Top 10 Science Fiction Book Promotion Sites

This is part of the WriteZero Top 10 Book Promotion Sites Guide for Authors & Publishers

This Top 10 List covers the best book promotion sites for promoting Science Fiction Books

The Top 10 – The 10 Best Science Fiction Book Promotion Sites

  1. BookBub
    1. The largest and most effective book promotion site for Science Fiction
    2. Strong for nearly all Science Fiction categories
    3. Especially strong for – Military Science Fiction, Cyberpunk, SciFi Thrillers, Post Apocalyptic Science Fiction, Dystopian Science Fiction, Science Fiction Adventure
  2. eReader News Today
    1. A very large site with a large email list
    2. Has been around since 2010
    3. Good for Science Fiction
  3. Book Sends
    1. A solid, decently large site that gets good results for most genres, including Science Fiction
    2. Started and run by a Science Fiction author, so they understand Science Fiction
  4. Robin Reads
    1. A fast growing and very good site
    2. Very selective and accepts less than 10% of submissions
    3. Nearly every book that is accepted does well
  5. Book Barbarian
    1. A fast growing site that is focused on Science Fiction and Fantasy
    2. This type of site might be the future of book promotion – a book promotion site that focuses on 1 or 2 categories and does a great job for them
    3. Consistently good results
    4. You need to have a polished book to get accepted (also applies to the other science fiction book promotion sites on the list)

That’s less than 10 promotion sites. Unfortunately, the number of book promotion sites that work well for Science Fiction are very limited, so there are only 5 book promotion sites that make our Top 10 Science Fiction book promotion sites list

Honorable Mentions – Book Promotion Sites that missed the Top 10

  1. Books Butterfly
    1. Very strong in some science fiction categories – Military Science Fiction, Cyberpunk (if polished well), Technothriller, Space Opera, Post Apocalyptic, Prepper, Dystopian
    2. Very strong in some cross over categories – Science Fiction Adventure, Disaster Fiction
    3. Not strong in some categories – Climate Fiction, LGBT Science Fiction, anything with a Social message, anything that is weak in the ‘science’ part, anything that has a lot of ‘let’s right social wrongs’
    4. Very Accurate Sub Category categorization
      1. If you are unsure what category your book is in, or think it is BOTH Science Fiction and Fantasy, then Books Butterfly is not a good choice. Genres must be very precise
    5. Requires very polished books – professionally design book cover, professional editing
      1. Unpolished books will generally not be accepted
      2. Even in the rare case they are accepted, they will not do well
    6. Disclosure: Books Butterfly is our sister company which has successfully run $1.8 million of book promotion packages
  2. Freebooksy to promote Free Science Fiction Novels
    1. Freebooksy is very strong for free books and is perhaps Top 5/Top 6 for promoting free books
  3. Book Gorilla & Kindle Nation Daily
    1. Kindle Nation Daily is the first book promotion site ever launched for promoting Kindle ebooks
      1. Many of their ideas have ‘inspired’ other book promotion sites
    2. It is still a decent book promotion site
    3. You do need to have a polished book to do well there
    4. Book Gorilla is their newer offering and is an interesting book promotion site that does very well for some authors
  4. Bargain Booksy to promote $0.99 to $5 Science Fiction Novels
    1. Bargain Booksy is the sister site of FreeBooksy
  5. Fussy Librarian
  6. Genre Pulse

Again, unlike other categories where 10 to 15 book promotion sites merit a ‘Honorable Mention’, in science fiction there are relatively few book promotion sites that are a Honorable Mention

Why is Science Fiction so difficult to promote? 

There are a multitude of reasons which make it quite hard to promote Science Fiction books

  1. Science Fiction has lots of sub categories
    1. These sub categories are quite different from each other
    2. You might be promoting to 100,000 science fiction readers
    3. However, only 10,000 of them might be interested in your Cyberpunk Novel
      1. The other 90,000 have different tastes (space opera, military scifi, dystopian, apocalypse, climate fiction, hard science fiction)
  2. Book Promotion Sites and most marketing channels are not tailored to specific Science Fiction sub categories
    1. Go for Romance and sites like Bookbub and Books Butterfly have 10 to 15 different sub categories and dedicated blogs and/or email lists for each of these sub categories
    2. Science Fiction is not quite large enough to support building dedicated sub category email lists
    3. However, it is even more strict than Romance in terms of readers being dedicated to their specific Science Fiction sub category
      1. Space Opera readers will usually not touch Post Apocalyptic Science Fiction
      2. It’s the same for most science fiction sub genres
  3. Very few Book Promotion Sites specialize in Science Fiction
    1. Apart from Bookbub (to an extent) and Book Barbarian (quite a bit) very few book promotion sites give love and attention to Science Fiction
  4. Science Fiction readers being more tech savvy
    1. It’s not that easy to catch them all with simple methods such as email lists and blogs
    2. Romance readers if you get them on your email list will stay forever (seems that way)
    3. Science Fiction readers – not so much
  5. Science Fiction authors being more tech savvy
    1. They almost always think they are smarter than Facebook and the book promotion sites and Amazon
    2. They might be. However, they usually have zero expertise in book marketing and promotion
    3. So you have this paradox of
      1. Authors who think they know more about technology and can do better than the ‘non technical people running email lists and the book stores’
      2. Authors who, also, are completely inexperienced in book promotion and don’t understand why normal technology marketing methods don’t work with books
  6.  Science Fiction is one of the most tightly controlled categories
    1. In terms of how tough it is to get good results in the ebook stores, Science Fiction is right up there with Young Adult and Poetry in the ‘Exquisite Form of Torture’ category
    2. It’s not easy at all
    3. It’s almost as if the entire book store is organized to prevent science fiction authors from doing well
  7.  Science Fiction authors being very reluctant to change
    1. For every 20 authors in other categories who are willing to make changes and improvements, there is just 1 science fiction authors who will ever change anything
  8. Science Fiction is a very complicated category to promote
    1. The fact that there are so many sub categories
    2. The fact that each sub category has rigid conventions
    3. Means it is rather tough to promote science fiction novels well
      1. Is the book matching science fiction conventions?
      2. Is the book matching the conventions of its genre?
      3. Is it well written?
      4. Is the science right/reasonable?
      5. The list goes on
      6. Contrast that with something such as Non Fiction where you just have to make sure the authors has some level of expertise in the topic and that the book is decently well written and factually correct

Science Fiction is just a hard category to work in

If you’re a science fiction author you must be prepared for doing a lot more due diligence than authors in other categories

Why do very few Book Promotion Sites focus on Science Fiction?

BookBub focuses a decent amount on Science Fiction

BookBarbarian focuses a lot on Science Fiction (and also Fantasy)

Apart from that there are very few book promotion sites that focus exclusively on Science Fiction

There are also very few book promotion sites that prioritize Science Fiction, with most prioritizing Romance and Mystery. A few prioritize Non Fiction and Business

There are a few reasons for this

  1. Between 2016 and 2019, something happened at the book stores which made Science Fiction books suddenly not perform as well
    1. We have no idea what happened
    2. Almost overnight Science Fiction went from a very big category (close to Romance and Mystery; significantly bigger than Fantasy) to a not-so-big category (Fantasy is now much bigger; Romance and Mystery are now much, much bigger)
  2. Science Fiction authors write in lots and lots of different sub categories
    1. It makes it really hard to build a strong marketing channel because there are so many different niches
    2. It’s difficult to get readers who like Military Science Fiction and also like cyberpunk and also like Technothrillers
  3. 95% of Science Fiction authors don’t believe in polishing their books, which dissuades readers from buying their books
    1. The biggest reason authors in categories like Romance and Mystery are doing well is that they are offering readers a book worth $5 to $10 for $1 to $3
      1. By ‘worth $5 to $10’ we mean not only that the book is very well written
      2. We also mean that the book is very well polished and LOOKS like it’s worth $10
    2. In Science Fiction there are very few authors willing to do that
      1. They might have books that are written well enough to be worth $5 to $10
      2. But they like to package them as if they are worth 10 cents
      3. Readers are not telepaths or wizards who can figure out that behind that 10 cent carcass of a book cover is a book worth $10
  4. Emergence of Dystopian and Post Apocalyptic and Climate Fiction categories
    1. These categories have basically split apart from Science Fiction and become new categories in themselves
    2. There are now readers looking specifically for Post Apoclayptic Fiction or Climate Fiction who have absolutely no interest in Space Opera or ‘Space’ Science Fiction
  5. The lack of good Science Fiction book promotion opportunities dissuades people from building new ones
    1. If you look around and there are 50 people building solutions for Romance
    2. And almost no one building solutions for Science Fiction
    3. Then why would you start a book promotion company focusing on Science Fiction
      1. The risk that ‘no one is building anything for Science Fiction because it is a tough category to do well in’ is too big

If you are a Science Fiction author you have to be aware of each of these points, especially the first and the fourth

Detailed Insights on the Top 10 Science Fiction Book Promotion Sites

To be Updated

We will, at a later point of time, add additional insights on the Top 10 SciFi Book Promotion Sites

Secrets & Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting Accepted at the Top Science Fiction Book Promotion Sites

Basically, science fiction book promotion sites are looking for

  1. Books that are well polished – professionally edited, proof read
  2. Books that are Well written
  3. Books which have a very good, professionally designed cover
  4. Books which are a good fit for their audience
  5. Books that match Science Fiction genre and actually are Science Fiction
    1. Please don’t put YA SciFi into Science Fiction
    2. It’s not Science Fiction if it’s about a young confused lady unable to choose between a Derek Zoolander looking werewolf and a foppish looking, glittering vampire
  6. Books that have been confirmed by readers as ‘readable’
    1. Reviews are very important
  7. Books that have a good review rating
    1. A review rating above 4 stars is critical to get accepted at most science fiction book promotion sites

They are also looking for

  1. Authors who know exactly what genre their book fits in, as that (book being in the right genre) is the biggest determinant of success
  2. Authors who provide a good value proposition to readers
    1. This is why you will see most promotion sites not promote short stories
    2. A short story is not a compelling proposition to 99% of readers
  3. Authors who take pains to make sure there is no confusion about the book genre
    1. A book promotion site sees that Book Cover is suited to the book genre and title and/or book description mentions book category clearly
    2. And they are very happy, and far more likely to approve the book
  4. Authors who submit well in advance
    1. Doing things last minute can sometimes be an indicator that the author has not put any thought into book category, cover, editing
  5. Authors who actually discount the book if it is a discounted book promotion

All the things that increase the chances of your book promotion being successful, are exactly the things that most Top 10 Science Fiction book promotion sites are looking for

Science Fiction Book Promotion – Biggest Mistakes to Avoid

By far the biggest mistake you can make when promoting a science fiction book is

  1. Putting a Book in the wrong category
    1. You must make sure the categories you choose at Amazon are a Perfect Fit
    2. You must make sure you specify the right category and sub category to the science fiction book promotion site
    3. You must make sure you CLEARLY specify what the category and subcategory is on the book page
      1. Tell them exactly what science fiction sub categories the book is in
      2. Tell them what similar books and what similar authors there are, to your book and you

Additional critical mistakes to avoid are

  1. Breaking the conventions of the particular Science Fiction sub category your book is in
    1. If it’s Military Science Fiction, there should be a war
    2. If it’s Post Apocalyptic Science Fiction, there should be a world after an apocalypse
    3. If it’s Space Opera, there should be drama and empires
  2. Assuming because you are a science fiction author and more ‘tech savvy’ and ‘left brain’ than other authors, everything is going to be easy
    1. Your awareness of technology is a strength only on the technical side
    2. On the marketing side and writing very good books side it becomes a liability
      1. People start developing very wrong notions that because they can code a website or code a program or know the Theory of Relativity, they could definitely handle something ‘easy’ like book marketing
      2. Marketing is an Art and a Science
      3. Marketing takes a lot of experience and humility
  3. Spending money promoting a book that is not polished
    1. Sometimes, you can bypass the checks that most book promotion sites have, and get a book approved that is half baked
    2. However, you can’t fool readers
    3. They will give you bad reviews and sink your book
  4. Spending a lot of money when you have just one book
    1. The more books you have, the more money you can make per customer you acquire
    2. The cost to acquire a customer is the same whether you have 1 book or 12 books
      1. However, if you have 12 books, you can in theory make TWELVE times more from that one customer
  5. Trying to give readers $1 of value for $3 instead of $10 worth of value for $2.99 or $0.99
    1. Readers have a lot of options
    2. To get good results you have to offer readers a great value proposition
    3. Please don’t think from your own perspective where you think a 50 page short story you wrote is worth $3
    4. Please think from the readers’ perspective – they want real bang for their buck
  6. Assuming Science Fiction is easy
    1. Many science fiction categories require a lot of research
    2. The bar is very high because science fiction has out of this world authors such as Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury, and many more
    3. The competition is brutal because there is a natural intersection between science and technology and science fiction
    4. There are a lot of authors who write science fiction and are also tech savvy enough to get into self publishing
  7. Jumping from sub category to sub category and not specializing in one category
    1. You can spend a lifetime mastering one Science Fiction sub category
    2. In fact, that is Exactly what you need to do to become a succesful author
    3. Pick a Science Fiction sub category that you are passionate about and skilled at (have an aptitude for)
      1. Then spend a lifetime becoming the Stephen King or Tolkien of that category
      2. That brutally difficult path, paradoxically, is the only ‘shortcut’ to success as an author

All the best. You’re going to need it!

Top 10 Science Fiction Book Promotion Sites – Picking the right Sub Category Matters a Heck of a Lot

Firstly, Science Fiction is VERY different from Fantasy. Sites that are good in one category are not necessarily good in another. This list is ONLY for Science Fiction. It is not for Fantasy or for LitRPG

Secondly, if you don’t know whether your book is Science Fiction or Fantasy, then it is unlikely to sell well. The two categories are very different. There are very few books that are Both Science Fiction and Fantasy. The best thing you can do is figure out which of the two categories your book fits into, and pick just that category

Thirdly, let’s consider the various sub categories in Science Fiction – you should think A LOT before deciding what sub category to write for

  1. Military Science Fiction
    1. These are novels set in space where Space Marines or other Space Forces or Armies are fighting someone, usually aliens or a humanoid alien race
    2. This is basically War & Military Fiction set in space
    3. Good examples are authors such as John Ringo
  2. Space Opera
    1. Space Opera is basically empires and politics in space
    2. One Good example is Dune
    3. These are very rewarding to write and also very tough to get right
  3. Alien Invasion
    1. This is usually Aliens invading Earth or Aliens invading Earth colonies
    2. If it is Aliens Races invading Planets colonized by humans, and these are aspects of politics, then they usually fall into Space Opera category and not Alien Invasion
  4. Space Fleet & Space Marine – these are subcategories of Military Science Fiction
  5. Space Exploration
    1. These are novels about exploring space and discovering habitable planets, new races, new entities, and such
    2. First Contact – This is a subcategory of Space Exploration focused on first contact with an Alien race
  6. Technothriller
    1. This is a genre of Science Fiction that is a mix of Science Fiction and Technology and Thriller
    2. It usually involves new cutting edge technologies such as nanotechnology, robots, Artificial Intelligence, new power sources
    3. This will usually fit into Thriller which makes it easier to promote as Thriller books have lots of marketing options
  7. Space Western
    1. Basically old style western battle of Good vs Evil with a swashbuckling cowboy riding a space cruiser
    2. Think Firefly
  8. Space Fantasy
    1. This is a very tough genre. It is a mix of Fantasy and Science Fiction, with a focus on Fantasy – however, set in space
  9. LitRPG
    1. This is so big it is now a separate category
    2. This is science fiction that is based on Role Playing Games i.e. Literature + Role Playing Games = LitRPG
    3. LitRPG has very specific conventions
    4. It is written specifically for gamers (people who play a lot of video games, especially RPG)
    5. It also has appeal to general readers
  10. Gaming Science Fiction, including Virtual Reality
    1. Think Ready Player One
    2. This is somewhat different from LitRPG in that it is more ‘populist’
    3. LitRPG only cares what gamers think about it
    4. Gaming Science Fiction, and especially VR Fiction, is more speculative and tries to appeal to a much wider audience
  11. Cyberpunk
    1. Science Fiction set in a future world (usually dystopian) with very heavy technology including cybernetic implants and hackers
    2. Think Altered Carbon or The Windup Girl
  12. Hard Science Fiction
    1. Science Fiction that is very heavy on science and on scientific accuracy
  13. Steampunk
    1. Science Fiction set in a world powered by steam engine technology
    2. Usually set in Victorian England or a historical setting
  14. Post Apocalyptic Science Fiction
    1. Science Fiction focused on the Earth after an apocalyptic event (usually Nuclear War or an Asteroid)
    2. Usually involves much of the human race being wiped out
    3. Usually involves a struggle for survival and recreating civilization
    4. Think The 100 TV Series on Netflix, or Snowpiercer
  15.  Dystopian Science Fiction
    1. Science Fiction focused on a dystopia, where humanity has been subsumed into a dystopian system where many human rights and freedoms are restricted or stripped away
    2. Think The Handmaiden’s Tale or 1984
  16.  Climate Fiction
    1. This is science fiction focused around climate change and the negative impact of that on the planet
    2. It has some overlap with Post Apocalyptic Science Fiction
      1. Climate Fiction (CliFi) usually focuses on ‘climate change’ as the primary cause of things going wrong
  17. Time Travel Science Fiction/Parallel Worlds Science Fiction
    1. This is science fiction that is focused on one or both of – time travel between different eras, wormhole travel between different parallel worlds
    2. This is very popular in movies and Television
  18. Prepper Science Fiction
    1. This is usually post apocalyptic science fiction aimed at preppers
    2. It has a lot of overlap with Post Apocalyptic Thriller and Adventure
    3. The science part might not be very strong. It’s mostly about Prepping for a future world where the ‘well prepared Survivalists and Preppers’ have to take on evil people who didn’t prepare and now want to steal from others
  19. LGBT Science Fiction
    1. A surprisingly large category. At times it seems there are more LGBT SciFi Novels than there are normal LGBT novels
    2. This is Lesbian and Gay Science Fiction and the other LGBT categories

Our descriptions and classifications might be off by a bit. However, they should give you a good idea

What is crazy is that not only are there so many sub categories for Science Fiction, the readers in each sub category have very specific requirements and needs they want satisifed

You must do a LOT of Due Diligence before picking what sub category you want to write in

Becoming a Bestseller! Leveraging the Top Science Fiction Book Promotion Sites to Become a Bestseller

Firstly, becoming a bestselling author in science fiction is MUCH tougher than in other genres

It might be best to first focus on becoming a category bestseller

Becoming a Category Bestseller at Amazon

To become a category bestseller in Science Fiction, you need

  1. 10 to 30 sales over a week for a very small SciFi category
  2. 30 to 100 sales over a week for a small to medium SciFi category
  3. 100 to 300 sales over a week for a medium SciFi category
  4. 300 to 1,000 sales over a week for a large SciFi category

Use a mix of small and medium and big categories. That way you can definitely become a category bestseller in a small category. Meanwhile you can also try and become a category bestseller in a big category

If you get Bookbub you will almost certainly become a category bestseller

If you can’t get Bookbub you can use a combination of the remaining Top 10 science fiction book promotion sites. A combination of any 3 or 4 of the Top 10 will work

Becoming a Top 100 Bestselling Book at Amazon

This is really tough for Science Fiction. You will need

  1. Bookbub – without Bookbub getting Top 100 with a science fiction book is close to impossible
  2. 2 or more of the remaining Top 10 Science Fiction promotion sites such as Book Barbarian and eReader News Today and Robin Reads
  3. [If possible] Some support from Facebook Ads
  4. To get all this done within a one week stretch
    1. If possible, within a 3 to 5 day stretch
  5. To Pick your Science Fiction sub categories perfectly
    1. Why?
    2. Because after the book promotion sites and Facebook Ads start pushing up your book
    3. Your book will get into Bestseller charts and will reach new readers
      1. If you don’t pick the right categories, you will reach readers who have no interest in your book
    4. Even after reaching the right readers
      1. Those readers will check and double check to make sure your book is in the category they like
      2. So your book must clearly specify what sub category it is
      3. You have to reassure readers that your book is right for them
  6. To have some good reviews
  7. To have a very polished book

Please do note that it is very tough to get this done with your first book (unless you throw a lot of money at it). It is recommended to get a few books under your belt and understand how to market science fiction books well. Then, with your 3rd or 4th book you can go for Amazon Top 100 Bestseller status

Becoming a New York Times Bestselling Author or an USA Today Bestselling Author

This is INCREDIBLY difficult for science fiction. We, unfortunately, do not have a consistent guide for how to do this

A few things to keep in mind

  1. You need 5,000 to 10,000 sales in a week
  2. It costs a LOT of money
    1. It is not unusual for authors to spend between $10,000 and $50,000
  3. It is slightly easier to become a USA Today Bestselling Author than a New York Times Bestselling Author
    1. However, both are very, very difficult
  4. You need at least 500 to 1,000 sales from non Amazon venues
  5. It helps to have a good number of paperback sales
    1. However, it is optional and not necessary
  6. It is much easier to do this with a Box Set
    1. Whether multi author or single author
  7. It’s not just money, this costs a lot of time and energy
  8. You have to plan extremely well
    1. Everything has to be scheduled in advance
  9. All your marketing will have only half the impact if you don’t have a good number of 5 star and 4 star reviews very soon after launch
    1. If you cannot ensure there will be reviews, please do not set up marketing
    2. You cannot become a bestseller without reviews (except for some edge cases)

Our advice would be to only go for New York Times Bestselling Author status and USA Today Bestselling Author status if you have a good number of books, good experience and expertise in marketing, and a lot of money

Improving the Results of your Science Fiction Book Promotions with the Top 10 Science Fiction Book Promotion Sites

Here are the 8 things you can do to get better results with your science fiction book promotion

  1. [Most Important] Spend a LOT of time confirming what Science Fiction sub category your book is in and what marketing methods work for that particular sub category
    1. Marketing to Sub Genre X if your book is in Sub Genre Y will nullify all your marketing efforts
    2. It will also cause you incredible pain because you won’t even know what is wrong
  2. Structure your promotion carefully and well in advance
    1. As the number of book promotion sites that are strong in Science Fiction are fewer than in other genres
    2. As Science Fiction is tougher to promote in general
    3. As Science Fiction has a lot of sub categories, which divides up the audience
    4. It is twice as important to structure your promotion carefully, and to do it well in advance
    5. Make sure you confirm that the book promotion sites you are using work for Your Particular science fiction sub category
  3. Do not cut corners on the book packaging and polish
    1. Science Fiction has perhaps the largest gap in polish and finish between self published authors and Large Publishers
    2. If you want to succeed you have to really, really polish your book
  4. Do not assume you are the expert in everything
    1. Science Fiction authors, more so than authors in any other category, tend to think they know editing better than the editor, book cover design better than the cover designer, and proof reading better than the proof reader
    2. You make such wrong assumptions at your own peril
    3. Let the EXPERTS do their work without interfering
      1. Just as they cannot write scientifically rigorous theories for wormhole travel, you cannot build a book cover design that will sell
      2. You might be very tech savvy and might know that there are 37 different graphic design programs and apps you can use to build covers. However, that doesn’t match 10 years experience actually designing book covers
  5. Your book cover must match your science fiction sub category
    1. Consider what a good cyberpunk cover design looks like – The WindUp Girl
      1. Most authors use book covers that have less design and clarity in the entire cover, than that cover has in just the part that shows the Elephant
    2. You need to strive to achieve that level of clarity and perfection in the design
    3. More importantly, the book cover must match the science fiction category
      1. A Military science Fiction novel should have something such as a spacecraft next to a planet
      2. A Post Apocalyptic Science Fiction novel, on the other hand, should focus more on showing what Earth might look like after an apocalypse, or something symbolic such as a man in a gas mask
  6. Keep things as simple as possible
    1. As Science fiction authors are more tech savvy, they tend to create complex solutions to simple problems
    2. Please keep things as simple as possible
    3. If you want to gather a reader’s email a very simple link is better than a complicated website which takes so long to load the reader has left before it has finished loading
  7. Be 100% crystal clear with readers about what the book category is
    1. Ideally you want title to include specific sub category i.e. The Last Man Sitting (A Post Apocalyptic Novel)
    2.  Cover, if possible, should have a tagline specifying sub category OR have a crystal clear design that leaves no doubt about what sub category of science fiction it is
    3. Book Description first paragraph must specify who the book is for and sub category
      1. Example: This is a post apocalyptic novel set on a world where cats took over the world and domesticated humans whose primary functions are now scratching cats and harvesting mice and milk
    4. Author Profile must be very clear and must say what categories and sub categories the author writes in
  8. Make sure the book promotion sites and your Facebook Ads specify the book category and sub category
    1. They must say – Science Fiction
    2. They must say – what sub category of Science Fiction
    3. Not only does this ensure you get the right readers
      1. It also ensures you don’t get the wrong readers (which leads to bad reviews)
  9. [Bonus] Put the book in the EXACT sub genres at the book stores, as it is in
    1. Don’t try to game the system
    2. Just make a list of the 3 to 10 best sub categories for your book
    3. Put the book in those EXACT 3 to 10 sub categories

Most important is getting the Sub Genre right and making sure your book cover and title and book description CLEARLY specify what the sub category is. Please don’t make it a treasure hunt where the reader tries to figure out for 7 minutes what the category is and then gives up and leaves

How to Get More Reviews after promoting your Science Fiction Novel

Science Fiction is very different from other book categories. In most other categories you just write very well and sell as much as you can and reviews start coming in

Science Fiction has a few nuances which means the following 7 factors are most important

  1. [General] The more polished your book is, the higher the chance you will get reviews
    1. A very well polished book will get 1 to 10 reviews for every 100 book sales
    2. A not very polished book will get 1 to 10 reviews for every 1,000 sales
    3. An unpolished book will either get zero reviews, or will get negative reviews
      1. Under no circumstances should you promote a book that is not polished, edited, proofread
      2. It will sink your book forever
    4. Please Note: By ‘well polished’ we mean
      1. Well Edited by a professional book editor
      2. Proof read by a professional proof reader
      3. You, the author, have done at least 2 to 3 rewrites
  2. [General] The better written your book is, the more reviews you will get
    1. This is an extremely painful realization
    2. If your book is not getting reviews, the most likely reason is that your book is not satisfying and delighting readers
    3. Which means you have to go back to the drawing board and figure things out
    4. Please Note: If you are a new author, then your first book is most probably going to be far below what your actual skill and talent level is
    5. That means betting everything on your first book, or investing too much of yourself in it, is a very bad idea
  3. [General] You must ASK FOR REVIEWS if you want to get reviews
    1. Reviews will make or break your book
    2. Readers who really like your book will review it
    3. Readers who like your book – they will review it if you ask nicely
      1. Ask them at the point of Highest Satisfaction
      2. Ask them repeatedly, without becoming annoying
      3. Ask them politely and nicely
    4.  Readers will only review your book if they like it AND they feel you put in the effort to polish it
    5. So, Asking for Reviews works best if your book is well polished and well written
  4. [Specific to Science Fiction] Your book must meet the Sub Category conventions
    1. Things to do
      1. Meet all the conventions and expectations of the specific science fiction sub genre
      2. Do not mix things
      3. Do not preach
        1. If you want to try and get people to ‘change their thinking’ write a non fiction book, or do a TED Talk
      4. Avoid politics
      5. Understand the belief system of every category
    2. Things not to do
      1. Don’t break conventions
        1. If you’re doing Military Science Fiction, which is an older category and very set in its rules, you can’t integrate aspects of social justice and political correctness
          1. Those readers want a good old space fight
          2. They do not want you lecturing to them on how they should think
        2.  If you’re doing Climate Fiction, which is focused on the disasters of climate change
          1. Those readers believe 100% that climate change is going to end the planet and/or put it in dire danger
          2. Please don’t kill their happiness by incorporating some aspect of ‘climate change is not happening’
      2. Don’t aim to please everyone
        1. Focus only on your core readership
      3. Don’t have 3 or more sub genres
        1. Ideal is for your book to fit ONE sub category only
          1. If you’re writing a Technothriller, make it a technothriller
        2. Acceptable in some cases is fitting a book into two Science Fiction sub categories
          1. You can get away with having a Post apocalyptic tale that also has elements of hard science fiction
        3. Guaranteed failure is mixing 3 sub categories
          1. If you try to make something that is Apocalyptic and also Military Science Fiction and also Climate Change Fiction
          2. You’re taking three very different sets of readers with completely different world views, and trying to satisfy all three
          3. Most likely outcome is you will anger 2 of the 3. Perhaps even all 3
  5. [Specific to Science Fiction] Don’t ask for reviews from unhappy customers
    1. Some authors will have ‘please review my book’ in their email signature
      1. That is a dangerous thing
    2. You should only be asking readers who are happy
    3. Science Fiction has a higher proportion of readers who will leave bad reviews if your book breaks sub genre or genre conventions
      1. So you have to figure out how to ask for a review from only readers who are happy
    4. One very good way to bypass this issue is to only ask for reviews from readers who buy the second book in your series
      1. Only readers who like your book will buy the second book
      2. So it is a safe assumption that if the second book is well written, and you ask for reviews for it, you will get good reviews
  6. [Specific to Science Fiction] Don’t copy or duplicate the plot of a famous science fiction novel
    1. Other categories are very accommodating of similar plots and derivative plots
    2. Science Fiction readers will really go after you, and sink your book with negative reviews, if you clone a famous book
  7. [Specific to Science Fiction] Get your science right
    1. Science Fiction readers are similar to Historical Fiction readers – they want 100% accuracy in the science/history
    2. In the past, only sub categories such as Hard Science Fiction had this requirement
    3. Now, nearly all sub categories are very inflexible
      1. You must get the science right
      2. You must not take take too many liberties with the laws of physics
      3. You must have reasonable assumptions

Science Fiction readers are a tough crowd to please

This is exacerbated by there being so many sub categories. Please make sure to study and learn the rules and conventions for the specific Science Fiction sub category you are writing in

Science Fiction Book Promotion Sites vs Facebook Ads

Facebook tends to work quite well for roughly half of Authors

The biggest thing for science fiction is targeting and micro targeting. Facebook is really good at that

Facebook Ads can be used alongside Book Promotion Sites

Facebook Ads can be used by themselves

Facebook Ads should not be used alongside Amazon Marketing Services as the reporting will allocate things in very good ways. To get an accurate picture of how Facebook Ads work, don’t run it when running Amazon Marketing Services

Science Fiction Book Promotion Sites vs Amazon Marketing Services

We can’t give you a definitive answer for how Amazon Marketing Services work for Science Fiction books. Authors seems to fall into four broad categories

  1. Roughly 50% for whom Amazon Marketing Services doesn’t work at all
  2. 20% for whom Amazon Marketing Services works but the Return on Investment is not good and so they stopped using Amazon Marketing Services
  3. 10% who cannot get Amazon Marketing Services to get them clicks, or they could in the past but can’t get it to work since 2019
  4. 20% who can get Amazon Marketing Services to work and get good Return on Investment

That 20% figure for authors who can get Amazon Marketing Services to give them good Return on Investment is slightly lower than with other book genres (where it is 25%)

However, it is still worth exploring as finding a working book promotion channel in Science Fiction is very difficult

The 3 Core Skills for Authors

The 3 Core Skills for Authors (including for Science Fiction authors) are Skills which ensure a very high probability of success. These 3 skills, if mastered, will almost always ensure success

  1. Knowing What to Write (Writing The Perfect Product for the Right Market)
  2. Writing Very Well
  3. Marketing Very Well

If you can’t master these, but can still get to a good level of expertise in them, you still have a very good chance of succeeding

Please read this post on Levels of Mastery of The 3 Core Skills to better understand the 3 Core Skills for Authors

The 3+2 Golden Rules of Science Fiction Book Promotion

The 3+2 Golden Rules for Science Fiction Authors looking to successfully promote their books are

  1. Give the Market what it is asking for
    1. The Market Always Wins
    2. Readers are 100 times more likely to buy what THEY want to buy than what YOU WISH they would buy
  2. The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Genres to write in
    1. Make sure you do your market research BEFORE you start writing
    2. Lots of traditional science fiction categories are no longer that popular
    3. Some new science fiction categories are extremely popular and growing fast
  3. Product Market Fit is the most important thing
    1. How good your writing is – does not matter
    2. Are you writing The Right Book for The Right Market? That is all that matters
  4. Get the Genre PERFECTLY correct – If you want to succeed in Science Fiction, you MUST set your genres and sub genres very, very well
    1. Firstly, Science Fiction has a lot of sub categories
      1. Military Science Fiction, Space Opera, Alien Invasion, Space Exploration
      2. Technothriller
      3. Space Fantasy (yes, there is such a thing)
      4. LitRPG Science Fiction (should be in LitRPG and not SciFi)
      5. Gaming Science Fiction i.e. Virtual Reality immersion like Ready Player One
      6. Cyberpunk
      7. Post Apocalyptic Science Fiction, Dystopian Science Fiction
      8. Climate Fiction
      9. LGBT Science Fiction
      10. A few more
    2.  Secondly, the readers for one sub category VERY RARELY read the others
    3. Thirdly, each sub category is extremely specific in what it expects
  5. Be very Patient when building your career
    1. Because of all the factors listed earlier, science fiction book promotion is very difficult at the moment (2020, 2o21) and might stay difficult for a while
    2. There are certain very powerful factors that have made book promotion in general, and science fiction book promotion in particular, very difficult
      1. They are not going away anytime soon
      2. Their whole aim is to frustrate self published authors and smaller publishers and everyone who helps them, and drive them out of books forever
      3. Be patient and don’t let them frustrate you
        1. They know that if given a free run self published authors in Science Fiction will start taking over the entire Books ecosystem, as is happening in Romance
        2. So they are taking extreme measures to prevent other categories from becoming Romance
        3. Science Fiction seems to be a guinea pig that is getting the most extreme measures
        4. Be Patient and this too shall pass
    3. The people who are standing in the way of you doing well as a self published Science Fiction author are unlikely to go away anytime soon
      1. So you will have to be patient
      2. Embrace that Science Fiction right now is incredibly difficult
      3. Be glad that you aren’t in an tougher category such as Poetry or Young Adult

You will notice that FOUR out of the 5 Golden Rules are about – writing in the Right Sub Category of Science Fiction, and then putting your book in the Exact Right Sub Category of Science Fiction

The Game is Won or Lost in the selection of genres and sub genres

Science Fiction authors are generally more tech savvy than the average author. Science Fiction readers are generally more tech savvy than the average reader

Yet it is categories like Romance and Business and Mystery and Thriller which are doing all the innovative things and making broad strides and fighting harder. Hopefully, at some point of time in the near future, Science Fiction authors and readers will join the revolution

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *