Top 10 Historical 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 Historical Fiction books

The Top 10 – The Top 10 Historical Fiction Book Promotion Sites

  1. BookBub
    1. The largest book promotion site for Historical Fiction book promotion
      1. Gets the best results
      2. Has millions of readers for Historical Fiction (over 3 million)
    2. Strong in all Historical Fiction categories
    3. Very difficult to get approved as Bookbub accepts only 10% to 20% of submissions
  2. eReader News Today
    1. A good, trusted book promotion site that has been helping authors since 2010 and has between half a million and a million readers
    2. Very Strong for Historical Fiction
    3. Very reasonably priced
  3. Books Butterfly
    1. The 2nd largest book promotion site for Historical Fiction
      1. 700,000 of its 4 million readers are interested in Historical Fiction Novels
    2. Strong in lots of different Historical Fiction categories
      1. Very Strong: World War II Historical Fiction, Women’s Historical Fiction, American Historical Fiction, Turn of the Century Historical Fiction
      2. Strong: Historical Mystery, Historical Adventure, Medieval Historical Fiction, Regency Historical Fiction, most Historical Fiction categories and sub categories
      3. Decently Strong: Late 20th Century Historical Fiction, Biographical Historical Fiction, Arthurian Historical Fiction, Ancient World Historical Fiction
      4. Not Strong: Asian Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction based in regions other than America and Europe
    3. Books Butterfly has a dedicated Historical Fiction email list, a dedicated app, a dedicated blog, and dedicated websites
    4. Will not accept any book that does not have a professionally designed book cover
    5. Disclosure: Books Butterfly is our Sister Company which has successfully run $1.9 million of book promotion packages
  4. Robin Reads
    1. Robin Reads is an excellent and effective site that is growing very quickly
    2. Delivers good results for Historical Fiction
    3. Sells out 2 to 3 weeks in advance, so please make sure to book early
    4. Does well for nearly every Historical Fiction book they accept
      1. They accept only 10% of books submitted, which makes Robin Reads the most selective book promotion site
  5. Book Sends
    1. A large and effective book promotion site that has been helping authors since 2012
    2. Roughly 250,000 readers with a large number of readers interested in Historical Fiction
    3. Please read the BookSends website for their acceptance criteria
  6. Free Booksy & Bargain Booksy
    1. Free Booksy promotes free books and is a Top 5 book promotion site to promote historical fiction free novels
    2. Bargain Booksy promotes paid books and is a Top 10 book promotion site to promote historical fiction books
    3. They are reasonably strong in most Historical Fiction categories
    4. Their combined size is nearly one million readers
  7. Fussy Librarian
    1. A good and effective book promotion site that is very reasonably priced
    2. As it is very cheap you can quickly and easily test whether it works for your books
    3. Have a lot of different choices. Please be sure to pick the book genre that is the best match for your book
  8. To Be Finalized
    1. We are evaluating additional Historical Fiction book promotion sites and will update spots #8 and #9 and #10 in the near future
  9. To Be Finalized
  10. To Be Finalized

These are all very effective and trusted historical fiction book promotion sites. In general, your book should do well with 70% or more of them (which ones varies from book to book)

Honorable Mentions – Historical Fiction Book Promotion sites that just missed the Top 10

  1. FKBT – Free Kindle Books & Tips
  2. OHFB – One Hundred Free Books
  3. Genre Pulse
  4. Book Gorilla
  5. Kindle Nation Daily

We will be adding more Historical Fiction book promotion sites in the future

Detailed Insights on the Top 10 Historical Fiction Book Promotion sites

To Be Updated

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

Increasing Your Chances of Getting Accepted for a Historical Fiction Book Promotion with the Top Historical Fiction Book Promotion Sites

The Top Historical Fiction Book Promotion sites will filter for books that do well with historical fiction readers. Their requirements, therefore, are the exact same things that lead to good sales with historical fiction readers

Please keep that in mind

  1. You will usually have to make several improvements to your book and your book’s sell-ability to get approved by the top historical fiction book promotion sites
  2. Those improvements will help your book sales
    1. Not just when promoting with the best historical fiction book promotion sites
    2. Also for the rest of the life of your book
  3. The more effort you put into following guidelines and meeting approval criteria, the better your book sales will be For The Rest of the Life of Your Book

There are 8 Main Factors that lead to getting approved by the top historical fiction book promotion sites

  1. Having Good Reviews and a High Review Rating
    1. Readers trust other readers more than anyone else
    2. If there are good reviews from readers, other readers instantly think your book is worth buying
    3. Most important is to have a high review rating (4 stars or higher out of 5 stars) and to have well written reviews
    4. After that, it is good to have a high number of reviews
    5. Having 4.5 stars rating on 10 reviews is better than 3.9 stars on 1,000 reviews
    6. A review rating below 4 stars will cut your sales by 50% to 70%
    7. A review rating below 4 stars will also eliminate your chances of getting approved at many of the top historical fiction book promotion sites
  2.  Having a Beautiful Book Cover that fits the Historical Fiction Book Category
    1. Please get a professionally designed book cover
    2. You must ensure that you do not interfere in the cover design process
      1. 99% of authors think they can make a better book cover than the book designer who has been doing it for 10 years
      2. In reality, less than 1% of authors can
      3. Chances are, you are not in the 1%
        1. So leave the book cover design to the professional
        2. This also includes what goes on the cover. Apart from rough guidelines please let the book cover designer make something that sells and something that gets reader to click
          1. Trying to improve your personal desires on what the book cover should be almost always kills sales
          2. If you care very deeply to have ‘your own stamp’ on the book cover, then have the cover designer make a second cover according to your tastes and frame it in your house
            1. That way, at least you aren’t killing your book sales
    3. The cover must be well designed and have attention to detail
      1. There should be just one central theme
    4. The Book must match Historical Fiction book conventions
      1. One of those is high quality
        1. If your cover is clumsy, then readers will think your writing is clumsy
      2. Another is attention to detail
        1. If your cover is hastily put together, then readers will think so is your writing
      3. The quality of your cover is taken as a proxy for the quality of your writing
    5. The cover must be bright and clear
      1. Just because you have written a gloomy book does not mean you make your cover dark and dreary and torture every reader over 40 as they try to figure out what is on your book cover
        1. That does not make readers think – such an indecipherable and dark cover. This book must be a masterpiece
        2. They just skip it and move on to a book that has a nice, bright cover which clearly indicates what the book genre is and gets the reader to click on it
  3. Quality of the Writing
    1. Most authors think writing is the Only thing that matters for approval
    2. In reality, most books that get rejected, get rejected before a single page of the book has been read
      1. This is true when applying at the book promotion sites
      2. This is also true when selling the book to readers
    3. People will read your book and judge the quality of your writing only AFTER
      1. Confirming the book is in the right book categories
      2. Seeing the Book Cover’s quality
  4. Professional Editing and Professional Proof Reading
    1. Historical Fiction readers have a high quality bar
    2. A book must be professionally edited by a professional editor with 10 or more years of experience of editing Historical Fiction books
    3. A book must also be professionally proof read by a professional proof reader
    4. The bar in Historical Fiction is high. Make sure you get well qualified professionals
  5.  Are the Book Categories and Sub Categories right?
    1. If an author is in the wrong book categories, then it means either
      1. The Author does not care
      2. The Author is a new author and does not know how everything works
      3. The Author is trying to game the system, without realizing that gaming the system hasn’t worked since 2012
    2. All of these are red flags
    3. If you want to get approved by the top historical fiction book promotion sites you must
      1. Know what your book’s correct categories and sub categories are
      2. Have your book in the right Historical Fiction book categories
  6. Will the book do well with the book promotion site’s readers?
    1. Every historical fiction book promotion site has its experience of what types of books do well with its readers, and what types of books don’t
    2. If your book is one of the types of books which does will with a book promotion site, then it is more likely to get accepted
  7. Is the Book long enough to be a satisfying read?
    1. Historical Fiction readers will almost never buy a book shorter than 150 pages
    2. If you are going to immerse yourself into a story world
    3. If you are going to immerse yourself into a different era
    4. Then the story better be 150 to 300 pages in length so that you can get full enjoyment out of your investment
      1. The longer the better
      2. Even longer than 300 pages is good
    5. Please don’t be that person who insists short stories are a higher art form and readers should pay just as much for your 29 page short story as they do for a 257 page novel
  8. Is the Book worth the readers’ time?
    1. This is a hard to explain concept
    2. Basically, the reader is taking their ‘one book a week’ or ‘one book a month’ priceless time and giving it to your book
    3. Have you put in enough effort to make it worth the reader’s precious time?

There are some additional criteria that can play a part. Please note that these apply only AFTER you meet the earlier qualifications

  1. Having won a significant award
    1.  Only Big Awards count i.e. Booker, National Book Award, Shamus, RITA, Golden Quill, Man Booker, etc
  2. Being a Bestselling Author
    1. Only 3 bestseller rankings apply
      1. New York Times Bestseller List
      2. USA Today Bestseller List
      3. WSJ Bestseller List
  3. An exceptionally well written book
  4. Very very good reviews
  5. Doing a really good Book Page with a very well written and interesting Author Profile, and a simple and elegant or catchy book description
  6. An exceptionally well designed or very beautiful book cover
    1. This leads to a lot of sales. So this might get you approved even without reviews
  7. A complete lack of spelling mistakes and typographical mistakes
  8. Attention to Detail
    1. If there is a pattern of attention to detail across Writing, Book Cover, Author Profile, Book Description, then your chances of approval go up quite a bit

Historical Fiction book promotion sites simply want to take books that will sell. It’s that simple. Make your book a high quality, polished product and put it in the right Historical Fiction genres and sub genres

Historical Fiction Book Promotion Sites – Biggest Mistakes to Avoid

Writing Historical Fiction is quite difficult. It requires developing your writing skills, getting into the mindset of the era and of the character, and it requires a lot of historical research

After doing so much hard work, it is important to not make any mistakes that kill your book promotion and marketing efforts. These are the 8 main mistakes to avoid

  1. Being Historically Inaccurate
    1. All your hard work will be for naught if your book is not historically accurate
    2. Historical Fiction readers, in what should not be a big surprise, care an awful lot about historical accuracy
    3. You have to ensure every single detail in your historical fiction novel is historically accurate
  2. Promoting your Historical Fiction novel before it is ready
    1. There are three points at which an author starts believing they are ready to launch their book
      1. When it is 10% ready
        1. Thankfully, most authors realize this is a trap
      2. When it is 50% ready
        1. Unfortunately, 80% of authors publish it at this stage and start marketing it
        2. They usually underperform massively (compared to how well they could have done)
      3. When it is 90% ready
        1. Launching it at this point and promoting it and marketing it is not the worst thing in the world
        2. The difference between 90% ready and 100% ready is usually 3 to 10 times more sales if you wait for 100% ready
    2. In stark contrast, after you really work hard on your book and actually have it ready, you feel that it isn’t really ready
      1. If you really work hard on your book, you know there are always areas to improve
      2. You ship it (launch it) when you must, even though you know it isn’t as good as it could be/should be
    3. Basically
      1. If you think it is ready, it is not ready
      2. At the point that you start feeling it is 90% ready, then you are halfway done
      3. At the point that it is really ready you will begin to see so many ways that it could be improved and realize it will never really be ready
  3. Putting your book in the wrong categories
    1. If you put your Historical Fiction novel in to the wrong category, which is not a Historical Fiction category, it will be a disaster
    2. If you put your Historical Fiction novel in to Historical Fiction categories, but the wrong ones, then it will sell slowly
    3. The only real solution is to figure out EXACTLY which Historical Fiction genres and sub genres it fits into
      1. Put it into only those categories
      2. Promote it only in those categories
      3. Make sure the book title, book cover, book description, and categories at the book store meet exactly those categories
  4. Messing up the pricing or discount of the book
    1. After you are very famous and successful, you can hold long discussions on ‘fair price for a book’ and ‘the worth of my work’
    2. At the beginning, your work has zero worth because no one even knows you exist
      1. Your problem is not ‘making profits’, your problem is creating awareness you exist
    3. Price your book at the highest price at which it will sell well
      1. If you are completely new you will have to use $0 to create awareness and $0.99 to move it
      2. If your work starts becoming very good and/or you start developing a reader base then you can use all three of – $0, $0.99, $2.99
      3. After you’ve sold 10,000 books, then you can try higher price points like $4.99
    4. It’s crucially important to always think in terms of – gathering as many life long loyal readers as you can
      1. 90% of your profits (your real earnings) and 50%+ of your revenues will be from loyal repeat customers
    5. Price your book high AFTER readers know how good your writing is and value you as an author
      1. Never BEFORE because new authors who price high always remain unknown authors (unless a Publisher pours millions into marketing and promoting their book)
  5. Trying to get by with a low quality cover or a home made cover
    1. Low quality cover – Historical Fiction readers tend to believe that authors who get low quality covers put the exact same level of effort into their writing
      1. If you spent 3 years researching and writing your book
      2. And then spent $10 or half an hour on Photoshop to make the cover
      3. Who else can you blame for not selling well, other than the person who made that decision?
    2. Home Made Cover – The best way to end your career before it begins is to make your book’s cover yourself
      1. This has 3 unintended consequences
        1. Firstly, you will most probably NEVER realize that the reason for low sales is your self made cover
        2. Secondly, every ready who sees a cover made by a person with a grand total of 1 to 4 hours of cover design experience will be REPELLED by the cover
          1. Yes, repelled
        3.  Thirdly, that feeling of ‘having saved money and not realizing you’ve actually killed your career’ will take hold in other ways and you will start doing other things like ‘getting family members to leave fake glowing reviews’ and ‘editing your book yourself’
          1. Once you start believing that it is all easy and doesn’t require hard work, you make it really tough for yourself to do well as an author
    3. You MUST get a professionally designed book cover by a world class cover designer. Some one like or
      1. They exist at all price ranges
      2. Find the person in your family or friend circle who is an actual artist or designer
      3. Have them pick a cover designer
  6. Pretending Product Quality does not matter
    1. Your Book is a Product
    2. It will not sell based on how much You Think it should sell
    3. It will sell based on whether a market exists for it or not, and whether it is a high quality product or not, and whether you market it well or not
    4. Authors usually get all three wrong. For now let’s consider only product quality
    5. A high quality packet of chips will almost always outsell a low quality packet of chips
    6. There are so many authors selling packets of chips (books) that you must have a high quality packet of chips (book) or you don’t have any chance at all
  7. Not doing Marketing Research and Writing a Book for a market that does not exist
    1. Authors will jump in and spend 3 to 7 years of their life writing a book
    2. Then they will spend half their life savings on marketing and promotion
    3. The vast majority (90%) will find that
      1. Either the market does not exist
      2. Or that their book is not the right product for the market (the next point covers this more)
    4. You can save yourself and avoid being in this 90% by spending a few weeks to a few months AT THE START
      1. See if there is a market for what you want to write
        1. If there is not, then write for a DIFFERENT market, one which actually exists
      2. See if what you want to write is The Right Product for this market
        1. If it is not, then write a DIFFERENT BOOK, one which is the right book for this market
    5. You will have to do very deep research to confirm you have found a good market
      1. Are there lots of authors doing well in this market?
      2. Is the competition not too much?
      3. Is it a market that is Eternal or one that might go away in 3 years
      4. Is it steady (good) or growing (ideal) or is it declining (not good at all)?
      5. Can you write the right book for this Right Market?
  8. Writing the Wrong Book after Finding the Right Market
    1. Let’s say you do 3 months of hard work on market research
    2. You find a Great Market, full of readers eager to buy new good books written for this market
    3. At that point you have to let go of
      1. Your Personal Desires
      2. Wanting to ‘change’ people
      3. Your Self Image and how you see yourself
    4. You have to focus COMPLETELY on what the market is asking for
      1. The Market speaks clearly and cleanly – it tells you EXACTLY what you need to write to succeed
      2. If you listen to the market and follow instructions perfectly, you will do well
      3. If you try to impose what YOU wish the market would buy, then you will not do well
    5. It’s a beautiful test, in a way
      1. Can you set aside what you want personally
      2. Can you write EXACTLY what the market wants to buy
      3. A very simple and powerful test
  9. Ignoring the Importance of Editing and Proofreading
    1. There is no option other than to work with a professional book editor
      1. There really isn’t
    2. There is no option other than to hire a professional proof reader
      1. Again, anyone telling you otherwise is teaching you to self sabotage your career as a historical fiction author
  10. Not knowing who your book is written for
    1. This goes back to Market Research
    2. Ideally, you want to do Market Research BEFOREHAND and write the book with your target audience and target Historical Fiction genres IN MIND
      1. In that case you are set
    3. If you have already written your book, and you never thought about what market it is written for, or what readers it is written for
      1. There might still be hope
      2. Spend as much time as you can to figure out EXACTLY who the Perfect Readers for your book are
      3. Do the Due Diligence to find out what the best categories and sub categories for your book are
    4. Finding out who your book is written for, cannot be done in a few days
      1. You need to give a few weeks to a few months
  11. Making Excuses if your book does not sell OR if your book does not sell as well as you would like
    1. If your book does not sell at all
      1. Firstly, it almost always means you have written a book for the wrong market, or your marketing is very bad
      2. Secondly, it is your product. If it is not selling, you have to figure out why it isn’t selling
      3. Thirdly, you must find a reason that YOU can change
        1. Any excuses you find might make you happy in the short term
        2. However, they will be EXTERNAL reasons that you cannot change
        3. Instead find the ACTUAL reason the book is not selling
          1. It will almost always be INTERNAL reasons which you can change
    2. If your book does not sell as well as you would like
      1. Firstly, congratulations as you’ve found a market that buys your book
        1. Plus your book is good enough to sell
        2. Plus your marketing is good enough to sell at least some books
      2. Secondly, figure out which of these three factors are causing sales to be slow
        1. Is the market too small?
          1. Means you have to write for a different market
        2. Is your book the wrong product for the market?
          1. In this case, first confirm it is a very big market
          2. After that, write The Right Book for this market
        3. Is your marketing not effective?
          1. Find out what marketing works for your book
        4. Is your book not good enough?
          1. Yeah, you don’t want to believe this
          2. No author does
          3. If the market is right, the product is right, and the marketing is right
          4. Then the ONLY reason a book is not selling well is that it is not as polished as it needs to be
          5. Even the right product will not sell if it is not polished and improved
      3. The less excuses you make, the more books you will sell
  12. Being Impatient
    1. If you’ve chosen to write Historical Fiction novels, the thing you can afford least is impatience

Please don’t make these mistakes. A few of these are mistakes you cannot recover from. The rest are mistakes that take years and years to recover from. It is better to take 6 to 12 months and think carefully about what to write and what quality level to aim for and what market to write for, than to spend 3 to 6 years writing the wrong product (book)

Historical Fiction Book Promotion Sites – Improving the Results of Your Historical Fiction Book Promotion with the Top Historical Fiction Book Promotion Sites

There are basically 10 key things you can do (and should do) to maximize the results of your book promotion with the top historical fiction book promotion sites

  1. Place your book in the Perfect Fit Historical Fiction Genres and Sub Genres
    1. Please take the time to research exactly what Historical Fiction genres and sub genres your book fits into
      1. Make sure your book cover, book title, book description, book page, and author profile convey that clearly and accurately
      2. Make sure that the Historical Fiction genres and sub genres you choose for your book at the ebook stores matches their actual genres and sub genres
      3. Make sure to promote them as their actual genres and sub genres
  2. Promote only AFTER your Historical Fiction novel is ready for prime time
    1. Please Note: This is not applicable if you have infinite money
    2. In general, you will have a marketing budget
    3. Most authors want to spend all of their marketing budget at the very beginning
      1. At that stage their book is half baked
      2. They know next to nothing about where to advertise
      3. They will follow advice from authors without considering whether the author is in the same categories, has a polished book, has a well written book, is accurate in their measuring of results
    4. Basically, the LAST thing you want to do is spend most of your money when you know very little
    5. Firstly, your Historical Fiction in most cases will need a lot of polish before it is ready for a big marketing push
    6. Secondly, you will have to read up quite a bit on marketing and promotion of books before you can spend your money wisely
    7. Thirdly, you will have to test various marketing channels to see which marketing channels work with your book
  3. Get the Best Cover you can Afford
    1. Make sure it is from a professional book cover designer with 5 to 10 years experience of designing book covers
      1. If getting an ebook cover, those 5 to 10 years of experience must be for ebook covers
      2. If getting a paperback or hardcover cover, then the cover designer must have experience in those
      3. They are two completely different skill sets
        1. How a physical book should look on a book store shelf
        2. Versus
        3. How an ebook cover should look on a list page and on the book’s page
    2. Every single ready will make two critical decisions depending solely on the quality of your book cover and how well it matches genre conventions
      1. Whether or not to click on the cover and go to the book page
        1. You spent 2 to 5 years writing your book
        2. The book cover determines whether or not the reader will even go to your book page
        3. THAT is how important the book cover is
      2. What is the quality of the writing in the book
        1. Once on the book page, the reader will assume that the quality of your writing matches the quality of your cover
        2. Don’t judge a book by its cover?
        3. EVERYONE judges a book by its cover
  4. Get the Best Editor you can Afford
    1. Almost as important as the quality of your book cover, is the quality of your editing
    2. A good, experienced, professional book editor does not just ‘correct mistakes’
      1. They do developmental editing
        1. They literally make the book better
        2. They improve the flow
        3. They take your book from Good to Great
          1. PROVIDED you listen to their feedback and act on it
      2. They also do line editing
        1. This is where they cover grammatical mistakes and other mistakes
      3. Please Note: You still need a professional proof reader after you’ve done all the fixes and improvements your editor has recommended
    3. Make sure the Editor has experience in Historical Fiction and in the EXACT Historical Fiction categories your book is in
  5. Make sure your Book Cover, Book Categories, Book Description, Book Title, and Author Profile CLEARLY convey your book is a Historical Fiction title
    1. You are so CLOSE to your book that you start thinking everyone else is too
    2. In your head you’re thinking – Of course this is a Historical Fiction about growing up in 1950s America. I spent 4 years researching and writing it
    3. In every reader’s head who visits your book page, there is only DOUBT and Uncertainty
      1. Is this another non historical fiction author who put their book into Historical Fiction hoping someone would buy it?
      2. Is this a content farm that pays people $3 per hour to churn out dross?
      3. Is this an author who wrote a book about 1830 Saigon and put it into American Historical Fiction by mistake?
      4. Does this author know that there were no iPhones in 1955?
      5. Did this author spend 3 years writing his book, or 3 weeks?
    4. There is such a big gulf about what you know about the quality and appropriateness (to Historical Fiction) of your book Versus what a typical reader knows
      1. You have to eliminate all the friction
      2. You have to erase all doubts
      3. Make sure they know it is a Historical Fiction Novel
      4. Make sure the Historical Fiction categories and sub categories are ACCURATE and clearly specified
      5. Make sure they know how hard you worked on it
      6. Make sure they know what comparable books and comparable authors are
    5. It is your job, and your job alone, to make it EASY and OBVIOUS for readers to understand that your book is the Right book for them
      1. They are not Private Eyes who are going to spend 5 to 25 minutes figuring out whether the book is right for them
      2. Make it so that in 5 seconds to a minute, the author is reassured that the book is a Historical Fiction novel, in a Historical Fiction category they love, and is written with love and care
  6. Expect Murphy and his Law to rear their ugly heads
    1. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong
    2. Sometimes, multiple things will go wrong at the same time
    3. Have a Plan
      1. Have a Backup Plan
        1. Have a 2nd Backup Plan for the Backup Plan
  7. Make 100% sure to get a good proof reader
    1. You wrote a great book
    2. You got a great editor
    3. You have a really solid book
    4. You have been so close to it the whole time you don’t realize that there are 5 errors in the first chapter
      1. 1 spelling mistake
      2. 2 typographical errors
      3. 2 additional errors
    5. Those 5 errors throw off 50% to 70% of the people who buy your book
      1. Instead of them becoming repeat customers, they become people who never touch any of your books again
      2. Instead of getting a few 5* reviews from those readers, those 5 errors means you get a couple of 2* reviews
    6. You are thinking in your head – I spent 3 years on this book. I spent so much time researching it and rewriting it and polishing it
    7. Readers are thinking in their head – This author could not even be bothered to read his book once. If he had read his book even once it would have been obvious there are FIVE mistakes in the first chapter alone
    8. If you get a professional proof reader all these problems are avoided
      1. Most readers will tolerate 5 to 20 errors in an entire book
      2. Hardly any will tolerate 5 to 10 errors in a chapter
      3. Almost every book that is not professionally proof read has 3 to 15 errors per chapter
        1. Yes, almost every single book that is not proof read by a PROFESSIONAL proof reader is unfit for human consumption
  8. Tell Readers VERY PRECISELY what your book is and what your book is not
    1. Your reader, if you make an idiot of them, has the ability to leave a 1* review and drive lots of readers away from buying your book
      1. Is this really the person you want to trick?
      2. Is this really the person you want to send on a treasure hunt to try and figure out who the book is written for and how long it is and whether it ends in a cliffhanger or is a complete book?
    2. Honesty is the best policy
    3. Worse than dishonesty is carelessness
      1. Where you don’t want to trick readers
      2. However, you are careless and inadvertently leave holes and ambiguity and cause them to believe the book is something it is not
      3. There is no way for a reader to know that you are so complacent that you will risk sinking your book rather than taking 10 to 20 minutes to clearly write out in the book description what the book is and what it isn’t
        1. OR
        2. That you selected your book’s categories without doing any research on what your book’s actual categories are
  9. Have a clear goal for all your book promotion and marketing efforts
    1. What do you really want?
    2. What will most help your author career?
      1. Lots of authors come in without thinking about what their priority is, and what it should be
    3. Do you want to get reviews?
    4. Do you want to make money?
    5. Do you want to build a readership?
    6. You are a brand new author with no reader base and you can’t have it all right from the start
      1. You have to prioritize and focus on one or two main goals
    7. Make sure your book promotion and marketing is geared towards your main goals
  10. Collect all the Data and Feedback from your Book Promotion and Marketing Push
    1. Perhaps the most valuable thing you can get from your book marketing efforts is data on what works and what doesn’t work for your book
    2. Different books do differently well on different marketing channels
    3. The entire aim of your initial marketing efforts should be to figure out what works for your book
      1. Then the rest of your marketing budget should only go to the places that work for your book
  11. If discounting, discount the book to the right price for the entire Book Promotion
    1. This might be the most common ‘cannot believe I forgot to do this’ mistake authors make
    2. They will spend $100 to $10,000 on setting up promotion and marketing
    3. They just won’t remember to discount the book for the book promotion
      1. Please don’t be that person
      2. Make sure you set up the book discount BEFORE you purchase a lot of marketing and promotion for the book
  12. Listen to what the market is telling you
    1. The market is constantly telling you – This is what I want! This is what I will buy! This is what you need to change! This is what is good about your book!
    2. Authors simply refuse to listen
      1. 90% of authors keep saying – Shut Up Market! Buy what I want you to buy! What the heck do you mean you want to buy what you want to buy?
      2. 9% of remaining authors keep saying – OK, I hear you. How about first, we buy what I have already. Then, after you buy what I already have written. Then, I will write what you want to buy
      3. 1% of authors Listen. They do well
    3. Let’s say you go into a restaurant and order steak
      1. The waiter brings out a salad
      2. You ask – what is this salad doing here? I ordered steak?
      3. The waiter goes – The Chef really wanted to make a Cobb salad. I think you should eat what the chef wants to cook, and not what you feel like eating
      4. That is, unfortunately, what many authors are like
        1. No, I am not going to write what readers want to buy
        2. I’m going to write what I want to write
        3. Then I’m going to try to convince readers to purchase what I wrote
  13. Get reviews before or at the very beginning of your promotion because Reviews means 2 to 4 times more sales
    1. You have to set up a street team, or hand out Advance Review Copies, or use a Review Gathering Service (least good option out of the three, but an option)
    2. You have to make sure they review on launch day or very soon after
    3. All of your book promotion and marketing will be 2 to 4 times more effective if you have some good, authentic reviews written by real people
    4. A few quick notes
      1. Fake reviews don’t work
        1. They kill sales
      2. Without reviews you might get zero sales
        1. That is why many/most of the top Historical Fiction book promotion sites simply won’t take your book if it does not have reviews
      3. Please don’t be that person who thinks your book with ZERO reviews is going to sell just as well as a book with lots of good reviews
        1. People like that is the reason most book promotion sites stopped taking books that don’t have reviews
  14. Eliminate Friction for Readers
    1. The more ‘points of doubt’ you remove, the easier for readers to buy
    2. A good price – less friction
    3. A long book – less friction
    4. An author profile showing you are a real person and relatable – less friction
    5. Beautiful cover that shows you are SERIOUS about being an author – greatly reduces friction
    6. Book Categories correct and clearly specified – less friction, removes a lot of doubt and unease from readers’ minds
    7. Book available easily to readers
    8. Find every source of friction and remove it
    9. As important as removing friction is not introducing sources of fiction
      1. Politicizing your book – loses you 50% of America
      2. Using Swearing – loses you 40% or more of readers
      3. Using a book cover that screams ‘This book is not Historical Fiction’ – loses you 70% of readers

The Critical Importance of Getting Your Book Genres Right when Promoting a Historical Fiction Book

If you write Historical Fiction, it is pretty straightforward to figure out what categories to put your book into

  1. Do some market research and see what Historical Fiction categories and sub categories your book should be in
  2. Put it in EXACTLY those categories
  3. If possible, also put it in General Historical Fiction (the top level Historical Fiction category)

That’s it

Any attempts to game the system by putting it in Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Fantasy, etc will usually backfire spectacularly

Historical Fiction is interesting in that overlap between Historical Fiction and other categories is minimal

  1. You could argue there is a decent amount of overlap between Historical Fiction and Historical Mystery
  2. There is a slim overlap between Historical Fantasy and Historical Fiction
  3. There is a slim overlap between Historical Romance and Historical Fiction

In general, you NEVER EVER want to put a Historical Fiction novel into another category

As far as Historical Fiction categories and sub categories (the different categories within the larger Historical Fiction top level category)

  1. If you put it in the precisely right categories and sub categories, the book will do well if it is well written and edited
    1. There is a shortage of good Historical Fiction novels
  2. If you put it in slightly wrong categories, it will do decently
  3. If you put it in the wrong Historical Fiction categories, it will not sell
  4. The different Historical Fiction sub categories are very different
    1. Readers who like reading World War II Historical Fiction almost never are interested in Asian Historical Fiction
    2. Women’s Historical Fiction is its own category and you must not include books in it that are not aimed specifically at Women readers
    3. Historical Fiction readers who love 19th century historical fiction will often turn up their noses at both ancient world historical fiction and 20th century historical fiction
    4. A Reader might be very open to reading American Historical Fiction (set in America) and at the same time might give a pass to all European Historical Fiction
  5. You have to put your book in the precise historical fiction categories and sub categories if you want it to sell well

The Game is Won and Lost in the Selection of Historical Fiction categories and sub categories

Historical Fiction Book Promotion Sites Insights – The Importance of Historical Accuracy

Historical Fiction prizes a lot of things, especially

  1. A well written book
  2. A well polished book (good editing and proof reading)
  3. A well packaged book
  4. More books from the same author to read
  5. A good length book so that once you get into the book, you can really sink your teeth in

The one thing that Historical Fiction values and prizes more than anything else is

  1. Historical Accuracy

Above all else, lies the Historical Accuracy of the Historical Novel

Why is Historical Accuracy so important for Historical Fiction novels?

With every novel you are pulling a reader into the story world. The deeper you pull them in. The more realistic the story world. The more they can immerse themselves in it. The more they will love your book. The more they will buy your other books. The more successful you will be

This is critically important in every book category

In Historical Fiction, however, it takes on a whole new dimension because you have BOTH story and history

  1. The first aspect of IMMERSIVITY (pulling the reader completely into the story world) is how powerful and well written the story is
    1. This applies to all genres
  2. The second aspect of IMMERSIVITY is how well edited and well proof read the book is
    1. This applies to all genres
  3. The third and perhaps most critical aspect of IMMERSIVITY is how historically accurate the book is
    1. This applies only to Historical Fiction

When done right, Historical Fiction novels are more immersive than any other, because not only do they pull the reader into a story world, they pull the reader into a different era

However, to be done right, Historical Fiction novels have to be VERY accurate historically. Any mistake will pull the reader out of the historical era the novel is set in, and thereby also pull them out of the story world

They go from a state of bliss/flow/pleasure to being painfully pulled out of their story world and back into the mundane and boring present day world

Historical Accuracy determines whether your reader will get the reading experience of a lifetime, or whether they will keep getting pulled out of the historical era into the wrong era, and completely lose IMMERSIVITY

Historical Accuracy is so important it is Just As important as making sure you find The Right Market and write The Right Book for The Right Market

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

Historical Fiction is a medium to large size category with a decent level of competition, but not too much

It is quite possible to become a Bestselling Author, provided you follow some basic best practices

Firstly, let’s look at the three types of Bestseller Status you can aim for

  1. Historical Fiction Category or Sub Category Bestseller
    1. This requires between 30 to 1,000 sales in a week
    2. You must place your books in the right Historical Fiction categories
    3. You must promote your book in the right Historical Fiction categories
    4. You have to get as many of the Top 10 Historical Fiction book promotion sites as you can
      1. If you get Bookbub, you don’t really need any other book promotion sites
      2. If you don’t get Bookbub, then you must get 2 or more of
        1. eReader News Today
        2. Books Butterfly
        3. Robin Reads
        4. You should also try to get a few out of
          1. Book Sends
          2. Bargain Booksy
          3. Fussy Librarian
    5. You can attempt this with your first book, provided it is well polished
    6. You cannot attempt this with an unpolished or hastily written book
      1. Lots of sales for a good, polished book = good reviews, more sales
      2. Lots of sales for an unpolished book = bad reviews, sinks your book forever
    7. Your book must have reviews if you want to become a Historical Fiction Category Bestseller
      1. While it can be done with a book without reviews
      2. It will cost a lot more and have a much higher chance of failing if your book doesn’t have reviews
  2. Amazon Top 100 Bestseller
    1. This requires 1,000 to 2,500 sales in a week
      1. Historical Fiction is not as big a category as Romance or Mystery
      2. That means ‘follow on sales’ from your book becoming a Category Bestseller in Historical Fiction will not be as large
      3. Therefore, to reach the Amazon Top 100 you have to generate more sales on your own
        1. You cannot depend on store follow on sales to push you into the Top 100
    2. Your Historical Fiction book categories should be perfectly set
    3. You must promote your book as a Historical Fiction novel
    4. If you also fall into an overlapping category such as Historical Mystery or Historical Adventure, you should promote it there also
    5. To get to the Top 100 Books at Amazon you need as many as possible of the Top 10 Historical Fiction book promotion sites
      1. You definitely need Bookbub
      2. You definitely need 1 or 2 of – Books Butterfly, Robin Reads, and eReader News Today
      3. You need as many as you can get/afford out of – the remaining Top 10 Historical Fiction book promotion sites
  3. New York Times Bestseller or USA Today Bestseller
    1. This requires between 3,000 to 10,000 sales in a week
    2. Historical Fiction requirements vary a lot
      1. If there are big releases in the week you are aiming for, you will need 5,000 to 10,000 sales in a week
      2. If there are no big releases, you will need just 3,000 to 6,000 sales in a week
      3. Whenever possible go for both
        1. A slow week with NO big historical fiction book releases
        2. 5,000 to 10,000 sales
        3. That combination will give you the highest chances of success
    3. This is very difficult with your first book, as having a readership willing to buy your books is a big help
    4. This is impossible without reviews
      1. You need a good number of reviews
      2. You need a review rating of 4 stars or higher out of 5 stars
    5. You have to plan out everything very well
    6. Your book must be very well polished
      1. You need a beautiful, and genre specific book cover
      2. You need professional book editing
      3. You need a professionally proof read book
    7. There are different strategies that can work
      1. We have discussed one strategy below
      2. Please do your due diligence
    8. This requires a very big marketing budget of $3,000 to $10,000
      1. If you don’t have a large marketing budget your chances are slim

Let’s look at some key insights around each of these

5 Key Things if you want to Become a Bestselling Author with your Historical Fiction Book

When aiming for Bestseller Status with a Historical Fiction book, please make sure you cover the following 5 Areas

  1. A very polished book that is professionally edited, professionally proof read, and has a professionally designed book cover
  2. Reviews, with a review rating over 4 stars out of 5 stars
  3. Your Book is in the right Historical Fiction book categories
  4. You use book promotion sites and marketing channels that specialize in promoting Historical Fiction books
    1. Refer to the Top 10 Historical Fiction book promotion sites for more details
  5. You tailor all your book promotion to be within a week long stretch if going for the New York Times Bestseller List or the USA Today Bestseller List
    1. If going for Category Bestseller or Amazon Top 100 List, it is good to have everything set up to run within a 5 to 10 day stretch

Please follow these guidelines as closely as possible

Becoming a Category Bestseller

Becoming a Category Bestseller is straightforward if you pick the right Historical Fiction Categories

You want a combination of large and small categories

  1. 3 Large Sized Historical Fiction Categories
    1. Categories such as Historical Fiction (main), World War II Historical Fiction, US Historical Fiction, Biographical Historical Fiction, and Medieval Historical Fiction
    2. Please ensure the book actually fits into these categories
  2.  3 Medium Sized Historical Fiction Categories
    1. Categories such as Fantasy Historical Fiction, Literary Historical Fiction, European Historical Fiction, and Women’s Historical Fiction
    2. Again, please ensure your book is a good fit for the book categories you put it into
  3.  4 Small Sized Historical Fiction Categories
    1. Categories such as Country Specific Historical Fiction categories (Japanese, African, Norse, Italian)
      1. Please Note: US, Irish, and some other countries are not small categories
    2. You have to be a bit careful here, as each country specific Historical Fiction has very specific expectations
  4. The Purpose of putting it in Large Sized Historical Fiction categories, such as World War II Historical Fiction, is
    1. You start promoting your book and it shows up in the Top 100 for this large categories
    2. Some of the people who check these Top 100 lists find and purchase your book
  5. The Purpose of the Small Sized Historical Fiction categories, such as country specific categories, is
    1. You quickly get to the Top 10 in these category lists
    2. You start attracting attention and readers
    3. As more sales come in, both from your promotion and from new readers, you become a #1 Category Bestseller in one of these smaller categories
  6. In the best case
    1. You quickly become a #1 bestseller in one of the small categories
    2. Sales Momentum, your continued book promotion, and higher visibility makes you a #1 bestseller in a medium sized category
    3. All of this takes you to a Top 10 spot in a large Historical Fiction category bestseller list

The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Categories – please make sure you choose the categories carefully, and only after doing the requisite due diligence

Number of Sales Required to Become a Category Bestseller

This is a very approximate estimate of the number of sales required to become a Historical Fiction category Bestseller

  1. Large Historical Fiction Category – 500 to 1,500 sales in a week
    1. Even though Historical Fiction is not as big as a giant category such as Romance or Mystery, the number of sales required in the larger historical fiction category are very high
  2. Large Historical Fiction Sub Category or a Medium Size Historical Fiction Category – 200 to 700 sales over a week
  3. Medium Historical Fiction Sub Category or a Small Size Historical Fiction Category – 100 to 300 sales over a week
  4. Small Historical Fiction Sub Category – 50 to 120 sales over a week
  5. Very Small Historical Fiction Sub Category – 10 to 30 sales over a week

Always aim to get significantly more sales than we list here

Always try to launch during a week when there is not too much competition. If you know some very big author is launching her/his Historical Fiction novel during a given week, avoid that week

Avoid holiday weeks. Avoid Christmas and New Year

Becoming an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller

There are a few key requirements to get the 1,000 to 2,500 sales in a week required to become an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Author

  1. You must get Bookbub, which is the largest historical fiction book promotion site
  2. You must get 2 or more of the #2 to #4 Historical Fiction book promotion sites – eReader News Today, Books Butterfly, Robin Reads
  3. You must get some support
    1. You can run Facebook Ads
    2. You can get a few of the remaining Top 10 Historical Fiction book promotion sites

You need all three

If you can’t get Bookbub then it is almost impossible to get the Top 100

If you can get Bookbub, but can’t get at least 1 of the #2 to #4 sites (eReader News Today, Books Butterfly, Robin Reads), then you will miss the Top 100 unless you can add a lot of support via Facebook Ads or another marketing method

Your book marketing structure should be

  1. Day 1 – start with a few small historical fiction book promotion sites (our Honorable Mention list at the beginning of this post) and/or with Facebook Ads
  2. Day 2 – definitely start Facebook Ads
  3. Day 3 – Books Butterfly (as it has 5 to 10 day promotions)
  4. Day 4 – 2 Top 10 Historical Fiction book promotion sites
  5. Day 5 – Bookbub, another 1 or 2 Top 10 historical Fiction book promotion sites
  6. Day 6 – a couple of the remaining Top 10 Historical Fiction book promotion sites

This structure will, quite reliably, take you to the Top 100 Amazon Bestsellers list

Becoming a New York Times or USA Today Bestselling Author

This is the Big Prize and it takes a lot of work

  1. You need a very good book
    1. If you have not taken pains to rewrite it, make the story flow smoothly, and for it to have a great reading experience
      1. It’s not ready
  2. You need to be VERY historically accurate
    1. If your book is not 100% historically accurate it will get crucified by Historical Fiction readers
  3. You need a very polished book
    1. Professionally edited and professionally proof read
  4. You need a professionally designed book cover
  5. You need a good number of reviews, with a review rating over 4 stars out of 5 stars
    1. Below 4 stars does not work
    2. One line reviews do not work
      1. They must be well written out reviews
  6. You must get between 3,000 to 10,000 sales within a one week period
    1. If it is a slow week, then 3,000 to 6,000 sales will be enough
    2. If it is a busy week, you will need 5,000 to 10,000 sales
    3. To be on the safe side, aim for 5,000 to 10,00 sales within a week
  7. At least 500 out of those 3,000 to 10,000 sales must be from Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, or physical booksellers
    1. To get that many sales outside of the Kindle Store you need to use Bookbub and Books Butterfly, which both have lots of readers outside Kindle Store
      1. Bookbub will generally get you 300 to 500 sales outside the Kindle Store
      2. Books Butterfly will generally get you (with their Platinum 100 package) 30 to 50 sales outside the Kindle Store
    2. You should also do some Facebook Ads
  8. You will need a lot of money
    1. A budget of $3,000 to $10,000 is the bare minimum
    2. A budget of $5,000 to $20,000 is recommended
    3. Please note that you should only take a shot after you have a good enough book and enough money
      1. Missing with 4,500 sales is very costly
      2. Succeeding with 5,500 sales is well worth it, even if those 1,000 sales cost you $1,000 to $4,000 more
  9. You need to be in a good mental state
    1. It is EXTREMELY stressful
    2. Firstly, you have to get approved by the different historical fiction book promotion sites
    3. Secondly, you have to plan everything out and schedule everything
    4. Thirdly, and this is the extremely stressful part, is when the book promotions are actually running
      1.  That one week will be very, very tough on you

Here are 7 things you can do to significantly increase your chances of becoming a New York Times Bestselling Author or a USA Today Bestselling Author

  1. Only promote when you have a good enough book, with enough reviews
  2. Only promote when you have enough money
  3. Promote a Box Set discounted to $0.99, instead of a standalone book
    1. Your Box Set must be a collection of 3 or more full length books
      1. A box set of short stories will not work. No matter how much wishful thinking you do
    2. Box Sets at $0.99 will sell 2 to 4 times more
      1. As you can imagine, when every sale is critical, this is a big boost
  4. Go with $0.99
    1. Apart from very well established authors, it is almost impossible to get 3,000 to 10,000 sales with a price such as $4.99 or $9.99
    2. Best is to try with a $0.99 ebook
  5. Partner up with other authors in your Genre and create a Multi Author Box Set
    1. This greatly increases your Marketing Budget
    2. You can tap into the reader bases of each of the individual authors
    3. One complication is that some book promotion sites don’t promote multi author box sets
  6. Get excellent reviews
    1. If you have reviews that are very, very good, it significantly increases your chances
  7. Get a top notch editor or a top notch book designer or both
    1. A top notch book cover designer can get you 25% to 100% more sales than a good book cover designer
    2. A top notch editor can make your book 2 to 3 times better than a good editor
    3. If you can get one or both, then your chances of becoming a bestseller go up dramatically

It’s very stressful, and it does not work some of the time

That being said, if you can afford it financially, then aiming for a big Bestseller list and aiming for 3,000 to 10,000 sales in a week, is an amazing learning opportunity. It is something well worth doing. The better prepared you are, the higher the chances you become a bestseller

Most importantly, please always keep in mind that you are selling A PRODUCT and all the general rules of sales, marketing, and business apply

How to Increase the Number of Reviews you get after promoting your Historical Fiction Book

Historical Fiction is a very difficult category when it comes to getting reviews

  1. Firstly, you have to have a well written book
    1. This is true for all book categories
  2. Secondly, you need to be historically accurate in your writing
    1. This is uniquely specific to Historical Fiction
  3. Thirdly, readers in Historical Fiction are used to a high quality of writing
    1. As Historical Fiction books are hard to write (dual requirements of writing well and writing historically accurately), only very serious authors usually write Historical Fiction
    2. This means that the writing level of Historical Fiction books is quite high

This is balanced out, somewhat, by two factors

  1. Historical Fiction is a big category, and yet it has relatively few books
    1. It is still competitive
    2. Just not ultra competitive like Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Biographies, etc
  2. Historical Fiction readers are always looking for good new authors
    1. Even more so than in other book genres
    2. If your book has promise they will support you

Basically, BEFORE you start asking for reviews, you need to make sure

  1. Your book is well written
  2. Your book is historically accurate and true to the period it depicts
  3. Your book is well polished
    1. Professionally edited and professionally proof read
  4. You have the Historical Fiction Categories and Sub Categories right
  5. You promote it to Historical Fiction readers

After that, your success in getting reviews will depend on you doing Six Key Things

  1. Selling a Lot of Books
    1. A very well written book gets only 5 to 15 reviews for every 1,000 books sold
    2. A well written book gets 1 to 3 reviews for every 1,000 books sold
    3. A decent book gets 0 to 3 reviews for every 1,000 books sold
    4. The only solution to getting more reviews is to sell more books
    5. You should keep improving the quality of your book
      1. However, it is only book sales that can lead to more reviews
  2. Asking Readers for a Review
    1. If you do not ask readers for a review, they will not even know that you would appreciate a review
      1. As crazy as it sounds, readers have little to no idea that authors love reviews, want reviews, benefit from reviews
      2. They don’t even know that a good review leads to more sales for the author
    2. Always ask politely – If you like this book, please leave a review
    3. Always ask
      1. The People most likely to give a good review. For Example: Those who finish the book
      2. At the point of maximum positive emotion. For Example: At the end of the book, on the last page
  3.  Improving the Quality of Your Writing
    1. You can be the 10% of authors willing to improve the quality of their writing
    2. The 10% who are willing to keep working on the book until it flows smoothly and reads well
    3. The 10% who are ready to rewrite the book to make it better
  4. Promoting and Marketing to the RIGHT readers
    1. If you have a Historical Fiction novel that appeals to American readers, then finding a promotion method that targets American Historical Fiction readers is the right solution
    2. If you have a Historical Mystery novel, then finding book promotion sites that have Historical Mystery as a category is the right solution
      1. If not, make sure their Historical Fiction list does well with Historical Mystery novels
    3.  Make sure to promote your book to the Perfect Set of Readers for your book
  5. Improving the Packaging of the Book
    1. While it might seem strange to suggest that the Book Cover, the author page, the author profile impact whether or not a reader will leave a review
      1. It’s not very strange if you delve into why
    2.  First Impressions are powerful
      1. A beautiful cover and a good book title stays in the reader’s mind
      2. A well done author profile makes the reader relate to you as a fellow human being and a fellow lover of books
      3. A well written book description clarifies book genre and sets the right expectations
    3. The genres you tell the reader the book is in, the expectations you set, the quality of the cover
      1.  All of those go into creating an Expectation in the reader’s mind
      2. If you set expectations correctly, and your book delivers, your chances of getting a good review go up significantly
      3. Your Book Cover and Book Page set expectations
        1. You have to make sure they set the right expectations
  6. Improving the Fit and Finish of your Book
    1. Improve the book by getting a professional book editor
    2. Improve it further by getting a professional proof reader
    3. Look at what you can do to make it a better product

You must focus on all 3 Key Aspects

  1. Having a Great Product (your Book is a Product)
  2. Selling Lots of Product (the more sales you get, the more reviews you will get)
  3. Asking for Reviews (readers have no idea that reviews benefit you and no idea that you would really appreciate a review)

Asking for Reviews works, and yet most authors never ever ask for a review. That is the one easy improvement you should do ASAP

Historical Fiction Book Promotion Sites vs Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads have some big strengths

  1. Facebook Ads allow for a crazy level of targeting
    1. You can narrow down to very precise set of people
  2. Facebook has 2 billion+ people
  3. Facebook Ads are very good for creating a slow, steady stream of readers visiting your book page
    1. If targeted right, this leads to a slow, steady number of sales each day
  4. Once you figure out Facebook Ads (not an easy task), you can get very good Return on Investment
    1. You can make back $2 to $3 for every $1 you spend
    2. A few authors even claim of making back $5 to $10 for every $1 they spend
      1. That is a goal you should not stress too much about
      2. First, focus on making back more than you spend
  5. Facebook lets you target to very specific countries and regions
    1. This is invaluable if your book has special appeal to a region or a city or country

Facebook Ads also have some weaknesses

  1. You have to become an expert at Facebook Ads, or hire a Facebook marketing expert
  2. Facebook Ads cannot create a spike of sales
    1. Every incremental sale is more and more expensive
    2. Facebook Ads are best for creating a slow, steady stream of sales
  3. Facebook Ads have become more competitive over time
    1. The golden era of 2011 to 2014 when Facebook Ads were very uncompetitive is over
    2. Now each click costs more and more
  4. Facebook Ads will not work for 25% of authors
  5. Facebook Ads will not be able to be break even for another 25% of authors
    1. That means for 50% of authors, either they won’t be able to figure out Facebook Ads, or they won’t be able to make it a profitable marketing stream

Please do keep in mind that we do strongly recommend at least trying Facebook Ads. If you fall into the 50% of authors who can make Facebook Ads work, then it is definitely a promotion and marketing tool you want to have in your Marketing Toolbox

Many of Facebook Ads’ weaknesses are mitigated by Historical Fiction book promotion sites

  1.  Historical Fiction book promotion sites are very good at creating sales spikes
  2.  Historical Fiction book promotion sites are dead simple to use
    1. You just purchase a package and they promote your book
  3.  There is no bidding system with Historical Fiction book promotion sites
    1. You don’t have to worry about some crazy person/some large company coming in and driving prices up to unsustainable levels
  4. Historical Fiction book promotion sites have already gathered sets of readers who purchase and read Historical Fiction novels

This allows for a very strong combination of book promotion and marketing where you combine Facebook Ads with the top Historical Fiction book promotion sites

  1.  Use the best Historical Fiction book promotion sites to create sales spikes
  2.  Support that sales spike with Facebook Ads
    1. So that sales go down slowly
  3.  Keep adding on some of the top Historical Fiction book promotion sites to create additional sales spikes
  4. Keep using Facebook Ads to ensure sales rank drops slowly
  5. A combination of the best historical fiction book promotion sites and Facebook Ads can keep your book at a decently high sales rank for a very long time

We recommend using Facebook Ads alongside the top historical fiction book promotion sites to create a powerful dual marketing channel

Historical Fiction Book Promotion Sites vs Amazon Marketing Services Ads

Amazon Marketing Services Ads are a smaller, less effective, and slightly more complicated version of Facebook Ads

A few key differences are

  1. Facebook Ads can target 2 billion people
    1. Amazon AMS Ads can target the couple of hundred million people who visit Amazon
    2. To be even more precise, you will be targeting readers who visit book pages, and that is in the 10 million to 50 million range
  2. Facebook Ads work for 50% of authors, and work very well for 25% of authors
    1. AMS ads work for 25% or so of authors, and work very well for 15% or so of authors
  3. Facebook Ads are complicated to learn. However, the patterns are repeatable
    1. AMS Ads are also complicated to learn. As it is a less mature bidding system, the ‘pattern to get it to work’ changes almost every year

The positives of Amazon Marketing Services are

  1. You can promote your book to readers, and you can promote them right on the book pages of popular authors and popular books
    1. Please Note: The best way to use AMS ads is to promote your book on the book pages of popular authors and popular books which are in the exact same book categories as you
  2. If you can figure out the system, you can find some good opportunities
    1. 25% or so of authors should be able to figure out how to get Positive Return on Investment
    2. 15% of so of authors should be able to figure out how to get $3 to $4 for every $1 they spend
  3. AMS Ads become another good marketing channel to add to the top Historical Fiction book promotion sites and to Facebook Ads
    1. Provided you can get AMS to work

The negatives of Amazon Marketing Services are

  1. If you are not a tech savvy person, Amazon Marketing Services will drive you nuts
    1. What is worse is that the ‘system’ changes every year
    2. So every year you will have to put in some time (1 to 4 weeks) to understanding how everything has changed
  2. Amazon Marketing Services will only work for 25% of Authors
    1. Facebook Ads work for 50% to 60% of authors
    2. Most of the top historical fiction book promotion sites work for 60% to 90% of authors
      1. Please Note: However they cannot create a constant ongoing steam of sales like Facebook Ads and AMS Ads can
  3. It is impossible to create a large spike

If you can

  1. Figure out Amazon Marketing Services
  2. Get it to work for you
  3. Get positive Return on Investment

Then it is a good marketing tool to add to your book marketing toolbox

If you have to choose one between Facebook Ads and Amazon Marketing Services, Facebook Ads will win all of the time

If you have to choose 2 out of Facebook Ads, the top historical fiction book promotion sites, and Amazon Marketing Services, then 90% or more of the time your best choices will be Facebook Ads and the top historical fiction book promotion sites

The 3 Core Skills for Authors

The 3 Core Skills are the 3 most important skills Authors need to learn and master

If you can become world class at one skill, and very good at the other two, you will have a very successful career as an author

If you can become very good at all three, then even without becoming exceptional at any of them you will still be able to build a successful career as an author

The 3 Core Skills for Authors are

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. This is doing the due diligence to find out what market you should write for, and what book you should write for that market
    2. Example: You do a lot of market research and find that American Historical Fiction about the Gilded Age is a new, fast growing market
      1. Then you do more market research and realize that writing a Biographical Historical Fiction about one of the Robber Barons would work very well for this market
      2. THAT is Knowing What to Write
    3. This is BY FAR the most important skill for authors to learn
      1. Everything else becomes easy and/or unnecessary if you can learn the skill of Knowing What to Write
  2. Writing Very Well
    1. This is learning how to write very well
      1. This includes writing books that entertain
      2. This includes learning how to speak straight to the soul of your reader
      3. This includes writing so well your readers keep coming back for more
    2. This also includes polishing your book
      1. Just like no woman wants an unpolished diamond on her wedding ring, no reader wants an unpolished diamond of a book in their hands
      2. Writing Very Well also means actually polishing it
      3. Getting it professionally edited
      4. Getting it professionally proof read
      5. Actually listening to the professionals and improving your book
  3. Marketing Very Well
    1. Perhaps the toughest skill for authors to learn is Marketing and Sales
    2. You have identified The Right Market
    3. You have figured out what Product to write for this Right Market
    4. You have written a high quality book and polished it
    5. Now comes the Marketing and Sales
    6. You have to reach the right readers
    7. You have to convince them that your product will give them what they desire
    8. You have to close the deal and get the sale

These 3 Skills are the FOUNDATION for any author’s career. If you can become very good at all three, you will have a good career as an author. These 3 Skills trump everything else

They are not only more important than all other skills, these 3 Skills are more important than all other skills combined

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 Historical Fiction Book Promotion

The 3 Core Skills apply to Historical Fiction book promotion in the following ways

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. Historical Fiction is a very good book market to write in
      1. However, there are some Historical Fiction categories that are too competitive and some that are dead ends
      2. At the same time, there are some Historical Fiction categories that are growing very fast and also have little to no competition
    2. Doing proper market research is the difference between
      1. Writing a great book and finding there is no market for it. Realizing you just wasted 5 years of your life because you weren’t willing to do 5 weeks of market research
      2. Writing a great book and finding you just can’t compete in a crowded Historical Fiction sub category. There are just too many authors and too many books in this niche
      3. Writing a great book and finding a large, enthusiastic market and becoming successful as an author
  2.  Writing Very Well
    1. Historical Fiction has a high quality bar
      1. If you don’t write a high quality book, it is almost impossible to succeed
    2. Historical Fiction also has a high bar for historical accuracy
      1. If you don’t do proper historical research and keep your work historically accurate, you will be unable to do well
  3. Marketing Very Well
    1. Historical Fiction is an unusual category in that it is both very large in size and very narrow in reachability at the same time
      1. Vary Narrow in reachability means there are some very specific marketing methods that work for Historical Fiction
    2. You have to do a lot of work and figure out what marketing methods work for Historical Fiction
      1. After that, you have to figure out whether or not those marketing methods will work for your book
    3. Historical Fiction readers are also very set in their ways
      1. They are not open to every possible marketing approach
      2. You have to approach them in very specific ways (and generally in a traditional, old school manner)

The 3 Core Skills apply to ALL authors. Historical Fiction Authors should play special attention because authors who write Historical Fiction tend to focus only on ‘writing very well’ and tend to ignore ‘Knowing What to Write’ and ‘Marketing Very Well’

There is absolutely no point in writing something for which no market exists. You must do proper market research and ensure you are writing something for which a big market exists

There is no point in having a real diamond of a book for a hot and growing market, if you don’t know marketing and sales and can’t reach those readers or can’t get them to buy the book

The 8 Golden Rules of Historical Fiction Book Promotion

These are the 8 golden rules you should follow to best increase your chances of being successful with your Historical Fiction book marketing and promotion

  1. The Market Always Wins
    1. The market says – I want pizza
    2. You say – You need to eat broccoli and spinach because they are good for you
    3. The market buys pizza
    4. The Market ALWAYS wins
    5. You cannot force readers to buy anything other than what they want to buy
      1. Conversely, if you make what they want to buy you don’t have to even sell to them
      2. They seek you out
    6. Take the easy route – Write what the Market is telling you to write
    7. The Market Always Wins – Give the market what it wants and you will also Win
  2. Product Market Fit is more important than everything else combined
    1. Writing for The Right Market -> Part 1 of Product Market Fit
    2. Writing the Right Product for this Right Market -> Part 2 of Product Market Fit
    3. If you get Product Market Fit right, then everything else becomes straightforward
    4. People will talk about things such as – the right timing, luck, having money, having time, having connections, living in the right city
      1. Yes, those are all things that can help
    5. However, the only thing that RULES over everything else is – Product Market Fit
      1. Giving the Market what it wants
      2. Writing The Right Product for The Right Market
    6. If you focus solely on Product Market Fit, you will sooner or later succeed as an author
      1. It might sound like such a crazy thing
      2. However, when phrased right, it makes perfect sense
      3. Care about nothing else other than what your customers are dying to buy, and give them that
  3. The Game is won or Lost in the Selection of Genres
    1. Did you do proper market research and pick the right Historical Fiction book categories to write in?
    2. Did you list the book categories correctly on the book page?
    3. Did you market your book to the right readers? In the right Historical Fiction book categories?
    4. Yes answers to these questions means you have a decent chance of success
    5. No to one or more of these questions means your chances of succeeding are, unfortunately, very low
  4. Historical Fiction Books must be Historically Accurate
    1. Don’t pull the reader out of your medieval historical fiction story world by writing that the warriors had lunch at McDonald’s
    2. Half the enjoyment for Historical Fiction readers is to be transported into a different story world, from centuries ago
    3. The more immersive your story, the more they enjoy
    4. The Key to Immersivity is being historically accurate
  5. It is Impossible to Succeed in the Wrong Market
    1. A lot of authors don’t understand just how important choosing the right market is
    2. They only tend to think of it as – If I enter the right market then have a higher chance of succeeding
    3. They don’t realize that – If they enter the wrong market the chances of success go to zero
      1. Example 1: You enter a market that is very competitive
        1. If there are lots of very well established authors in that Historical Fiction book category, and also lots of authors with a lot of money, and not many opportunities for new and emerging authors, then you simply can’t break through
      2. Example 2: You enter a market that is dead
        1. If people are just not buying books in that Historical Fiction book category, there is absolutely nothing you can do
    4. If you pick the wrong market, the cost is not that you have to work twice as hard or thrice as hard
    5. The cost of picking the wrong market is that you can never succeed
  6. Don’t fall in love with your book
    1. For all other categories we write a long sermon
    2. Luckily, Historical Fiction authors are very self aware and self critical, so a single sentence will suffice
    3. Please don’t fall in love with your book
  7. Pick a Historical Fiction Category you are passionate about
    1. It is such hard work to write a good book
    2. Historical Fiction verges on insanity because not only do you have to write a good book, you have to do a ton of research to make it historically accurate
    3. If you pick an area you are not passionate about, you will not be able to get through all the work
      1. Do you want to spend 2 years of your life doing research that you love?
      2. Or do you want to spend 2 years of your life driving yourself mad?
      3. Please pick only an area you are very passionate about because you are going to be married and ball and chain’ed to it for 3 to 5 years
  8. Your Book is a Product sold to Customers. Treat it as Such
    1. Your book is a product
    2. Your book is not your child and you don’t have to pretend it is a perfect little darling
    3. Your book is not your identity and you don’t have to guard it and speak up for it
    4. Your book is a product which you are selling to customers
    5. If your PRODUCT meets the needs of these customers, then you will be successful
      1. If it does not, you will not
    6. That’s all it is – a Product that is designed to delight customers
      1. Not to delight you – that is a luxury you can ill afford until you become a very established author

We wish you the very best of luck. Historical Fiction is an incredibly difficult book category because it requires both good writing and good historical accuracy

More than any other book category, Historical Fiction requires rules and discipline and following some guidelines. Please follow as many of the above guidelines as possible

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