Top 10 $0.99 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 $0.99 books (ebooks which are discounted to 99 cents or permanently at 99 cents)

The Top 10 – Top 10 $0.99 Book Promotion Sites

  1. Bookbub
    1. The largest and most effective book promotion site to promote $0.99 books
    2. Bookbub has between 10 and 15 million readers
    3. They are very strong in all genres
    4. It is very difficult to get approved so don’t get discouraged if they don’t take you the first time
      1. They accept 10% to 20% of submissions
      2. Many authors get approved on their 3rd or 5th or 10th submission
        1. Make sure you have a well polished book with good reviews and professional editing
    5. Prices might seem high. However, you will almost always make back the money you spend, so it is well worth it
  2. Ereader News Today
    1. A very large and well trusted book promotion site that has been promoting books and helping authors and readers since 2010
    2. Strong in nearly all genres for $0.99 books
    3. Very reasonably priced
  3. Robin Reads
    1. An upcoming and fast growing book promotion site
    2. Strong in nearly all genres for $0.99 books
    3. Get good results and prices are very reasonable
    4. They accept only 10% of the books that are submitted
      1. Please make sure your book is well polished or it will not get approved
  4. Books Butterfly
    1. The 2nd largest book promotion site and gets good results for $0.99 books
    2. Results vary considerably by book genre
      1. Very Strong Genres – Romance, Steamy Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Christian Romance, Biographies & Memoirs
      2. Strong Genres – Fantasy, Business, Christian Mystery & Suspense, Adventure, Historical Fiction, LitRPG, How To, Cookbooks, Health & Fitness Non Fiction, Cozy Mystery
      3. Decently Strong Genres – Christian Non Fiction, Science Fiction, Horror, Women’s Fiction, most other genres
      4. Weak Genres – Children’s, Young Adult that is not YA Romance, Religious that is not Christian, Magical Realism, Humor
    3. Will not accept any book that does not have a professionally designed book cover, or is not professionally edited
    4. Disclosure: Books Butterfly is our sister company which has successfully run $1.9 million of book promotion packages
  5. Book Sends
    1. A large and effective book promotion site helping authors and readers since 2012
    2. Approximately 250,000 readers
    3. Work well for most large genres i.e. Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Non Fiction
  6. Fussy Librarian
    1. A very reasonably priced and effective book promotion site
    2. Have lots of different categories and sub categories
    3. An excellent choice because its very cheap prices make it easy to see if your book is ready to be promoted or you need more polish
  7. Bargain Booksy
    1. A reasonably large website with over 250,000 readers signed up for the $0.99 ebook deals
    2. Strong in most book categories
    3. They also have options to combine promotions with their sister site, FreeBooksy, and reach more readers (up to a million)
  8. To Be Finalized
    1. We are researching and evaluating many other book promotion sites and will update the #8 to #10 spots in the near future
  9. To Be Finalized
  10. To Be Finalized

We strongly recommend all of the above book promotion sites to promote your $0.99 ebook

Please Note: It is the nature of book promotion that your book will do very well with some of these, well with some, and will miss with a few. You should get good to great results with 70% of the above $0.99 book promotion sites

That assumes you have a well written, well polished, well edited, well proof-read book. It also assumes your book has a professionally designed book cover

Honorable Mentions – $0.99 Book Promotion Sites that missed the Top 10

  1. Book Gorilla
    1. Sister Site to Kindle Nation Daily (listed below)
    2. A Bookbub style ‘one book in each book category per day’ book promotion site
    3. Quite large in size and works well for some authors
  2. FKBT – Free Kindle Books & Tips
    1. A good book promotion site that reaches readers in multiple ways, including Apps and Email List and Blog
  3. Genre Pulse
    1. An app centric book promotion site that has a lot of readers on Android Apps and also a decent number of readers on Email List
    2. Very reasonably priced
    3. Like Fussy Librarian this is another good choice to quickly test and see whether your book is polished enough to sell well, or not
  4. OHFB – One Hundred Free Books
    1. A popular book promotion site that gets very good results for some authors
    2. They rank well in search engines and should be getting a very good amount of readers from the search engines
  5. Kindle Nation Daily
    1. The first Kindle Book promotion site, which has been promoting books and helping authors since 2009
    2. Kindle Nation Daily has worked with over 10,000 authors
    3. It’s interesting that they are still around and doing decently, as there have been so many changes in the Books and eBooks ecosystems in the last 11 years (2009 to 2020)

Detailed Insights on the Top 10 $0.99 Book Promotion Sites

To Be Updated

We will, later on, add detailed insights for the Top 10 $0.99 Book Promotion Sites

Increasing Your Chances of Getting Accepted at the Top $0.99 Book Promotion Sites

Most of the top $0.99 book promotion sites are very selective about who they will take. The selection criteria is based purely on which books are likely to do well with their readers

The first factor, about which you can do very little, is

  1. Is your Book a good fit for their readers?

As there is nothing you can do about this, you should just hope they think it is a good match and focus instead on the Top 8 Selection Criteria that the Top $0.99 book promotion sites use

  1. A good number of Reviews and a good Review Rating
    1. The higher the reviews the more ‘real readers’ that are vouching your book is worth readers’ time and money
      1. This is absolutely essential
      2. Most of the top $0.99 book promotion sites won’t take your book without reviews
      3. Even the ones that will, will only ignore a lack of reviews if the book cover and writing are very good
    2. A review rating over 4 stars is pretty much necessary at most book promotion sites
      1. Firstly, books with review ratings below 4 stars sell very slowly
      2. Secondly, authors with books with review ratings below 4 stars always like to believe it makes no difference
        1. Instead of having an attitude of – Yeah, my book has a low review rating and I will adjust my expectations
          1. Such authors have an attitude of – Look at this bestselling book that has a 3 star rating. Rating makes no difference
        2. So most book promotion sites will go to great lengths NEVER to work with a book with a rating below 4 stars
      3. Thirdly, if you are getting proper editing and proofreading, it is REALLY tough in the Amazon Kindle Store to get a review rating below 4 stars
        1. A rating below 4 stars usually means the author doesn’t understand what quality of product a reader wants
  2. Professionally designed Book Cover
    1. This is absolutely critical
    2. If you make rookie mistakes like design your own cover, or buy a template and adjust it to make your cover, your book will almost certainly get rejected by all the top $0.99 book promotion sites
    3. You need to get the best book cover you can afford
    4. You must get a book cover designed by a professional book cover designer
      1. It must be a BOOK COVER DESIGNER and not your aunt’s grand nephew who took a few art classes in high school
      2. It must not be a ‘designer’ who designs something other than book covers for a living
        1. They almost always make pretty covers that fail miserably at actually selling books
    5. There are world class book cover designers available at all budgets
      1. Make sure you pick one who designs book covers which sell
  3. Professionally Edited Book
    1. This is also absolutely critical
    2. A good professional editor is like a movie director who turns a script into a beautiful movie
      1. You need someone very, very good
      2. A good editor will not just do editing, they will also improve the readability and flow of the book
    3. You must pick someone who has experience in your exact book categories
    4. You must pick someone who has SUCCESS in your exact book categories
      1. Books they have edited must have become bestsellers or at least sold decently well
  4. Professionally Proof Read Book
    1. You need a professional proof reader
    2. The less you think you need one, the more you actually need one
  5. The Right Categories and Sub Categories are selected in the book stores
    1. Most of the top book promotion sites will look very carefully at whether or not you have placed your book in its right categories
    2. If you don’t know what category your book is in, or if you are gaming the system by placing the book in the wrong categories, your book is likely to get rejected
    3. Books placed in the wrong category either sell slowly, or not at all
  6. Book is good value for money
    1. Just because it’s $0.99 does not mean you can skimp on quality or length of the book
    2. Most of the top $0.99 book promotion sites will not take short stories or novellas
      1. You must have a full length book
    3.  Likewise, your book must be well written and high quality
      1. A low price ($0.99) does not mean you compromise on quality of the product
  7. High Quality Writing
    1. While this is difficult to quantify, your book must be well written
    2. Firstly, most of the people running book promotion sites love books and want to promote good books
    3. Secondly, the better the quality of writing the higher the chance that the reader customers of the book promotion sites will be happy and will continue to use these sites
  8. Known Author with good reader base or an Award Winning Author (only big awards)
    1. This can be a very big factor
    2. If an author is an Award Winning Author, then the book promotion sites instantly know the book will sell better than most other books
      1. It becomes an instant acceptance
      2. Please Note: Only BIG Awards count. Awards where you can enroll yourself generally don’t count. Awards where you have to pay to enroll also don’t count
    3. If an author has a big reader base, then the book promotion sites again know that sales will generally be good
      1. Here, again, you become almost an instant approval

There are also some additional criteria that are worth keeping in mind

  1. Exceptionally good writing
    1. If your writing is not just good, it’s great
    2. Then most book promotion sites will take you
    3. Please Note: If you are messing up other criteria your book might not sell well. So you should not get lazy after writing a great book
  2. An author that is very relatable to their readers
    1. If an author comes across as very genuine and likable, that is a big win
    2. This especially applies to Non Fiction, Biographies, and Business Books
    3. However, it also applies to EVERY book category
      1. If readers like you, or feel they can relate to you, your sales will be double to triple
  3. A book that is a very good fit for their readers
    1. Every book promotion site has some books that just do very well with their readers
    2. If your book falls into this category, they will usually take it
  4. Bestselling Author
    1. Firstly, most book promotion sites will only give consideration to three bestseller lists
      1. New York Times Bestseller List
      2. USA Today Bestseller List
      3. Wall Street Journal Bestseller List
    2. If you are a bestseller on one of these lists (or have been in the past), then your chances of getting approved go up drastically
  5. Very High Quality Cover
    1. If you have an exceptionally well done book cover, your chances of getting approved go up
    2. Please Note: In our 11 years of curating books and 5.5 years of promoting books we have not run into even one self made cover that would qualify as ‘very high quality’
      1. So please don’t take the criteria for this to be – I am in love with my cover because I made it myself and it was such a wonderful autumn day where I navigated the precarious slopes of Photoshop and climbed the peak of ‘killing my book sales forever by making my own cover’
      2. The criteria is that it should be a very high quality cover as determined by top notch book cover designers
  6. Very Good Editing and Proof Reading
    1. This is hard to quantify
    2. In certain cases you can tell a book is exceptionally well edited
    3. Similarly, excellent proof reading means you just don’t find any mistakes and you know the book is super high quality
  7. Very good typesetting and internal design of the Book
    1. Hardly any authors take pains to make the inside of the book beautiful and well laid out
      1. You get some authors who mess up the layout and formatting
      2. You get the vast majority who make the layout ‘good enough’ and leave it at that
      3. You get a very small percentage who take pains and hire a book designer (who designs the interior) and/or an ebook typesetter and they create a really beautiful inside of the book
    2. When you see an author with a very well done book interior you know that’s someone who takes price in their work and that almost always gets accepted
  8. A very impressive Author Page or Author Website
    1. This is rare. However, in some cases an author will have a very well put together website or blog and you can tell the author has a bright future
    2. Then most book promotion sites will accept that author’s books

All of these criteria match EXACTLY what you need to do with your book to generate good sales

  1. The improvements and changes the top book promotion sites are asking you to do
  2. PERFECTLY match
  3. The improvements and changes that will lead to more sales for your book for the ENTIRE life of your book
    1. Not just when promoting with the top $0.99 book promotion sites
    2. For Ever

So please jump into these changes with enthusiasm and energy

$0.99 Book Promotion – Biggest Mistakes to Avoid

These are the biggest mistakes to avoid

  1. Promoting your Book Before it is Ready
    1. It’s incredibly difficult to have the patience and ‘feet on the ground’-ness to wait until your book is ready
    2. Yet it’s the only sensible path
      1. You can’t rush into promoting your book
      2. You can’t spend most or all of your marketing budget at the very start, when neither you nor your book are ready
    3. You need to understand the eBooks and Books and Publishing ecosystem
    4. You need to go from ‘first book and learning to be a writer’ to ‘being a somewhat experienced writer’
    5. You need to figure out, slowly and with low investment, what marketing methods work for you, and what don’t
  2. Writing for a Market that does not exist
    1. The biggest mistake authors make
    2. Interestingly, in a survey of 1,000+ startup companies, this was identified as the #1 reason for failure for startup companies
      1. Companies created a product for a market that didn’t exist
    3. It is also the #1 reason authors fail to succeed
  3. Writing the Wrong Book for The Right Market
    1. Even worse than writing a book for a market that does not exist
    2. Is to write the wrong book for the right market
    3. Finding the Right Market is such a tough thing
    4. If you manage to do the hard work to find a great market
    5. It’s absolutely essential to continue to do proper market research and make sure you find The Right Product for this Right Market
    6. By finding the right market, you have gotten 90% of the way to success
    7. We know it’s late, we know you’re weary. However, you must keep working hard and find The Right Product for this Right Market you have worked so hard to discover
  4. Putting the book in the wrong book categories
    1. Choosing the right book categories is so important
    2. We can’t even put into words how important it is
  5. Promoting the book to readers in the wrong book category
    1. After you ensure you know exactly what categories your book fits into
    2. After you make sure you put/classify your book in the right categories
    3. You have to make sure all your book marketing is focused on promoting your book to the readers in these Exact book categories
  6. Spending all your Marketing Budget on your First Book
    1. Please don’t
    2. Your Marketing Budget is best spent after you have a very high quality book, and you know what you’re doing
      1. Book 3 or Book 5 is when you will hit the point where beginning to spend a significant part of your marketing budget makes sense
      2. For Book 1 – put away your wallet and learn from other people’s experience
      3. For Book 2 – spend no more than 10% or 20% of your total marketing budget
  7. Spending all your Marketing Budget at the very start of your career as an Author
    1. If you were hiring an Architect to design your house, would you hand over the reigns to someone who was in their first year as an Architect and had never actually designed a real house before?
    2. You are the Architect of your career as an Author
      1. In the beginning you have absolutely no experience
      2. So why would you take your hard earned savings and spend it
      3. Please Note: If you have crazy amounts of money, then you can spend right at the start
        1. Just be prepared for very low return on investment
  8. Not having the book at $0.99
    1. As crazy as it sounds, a Top 5 reason that $0.99 book promotions miss is that the author forgot to actually discount the book to $0.99
    2. Amazon will also help mess up by sometimes having pricing errors
    3. Always start your book promotion and marketing push 1 or 2 days AFTER you discount your book
  9. Making your book cover yourself, or buying it for $5 from the Internet
    1. Spending 2 years crafting your book and then slapping a home brewed, ramshackle book cover on your masterpiece
      1. Is akin to Packing an iPhone into a cardboard box decorated by a 5 year old with crayons
      2. How are readers supposed to know that inside lies a very high quality book?
      3. Readers ALWAYS judge a book by its cover
        1. That’s why everyone keeps trying to get them to change – Don’t judge a book by its cover
        2. Because people KEEP judging a book by its cover
    2. Even worse is get a cover for $5 or $10 from the Internet
      1. Do you really think the ‘designer’ making your cover for $10 is spending more than 5 minutes on your ‘book cover’?
      2. Think about the absurdity of it
        1. You’ve spent 2 years of blood and sweat and tears crafting your book
        2. Now you are determining its success (because the book cover does determine whether your book succeeds or not) by letting some unqualified stranger on the Internet spend 5 to 10 minutes creating the packaging for it
          1. Packaging (the book cover) on which every single reader who sees your book will judge the book
      3. Please give the work of creating your book cover to a professional book cover designer with 10+ years of experience
        1. You can find them for almost every budget
        2. Just make sure it is someone who takes pains to create a beautiful book cover which leads to good book sales
  10. Not getting your book Edited
    1. You need a professional book editor to create a polished book
    2. You cannot substitute an editor with your friend or your mother’s cousin
    3. You cannot edit your book yourself
    4. You need a second set of eyes who helps you bring out the best in your book
    5. The editor must be someone with 10 or more years of experience as a professional book editor in the EXACT book categories your book is in
  11. Not getting your book Proof Read
    1. This is such a ‘simple’ sounding thing
      1. A proof reader is someone who goes through your book and makes sure there are no spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, and typographical errors
    2. What most authors miss is that it needs someone with an eagle eye and 10+ years of experience to do a proper job
      1. Word Spell Check cannot do it
      2. Another author cannot ‘swap’ jobs with you and do it
      3. Your wife/husband can’t do it
    3. You need someone who has EXPERIENCE of sifting through books and finding every single little mistake and typographical error
      1. Ideally, someone who proof reads books in your book’s exact categories
  12. Trying to ‘trick’ readers into buying the book
    1. Readers read books
      1. That inherently makes them smarter than the average every day consumer
    2. A lot of the tricks that work on people buying bubble gum and soda at the local 7/11, don’t work on readers
    3. It is far simpler to just give them a good quality book at a good price
  13. Not writing a high quality book
    1. How do you know your book is a high quality book?
      1. Every author has a soft spot
      2. Some authors would sooner admit to their kid being not perfect, than they would admit to their book is not perfect
      3. The better your book becomes, the more you realize that you are very far from perfection
    2. A high quality book is one that has been lovingly and painfully crafted
      1. Rewritten
      2. Rewritten again
    3. When you realize that the book will never truly be finished, is when it is ready for launch
  14. Thinking you’re Stephen King before actually becoming as successful as Stephen King
    1. It’s self explanatory, hopefully
  15. Thinking that just because Book Publishing is available to everyone, it means everyone has a book that deserves to be published
    1. Democratization of Book Publishing
    2. Shouldn’t be
    3. Democratization of Publishing Half Baked, Half Complete Books
  16. Confusing ‘Your Story’ with Your Book as a Product
    1. Every person has a beautiful story
    2. Can they write it out beautifully?
    3. Can they package it beautifully?
    4. Can they create a SELLABLE product of it?
  17. Thinking there is an Easy Button
    1. Of course, there is an Easy Button
    2. For the person selling the Easy Button
    3. Everyone else has to work very, very hard to succeed
  18. Not having clarity on exactly what you want
    1. There are a lot of different things you can aim for – getting read, getting readers, becoming a bestseller, selling books, making money, being a full time writer, winning rewards, etc
    2. The best way to get the things you want from your writing career, is to focus on one big goal
    3. Then break it into small, baby steps
    4. The path to selling 100,000 books starts with selling one book
    5. The path to becoming a bestseller starts with writing a book that delights one reader so much they feel compelled to leave a review

Please look through these mistakes carefully. Most authors will make some of these mistakes. It’s fine to make mistakes – as long as you don’t repeat them

It’s also important to not make every single mistake. You should try and avoid at least half of them. The ones you do make – make sure you never repeat them

Improving the Results of Your $0.99 Book Promotion with the Top 10 $0.99 Book Promotion Sites

The most important things you can do to improve the results of your $0.99 book promotion are

  1. Write for The Right Market
    1. Much better to spend 2 to 6 months and do proper market research and find The Right Market to write in
    2. Than to spend 2 to 6 years and write a great book and then find out there is no market for it
    3. If you do not do your due diligence you might end up writing a great book for a terrible market
      1. Which means all your hard work is in vain
  2. Write The Right Book for The Right Market
    1. After finding The Right Market, wait before you jump in
    2. The Market might be right, and you still have to ensure you create The Right Product for the market
    3. Make 100% sure that your write The Right Book for The Right Market
      1. Write what is already selling
      2. If you want to ‘do it your way’ and write something that is not selling in that market, please keep in mind that 99% of authors who try to ‘get the market to buy something new and different from what the market is buying’ fail
  3. At all times treat yourself as a business and an Entrepreneur
    1. Authors in all their dealings behave as if they are buying the product and readers are selling
      1. What do we mean?
      2. We mean that authors are under the misconception that readers will buy whatever the author wants to write
      3. Unfortunately, that is not the case
        1. Readers only buy what THEY, the Readers, want to buy
        2. You cannot write whatever you feel like, and then brainwash readers into buying
        3. Your only option is to write EXACTLY what readers are buying and asking for
    2. You are a Business and an Entrepreneur
      1. You have to consider your expenses and earnings
      2. You have to calculate your profit
      3. You have to make your ‘book writing’ business profitable as soon as possible
        1. Don’t build something that requires money from your day job to survive
  4. At all times treat your book As a Product that readers are buying
    1. You are not selling your magical life story
    2. You are not selling your fond memories which everyone must love because you are a special snowflake
    3. You are selling A PRODUCT
      1. In reality, it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with you and how it makes you feel
      2. It has EVERYTING to do with what the readers experiences and feels when they read your book
  5. Know what your book’s categories and sub categories are
    1. This might come as a shock to some authors
    2. It is not the reader’s job to conduct a forensic analysis and try to figure out whether or not the book is in the categories they read and love
    3. It is not the reader’s job to spend hours and hours puzzling out exactly what the right book category for the book is
    4. It is the author’s job to take however long it takes to figure out The Perfect Fit Genres and Sub Genres for the author’s book
      1. You wrote it
      2. You are the best person to research and figure out the right categories
    5. If you don’t know what your book’s categories are, all your marketing and promotion efforts will be significantly hampered
  6. Place your book in the right book categories and sub categories
    1. AFTER you have figured out what the book’s categories and sub categories are
    2. You MUST make sure you place your book in those exact categories and sub categories
  7. Promote your book in the right book categories and sub categories
    1. Even when promoting and marketing the book
    2. You must make sure you promote and market it only to readers that read your book’s categories
    3. You must make sure you use marketing channels and venues which either specialize in your book’s categories, or at least generate sales for books that are in your book’s categories
  8. Have respect for Marketing and Sales
    1. Authors sometimes have a snobbish attitude towards marketing and sales
    2. If you want to become successful you have to develop a lot of respect for Marketing and Sales
      1. If possible, develop a deep love for marketing and sales
    3. Marketing is making people aware your book exists and it will meet their needs
    4. Sales is closing the deal and ensuring they buy the book
    5. These are both critical skills
    6. You are the CEO of your little entrepreneurial company
      1. As the CEO you must understand the skill of Marketing Very Well
      2. As the CEO you must be marketer and sales man for your book
  9. FIRST make sure your book is very polished, and only then sell it
    1. Let’s say you buy a phone
      1. Unfortunately, some of the apps don’t work
      2. One of the buttons is broken
      3. One of the main features (let’s say email) is very slow
    2. That is totally unacceptable. You would throw up a fuss if someone sold you such a phone
    3. Yet, you are willing to send out your own product (your book) with broken apps (grammatical mistakes), broken buttons (spelling mistakes), and missing features (typographical errors)
      1. Why?
      2. Why do you want a double standard for your own product
  10. Ask for Reviews
    1. Just do it. Don’t over think it
    2. Ask readers for reviews in 2 or 3 different key places in your book
      1. At the beginning, in the Front Matter
      2. At the end, in the Back Matter
      3. On the last page of your book
    3. There are times when being shy will kill you
      1. This is one of those times
      2. ASK FOR REVIEWS without shame or hesitation
      3. Your career depends on it
  11. Get the Best Book Cover you can afford
    1. The Absolute Best Cover you can afford
    2. Only from a book cover designer with PROVEN expertise
      1. Ask them what bestselling book they have made a cover for
      2. Ask them if they have been designing book covers for 10 years (ideal) or 5 years (bare minimum) or a few years (not enough experience)
  12. Get the Best Editor you can afford
    1. You cannot go from ‘a book’ to ‘a polished product you can charge money for’ without an editor
  13. Get the Best Proof reader you can afford
    1. Proofreading ensures polish and fit and finish
    2. You have to get a professional proof reader with 10+ years of experience in the EXACT book genres and sub genres your book is in
  14. Rewrite your book until it is very polished and flows very well and reads smoothly
    1. Do you know where you can channel your ‘do it yourself’ energy and burning desire to ‘get things done the right way by doing them yourself?
    2. Only four places
      1. Doing market research on what market to write for
      2. Doing deep market research on what product to make for this market
      3. Writing a very good book
      4. Rewriting and improving it until it is a very, very good book
    3. Everything else you leave to the experts you hire (editor, book cover designer, proof reader) and get out of their way
  15. Be very careful with your marketing budget
    1. First 6 months as an author – lock your wallet in a safe and throw away the key
    2. Next 6 months as an author – use a flame torch to break into the safe, take out 20% of your marketing budget, and test and learn what works and what doesn’t
    3. Now, finally after a year of experience and testing – now you look at the remaining 80% of your book marketing budget
  16. Market to the right people and in the right way
    1. The Right people – readers who read books which are in the same sub categories and categories as your book
      1. There are no other ‘right people’ to market to
      2. We will repeat this: There are no other ‘right people’ to market to
    2. In the right way
      1. This is very difficult to explain
      2. Learn the rules for marketing properly
      3. Follow them
  17. Learn from your mistakes
    1. Mistakes will be made
      1. They will only be critical if you keep repeating them
    2. Mistakes will always offer feedback and lessons
      1. LEARN from the feedback
      2. Take the Lesson to heart
  18. Learn from what the market is telling you
    1. At every point, the Market is telling you what it will buy, and what it will not buy
    2. Listen to the Market – that’s the best way to sell your books
  19. Make things Crystal Clear to the Reader
    1. The reader cannot read your mind
    2. 90% of authors are so ‘into their book’ that they assume the reader also knows everything there is to know about your book
    3. The reader will give
      1. 3 to 5  seconds to look at the book cover
        1. Please Note: This requires your book is eye catching enough for the reader to actually notice it
        2. If the reader likes what the reader sees, she will click on the book cover and go to the book page
      2. 10 seconds to 5 minutes on the book page
        1. Make it CRYSTAL CLEAR who the book is for, what books it is similar to, what authors it is similar to
      3. If they see confusion and doubt, they will walk away
        1. You have to make things DEAD SIMPLE for them

Authors who follow most of these guidelines will be able to increase their results by 50% to 100%

  1. If you have a $3,000 marketing budget and can make it 50% to 100% more efficient
  2. Suddenly you have a $4,500 to $6,000 budget
  3. That efficiency can be the difference between success and failure

All the Best! Always be improving your book and your marketing and your strategy

$0.99 Book Promotion Sites – The Incredible Importance of Picking the Right Book Genres and Sub Genres

The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Genres

Picking the right book genres and sub genres to write in is critically importance because

  1. You must write for a category where readers buy books
  2. You must write for a category where there is a good, thriving market
  3. You must write for a category where there is low or zero competition

Picking the right book genres and sub genres to place your book in, in the ebook stores, is critical because

  1. People only buy books in the EXACT genres and sub genres they read
    1. You might think – my book is a Spy Thriller, what difference does it make if I put it in Technothriller
      1. They are both Thriller
    2. But people who read Spy Thrillers
      1. Firstly, they NEVER go to Technothriller sub genre
      2. Secondly, even if a book promotion site sends them to your book page, they think – Oh, this is not a Spy Thriller, it is a Technothriller
    3. In your mind – there is no difference
    4. In the reader’s mind – they will never buy a book placed in the wrong sub category
  2. If people read books that are mis-categorized they write negative reviews
    1.  What is even worse than not getting sales, is getting sales from the wrong readers
    2. You think you are ‘being smart’ by putting your Spy Thriller into Romantic Suspense
    3. Readers buy it, realize there is neither romance nor suspense, and they leave 1 star reviews
      1. You have basically shot yourself in the foot by being ‘too smart’

Picking the right genres and sub genres to promote your book in, is critical because

  1. Sending Mystery readers to buy and read your Thriller book won’t work
    1. You might think – Mystery and Thriller are almost the same. Why not promote the book to Mystery readers?
    2. In reality – Mystery and Thriller has close to zero overlap
      1. Mystery readers want a MYSTERY. They don’t want thrills and car chases and international espionage
  2. On the other hand, sending readers who like and buy Spy Thrillers, to the book page of your Spy Thriller, works very well
    1. They are the perfect readers
    2. They are the most likely to enjoy your book
    3. They are the most likely to leave good reviews
    4. They are the most likely to buy your other books
    5. They are the most likely to become lifelong readers of your books

People tend to think of books as ONE Product and all the categories as interchangeable

It is much better to think of it as Products in a Grocery Store

  1. Thriller Novels are the home cleaning aisle
  2. Mystery Novels are the fruit aisle
  3. Romance Novels are the ice cream aisle
  4. Christian Novels are the frozen food aisle
  5. It is not that book categories are all different flavor of ice cream and it doesn’t matter where you put them
    1. Everyone will buy every flavor of ice cream
    2. Flavor doesn’t matter
    3. They are all ice cream
  6. It is the EXACT opposite
    1. People looking for Thriller Novels (home cleaning aisle)
      1. Don’t EVER go to the fruit aisle
      2. Putting your thriller novel in the fruit aisle does not ‘expand the reach’
      3. It makes the reach ZERO
    2. People looking to buy Romance Novels (the ice cream aisle)
      1. Will not see your Mystery novel there and think – look a fruit in the ice cream aisle. I should buy it because this author came up with such an innovative approach of putting his fruit in the wrong aisle
        1. Author have been trying such ‘magic’ since 2009
          1. It doesn’t work

Every single thing you think will allow you to ‘bypass the system’ and/or ‘get an unfair advantage’ has been tried thousands of times by tens of thousands of authors

What really works is – Writing a Great Book for a Market that EXISTS, putting it in the right book genres and sub genres, and marketing it very well

Leveraging $0.99 Books as Part of a Bestseller Strategy

If you are a new author or an emerging author, your only viable strategy to become a bestseller is to use $0.99

There is no other way

We will repeat this because new authors are under the delusion that they can compete at $9.99 -> There is no other way than to discount your ebook to $0.99

A lot of authors burn their marketing budget thinking they can compete with Stephen King and Dean Koontz

Sorry, you can’t

No reader is going to buy your book for $9.99 when they can get a Stephen King novel for the same price

In fact, no reader is going to buy your book for $4.99 when they can get a Dean Koontz novel for $9.99

Your only option is to compete on price

$0.99 is PROVEN to work

If you want to become a bestselling author, and you don’t have a large reader base and an established author brand, then your only choice is to compete on price

$0.99 works

Becoming a Bestseller – Leveraging the Top $0.99 Book Promotion Sites to Become a Bestseller

Very Important: If at any point during your push you give in to temptation and start thinking – Why not hike up the price from $0.99 to $2.99 or $4.99? It might still sell as well as it does at $0.99? Then the entire strategy will fail and you will miss out on your best possible outcome

Please stick to $0.99 through the ENTIRETY of your push to become a bestseller

After you have achieved the highest possible Bestseller Status, and your ENTIRE Bestseller Push has completed, then feel free to hike it up to any price you desire

Firstly, there are 4 key things to keep in mind when going for Bestseller Status

  1. The Game is Won or List in the Selection of Categories and Sub Categories
    1. Before anything else, you must make sure you know EXACTLY what categories and sub categories your book is in
    2. You must make sure your book is placed in EXACTLY those categories and sub categories in the ebook stores
    3. All your book promotion and marketing efforts must be to readers in those EXACT categories and sub categories (to the extent possible)
  2. You have to pick a combination of categories in which to place your book (while also ensuring your book actually fits into those categories)
    1. You must pick a few very small categories
      1. Where even a small number of sales (10 to 30 in a week) will make you a Category Bestseller
      2. Where there is very little competition
      3. Very Important: These categories must not clash with the Right Categories for your book
        1. Example: It is OK to put your Thriller novel into Noir Thrillers (a relatively small category)
          1. However, you cannot put your Thriller novel into Gluten Free Cookbooks
        2. Example: It is OK to put your Romance Novel into Supernatural Reverse Harem Romance
          1. However, you cannot put your Romance novel into British Detective Mysteries
    2. You must pick a few large categories
      1. These are categories where you need 100 to 500 sales in a week
      2. You must pick a few such categories, even if you think you don’t have a chance of becoming a bestseller in them
        1. Firstly, you never know
        2. Secondly, a lot of readers check these categories’ Bestseller Lists and even being #99 in a large category will get you more attention than being #1 in a tiny category
      3. It is very reassuring for readers to see such categories on your book page
        1. A reader might be buying your book because it is a Business Leadership Guide aimed at CEOs of tech startups
        2. However, they still want to see ‘Business’ and ‘Non Fiction’ to reassure them that this is indeed a Business Non Fiction title
          1. Wrong categorization of books is perhaps the #2 problem readers face
          2. #1 is not finding enough good authors
    3. You must pick a few medium size categories
      1. These are categories where you need 30 to 100 sales over a week to become a bestseller
      2. These will often be The Sweet Spot
        1. They are not so competitive that you don’t have a change. You can become a bestseller
        2. They are not so small that becoming a bestseller has very little impact in terms of visibility
      3. If your book is a Spy Thriller, then medium sized categories such as Espionage Thriller and Spy Thriller and International Mystery & Crime might be the best sub categories for your book
        1. These are also the categories in which you have the highest chance of becoming a bestseller
        2. These are also the categories where after you become a bestseller, you will get the highest benefit from Bestseller Status
          1. Saying #1 Spy Thriller is, in some ways, even better than saying #1 Thriller
          2. Of course, if you have the option, also go for #1 Thriller or Top 10 Thriller
          3. However, the BEST FIT categories are what you should focus on
  3. Please do not make a Bestseller Push until your book is polished and ready
    1. Your book must have a professionally designed book cover
    2. Your book must be professionally edited
    3. Your book must be professionally proof read
    4. Your book must have been written and rewritten for flow and readability
  4. Please do not have a Bestseller Push until YOU are experienced and ready
    1. You should not be new to the market
      1. You should know about books and ebooks and publishing
    2. You should have tested what marketing methods work for your book
    3. You should have spent at least a few months familiarizing yourself with the market

All 4 of these are CRITICAL

Secondly, let’s look at the three types of Bestseller Status

  1.  Category Bestseller
    1. This requires between 30 to 1,000 sales in a week
      1. Very Small Categories – 10 to 30 sales in a week
      2. Small Categories – 30 to 100 sales in a week
      3. Medium Categories – 100 to 300 sales in a week
      4. Large Categories – 300 to 1,000 sales in a week
      5. Very Large Categories – 500 to 1,500 sales in a week
    2. While getting your book categories is critically important for all types of book promotion, it is even more important when going for a category bestseller
      1. The absolute right book sub categories combined with the right book promotion results in a #1 or a Top 10 bestseller rank
      2. The wrong book sub categories lead to low sales and no bestseller rank, even with large amounts of book promotion
      3. This is a very, very difficult thing for most authors to fully grasp
        1. Each category has readers who read COMPLETELY DIFFERENT sub categories
          1. Example: Cozy Mystery readers are completely different from Historical Mystery readers
          2. Example: Historical Romance readers will very rarely read Shifter Romance
          3. Example: Business & Management readers will often not touch books on Entrepreneurship and Home Business
        2. Just because two sub categories fall under the same category, does not mean that readers of one sub category would buy books in the other sub category
    3. This is not too difficult
      1. You can take a shot at this (becoming a Category Bestseller) with even your first book
      2. You still have to make sure you have a well polished book
      3. You still have to make sure you understand the ecosystem
    4. Going for Category Bestseller should only be done after you are well prepared, and your book is ready and polished
      1. It is, however, doable even on a small budget and even with your first book
  2.  Amazon Top 100 Bestseller
    1. Reaching the Amazon Top 100 requires between 1,000 to 2,000 book sales in a week
      1. In some cases you might require as high as 3,000 book sales in a week
      2. It is strongly recommended to not try for Amazon Top 100 Bestseller Status during busy periods like Week after Christmas and 1st Week of January
      3. It is strongly recommended to not try for Amazon Top 100 Bestseller status during long weekends (holiday weekends) and during Festivals like Easter and Christmas
    2. If trying to compress things into 1 to 3 days and make a big push into the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller lists
      1. You would need to get 1,000 to 1,500 sales within 1 to 3 days
      2. This is a riskier strategy
      3. It is better to do a week long push
        1. First do some smaller book promotions for 3 to 4 days
        2. Then pull out all the stops and try and get 1,000+ sales within a day or two
        3. Ideally, also have a few follow on book promotions in the last couple of days (the days immediately after your big push)
    3. This is a very achievable target if you can satisfy these requirements
      1. You have a very polished book
      2. You know the right categories for your book and you have put your book in these categories
      3. You know what marketing methods and what $0.99 book promotion sites work for your book, and you leverage those
      4. You have everything set up and scheduled to run within a one week period (or within a 3 to 4 day period)
      5. You track everything and make sure everything is going as scheduled
  3.  New York Times Bestseller or USA Today Bestseller
    1. These are THE Bestseller Lists
      1. Becoming a New York Times Bestseller or a USA Today Bestseller gives you credibility for life
      2. They are the undisputed best bestseller status you can get
    2. You will need to get between 5,000 to 10,000 sales in a week
      1. Larger categories like Romance and Mystery will require 10,000+ sales in a week
      2. Medium Size Categories will require 5,000+ sales in a week
      3. Smaller Categories require less and yet you should aim to get 5,000+ sales in a week
    3. [Very Important] You MUST plan to get DOUBLE the number of required sales
      1. Things always go wrong
      2. If you need 10,000 sales to reach Bestseller Status, then you must make sure you have enough book marketing and promotion lined up to reach 15,000 to 20,000 sales
        1. You will be glad you did because there are always some marketing channels that fall through or underperform
      3. There are fluctuations from week to week and you want to make sure you don’t miss out because that week was tougher and you were a mere 300 sales short
    4. 500 of the sales should be from outside Amazon
      1. You need either paperback sales, or Apple iBooks and Barnes & Noble Nook and Kobo sales
    5. It’s almost impossible to do it without knowing the market well, so please take the time to understand the market
    6. It’s almost impossible to do this with your first book, so you will be better off waiting until you have some books and have improved both your writing abilities and your marketing abilities
    7. This requires a LOT of money
      1. Between $5,000 to $20,000 as just the bare minimum
    8. It is a Binary Outcome
      1. You either become a New York Times Bestseller and/or USA Today Bestseller
      2. Or you don’t
      3. This highlights the need to have a very high quality product (your book)
      4. This highlights the need to know which marketing methods work for your book and which don’t
      5. This highlights the need to try for DOUBLE the required sales
      6. This highlights the need to have a sizeable budget
        1. It is better to spend $10,000 and ENSURE you Become a Bestseller
        2. Thank to spend $5,000 and get nothing
        3. Which is also a painful reminder that without a good budget, you don’t have a chance
    9. This requires a lot of work and planning

Becoming a Bestseller is very valuable. Readers trust other readers more than they trust anyone. That is why reviews are so important. Being a Bestseller is just as important because it tells readers that your book sold well enough to Become a Bestseller

Becoming a Category Bestseller

Here are the 5 most important things

  1. Pick the right categories
    1. The ones that are the PERFECT FIT for your book
    2. Make sure your book is placed in these exact categories at the book stores
  2. Pick a combination of categories
    1. A few very small categories and sub categories
    2. A few small categories
    3. A few medium sized categories
    4. A few large categories
  3. Promote your book to the right readers
    1. The ones that actually buy and read books in these categories
  4. Pick the book marketing and promotion methods that are proven to work FOR YOUR BOOK
    1. Make sure you use what has worked for you in the past
  5. Make sure you get enough sales to at least become a bestseller in the small and very small categories you have chosen

Number of Sales Required to Become a Category Bestseller

A rough approximation of the number of sales required is

  1. Very Small Categories – 10 to 30 sales in a week
  2. Small Categories – 30 to 100 sales in a week
  3. Medium Categories – 100 to 300 sales in a week
  4. Large Categories – 300 to 1,000 sales in a week
  5. Very Large Categories – 500 to 1,500 sales in a week

If you are trying for a one day spike

  1. Very Small Categories – 5 to 20 sales in a day
  2. Small Categories – 10 to 50 sales in a day
  3. Medium Categories – 30 to 150 sales in a day
  4. Large Categories – 70 to 500 sales in a day
    1. Please Note: The stores will sometimes partially disregard one day spikes
    2. For Large Categories it is much better to do a 5 to 7 day marketing push
  5. Very Large Categories – 300 to 1,000 sales in a day
    1. Again, a one or two day push might get nuked by the store
      1. Make sure you set up a 7 day push when going for Bestseller Status in a very large book category

These are guidelines. Please adjust specific to your book categories and sub categories

Whenever possible, aim to get double the number of sales listed here. It is pretty much guaranteed that 25% to 50% of the marketing methods you use will underperform or fail. Aiming for DOUBLE the sales required, ensures that you succeed even when things go wrong

Becoming an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller

To become an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller you require a very large number of sales within a 3 to 7 day period

  1. You definitely need Bookbub, as it can generate 1,000 to 3,000 sales for a $0.99 ebook
  2. You need 2 or more of remaining Top 10 $0.99 book promotion sites – eReader News Today, Robin Reads, Books Butterfly, etc
    1. Ideally, as many as possible
  3. You need Facebook Ads or Amazon Marketing Services Ads. Ideally both

Without Bookbub, at the moment (mid 2020) it is not very realistic to reach the Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers list. So, firstly, focus on getting approved by Bookbub

Then structure the rest of your book marketing and promotion around the Bookbub promotion

Your entire marketing structure should be something similar to

  1. Facebook Ads starting on Day 1 and running every day
    1. For a small section of authors, Amazon Marketing Services will work better than Facebook Ads
    2. If you fall under this section, then use Amazon Marketing Services instead of, or in addition to, Facebook Ads
  2. Smaller $0.99 book promotion sites running each day during the 7 day marketing push
    1. We recommend structuring it as a week long marketing push
  3. Books Butterfly starting on Day 3
    1. Most Books Butterfly promotion packages are 3 to 7 days long and work well as a lead up to your main promotion day (BookBub)
  4.  A Top 10 book promotion site on Day 4
  5. Bookbub on Day 5
    1. Add 1 to 3 of the Top 10 book promotion sites to Bookbub on Day 5
  6. 1 or 2 of the remaining Top 10 book promotion sites on Days 6 and 7
    1. This is important because it gives you a longer tail of sales

This is one way to set things up. It is one of the best and feel free to use it for your own marketing push

Becoming a New York Times Bestseller or an USA Today Bestseller

To become a New York Times Bestseller or an USA Today Bestseller you have to sell 5,000 to 10,000 sales in a week

This requires a lot of things

  1. You must have a very high quality book
    1. The book must be very well written
  2. You must have a very polished book
    1. You need a book edited by a professional editor
    2. You need a book proof read by a professionally proof reader
  3. You need a very well packaged book
    1. The book cover must be designed by a professional book cover designer
    2. Please Note: This is one of the biggest stumbling points for most authors
      1. The cover is not what makes you happy
      2. The cover is not what you THINK the cover should be
      3. The cover is not a demonstration of you being a Renaissance Man/Woman who can learn Photoshop in one hour
      4. The cover needs to be what gets readers to notice it, click on it, and buy the book
    3. The book cover must match book categories perfectly
  4. You must have a good number of reviews and a high review rating
    1. Review Rating of 4 stars or higher is pretty much mandatory
    2. 10+ reviews is also pretty much a mandatory requirement
  5. You will need to sell 5,000 to 10,000 copies of your book within a one week period
    1. Both New York Times Bestseller List and USA Today Bestseller List use a very specific one week period (it is NOT Monday to Sunday or Sunday to Saturday)
    2. You must target that specific one week period
  6. At least 500 of the sales must be outside of Amazon Kindle Store and
  7. You need a very large marketing budget
    1. To get 5,000 to 10,000 sales will require a budget of $5,000 to $10,000
      1. This is on top of a having a very well written, very well polished book
      2. This amount ($5,000 to $10,000) is for marketing alone
    2.  Ideally, you should aim for DOUBLE the number of required sales (because some marketing methods underperform)
      1. That means a budget of $10,000 to $20,000
  8. You cannot use money to overcome a low quality book or a book put into the wrong book categories
    1. Authors with money find it very hard to understand this
    2. You cannot ‘buy’ this bestseller status
    3. You actually have to generate 5,000 to 10,000 sales
      1. Getting that number of sales with a poorly written book, or a badly packaged book, or miscategorized book is impossible
    4. You should treat having a lot of money as a single strategic advantage
      1. You should use it smartly
    5.  You have to still get all the other aspects right
  9. You have to have patience

It’s very difficult and it’s not easy to Become a Bestseller

That’s why being a New York Times Bestselling Author or an USA Today Bestseller Author is valued so highly

There are also certain things you can do to increase your chances of Becoming a Bestseller

  1. Promote a $0.99 Box Set instead of a $0.99 standalone book
    1. Box Sets sell at 2 to 4 times the rate of standalone books at most marketing venues
    2. Promoting a Box makes the 5,000 to 10,000 sales requirement much more manageable
  2. Don’t mess with the $0.99 sweet point
    1. To authors, it seems there is no difference between $0.99 and $2.99 and $4.99
      1. Surely, readers don’t mind paying less than the price of a coffee at Starbucks
    2.  To readers, the prices from AN UNKNOWN AUTHOR for their UNPROVEN ebook seem very different
      1. $0.99 – Lowest price Available
        1. Author is willing to give us a deal, in return for taking a chance on an unproven author
      2. $2.99 – Sort of Reasonable, if it is a very high quality book
        1. Do keep in mind that your chances of Becoming a Bestseller in one of the big lists with a $2.99 book are close to ZERO
      3. $4.99 – No way I’m paying $4.99 for an unknown author
        1. To readers it seems CRAZY that an author who they have never heard of expects them to risk both 3 hours of their reading time and $4.99 of their hard earned money
  3. Create a World Class Book Cover
    1. The Book cover is so important that creating a truly exceptional book cover greatly increases your chances of becoming a bestseller
    2. Please note that your chances are still low
      1. However, a world class book cover will double your low chances
  4. Have very good reviews
    1. If readers have written long, clear, detailed reviews about what they like and don’t like about your book
    2. That significantly increases your book sales
    3. A well written, detailed 4 star review is MUCH better than a one line 5 star review
  5. Partner with other authors and create a Multi Author Box Set
    1. $5,000 to $10,000 marketing budget might be out of your reach
    2. Partner with 4 other authors and split the costs
    3. There are, obviously, lots of accompanying headaches in coordinating everything
      1. However, a multi author box set remains one of the very best ways to Become a Bestseller

This is all very difficult and requires you to not be madly in love with your book and assess it with a critical eye. It also requires you to take a very realistic view of what your chances are and not spend $5,000 to $10,000 before your book is actually good enough to become a bestseller

90% of Authors who spend $5,000 to $50,000 to go for Bestseller Status would be far better off spending $500 to $5,000 on getting better editing, getting a better book cover, and rewriting their book

How to Increase the Number of Reviews you get after Promoting Your $0.99 Book

There are 4 critical factors that determine how many reviews you will get

  1.  How well written your book is
    1. This includes how well polished it is
      1. Very Important: If it is not well polished readers will not be able to enjoy it
      2. People are not just reading ‘your story’, they are reading it in the form you present it to them
      3. If there are mistakes and spelling mistakes and typographical errors, they cannot enjoy it
      4. It does not matter how good your story is, if mistakes keep taking them out of the story and back into the boring real world they want to escape
      5. You need a professional editor and you need a professionally proof reader to ensure the story has good flow and is free of errors
  2. Whether or not you ask for reviews and whether or not you ask for reviews The Right Way
    1. You MUST ask for reviews
      1. Readers have ZERO idea that an author would love a review
    2. You must ask for reviews The Right Way
      1. Ask people who like your book enough to finish it
        1. How can you do that? By asking at the very end of the book, on the last page
      2. Ask people who like your book
        1. If they are contacting you to say they like the book, ask for a review
    3. An author who asks for reviews will usually get a lot more reviews than an author who does not
      1. Even if they have written two books that are equally good
  3. How many books you sell
    1. If you get 1 review for every 1,000 books you sell
      1. Then the simplest path to getting 100 reviews is selling 100,000 books
    2. The other, more difficult path is to improve the quality of your book
    3. A third path, is to ask politely and nicely for reviews
  4. Whether you promote and sell your books to The Right Readers
    1. If you give a kid who loves ice cream, some ice cream, he is going to love it and write a good review for the ice cream
      1. If instead you go to a bunch of kids who like Broccoli (hey, this is fantasy land) and give them ice cream, there are extremely unlikely to leave a review
    2. The best thing you can do to get more reviews is to promote the book to the EXACT right set of readers
    3. Find the exact categories and sub categories of your book
      1. Promote it to those readers
      2. Ask them for reviews
      3. People who love Zombie books are very likely to review Zombie books, provided you ask nicely and provided your book is well done

If you get all 4 of these right, you will get a steady stream of good reviews

There are some additional factors that you should also consider

  1. Is your book well written or very well written?
    1. Everyone assumes that their first book is ‘the next great American novel’
    2. In reality, it is your FIRST attempt at writing a book and necessarily an unpolished, unfinished creation
    3. You must rewrite it and improve it and take it from ‘sort of good’ to ‘excellent’
    4. Even after you start writing more books, you have to consciously focus on writing better and better
    5. You will always have to rewrite your book to improve the flow, improve the readability, improve the immersion
  2. Is your book decent value for money or is it great value for money?
    1. Decent value for money -> Oh, there are 1 million other authors to choose from
    2. Great Value for money -> Wow, I should really think about getting this Now
    3. Consider your own behavior – Are you looking for a sort of OK shopping deal, or are you looking for a GREAT deal
      1. Ideally, you want a very well written book at a GREAT price
  3. Are you just entertaining readers or connecting with them on a very deep level?
    1. This one is very difficult to pull off, so you should first address the other areas for improvement
    2. One of the best ways to get people to give your book a review is to REALLY CONNECT with them on a VERY DEEP LEVEL
    3. To be able to do this you really need to master the craft of writing
    4. You also need to really understand WHY readers are reading your book (and other books in your book categories)
    5. You have to understand the underlying motivation for reading AND ALSO the underlying motivation for reading books in this category
      1. A very simple and inelegant example would be – Readers read thrillers to get some excitement in their life
        1. To truly deeply connect with them you have to write very well and provide them with the sort of excitement and thrills that their own life is missing
        2. The sort of thrills and experiences they cannot find anywhere else
          1. Not in other thriller novels
          2. Not in thriller movies
          3. Not in thriller TV shows
  4. Are readers enjoying your story world, or are they getting really attached to it?
    1. You are creating a story world and bringing readers into that story world
    2. Is it a story world that they enjoy, and then forget after a few days
    3. Or is it a story world that they get attached to
      1. Such that even after a few months they think back to their experiences in this story world
      2. The sound of a teacup falling to the ground as something dark sprang out of the shadows
      3. Wondering about the fate of one or more characters that were so relatable they seem like real life people
  5. Are your characters fun, or are they insanely relatable and appealing?
    1. Everyone starts off writing flat and one dimensional characters
      1. That doesn’t work
    2. Then authors improve and write good characters
      1. Unfortunately, most authors stop at ‘barely good enough’ and never really tap into the full power
    3. You can work more on your characters and make them so relatable and appealing that they become like real people
      1. Think about books like White Fang and Rikki Tikki Tavi and Black Beauty where the authors took animals and made them so relatable that we will remember them
      2. Then think about books like The Count of Monte Cristo where the main character is someone who becomes of flesh and blood
        1. Or Robinson Crusoe
        2. Or Dickens’ characters
      3. Pride and Prejudice
      4. Alice in Wonderland
      5. As an author you have the power to create characters that are INCREDIBLY compelling
        1. Embrace that super power
  6. How much have you worked on your writing skills?
    1. Practice makes Perfect
    2. The more you write, the better of an author you will be
    3. The more Deliberate Practice you do of writing better, the better your books will read
  7. How much polish have you applied to your book?
    1. The average author does 1 or 2 rewrites of their book
    2. The very good authors do 3 to 5 rewrites of their book
    3. You don’t want to overdo rewriting
      1. However, 3 to 5 rewrites are a good healthy bar for the amount of rewriting you should expect
  8. Have you been very forthright with your readers about what your book is and what it is not?
    1. This trips up a lot of authors
    2. Readers cannot look into your mind and figure out – Oh, this book is written for readers in these specific book categories. If readers love Author X and Author Y or Book P and Book Q, then they will like it
      1. You have to CLEARLY tell them who it is written for
  9. Is your book good enough to compel a reader to leave a review?
    1. In the end your book has to be compelling enough to get the reader to leave a review
    2. We can give you a ton of tricks and tips and secrets
    3. All of that doesn’t matter one bit if your book is not compelling enough for a reader to feel – I really liked the book and author has asked for a review. I’ll definitely leave a review

That last point is something you should really consider

Things such as ‘Asking for a Review’ and ‘Selling a Lot of Books’ are brute force solutions. The one true thing that drives reviews is your book being so good that the reader is compelled to leave a review

Avoiding Negative Reviews when Promoting Your $0.99 Book

The upside of $0.99 is that you can sell a lot of books

The downside of $0.99 is that readers have less resistance to buying your book, even if it is not the right book for them

It is your job to make 100% sure that you promote and market your book only to the right readers

  1. If you promote and market it to the wrong readers
    1. They might buy it as it is so cheap ($0.99)
    2. Then they will find out it is wrong for them
    3. Then a few will leave negative reviews
  2. The only solution is to make sure you promote and market your book to The Right Readers

Another factor is to not promote and market your book to ‘Difficult’ readers, even if they are the right readers

There are certain categories and sub categories where the bar is very high

Let’s say you have a book that you think falls into all three of – Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction

  1. Historical Romance expects a historical setting and a romance story and a Happily Ever After
    1. Provided the love story is strong the readers do not expect literary fiction level of writing and do not expect historical fiction level of historical accuracy
  2. Historical Fiction expects a well written novel and historical accuracy and has a pretty high bar
    1. The writing needs to be very good, as good as Literary Fiction novels
    2. The historical accuracy must be very high
  3. Women’s Fiction expects a well written novel and a theme that resonates with women (family drama, family saga, relationships, family relationships, etc)
    1. The writing needs to be higher than romance novels, though it does not have to be as high as for Literary Fiction
    2. There MUST be a theme that relates to women. You cannot classify a purely romantic novel as women’s fiction

If your book is primarily a romance, and not very well researched historically, then putting it into Historical Fiction will get you negative reviews because the readers there have a higher bar and also expect historical accuracy

It is your responsibility to make sure you promote to The Right Readers and also to Readers who are likely to leave good reviews and not to Readers who have a high bar and are likely to leave bad reviews

$0.99 Book Promotion Sites vs Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are a decent option to promote $0.99 books

What makes it difficult is that you have to find very low cost clicks

  1. A $0.99 book will make you 35 to 70 cents
  2. Generally, to get one sale you will need to get 10 to 20 clicks
  3. So to break even, you will need to get clicks that cost just 3 to 7 cents, or lower
  4. Of course, if those readers buy your other books and they generate a lot more money for you than 35 or 70 cents from the $0.99 book, then you can adjust accordingly
  5. The main issue with promoting $0.99 ebooks on Facebook using Facebook Ads is that you need low priced clicks

Facebook is still a decent option because of the sheer number of people on Facebook (supposedly 2 billion)

The $0.99 book promotion sites are a better option for the majority of authors because they have already gathered readers and they specialize in promoting discounted books

If you can get both to work, then use both

If not, then test out both Facebook Ads and the Top $0.99 book promotion sites and go with whichever works better for you

$0.99 Book Promotion Sites Vs Amazon Marketing Services

Amazon Marketing Services is not as good as Facebook

It is difficult to understand, and 75% of authors won’t be able to get it to work consistently

For the remaining 25% of authors, roughly 60% of this 25% will be able to make Amazon Marketing Services give them Positive Return on Investment

If you fall into this group, then Amazon Marketing Services is a good option

If not, then you should instead use the top $0.99 book promotion sites and Facebook Ads

Why Make a Book $0.99?

To be quite frank, it is your decision

Every price point has its pros and cons

  1. At $0.99 it is easier to sell your book
  2. At $4.99 you make more revenue per book
  3. At $2.99 you hit a decent balance between selling fast and making decent revenue per book sale

For any author who is starting off, you have to go with $0.99 and $2.99

Most authors make the wrong assumption that readers will look at their ebook at $4.99 or $9.99 and magically assume it is worth buying

Reality is that when you are an unknown author no one is willing to buy your book for $4.99. To build up a readership and build a brand you have to discount to attract readers

A well known author with a $4.99 or $9.99 ebook will ALWAYS trump you, an unknown author, with a book at $4.99 or $9.99

At $2.99 you have a slight chance

At $0.99 you have a real chance

AFTER readers are aware you are a quality author who writes high quality books, then you can gradually ramp up from $0.99 to $2.99 and perhaps even $4.99

In the beginning it is a guaranteed way to make things super tough for yourself by pricing the same as Koontz and King

The 3 Core Skills for Authors

The 3 Core Skills for Authors are

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. Doing the market research and the due diligence to find out
      1. What you should be writing out of the book categories and sub categories you can write well in, and are passionate about
      2. What are the growing markets in these categories
      3. What the Market is asking for you to write
      4. What product you should be writing for this market, which would match what the Market is asking for
    2. Knowing what to write is a skill
    3. The more you train yourself to understand and identify what the market is asking for, the better you will be able to create the product (book) that sells well
  2. Writing Very Well
    1. Writing very well is simply the skill of writing a very, very good book
  3. Marketing Very Well
    1. Perhaps the most misunderstood skill
    2. Marketing Very Well means that AFTER you have identified the right market
      1. AFTER you have written the right product (book) for this right market
      2. Having the Skillset to reach the readers in this Right Market and sell your book to them
    3. It is not enough to Have The Right Product for The Right Market
      1. You also have to do marketing and sales
      2. Marketing – make the readers aware that you have the product they want
      3. Sales – close the deal and get readers to buy the product

These three skills are above everything else. If you can become very good at all three you will have a long and solid career as an author

If you can become very good at all three, and also attain mastery in one of the three, then you will have a very, very successful career as an author

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

Do the 3 Core Skills apply to $0.99 Book Promotion?

Yes, most definitely

All three of them apply 100% to $0.99 book promotion

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. This is exceptionally important as people only buy what they want to buy
    2. Just because you make something $0.99 does not mean people will start buying it
    3. They will first check – Is this a book I want to read?
  2.  Writing Very Well
    1. The writing bar does not go down just because you are discounting your book
    2. Readers giving 3 to 5 hours of their life to a book expect a great read
      1. Regardless of whether they paid $0.99 or $9.99
    3. In some ways, it is better to not discount your book if you have cut corners when writing it
      1. At least with $4.99 or $9.99 you will never have enough sales volume to start getting lots of bad reviews
      2. If you discount a half polished book to $0.99, the sales will start resulting in bad reviews
  3. Marketing Very Well
    1. Pricing at $0.99 does make it easier to sell
    2. Marketing is still extremely important because you still need to get the book in front of The Right Readers for your book
    3. Sales is still extremely important because you still need to get them to open up their wallets and spend 99 cents

The 3 Core Skills do apply to $0.99 book promotion

The 8 Golden Rules of $0.99 Book Promotion

These are rules you must follow

  1. The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Book Genres to Write In & Promote In
    1. If you want to succeed, you must do market research and figure out what book categories and sub categories you should be writing in
      1. It must be categories you can write well in
      2. It must be categories where a hot and/or growing market exists
      3. It must be categories you are passionate about and will do great work in (i.e. will write a truly exceptional book)
      4. It must be categories where people buy books, and lots of them
      5. It must be categories where you have competitive advantages
    2. If you want to succeed, you must figure out exactly which categories and sub categories your book falls into
    3. If you want to succeed, you must place them in exactly the right categories at the book stores
    4. If you want to succeed, you must promote your book to the exact right sets of readers
      1. Those that actually have interest in, and buy, books in the categories and sub categories your book falls into
    5. This (doing the market research and finding the right categories to write in) is far more important than everything else combined
      1. It is called Product Market Fit
  2. Product Market Fit is more important than everything else combined
    1. Product – your book
    2. Market – the market it is written for
    3. Product Market Fit – a strong fit between your book and the market it is written for
    4. Most people don’t even know what this means. If you can understand it and embrace it, then you greatly increase your chances of doing well as an Author
    5. In simple English
      1. If you create the EXACT product that people in a market are dying to buy, then it will sell very well
      2. If you create some other product, something other than what people want to buy, then it will sell slowly no matter how high quality it is, and no matter how much marketing and promotion you do
  3. You cannot succeed in the wrong market
    1. The corollary to ‘Product Market Fit’ and Finding the Right Market
    2. If you enter the wrong market, you cannot succeed
    3. Let’s say you have a skill and talent for writing Mystery
      1. You are passionate about writing Mystery Novels
      2. You understand the market for Mystery books very well
      3. However, you hear that The Hunger Games made so much money and Twilight made so much money and Divergence made so much money
      4. So you forsake what you are passionate about and what you are gifted in
      5. You start writing Young Adult Fantasy Romance novels
      6. If this is the Wrong Market for you, you can never succeed in it
        1. People who have more talent to write YA Romance will beat you
        2. People who are more passionate about writing YA Romance will outwork you
        3. People who understand the market better, will outthink you
  4. While Quality of Product is Very Important, it only comes into play if You Have Written for The Right Market, if You Have Written The Right Product for The Right Market, and You Have Very Good Marketing for This Right Market
    1. This is INCREDIBLY difficult for most people to understand, regardless of what they create and sell
    2. It does not matter how good your product is if there is no market for it
    3. It does not matter how good your product is, or how big the market for it is, if you cannot get your product in the hands of the right customers (those who want to buy it)
  5. The sooner in the lifecycle of your book you fall in love with it, the lower your chances of succeeding with it
    1. If you fall in love with your book while writing the first chapter, 90% of the time you will never finish writing it
    2. If you fall in love with your book after finishing the first draft, it is almost impossible to succeed
    3. On the other hand, if you always treat it as a half finished product that you are slowly sculpting into perfection, you boost your chances of success significantly
    4. It is a PRODUCT
      1. People selling potato chips don’t fall in love with the chips or the packet it is contained in
        1. They are constantly looking to see how they can improve the product
        2. They are always improving the taste, the texture, the packaging, the pricing, the positioning, the brand
        3. Imagine how crazy it would be if a potato chip company finalized the FIRST flavor they came up with, had their CEO design the chip packaging, and tried to sell that to people who buy chips
          1. Yet, that is exactly what over 50% of authors try to do
      2. Think of your book as a Product
      3. If you want to sell it, and sell it well, fall OUT of love with it and TREAT IT LIKE A PRODUCT to be constantly improved and polished
  6. Your Book is A PRODUCT and its quality is completely independent of how powerful your story is
    1. This is a blind spot all creators suffer from
      1. They think of their song/book/painting as some sort of ethereal poem which is pure perfection and reaches heights no other mortal has ever reached
      2. Your book is not some Ode to the Gods which defies the laws of Finance and Physics
      3. Your book is a PRODUCT
      4. Regardless of how powerful it is, you first need to polish it, perfect it, package it
    2. If people don’t like the packaging (book cover) they will never buy it
    3. If people get thrown off by a lack of polish (typographical mistakes, spelling mistakes), they will stop reading it
    4. It is a PRODUCT
    5. You might have envisioned it in your mind as PURE PERFECTION
      1. That only matters if you can create a FINISHED PRODUCT that perfectly captures that PURE PERFECTION
    6. The vast majority of creators live in a parallel universe where they think they are Vincent Van Gogh and the mere commoners cannot understand the heights they have achieved
      2. Not the thoughts in your head
      3. People are buying THE PRODUCT and not the vision of perfection that exists in your head
  7. Those who Listen To The Market will always win over everyone else
    1. The Market is asking for a Fridge
    2. Company A is smart, LISTENS to the Market, and builds a good Fridge
    3. Company B doesn’t listen, and builds the best oven of all time
      1. An oven so amazing that the cakes taste better than your grandma’s cooking
    4. Company B cannot understand why the Market keeps buying Company A’s fridges, which are merely ‘good’ and keeps ignoring the best ovens of all time
      1. Why do these people keep buying what they want and not our ovens?
    5. Surely, these people must be suffering from some strange illness that they cannot understand the overwhelming magnificence of these ovens
    6. Please think about this example
    7. Please don’t be the person selling immaculate and perfect ovens to people who are telling you they need a Fridge
  8. The Market Always Wins
    1. The Market ALWAYS Wins
      1. You offer the market a toaster which butters your toast and pops it straight into your hands, even if you are sitting in the other room
      2. You offer the market a frying pan which flies to your table and flip flops your food into the plates
      3. You offer the market a kettle which always boils when it is being watched
      4. You offer the market an automatic home cleaning robot which also brushes and flosses your teeth
      5. None of it sells
    2. The Market turns to the good-enough Fridge and buys it in droves
      1. The Market always buys WHAT IT WANTS TO BUY
      2. If people are telling you what they are dying to buy
      3. If they will run to give you their money, the minute you make what they want to buy
      4. Then just give them what they want
      5. The Market Always Wins
        1. The minute you appreciate that, you can start winning too

As opposed to the other sections, where you can make mistakes and then recover

The Golden Rules are not things you can break. If you break some/all of these Golden Rules your chances of success go to zero

Please follow the Golden Rules

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