Top 10 Mystery 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 Mystery Books

The Top 10 – Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites

  1. BookBub
    1. The largest book promotion site for Mystery Novels and the most effective
      1. 10 to 15 million total readers, with 3 to 4 million readers for Mystery Categories
      2. Has multiple dedicated lists for Mystery categories
    2. Strong in all Mystery genres
    3. Accepts only 10% to 20% of submissions
      1. Allows you to submit after a month if book is not accepted
      2. Keep improving your book and keep submitting
  2. eReader News Today
    1. Over half a million readers and helping authors since 2010
    2. Very Strong for most Mystery genres
    3. Very reasonably priced
  3. Books Butterfly
    1.  The 2nd largest book promotion site for Mystery Novels
      1. Has over 4 million total readers, with over a million readers for Mystery categories
    2.  Strong in lots of different Mystery categories
      1. Very Strong: Cozy Mystery, Murder Mystery, Clean Mystery, Traditional Mystery, Historical Mystery, Forensic Mystery, Christian Mystery
      2. Strong: Detective Mystery, PI Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Supernatural Mystery, Women Sleuths, Courtroom Mystery
      3. Decently Strong: Hard Boiled Mystery, Sherlock Holmes Style Mystery
      4. Weak: Gay Mystery, Lesbian Mystery, Comedy Mystery
    3. Has dedicated blogs, email lists, Apps, and Sites for Mystery readers
    4. Please Note: Will not accept any book that does not have a professionally designed cover
    5. Disclosure: Books Butterfly is our Sister Company which has successfully run $1.9 million of book promotion packages
  4. Robin Reads
    1. An excellent site that is growing very fast, is super selective (only 10% approved), and delivers good to very good results
    2. Often sells out 2 to 4 weeks in advance, so please apply well in advance of your desired start date
    3. Does well for nearly every Mystery novel they accept
  5. Book Sends
    1. A large and effective book promotion site helping authors since 2012
    2. Strong in most Mystery categories
    3. Has specific rules listed on their website
  6. Free Booksy & Bargain Booksy
    1. Free Booksy promotes free books and is a Top 4 book promotion site to promote free mystery books
    2. Bargain Booksy promotes discounted books. It is a Top 10 book promotion site to promote paid mystery novels
    3. They are sister sites, owned by the same people, and are effective for most mystery novels
    4. They are reasonably strong in most Mystery genres
    5. They have nearly a million readers combined
  7. Fussy Librarian
    1. A good book promotion site that is one of the most reasonably priced book promotion sites
    2. Has a variety of Mystery genres
    3. It works for some authors and doesn’t work for some authors
      1. As the price is very low, it is well worth taking a shot
  8. To Be Finalized
    1. We are evaluating the Honorable Mentions and lots of other mystery book promotion sites and will fill Spots #8 to #10 later
  9. To Be Finalized
  10. To Be Finalized

All of the above Mystery Book Promotion Sites are very strong. Try and get approved for as many of them as possible

Honorable Mentions – Mystery Book Promotion Sites that just missed the Top 10

  1. FKBT – Free Kindle Books & Tips
  2. OHFB – One Hundred Free Books
  3. Genre Pulse
    1. A good book promotion site that is decently strong in Mystery
    2. They are very reasonably priced, so you can easily test out whether their service works for your book or not
    3. They are mostly Apps and Email Lists
      1. Very few options to advertise to readers on Apps so Genre Pulse will get you in front of a set of readers who are unlikely to have ever seen your book before
  4. Book Gorilla
    1. Sister Site to Kindle Nation Daily
    2. High Quality Bar to get accepted
    3. Works very well for some books (book must be well polished)
  5. Kindle Nation Daily
    1. The original Kindle Book Promotion Site
    2. Helping authors since 2008 or 2009. Innovated a lot of the ideas that other book promotion sites use now
    3. Has helped over 10,000+ authors
    4. For free book promotion (paying to promote your $0 free book), their ‘Book of the Day’ service is very good
    5. For Paid Books, you can get a Book Gorilla package, or a combined package. We recommend one of the medium or lower priced packages
      1. Very Important: Just like Book Gorilla, Kindle Nation Daily works for books that are well polished
      2. Important: Just like Book Gorilla, Kindle Nation Daily has a high quality bar and your book must be well polished to get accepted

We will be adding more Mystery Book Promotion sites in the near future

Detailed Insights on the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites

To Be Updated

We will, later on, add detailed insights for the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites

Increasing Your Chances of Getting Accepted at the Top Mystery Book Promotion Sites

These are the 5 Most Critical Criteria you need to meet for your book to get accepted at the Top Mystery Book Promotion Sites

  1. Reviews and a good Review Rating
    1. Readers value reviews more than anything else, because they trust other readers more than anything else
    2. Having reviews is critical to get good results
    3. Therefore, most Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites will require a certain number of reviews
    4. Your book must also have a review rating over 4 stars
      1. Contrary to what you might wish or believe, a rating below 4 stars is a Kiss of Death for most books’ sales prospects
  2. Professionally Designed Book Cover
    1. It has to be a professionally designed book cover
    2. It has to match the genre conventions
    3. It has to Catch the Eye and Get Readers to Click
      1. The less ‘artistic’ and ‘black and white’ and ‘abstract’ you go with, the better
  3. Professionally Edited and Professionally Proof read Book
    1. The book must be professionally edited by a professional book editor with good experience in your book’s specific genre
    2. The book must be professionally proof read by a professional proof reader
    3. A lack of ‘flow’ in the book will lead to rejections
      1. It is exceedingly obvious when an author has not used an Editor
    4. Errors in the book will also lead to rejection
      1. It is not possible for you or for an untrained person to do a good ‘proofreading job’
      2. It’s just not possible
  4. Book is in the Right Categories and the Book Cover, Book Description, Book Genres match the Book’s Categories
    1. Firstly, the book MUST be in its right categories
    2. Secondly, all of these should be present so readers can be reassured book is in the genre(s) they read
      1. Book Cover must match genre conventions
      2. Book Title must make sense for the genre and/or should include book genre in the title
      3. Book Description must discuss
        1. The Book Genre. Ideally in the first paragraph itself
        2. Comparable books and Comparable Authors
          1. So that readers can confirm it is the right book for them
      4. Author Profile and Website must clearly state book genre
    3. Thirdly, there should be absolutely no ‘gaming’ of the genres
  5. Book is good value for money
    1. It must be a full length book
      1. Nearly all of the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sties require 150 pages minimum book length
        1. A few will take 100 pages and over 100 pages. However, please note that over 150 pages is what sells well
    2. It must be discounted or at a reasonable price
      1. Price points like $0.99 and $2.99 work well
      2. $4.99 works sometimes
      3. Prices over $5 for ebooks will usually not work
      4. Paperbacks work well between $8 and $15
      5. Paperbacks between $15 to $20 will sometimes sell
      6. Paperbacks over $20 will not sell
    3. It must be complete in itself
      1. It must not be a teaser
      2. It must not end in a cliffhanger

These are additional improvements and factors that will increase your chances

  1. Very good writing
    1. The better your writing the higher the chance you will get accepted
    2. Please Note: This is not in the Top 5 because the mystery book promotion sites cannot predict whether or not readers will like your book. Regardless of how good the writing is, you have to write for a market that exists
    3. The promotion sites can, however, predict factors that will kill results
      1. So you need to meet the Top 5 factors above to ensure your book doesn’t fail because of relatively easy to fix things such as a good book cover and professional editing
  2. Bestseller Status for the Author or for the Book
    1. Only New York Times Bestseller List, USA Today Bestseller List, and WSJ Bestseller List count
  3. A Big Award
    1. Please Note: Only big, well respected awards such as RITA, Shamus, Man Booker, Booker, Golden Quill, Golden Heart, etc are considered
  4. A very high quality cover
    1. Go with a world class cover designer like and and your chances of getting accepted go up
    2. Readers judge a book by its cover
      1. If it is beautiful they assume the writing must be beautiful
      2. If it has great attention to detail they assume the writing must be well thought out
      3. If it is bright and clear, they assume the writing will be bright and easy to get
      4. If it matches genre conventions, they assume the author knows genre conventions and will have written a book that matches the genre’s rules and conventions (which is EXACTLY what they are looking for)
    3. Readers judge a book by its cover
      1. If an author does not put effort into the cover
      2. Readers assume the authors does not care, and perhaps also did not care when writing the book
  5. A good Author Profile
    1. Make yourself HUMAN
    2. Make yourself relate-able and likable
    3. Make it clear what genre(s) you write in
    4. Talk a bit about yourself, why you write, what books and authors you like
    5. If you can make yourself seem like a normal person who loves books and writes books, then you will usually get the sale
      1. However, please don’t like

Please Note: The Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites have Acceptance Criteria which match Exactly what generates book sales. For example

  1. They ask for a professionally designed book cover -> Because that increases sales
    1. Additionally, self made or cheap covers kill sales
  2. They ask for a well edited and proof read book because books with mistakes scare off readers and also cause books to get 1 Star Reviews
  3. The Top Mystery Book Promotion Sites will not take any book that is mis-categorized (whether intentionally or unintentionally) because putting books in the wrong categories often back fires spectacularly

Every acceptance criteria is something that either increases book sales, or something that avoids disaster

The more you polish and perfect your book so that it gets accepted by the Top Mystery Book Promotion Sites, the higher your book sales will go. Not just for that book promotion push, but also ever after

Mystery Book Promotion Sites – Biggest Mistakes to Avoid

Here are 15 of the biggest mistakes to avoid when promoting your Mystery Novel with the Top Mystery Book Promotion Sites

  1. Promoting a Book that is not ready
    1. Unless you have an unlimited marketing budget, we strongly recommend first making sure your book is polished, well written, rewritten 3 or more times, has a professionally designed book cover, and is actually ready to be promoted
    2. Most authors start off unaware that the first book they write is not automatically perfect
      1. Putting all of your marketing budget, or a significant part of it, into promoting a half baked product is insanity
      2. Equally damaging is that a significant number of authors don’t realize that how a half-finished product sells is not a good indicator of how a high quality, fully finished version of that product would sell
        1. Half finished products almost always fail
      3. Please save your self grief and heartache by ensuring you first FULLY POLISH and FULLY FINISH your book
  2. Messing up the Pricing/Discount of the Book
    1. If you are a new author, then you have to offer SOMETHING to get readers to choose you in addition to existing well known authors
    2. No, they are not going to be able to read your mind and magically know you put a lot of effort into your book
    3. You have to either offer them a discount, or position yourself in a very unique way
    4. Unknown Author at $10 is never going to lure readers who can get Stephen King and Dean Koontz for $10
    5. Unknown Author at $2.99 will sometimes be able to
    6. Unknown Author at $0.99 will be able to quite regularly
    7. You have to understand that until they read your book and see its quality with their own eyes, readers value your book at ZERO
    8. In addition to going with a discount or a good price, you also have to make sure the discount is actually showing up for readers
      1. The Book and eBook at the book stores should be showing the lower price
      2. It doesn’t hurt to mention that the book is discounted from $10 to $X
  3. Putting the Book in the Wrong Book Categories
    1. Please put your book category in the EXACT RIGHT book categories
    2. One set of authors are not even aware that a Mystery novel must be put in Mystery
      1. If you fall into this set, please read up on Mystery genres and sub genres
      2. Figure out what Mystery genres and sub genres your book fits into
      3. Make sure you place your book in those exact Mystery genres and sub genres
    3. Another set of authors come up with weird logic that putting a book into the wrong category somehow will help or will reach more readers
      1. No it will not help
      2. Put your book in the right categories. That is the thing that really helps
    4. The most problematic are the set of Authors who are trying to game the system by putting their book in the wrong categories
      1. Since 2008, the first full year of the Kindle Store, authors have been trying to game the System
      2. Bookstores and ebook stores have had decades of experience
      3. Do you really think you can waltz in and find some amazing way to make a fool of everyone (the store, readers)?
      4. Please don’t try to game the system. At best you will be able to get tiny successes and forever fall into the trap of ‘cheating your way to success’. At worst you will not even get tiny successes
  4. Trying to trick readers
    1. You will make most of your money from REPEAT customers
    2. You will make most of your money from having lots of books, finding a reader once, and then getting that reader to buy all your books
    3. If you try and trick readers, those readers will NEVER buy your other books
  5. Going with a low quality and/or self made Book Cover
    1. If you have 10+ years of experience designing book covers
    2. If you have 10+ years of actually making book covers for the ebook stores which sell
    3. Then by all means, go ahead and design your own book cover
    4. In all other cases, please hire a PROFESSIONAL Book Cover Designer
    5. If you try to save money on making book covers, by hiring a low quality designer, or making the book cover yourself
      1. Every $1 you save on the book cover
      2. Will sometimes be $100 or more lost in book sales
      3. Of course, that assumes your book does well
  6. Not giving enough focus to The Quality of Your Product
    1. If you are writing for the right market
    2. If you are writing the right product for this right market
    3. Then what really matters is Marketing and Quality of Product
    4. Marketing we will discuss later
    5. Quality of Product is 100% under your control
    6. Focus on it
    7. Make sure your book is a very high quality product
  7. Writing for a Market that Does Not Exist
    1. BEFORE you spend 2 to 5 years of your life writing a book
    2. Please make sure that a market for your book exists
    3. It’s fine to spend 1 to 6 months doing market research and making sure your book will have a market
  8. Writing the Wrong Product for The Right Market
    1. After doing good market research, you’ve found a good market full of readers willing to pay for books
    2. Congratulations! The toughest part of your job as an Author is done
    3. So close to Victory, please don’t get careless
    4. You must also figure out What Product the readers in this market will buy
    5. You must then ensure you are writing EXACTLY such a product
  9. Ignoring the Fit and Finish of Your Book
    1. Fit and Finish = how the book looks, how it is perceived
    2. The Book Cover is critical
    3. Editing is necessary
    4. Proof Reading is necessary
    5. A good book cover is necessary
    6. The book page must be well done
    7. The packaging and polish of the book should not be ignored
    8. Readers cannot know how good your book is. They make a GUESS based on your book cover, book page, title, etc
  10. Falling in Love with Your Book when it is still half baked
    1. Perhaps the single biggest mistake authors (and other creators such as artists and musicians and game developers make) is to fall in love with their product before it is ready
    2. After reaching 90% complete, your book will require another 90% of work to get to 97% complete
      1. It’s never going to get to 99% or 100%
      2. At 95% or 97% you should ship it (launch it)
      3. Getting from 90% to 95%/97% will take as much time and effort as getting from 0% to 95%/97%
      4. Most authors fail at this stage as they assume that 90% complete is 100% Perfect
      5. Then they waste years (sometimes decades) trying to figure out why their book is not selling, why it is not getting reviews
    3. Of course, you also get a set of authors who fall in love with their book when it is 25% complete
      1. On that, we shall not comment
      2. If you like you can read up on Unconscious Incompetence to understand this set of authors
  11. Assuming your First Book is Perfect
    1. There is NO ONE in the history of any craft who created Amazing Products in their first attempt
    2. Authors will have a GREAT STORY and make the mistake of thinking that putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) instantly makes it a Great Product
      1. No, it’s your first shot and it will be basically useless
    3. Your first book is not going to be your best work
      1. Cases where it seems that way is actually authors spending 10 to 30 years perfecting their work and then launching this ‘first book’
    4. Please don’t assume your 1st Book is Perfect
    5. It is usually the opposite of ‘Perfect’
  12. Taking Readers’ Time and Money for Granted
    1. A significant percent of authors think readers’ money doesn’t matter
      1. If you hear authors saying things such as – Why would they not pay $10 for my book, when they pay $5 for a coffee at Starbucks
      2. Starbucks has spent decades building a brand – precisely why it can charge $5 for a cup of coffee
      3. Readers care A LOT about getting good value for their money
    2. Even worse, over 50% of authors completely disregard the value of readers’ time
      1. If a reader spends 3 hours reading your book, and your book is not fully polished and not well written and it does not make the reader enjoy the reading experience
        1. You have wasted 3 hours of that person’s life
        2. This is why it matters a lot how good your book cover is, and how accurate your book categories are
        3. People who have no consideration of readers’ time, are the same ones who don’t put effort into things like book covers
    3. Readers are spending their hard earned money and their precious, irreplaceable time on your book
      1. Please have some consideration and respect for that
  13. Thinking there is an Easy Button
    1. There is no Easy Button
  14. Forgetting that Readers should ENJOY your book
    1. In all the technicalities and planning and hard work, it is important to keep in mind that the book must ENTERTAIN
    2. Even if your sole aim is to educate, you still need to Entertain
    3. Most book genres are focused on giving the readers Satisfaction and Enjoyment
      1. So please always keep in mind that readers should have FUN when reading your book
      2. It must Entertain and Delight them
  15. Forgetting to Focus on One Main Aim for their marketing and promotion efforts
    1. Unless you are a very experienced author, it is impossible to have 3 or 4 or 5 different goals and achieve them all (or even one of them)
    2. New authors should have just one single goal for their first few book promotion and marketing pushes
      1. Focus on getting reviews
      2. OR
      3. Focus on getting a certain number of sales
      4. OR
      5. Focus on getting to Bestseller Status in a small or medium Mystery category
    3. Ideally, pick just ONE SINGLE AIM and focus on that
      1. Even two aims is too much work and too much cognitive overload
      2. Focus on ONE SINGLE AIM and get that done

Please avoid as many of these mistakes as possible. These are easily avoided. And Best of Luck!

Mystery Book Promotion Sites – Improving the Results of Your Mystery Book Promotion with the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites

While Mystery is a very competitive category, it is important to remember that it is an absolutely MASSIVE category

No Mystery book reader ever says –

  1. I have too many good mystery books to read
  2. I wish there were less authors writing good mystery novels

On the contrary, readers always have a hard time finding good quality authors and good quality mystery novels

The three problems you have to solve to succeed as a Mystery author are

  1. Figuring out The Right Market (full of eager Mystery readers) and figuring out The Right Product for them (what they want to buy and read)
  2. Creating that Product (The Right Book) in very high quality
  3. Marketing Very Well and To the Right People – Getting that Product in Front of The Right Mystery Readers

To solve those three problems, and to improve your mystery book promotion results with the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites, these are the 14 things that will take your promotion from Good to Great

  1. Do your Due Diligence and Write in the Right Mystery Category
    1. You have to do a lot of market research and make sure you are writing in the right Mystery category
    2. You might say – I already wrote the book. What can I do now?
      1. Firstly, you can do proper research and make sure you place it in the right Mystery categories
      2. Secondly, if your book promotion is hitting a wall, and market research says there is no set of readers that read books like yours
        1. Then you can accept reality, and write a new book in a Mystery category which has a lot of readers
      3. Thirdly, you can not throw good money after bad money and stop investing into your book if there is no market for it
        1. This also applies to your time
        2. Avoid sunken cost fallacy where you say
          1. I’ve already spent 2 years on this book
          2. So what if there is no market for it
          3. I’m going to spend another 3 years on this book and the next book
          4. I’m sure at some point in the next 100 years there will emerge a market just for my book
        3. Don’t throw away even more time and money because you made the wrong decision on what book to write
  2. Place your Book in the Right Mystery Categories
    1. This is such a common mistake, even though it makes no sense at all for authors to be making such a mistake
      1. It will stun you when you see the things people will do when it comes to assigning categories to their book in the book stores
      2. You have people put their mystery as a romance because ‘even women should read it, not just men’
      3. You have people put their Non Fiction book into Fiction because ‘everyone needs to read about what is happening in the world, and not just imaginary things’
    2. Let’s say you did a lot of good market research and found 3 really good Mystery Categories and Sub Categories and wrote a book for them
      1. Great – that’s the perfect first step
    3. When it comes to categorizing your book, you MUST stick to these same three categories and sub categories
      1. The ones you wrote for
      2. The ones the book is a Best Fit for
    4. Two very big reasons placing your book in the right categories is essential are
      1. People who read similar books, will check there
        1. Those are the best places to have your book – where it’s natural readers are already checking
      2. People who you send to your book page, will double check the categories to make sure the book is a good fit
        1. You are wasting half your marketing if you set the wrong categories
  3. Promote Your Book in the Right Mystery Categories
    1. Hopefully, you have written for the right Mystery categories, and you’ve set the right Mystery categories for your book
    2. Now you have to make sure you Promote Your Book to The Right Readers
      1. This means that you should promote with marketing channels and promotion sites that specialize in promoting Mystery Novels
      2. This means that, whenever possible, you should promote to readers interested in your specific Mystery Categories
    3. If you’ve written a Cozy Mystery, make sure that
      1. Firstly, you are promoting to readers who read mystery novels and not to readers who read romance or biographies
      2. Secondly, to the extent possible promote to Cozy Mystery readers
        1. That’s an even better audience for your book than ‘people who read mystery novels’
      3. The more specific you can get the better
  4. Promote only AFTER your book is very well polished, has reviews, and is ready to be promoted
    1. Promoting a half polished book leads to a quarter of the sales you would get with a fully polished book
    2. The first type of polish your book needs is for it to be well written
    3. The second type of polish your book needs is for it to be professionally edited and professionally proof read
    4. The third type of polish your book needs is for it to have a professionally designed and beautiful book cover
    5. Without these three types of polish, you will not unlock the full value of your marketing
    6. Reviews are another critical factor
      1. Unless you are absolutely unable to get reviews, it is strongly recommended to do a marketing push only AFTER getting some good reviews
    7. We know it is so incredibly hard to be patient and create a polished product
      1. We all want to send things into the market and get sales, get readers, get reviews
      2. However, you will only be getting a quarter of what you could get, if you send out an unpolished book
      3. As money is not infinite, you will be burning 3 quarters of the money you spend
  5. Get as many Reviews as you can
    1. Results will be 2 to 4 times higher if your book has got a good review rating AND some good reviews
  6. Create an Extremely Well Polished Book
    1. It must be written and rewritten for improved readability and flow
    2. It must be professionally edited
    3. It must be professionally proof read
  7. Get the Absolute Best Book Cover you can Afford
    1. It’s really simple – Who is the best world class cover designer you can afford?
      1. Go with that cover designer
    2. There are world class cover designers for every budget
      1. for $30 premade covers and $150 custom covers
      2. for $200 premade covers and $500 to $1,000 custom covers
      3. CreativeParamita, Deranged Doctor Designs, and a few more in between
      4. If you can go higher than $1000 for your book cover, then go higher
        1. Please make sure that it is a trusted and skilled cover designer
        2. At prices over $1,000 you should only work with book cover designers who also work for really big Publishing Houses and really big authors
  8. Write and Rewrite Your Book until it reads very well
    1. As the author it is your responsibility to cover a lot of crucial and hard to put into words areas
      1. The flow of the book
      2. How immersive the book is i.e. do readers go completely into your story world
      3. The structure of the book and it maximizing reading pleasure of the reader
      4. How easy and intuitive the story is
        1. The book should be easy to read, even if it is a deep and involved story
      5. The strength of the story
    2. You have to rewrite the book until some/most of these are very strong
  9. Focus on Marketing using Marketing Channels and Sites that work for your Mystery Book
    1. You have to work with Marketing Channels and Mystery Book Promotion Sites which work for your specific Mystery Book Categories
  10. Market Very Carefully
    1. There are a lot of mistakes that can be made in Book Marketing
      1. Firstly, Marketing is an inexact science
      2. Secondly, there are some services and businesses that just won’t work for new authors
      3. Thirdly, what will work for you is very unique because you as an author and your book are both unique
    2. Mistakes can be very costly
      1. You set up a marketing push with a $500 budget
      2. A book store or a marketing site makes a mistake, or you forget to discount the book
      3. Your entire marketing push goes off the rails
      4. You have to make sure you avoid mistakes, because mistakes in book marketing are very costly
    3. Some mistakes can not be remedied
      1. You send out an unpolished book. Readers leave 1 star and 2 star reviews complaining about spelling mistakes and poor editing
        1. Now, that book can NEVER recover
      2. You market to the wrong readers. They complain and leave a few bad reviews
        1. Now it will take you 6 months to get enough good reviews to drown out the bad reviews
      3. You fall in love with a cover that kills book sales
        1. You keep attributing low sales to things other than the MOST OBVIOUS REASON your book is not selling (wrong cover, wrong book genres)
        2. You never fix the cover
  11. Use your Marketing Budget Carefully –  Put Away Your Wallet for the first 3 to 12 Months after Entering the Market
    1. Book Marketing is a complex thing. It is both an Art and a Science
    2. Often new authors will jump in and spend all their money at the start
      1. Spending your marketing budget before you know how everything works is a terrible idea
      2. You should put away your wallet for 3 to 12 months
      3. First, focus on understanding how everything works
    3. You want to be the Smart Author who takes 6 months or even a year and understands how everything works
    4. If you are the impatient type, then mark out 20% of your marketing budget, and spend only that
      1. You are probably going to burn it anyways
      2. Much better to burn 20% of your marketing budget understanding how the ecosystem works
      3. Than to spend all 100% of your marketing budget and realizing you finally know what works and what doesn’t
        1. However, you have no money left
    5. The more careful you are with your money, the likelier you are to be successful
  12. Plan things very well + React Fast if things don’t go according to plan
    1. Firstly, you have to plan things very, very well
      1. A good example of this is that you must know what marketing site you are using each day
      2. You must know what role each marketing site plays (is it to get sales, to get reviews, to get visibility, or something else)
      3. You must also know what the combination of all your marketing will achieve
    2. Secondly, you have to have contingency plans which you can execute on quickly and effectively
      1. What if something goes wrong? What will you do? How fast will you react?
      2. What if everything is fine and just a bit slower than you would like?
        1. What is your plan to accelerate things?
        2. Is there a marketing channel that you can add to make things go faster?
      3. What if one particular site or marketing channel fails?
        1. What is the backup?
  13. Make Things Crystal Clear to the Reader
    1. Don’t forget any of these
      1. That you would really appreciate a review if they like the book
      2. Your book categories and sub categories must be made Crystal Clear in each of
        1. Your Book Cover
        2. Your Book Title
        3. Genres and Sub Genres on the Book Page
        4. Your Author Profile
        5. Your Book Description
        6. Your Website
        7. You have to keep giving the reader reassurances that your book is RIGHT for them
      3. Be absolutely clear about
        1. Book being a standalone or part of a series
          1. If series can it be read as a standalone or not
        2.  Whether it is a full length book or not
          1. Number of Pages
        3. Who it is written for
        4. Similar Books – If you liked Book X, you will love this book
        5. Similar Authors – If you like Author Z, you will love this book
      4. If book is discounted then the fact that it is discounted and how much the discount is
      5. If your other books are discounted, or if you have a free loss leader, then talk about those
    2. If your book is discounted – Make it crystal clear
      1. Everyone loves a deal
      2. If the reader is getting a $4.99 book for $0.99, it is Up To You to make it clear to readers
      3. Readers are not mind readers
      1. Because they do not know anything about you
      2. They do not know anything about your book
      3. Every day people are tricking readers (accidentally or on purpose) into buying books that are wrong fit for the reader
        1. Make sure you are very forthright and frank with them
  14. Set a Clear Main Target for Your Book Promotion
    1. Your book marketing and promotion push is going to result in SOMETHING
    2. If you don’t have a clear main target, that SOMETHING will be Random and might not be what you want
    3. If you set down a CLEAR MAIN TARGET for your book marketing and promotion effort, you can structure everything around it and greatly increase the chances of achieving your target
    4. Some ideas for what you could focus on are
      1. Becoming a Bestseller
      2. Getting a certain number of sales
      3. Reaching a certain number of readers
      4. Getting Reviews
      5. Becoming a Bestseller in a specific category
      6. Getting feedback from readers on your book – what they think, where to improve, etc
    5. Please focus on just ONE main target

You will notice an underlying theme of CLARITY. Giving readers Clarity about your book. Giving yourself Clarity about what your book is and what it is not. Having Clarity about what your goals are

The more you work on better understanding your book, yourself, your reader, and what your reader wants – and giving your readers what they desire – the higher the chance you can get what you want

Critical Importance of Picking the Right Mystery Genres & Sub Genres – Mystery Genres and Sub Genres are VERY different from each other

Firstly, let’s look at what the different Mystery genres and sub genres are

  1. Cozy Mystery
  2. Domestic Mystery
  3. Historical Mystery
  4. Murder Mystery
  5. Traditional Mystery
    1. Also known as Classic Mystery
  6. Detective Mystery
    1. Professional Detective Mystery
    2. Amateur Sleuths
  7. Supernatural Mystery
  8. Paranormal Mystery
  9. Heist Mystery
  10. Private Investigator Mystery
  11. Female Sleuths Mystery
  12. Espionage Mystery
  13. Hard Boiled Mystery
  14. Sherlock Holmes Style Mystery
  15. Police Procedural Mystery
  16. Forensic Mystery
  17. Courtroom Mystery
  18. Kidnapping Mystery
  19. Clean Mystery
  20. Christian Mystery
  21. Mystery & Suspense
  22. Mystery & Romance
  23. Capers
  24. Noir Mystery
  25. Gay Mystery
  26. Lesbian Mystery

Thanks to Wikipedia (Mystery Page at Wikipedia) and Dan Brown at Masterclass and The Balance

We will resist the temptation to write a summary of each category as it is critical for YOU, the Mystery Author, to do your due diligence and figure out what each Mystery Category is, and the conventions and expectations of each

Please do not skip on this home work. Your success as a Mystery Author depends on finding the right market, and writing the right book for that right market

It is absolutely crucial to understand what each of these categories is, and which of these categories your book is in

It is even more critical to do market research and figure out which of these categories you should be writing in

Next, let’s look at the Critical Importance of Picking the Right Mystery Genres & Sub Genres when promoting your Book, and even when placing your book in the book stores

  1. [Already] This assumes you have done proper market research (1 to 6 months) and figured out which Mystery categories and sub categories to write in
    1. Where there is a strong market
  2. [Already] This assumes you have done your due diligence and figured out what book to write
    1. The book that readers in this market are dying to read and will pay good money for
  3. When placing your Book in the Bookstores, it is absolutely vital to select the exact correct Mystery Categories
    1. Each mystery category is unique
    2. You must select the Right Mystery categories and sub categories
  4. When creating the book cover, book description, book title, author profile, and the book page, you must make sure that the book’s Mystery categories and sub categories are Crystal Clear to the reader
    1. Do not make it a mystery
  5. When promoting your book, you must promote it as the Correct Mystery categories and sub categories
    1. The only correct categories are the one your book actually fits in

90% of the magic is in writing in the right Mystery categories, writing the right product, placing it in the book store in the right categories, and marketing it as the right Mystery categories

The writing part is just 10% of the magic. Perhaps the toughest aspect of Book Marketing and Promotion for authors to stomach

Mystery Book Promotion Sites – Mystery is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT Genre from Thriller and Suspense

One of the biggest mistakes new authors (and even experienced authors) make is assuming Mystery and Thriller and Suspense are all the same book genre

That readers who read Thrillers must also naturally be interested in Mystery

That Suspense readers are very open to reading Mystery Novels

This is NOT the case

These three are very, very different categories

It backfires spectacularly if

  1. An author thinks these three genres are the same and puts their Mystery Novel into a Thriller Category or a Thriller Sub Category
  2. An author tries to ‘game the system’ and reach more readers, and puts his Mystery novel into categories such as Suspense, Romantic Suspense, Technothriller, Thriller
  3. An author can’t figure out which of the three her/his book is – Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
    1. Or worse – thinks it is all three categories rolled into one book

There’s an ancient Chinese saying – the man who has one foot in one boat, and the other foot in another, usually ends up in the river

If you want to do well as an Author, your best best is to pick ONE out of these three categories and stick with that

Becoming a Bestseller – Leveraging the Top Mystery Book Promotion Sites to Become a Bestseller

Mystery is a very big category and is very competitive. Therefore it is a Big Endeavor to become a Bestseller in Mystery overall

At the same time, Mystery has a lot of smaller sub categories. It is quite possible to become a Bestseller in a smaller Mystery sub category. You can try that even with your first book (However, it is much easier if you gather marketing and writing experience first, and then try with your 3rd or 5th book)

There are three main types of Bestseller Status’es you can aim for

  1. Category Bestseller
    1. To achieve this you need to first identify the right categories to go for
    2. After that you need to get some of the top Mystery book promotion sites
      1. If you get Bookbub, then Bookbub alone is enough to get you to Category Bestseller Status in Mystery for a Mystery sub category
      2. If you can’t get Bookbub, then you need at least 2 out of Books Butterfly, eReader News Today, Robin Reads
        1. You can supplement that with a few more of the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites
    3. You can go for this even with your first book
  2. Amazon Top 100 Bestseller
    1. To achieve this you need to make 100% sure your book is in the right Mystery categories and sub categories
    2. After that you need
      1. Bookbub – necessary if you want to get to the Top 100
      2. 2 or more of the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites
        1. The more the merrier
    3. You need a well polished book with good reviews to go for Amazon Top 100 Bestseller status
      1. It also helps if this is your 3rd or 5th book, as it takes a few books for authors to get ‘into flow’ and produce their best work
      2. Having reviews Before or At the Start of the Book Promotion is critical
  3. New York Times Bestseller or USA Today Bestseller
    1. To achieve this you will need 5,000 to 10,000 sales in a week
      1. At least 500 of those should come from a non Amazon Kindle store
      2. It can be paperback sales
      3. It can be sales from Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, etc
    2. As above, you will need to make sure your book is in the right Mystery categories, and is in the right Mystery sub categories
    3. You absolutely need Bookbub
    4. You absolutely need every single one of the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites that you can get
    5. You absolutely need Facebook Ads
    6. You basically need every reliable book promotion source you can find

Let’s delve deeper into each of these

Becoming a Category Bestseller

Mystery has a lot of categories and sub categories. The smarter you are in choosing your book’s categories and sub categories, the higher the chance you become a Category Bestseller

Ideally, you want a combination of

  1. 2 or 3 very big Mystery Categories
    1. Categories such as Cozy Mystery, Murder Mystery
    2. Please pick only categories that are a good fit for your book
  2.  3 or 4 medium size categories
    1. Categories such as Detective Mystery, Forensic Mystery, Women Sleuths
    2. Again, these must be categories that fit your book
  3.  3 small categories
    1. Categories such as Culinary Cozy Mystery
    2. These must also be categories that fit your book very well
  4.  You want to have some big Mystery Categories because
    1. That ensures a lot of readers find your book when it starts selling. It will show up on the Top 100 lists for these big Mystery categories
      1. A lot of people check these lists
    2. You want to see if you manage to become a Top 10 Bestseller even in a large category
  5. You want to have some very small categories such as Culinary Cozy Mystery
    1. So that even in sales are not as good as you had hoped
    2. You can still hit #1 in this category and become a #1 Category Bestseller

As far as sales required to become a Category Bestseller

  1. Very Small Mystery Sub Category – You need 10 to 30 sales over a week
  2. Small Mystery Sub Category – You need 30 to 70 sales over a week
  3. Medium Mystery Sub Category or a Small Mystery Category – You need 70 to 150 sales over a week
  4. Large Mystery Sub Category or a Medium Sized Mystery Category – You need 100 to 250 sales over a week
  5. Large Mystery Category – You need 250 to 1,000 sales over a week

Authors tend to over-estimate how many sales their book will get. Therefore, it is imperative to select at least a few small and very small Mystery sub categories. That ensures that even if your sales are low you still become a Category Bestseller in a small category

Becoming an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller

For this you would need to get approved by Bookbub (the largest mystery book promotion site) and at least a few of the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites

Their approval process basically matches what you need to sell well – good reviews, a professionally designed book cover, the right book genres, professional editing, professional proofreading

  1. Firstly, focus on getting approved by Bookbub
    1. They have a 10% to 20% approval rate
    2. So you would have to keep improving your book and keep submitting, until you get approved
    3.  Getting Top 100 without Bookbub is very difficult so ensure this first step
  2. Secondly, focus on getting approved by as many of the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites as possible
    1. Almost must have – eReader News Today, Robin Reads, Books Butterfly
    2. Nice to Have – rest of the Top 10
    3. Schedule these on the same day as Bookbub or a day or two earlier
  3. Thirdly, add a few things such as smaller promotion sites and Facebook Ads for the days leading up to Bookbub
  4. You should have something that looks like
    1. Facebook Ads starting Day 1
    2. Day 1 and 2 – smaller mystery Book Promotion Sites
    3. Day 3 – Start Books Butterfly, as it has 5 to 7 day promotions
    4. Day 4 – 1 or 2 Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites
    5. Day 5 – Bookbub, one or both of Robin Reads and eReader News Today
    6. (if you want to keep sales rank high for a few days) A few book promotion sites on Days 6 and 7 and 8
  5. This structure will give you a very good chance of hitting the Top 100 in the Amazon Kindle Store

You should set this up a month or two in advance

Not planning it all out will usually lead to failure. So it is absolutely critical that you have a well planned out and a well structured book promotion and marketing push

Becoming a New York Times or USA Today Bestseller

Firstly, let us just point out that this is very hard and most authors should not be trying this

  1. You need a very good book
  2. You need a very polished book
    1. Beautiful, professionally designed cover
    2. Well edited
    3. Proof read with close to zero errors
  3. You need good reviews
  4. You need a good number of reviews
  5. You need 5,000 to 10,000 sales in a one week stretch
  6. You need at least 500 sales outside the Amazon Kindle store
  7. You need a lot of money
    1. Every incremental sale costs more and more
    2. The first 1,000 sales might cost you just $500 to $1,000 in marketing
    3. The next 1,000 sales will cost you $1,000 to $2,000
    4. It keeps getting costlier and costlier
  8. You need for everything to function smoothly
    1. The store might get the price wrong
    2. One of the key book promotion sites you are depending on might under perform
    3. Your book price might be wrong on one of the days
    4. The wrong category might show up on the book page
    5. A lot of things can go wrong. You have to be well prepared

That out of the way, let’s see a few things you can do to make it more realistic

  1. Going with a discounted price such as $0.99
    1. For someone who is not a ‘big brand name’ author, this is necessary
  2. Going with a Box Set
    1. Box Sets sell 3 times more than standalone books
    2. We mean an ACTUAL Box Set – a box set of 3 or more full length books
  3. Collaborating with other Authors and making a multi author box set
    1. Please note that some of the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites don’t accept multi author box sets
      1. So you would have to find replacement marketing sources
    2. The big advantage of multi author box sets are
      1. You can appeal to each individual author’s reader bases
      2. You can share marketing costs
      3. You can have a much larger total budget
  4. Getting a world class cover designer and creating a winning cover
    1. One of the biggest determinants of success if the quality of cover
    2. Please Note: If it is a box set then you must have an actual box set of books on the cover
  5. Getting very good reviews
    1. Quality of Reviews (well written reviews) and Review Rating (over 4 stars out of 5 stars) is more important than the number
    2. That being said, if you can also have a lot of reviews, that helps

The most important thing to remember when going for the New York Times Bestseller List or the USA Today Bestseller List is that they consider only a one week period. Find out what that is. Structure everything to be in that week. Make sure you have enough of a budget to get 5,000 to 10,000 sales in that one week

How to Increase the Number of Reviews you get after Promoting Your Mystery Book

Think about what compels you to review a product. It is usually one or more of

  1. A very high quality product
  2. Really liking the product
  3. The company requesting you to leave a review when you contact them
  4. Really good value for money
  5. The product being the best in class
  6. It being apparent that a lot of effort and hard work was put into the product
  7. Product being aesthetically very pleasing
  8. Product being very easy and intuitive to use
  9. Product being Fun and Enjoyable
  10. The product being exactly what it says it is
  11. The product delivering exactly what it promised it would

If you think about it at length, you will realize that these are the Exact Same Things that readers are looking for

To get more reviews you should do as many of the following as you can

  1.  Ask your Readers for Reviews
    1. Readers are completely unaware that reviews benefit the author
    2. If an author politely asks for reviews, readers who like the book will review it
    3. You must make sure you ask them for a review
  2. Sell as many books as you can
    1. The more books you sell, the more you will reach the set of readers who will love your book
    2. The more readers who love your book, the more reviews you will get
    3. While all the other points on this list are very important, the first two are absolutely crucial
      1. Sell as Many Books as You Can
      2. Ask your Readers for Reviews – inside the book, at the end of the book, on your book page, on your website, everywhere you can – Ask for Reviews!
  3. Improve the Quality of Your Writing
    1. You have 100% control over how good your writing is
    2. Rewrite your book
    3. Polish your book
    4. Improve your writing
    5. Write more and more books
  4.  Improve the Polish of your book
    1. Readers enjoyment increases greatly if they can immerse themselves COMPLETELY in the story world you have created
      1. Leave all their worries and troubles in the real world
      2. Fully enjoy your story
    2. To ensure this you must hire a good professional book editor and make sure your book is well edited and flows smoothly
    3. To ensure this you also must hire a good professional proof reader and make sure your book is free of typographical errors and spelling mistakes
    4. The more polished your book is, the more readers will enjoy it
    5. The more they enjoy it, the more likely they are to leave a review
  5. Do Not Settle for ‘Good Enough’
    1. ‘Good Enough’ is the Enemy of Great
    2. Make sure your book is a GREAT read
    3. If you settle for it being a ‘good’ read, then you should not expect a lot of reviews
    4. To write reviews, readers need to really FEEL good about the book
    5. The simplest way to get readers to really love the book is to write a GREAT book
  6. Be 100% Honest and Forthright about what the book is and what the book isn’t
    1. The more you mislead readers (whether intentionally or unintentionally) the lower the chance of getting reviews
    2. The more forthright you are with them, the higher the chance they will think highly of you and PROVIDED they like the book, will leave a good review
  7. Be Crystal Clear about the Book Categories and Sub Categories
    1. Readers who are the Perfect Fit for your book are more likely to enjoy it
      1. They are, therefore, more likely to leave a good review
    2. Readers who are not a good fit for your book are unlikely to enjoy it
      1. They are very unlikely to leave a good review
      2. They may, in some cases, leave a bad review
    3. You should make absolutely sure that your book is categorized in the right genres and sub genres
      1. The genres and sub genres on the book page are the primary way readers decide whether the book is right for them
      2. It is YOUR Responsibility to make sure they are 100% correct
  8. Focus 100% on Mystery Book Readers
    1. Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking – Readers are readers. Whether I promote my Mystery Book to people who love mysteries, or people who love Game of Thrones, it’s all the same
    2. People who love one book genre, want books in THAT genre
    3. You must focus 100% on people who love mystery novels
  9. Be Patient and Be Persistent
    1. You have to have patience because getting reviews is a skill
      1. The more you practice it the better you will get
      2. Initially, it will seem like nothing is working
      3. Gradually you will get better and better
    2. You have to be persistent
      1. This is particularly true about improving the quality of your book, improving your writing, and improving the level of polish of your book
      2. The more you work on these areas, the more reviews you will begin to get
      3. Be Persistent because you cannot succeed as an Author without persistence

These are all critical items

If you thought selling books was tough, wait until you start focusing on getting reviews

It’s even tougher

However, Getting Reviews for Your Books is a Skill and it is a Skill with a very big upside. The minute you start getting good at getting reviews for your books, you will see those reviews improve your book sales. This will create a virtuous positive cycle where

  1. Improving the quality of your writing and the polish of your book will lead to more reviews
  2. More Reviews will lead to More Sales
  3. More Sales will lead to More Reviews

It is very tough to get the hang of it. However once you do, it is a skill you will have all your life

Mystery Book Promotion Sites vs Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads provide unprecedented levels of targeting. You can narrow down to the ‘Perfect’ set of readers for your book PROVIDED you have a good idea of who the book will do well with

You can also use ‘Lookalike’ audiences. You can share your email list with Facebook and they will show your ads to other people similar to your email subscribers

You can also do ‘retargeting’ with Facebook Ads. You can ‘retarget’ your existing customers, or you can ‘retarget’ customers who showed interest in your products in the past

It’s best to think of the Top Mystery Book Promotion Sites and Facebook Ads as complementary marketing methods

Facebook Ads are great for

  1. Super Targeted Ads that reach a very specific set of mystery book readers
  2. Getting a steady stream of sales, albeit at a lower daily sales rate

Think of Facebook Ads as magically flying right to the homes of the people who are likely to be interested in your book, and handing them an Ad for your Book

As there is a cost to reach each set of readers (or a cost per click you get from these readers) you are limited in how many you can reach on a particular day by your daily budget

Mystery Book Promotion Sites are great for

  1. Reaching a ton of mystery book readers all in one go
  2. Sales ‘Bursts’ and sales rank spikes
  3. Doing book launches or going for a Bestseller List

Think of the top mystery book promotion sites as going to a large stadium or concert hall, which is full of readers interested in Mystery Books. You reach a lot of readers all at one go. However, most promotion sites have no way to reach these readers on a regular basis. So it is a one time large spike in interest and sales

The major downsides of Facebook Ads are

  1. Facebook Ads are competitive as lots of companies and creators are trying to reach those same set of readers
    1. The cost per click keeps going up
  2. You can use Facebook Ads for a steady trickle of sales
    1. Creating a big spike, however, becomes cost prohibitive

The major downsides of Mystery Book Promotion Sites are

  1. The major mystery book promotion sites will only let you promote your book once every 3 to 6 months
    1. You can get a big spike during the promotion
    2. However, then you have to wait for 1 or 3 or 6 months before promoting again
  2. Mystery book promotion sites are much smaller than Facebook
    1. The two largest book promotion Sites, Bookbub and Books Butterfly, have 12 million readers and 4 million readers
    2. That pales in comparison to Facebook’s 2 billion customers
  3. Mystery book promotion sites will only accept the books they think will do well
    1. This means that you must first have a good, well polished book
    2. Facebook Ads can be used to promote anything. There is no quality criteria

You will notice that these are very complementary marketing channels. The strengths of one are the weaknesses of the other. They can and should be used together

Mystery Book Promotion Sites vs Amazon Marketing Services

Amazon Marketing Services work decently well for Mystery because it is such a big book genre and because there are so many popular Mystery Authors and popular mystery books

  1. Amazon Marketing Services work best when you put your Ad on the book pages for books that are already very popular among Mystery Readers
  2. You have to do the research and figure out which popular Mystery Authors and which popular Mystery books are most similar to yours
  3. You then have to test and see which of these generate good sales for your book, when you advertise on their pages
  4. Unfortunately, 50% of authors will not be able to make Amazon Marketing Services work and send them clicks
  5. Unfortunately, another 25% of authors will not be able to get a decent REturn on Investment i.e. they will be spending much more on advertising with AMS than they make in book sales
  6. That leaves 25% of authors who will be able to make AMS work
    1. Within this 25% there will also be 5% of authors will can REALLY make Amazon Marketing Services work
    2. Your aim should be to try and get into this top 5%
  7. Amazon Marketing Services are as tougher to learn as Facebook Ads. Perhaps even tougher
    1. However, they do not have the same upside

Our recommendation would be

  1. If you are pressed for time, focus on Facebook Ads and marketing with the top Mystery Book Promotion Sites
  2. If you have time, test out Amazon Marketing Services and see if you can get into the 25% of authors who can make Amazon Marketing Services work
    1. Ideally, you want to get into the 5% for whom AMS works very well
  3. If you can get AMS to work for you, the combine them with Facebook Ads and the top Mystery Book Promotion Sites to create a three header hydra that powers your marketing and promotion

Please remember that there are a LOT of different marketing methods. You should focus on what works for you. You should also avoid marketing channels where it beings to seem you need a PhD to figure out how to make it work

The 3 Core Skills for Authors

The 3 Core Skills for Authors are

  1. Knowing What to Write (Writing the Right Book for The Right Market)
    1. This is basically – Product Market Fit
    2. Being able to find the right market and the right product for it
    3. Can you write a book that sells? A book for which there is a big market? If you can, then you Know What to Write
  2. Writing Very High Quality Books
    1. This is Quality of your Product
    2. Can you write and rewrite and polish until you have a very high quality book?
  3. Marketing Your Books Very Well
    1. This is Marketing and Sales
    2. You have The Right Product for The Right Market
    3. You have created it in high quality (it is a well written and well polished book)
    4. Do you now have the skills and ability to sell it?

If you can master one of these three skills, and also become very good at the two remaining skills, then you will be very successful as an author

If you can become very good at all 3 skills, then even without mastering one of the skills, you can still have a decent career as an author

Basically, your success as an author is completely dependent on how good you become at these three skills

What makes it tricky is that you have to have at least a decent level of skill in EACH of these three skills. It is not enough to become world class in one skill and ignore the other two skills. You must become very good in each of these three skills

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

How the 3 Core Skills apply to Mystery Book Promotion

The 3 Core Skills apply to Mystery Book Promotion in some very specific ways

  1. Knowing What to Write (Writing the Right Book for the Right Market)
    1. Mystery has very specific sub genres, which have entirely different genre conventions
    2. For example
      1. Cozy Mystery novels are read mostly by women and mostly involve a Female Sleuth solving a ‘cozy’ murder mystery
        1. You have to write something that appeals to women
        2. You have to write that ticks the boxes of what a Cozy Mystery must delivery
        3. Sub Genres within Cozy Mystery include some very specific ones, such as
          1. Cozy Culinary Mystery
          2. Cozy Animal Mystery
          3. Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths
      2. Hard Boiled Mystery novels, on the other hand, are generally read more by men
        1. You have to write something which matches the specific sub genre conventions of a Hard Boiled Mystery
        2. The writing is not ‘light and cozy’ like a Cozy Mystery
        3. The mood is generally more somber
      3. Forensic Mystery novels are completely different from the earlier two
        1. They appeal to both men and women
        2. They must involve ‘forensics’
        3. As they are mysteries, they must avoid ‘Forensic Thriller’ conventions, and focus more on the mystery
        4. They must also have a more reasonable pace than Forensic Thrillers
    3. These three genres all fall within ‘Mystery Novels’
      1. However, they are completely different
      2. It takes a completely different mindset to write each
      3. The audience is also almost completely different
    4. Writing Mystery Novels requires a LOT of upfront investment to figure out
      1. What Mystery Genres and Sub Genres you should write in
      2. Whether or not there is a market for this sub genre
      3. Whether or not you can write a very good book in this Mystery sub genre
    5. You also have to investigate how competitive a category is, and whether there are successful authors in it, or not
      1. You might have your heart set on writing Detective Noir Mystery Novels
      2. However, those are 1/10th the market of larger Mystery sub genres like Cozy Mystery and Murder Mystery
      3. Is it really worth it to cut your potential book sales by 90%?
        1. Do you really like Detective Noir so much?
      4. The interesting thing is that most authors find that
        1. Writing in the genre ‘they think they love’ might not be as much fun as writing in a more commercially viable Mystery sub genre
        2. That sales (actually selling their book) is more motivating than every other factor
          1. That their REAL passion is getting readers reading their books and that takes priority over what they personally like to read
  2. Writing Very High Quality Books
    1. Mystery is a very, very big category
    2. Mystery has some sub genres that are also very, very big categories
    3. As there is a lot of money, and as there are a lot of readers, Mystery itself is very competitive
      1. Even many Mystery sub genres are very competitive
    4. If you do not write a very high quality book you have very little chance of succeeding
    5. This is a big risk factor
      1. Please do not get into writing Mystery Novels if you are not 100% sure you can deliver a very well written, very well polished mystery book
      2. The competition is BRUTAL and without a high quality book your chances of doing well are slim to none
  3. Marketing Your Books Very Well
    1. Mystery has a lot of good marketing options, including a good number of very strong Mystery Book Promotion Sites
    2. Mystery book promotion also works well with Facebook Ads
    3. At the same time, there are a LOT of Mystery authors
    4. Not only will you have to find out what marketing channels work for Mystery, and what don’t
    5. You will also have to find out how to maximize each marketing channel

While Marketing Your Books Very Well is a critical skill in every book genre, it is especially important in Mystery because

  1. The competition is BRUTAL
  2. The number of readers is Very High
  3. The prize of becoming a successful author can be quite lucrative

In Mystery, Learning to Market Very Well is almost as important as Knowing What Book to Write

Mystery is one of the few categories where you will see Authors who are good book marketers do well with almost mediocre books. Because of the large number of Mystery readers, and because there are a lot of good Mystery book promotion and marketing channels, the Marketing Your Books Very Well skill is crucially important for Mystery Authors

The 11 Golden Rules of Mystery Book Promotion

The more of these rules you follow, the better your chances of doing well as a Mystery Author

  1. Mystery Book Promotion with the Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites only works if you have a Mystery Novel
    1. This is so obvious and yet it is the #1 reason authors’ promotions don’t do well – You have to promote the book in the right genre for the book
      1. Mystery Book Promotion will only work if you have a mystery novel
        1. Are you sure you have a mystery novel?
        2. Is there actually a mystery?
        3. Does it meet and exceed Mystery genre conventions?
      2. Are you sure it’s not a thriller?
      3. Is it going to make mystery readers happy? or not?
    2. Please make sure your book is a mystery novel and that you have it in the right Mystery sub genres
  2. The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Mystery Book Genres to Write In & Promote In
    1. You must make sure you have done your due diligence and written for The Right Market
    2. You must make sure you have done market research and written The Right Product for this Right Market
    3. You must put your book into these correct book categories in the book stores
      1. They must match
      2. You cannot have your Mystery novel put in Romance or Non Fiction or Fantasy
    4. You must promote your book in these correct book categories
    5. Your book page, your book cover, your book title, the genres you select, and your book description must all match the right book categories for the book
  3. Product Market Fit is more important than Product and more important than Marketing
    1. Writing The Right Product for The Right Market is more important than how well you write, how well you market, and everything else you can think of
    2. Anything at all you can think of (winning a prize, having reviews, having good reviews, having a good profile picture, having a beautiful cover)
      1. It is not as important as Product Market Fit
      2. Product – the Right Product
      3. Market – the Right Market
      4. Product Market Fit – The Right Product for The Right Market
    3. If someone orders a pizza and you take them a delicious ice cream cake, they are not going to care how good it looks, or how tasty it is
      1. They want A PIZZA
      2. Product Market Fit trumps everything else
  4. It is easier to succeed in a Good Market than to fail in a tough market
    1. When you pick a Good Market, things are pretty straightforward
      1. You would still have to work hard
      2. However, your work will be rewarded
      3. Succeeding will require providing The Right Product for this Right Market
        1. Which is pretty straightforward
    2. If you pick the Wrong Market, things are complicated and frustrating
      1. No matter how hard you work, it is unlikely you will succeed
      2. Not only will you fail, it will be a long and hard slog
      3. It might take you years and years before you realize you’ve picked the wrong market
    3. That brings us to a very strange conclusion
      1. If you pick the right market, success is straightforward and if you work hard enough you will get it
      2. If you pick the wrong market, no matter how hard you work, the most likely possibility is failure
        1. In fact, success is almost impossible if you’ve picked the wrong market
      3. If you do not work very hard on doing market research and figuring out what is THE RIGHT MARKET for you to write in
      4. If you do not work very hard on finding out what is THE RIGHT PRODUCT for this RIGHT MARKET
      5. Then you are choosing the long, tough road to Not Succeeding
        1. For want of a nail, a kingdom was lost
        2. Make sure you take the time and do the market research and make sure you are writing The Right Product for The Right Market
  5. Quality of Product (How Good Your Book Is) Becomes Very Important PROVIDED You are in the Right Market and Marketing to the Right Readers
    1. Yes, the thing that most authors think is the only thing that matters (how good the writing is) is important
    2. However, it is only important if
      1. You are in The Right Market
      2. You have written The Right Product for This Right Market
      3. You have marketed the book well and to The Right Readers
      4. You have packaged the book beautifully so These Right Readers make the purchase (they actually buy your book)
      5. PROVIDED you get all this right
        1. From that point on, the quality of the book is very important
    3. If you get any of the above wrong
      1. Then even the most beautiful writing is worthless
  6. Quality of Product is the Most Important Determinant of Success AFTER you get Product Market Fit right and Marketing right
    1. You get Product Market Fit right
    2. You get Marketing right
    3. Then the Right Readers have The Right Product written for The Right Market in their hands
    4. At that point – Quality of Product becomes critical
      1. A very, very well written book will get reviews and word of mouth and become a hit
        1. You still have to keep marketing
      2. A well written book will get a few reviews  and some worth of mouth and sell decently well
      3. A book that is not written well will not get reviews and will fail
  7. Don’t fall in love with your book until you’ve made it a Success
    1. This is exceedingly difficult to do
    2. You can never fall in love with your product before the market has fallen in love with it
      1. When your book has sold 100,000 copies and made you a good amount of money
        1. AFTER that, it is OK to fall madly and irrationally in love with it
        2. To start believing it is the best book ever written
        3. Just be aware that falling in love with a book that sells 100,000 copies means you are unlikely to ever sell million copies of any book
      2.  Before a book has sold 100,000 copies, it is madness to fall in love with it
        1. If the market is not buying the book, it means there is room for improvement
        2. If you fall in love with your book before it is a success, you will be unable to look at it objectively
          1. Which means you won’t improve it
          2. Which, in turn, means you will not be able to make it a success
    3.  This is a really hard decision and yet one that each author has to make
      1. Will you fall in love with your book, and then refuse to ever improve it
      2. Will you be objective about your book, and keep improving it
      3. The latter will find success some of the time
      4. The former will almost never find success
      5. Imagine if you had a kid and you told that kid – You are perfect. You don’t need to do your home work. You don’t need to do your chores. You don’t need to treat people well.You don’t need to respect me, your parent
        1. That’s the WORST thing you could do to your child
        2. Falling in love with your book, and thinking it is perfect, is the WORST thing you can do to your book
          1. It’s also the worst thing you could do to your career as an author
  8. Your Book is a Product form of Your Story
    1. It does not matter how good ‘Your Story’ is
    2. It only matters how good the product you build around ‘Your Story’ is
    3. A book is a PRODUCT
      1. It comprises of
        1. Is it written for the Right Market
        2. Is it the Right Product for this Right Market
        3. Is it polished
        4. Is it packaged well
        5. Is it marketed to the right people
        6. And many other aspects
      2. The core ‘story’ which you are madly in love with, is not a product
      3. You are not selling ‘your story’
      4. You are selling a product built on top of ‘your story’
    4. One of the biggest flaws in authors’ thinking is that they ASSUME that because the core story is powerful, they don’t need to build a PRODUCT and the story will magically do everything and solve all problems they face
      1. Every person has a powerful story
      2. Every single person on this planet has lived at least one really amazing experience
      3. What makes a book a success is when the author can transform that powerful experience into a POWERFUL BOOK
        1. A book is a product
        2. It is taking a powerful story/experience and converting it into a must have product
  9. Those who Listen to the Market will Always Win over those who Listen to Their Heart
    1. Before writing a book
      1. People who listen to the Market
        1. Look at what is actually selling
        2. Choose an area that is both selling and they are passionate about and they can write well in
        3. Then they create a product for a market that exists
      2. People who listen to their Heart
        1. Just write whatever they want to write
        2. Then they hope and pray it happens to be something people want to buy and read
    2. After writing a book and launching it
      1. People who listen to the Market
        1. Look at what feedback the readers and the Market is giving them
        2. Make adjustments and changes based on this feedback
        3. Transform their PRODUCT (their book) to better meet the market’s needs
          1. If required, create a new product (write a new book) that better meets the market’s needs
      2. People who listen to their heart
        1. Don’t listen to the market
        2. Get mad that people aren’t buying ‘their masterpiece’
    3. When you are buying a product, let’s say a kitchen sink, what would you buy?
      1. A Kitchen Sink made by a company that listened to the market
        1. The company built a very useful kitchen sink that meets customers’ needs
        2. They listened to feedback, and improved the kitchen sink to meet customer needs even more
      2. A Kitchen Sink made by a company that followed their heart
        1. The kitchen sink makes the company happy, but it doesn’t really do what customers need it to do
        2. The kitchen sink is never improved because the company is already happy and doesn’t care about the changes customers are asking for
      3. You would never buy the second Kitchen Sink. Then why are you writing a book (creating a product) based on your own personal whims and fancies and then expecting readers to magically purchase it?
        1. If you make something that readers DESIRE, and not something that you desire, then it will sell
  10. Product Market Fit Always Wins
    1. Making The Right Product for The Right Market Always Wins
    2. There is nothing that is as powerful as writing the right book for the right market
      1. Giving readers what they want and are asking for and are buying
    3. You can waste 2 years of your life trying to prove this wrong, or you can waste your entire career
      1. Product Market Fit always beats everything else
  11. The Market Always Wins
    1. The Market Always Wins
    2. Readers decide what to buy and what not to buy
    3. You can try every trick in the book
      1. Nothing works as well as just giving the market what it is asking for
      2. The Market Always Wins so just write what people are dying to read

Mystery is a huge book category and it is an evergreen category. However, it has very strict rules. You can’t tap dance and blaze a bright new path to success which has never worked before until you showed everyone it can be done. You have to follow the rules if you want to be a success

Leave a Reply

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