a quality cover.


Almost everytime I hear an advertising discussion among authors, BookBub comes up. As far as advertising resources on this list, this probably the most expensive and highly rated.

"BookBub charges by genre and book price and it's fairly expensive, though I only know one person who said she didn't make her money back and then some."

- Author Alexez Razevich

Paid social media and google ads
For a small cost per click, you can run an inexpensive and highly effective marketing campaign targeted directly at your perspective readers. These ads can be run my anyone, and you can learn to do it yourself, but the best results will come from a social media marketing specialist.

The benefits of using a professional are many, but most importantly, you get the services of someone specially trained to help authors reach their readers, which is much more cost effective since you're not throwing your money at people and shouting, "BUY MY BOOK!"

Also, if you have a specialist who knows her/his business, you can easily use such campaigns to get your book on the radars of libraries, schools, newspapers, and publishers.

"I do Goodreads Giveaways, guest blogs, blog hops, blogging and social media to get my name and books out there. I've never paid for advertising - with the exception of my publisher's ezine, which was a waste of money. My target audience won't see my ads. The only way for MG authors to get their books in front of their target audience is to get in schools, libraries, and connect with parents and teachers. At least this is what I've found so far. Patience is the name of the game in this industry."
Author Sharon Ledwith

Before you try any or all of these methods, take this advice to heart. "As far as advertising goes, I feel the same way about advertising as I do publishing. Every author must find their own way. For some authors, standing in front of a crowd of Jr. high students won't work for them. For others, they love this and have the energy and charisma to entertain a bunch of media zapped teenagers. Some authors can really social network through blogging, and for others, they like to go to fairs dressed up at their main character. Some find a niche like church groups, medieval fairs, children being hospitalized for cancer etc. These groups are very specific, but chances are you will get a higher sales rate." - Author Deirdra Eden


  1. Thanks for the list! There are several resources that I haven't tried listed here.


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