Top 10 Full Price Book Promotion Sites

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

This Top 10 lists covers the best book promotion sites and marketing methods for promoting full price books

Please Note: This list is meant for ebooks between $3.99 and $9.99, and higher. It does not cover ebooks at lower prices and it does not cover paperbacks

  1. To promote ebooks at $0.99 and $2.99 you want to look at the respective posts
    1. Top 10 $0.99 Book Promotion Sites
    2. Top 10 $2.99 Book Promotion Sites
  2. To promote paperbacks you want to look at the list for Top 10 Paperback promotion sites (coming soon)

This post focuses on promoting full price ebooks that are priced between $3.99 and $9.99, or higher than $9.99

The Top 10 – The Top 10 Full Price Book Promotion Sites

An Important Caveat: Most book promotion sites do better with lower priced books

  1. Therefore, an ebook at $3.99 or $4.99 will do better than an ebook at $7.99 or $9.99
  2. Similarly, eBooks that are discounted to $0.99 or $2.99 sell better than $4.99 and $3.99
  3. eBooks priced above $9.99 do not sell much

While this list covers the Top 10 full price book promotion sites, please do keep in mind that full price ebooks ($3.99/$4.99 to $9.99, and higher) will sell far less than discounted ebooks ($0.99 and $2.99)

  1. Facebook Ads
    1. Arguably the best marketing method to promote full price books
  2. Bookbub Featured Deal and Bookbub CPC Ads
    1. Bookbub is the largest book promotion site with 10 to 15 million readers
    2. While it is focused on promoting $0.99 and $0 books, it can also be used to promote full price books and works for some of them
  3. Books Butterfly Over $1 Book Promotion Packages
    1. Books Butterfly is the 2nd largest book promotion site with 4 million readers
    2. Again, while Books Butterfly focuses on promoting $0.99 and $0 books, it also works for some full price books
    3. Disclosure: Books Butterfly is our Sister company which has successfully run over $1.9 million of book promotion packages
  4. Amazon Marketing Services
    1. Amazon’s own Amazon Marketing Services lets you promote your book on the book pages of popular books and popular authors
    2. While it is not as strong as Facebook Ads, it does work for some authors
  5. Bargain Booksy
    1. Bargain Booksy is a large book promotion site
    2. Just like Bookbub and Books Butterfly – While Bargain Booksy is focused on promoting $0.99 and $0 books, it also works for some full price books
  6. Google Adwords
    1. Google Adwords is competitive and saturated and does not work for $0.99 and $0 ebook promotion
    2. However, with full price books, you have more room to adjust bids and more clicks to play with
    3. Google Adwords works for some books
  7. Bing Ads
    1. Bing Ads is also quite competitive and saturated
    2. With full price books, you can get enough clicks to make Bing Ads work and generate positive Return on Investment for some books
  8. Fussy Librarian
    1. A book promotion site which, like nearly all book promotion sites, focuses on $0.99 and $0 book promotions
    2. Again, like most of the book promotion sites on this list, it works for some full price books
    3. Fussy Librarian has very cheap book promotion packages and it is a good choice to dip your toes into paid book promotion and marketing

As CPC Ads can sometimes work well for full price books, we have included Facebook Ads (the best marketing method for full price books), Bookbub CPC Ads (a method that works for some authors), Amazon Marketing Services (a method that works for some authors, though it is complicated and difficult to figure out)

We have also included Google Adwords and Bing Ads. However, please note that you have to be an expert at Google Adwords and Bing Ads to make it work as these marketing methods are very saturated and complicated (even more so than Facebook Ads)

Honorable Mentions – Full Price Book Promotion Sites outside of the Top 10

  1. Book Sends
    1. A large and well established book promotion site with 240,000 readers
  2. Genre Pulse
    1. A good book promotion site with more of a focus on Android Apps
    2. As prices are very cheap, it is another good choice to dip your toes into book promotion and marketing

There are not very many book promotion sites that work for full price books. Most book promotion sites focus on $2.99 and $0.99 and $0. If and when we find additional book promotion sites which work for Full Price books we will add them to the Honorable Mentions list and the Top 10 Full Price Book Promotion Sites list

Detailed Insights on the Top 10 Full Price Book Promotion Sites

To Be Updated

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

Increasing Your Chances of Getting Accepted for a Full Price Book Promotion with the top Full Price Book Promotion Sites

If you want to sell your ebook at full price, and expect readers to pay good money for it, it has to meet a very high quality bar

The top full price book promotion sites will have a higher quality bar when it comes to approving full price ebooks

To get accepted you must make sure you are selling a product that is worth the price you are asking for it. This includes

  1. Have a very polished book
    1. Professionally edited by a professional book editor who has 10+ years of experience editing books in your book categories
    2. Professionally proof read by a professional book proof reader who has proofreading experience in your book categories
  2. Have a professionally designed book cover that matches the book’s genre
    1. Covers that will not work – crowd designed covers (no one puts in 100% effort when they know their chances of getting selected are just 10%), covers from a freelancing site, self made covers, covers made by someone who is ‘artistic’ and has never made a book cover before, covers made by your friends and family
    2. Covers that will work – a well done book cover made by a professionally designed book cover who has experience of designing ebook covers for books in your book category
  3. Have a very well written book
    1. A book written by someone who can write well
    2. A book that has book polished and rewritten to flow well
    3. The first chapter and especially the first paragraph must not be unpolished or flippant
      1. Readers will discard a book if the first paragraph/first chapter are not properly written
      2. Therefore, book promotion sites will also not take your book if your first paragraph/first chapter are not very good
      3. Please do not ‘save the best for last’
        1. The decision to purchase is almost always made based on the quality of the first chapter and the quality of the editing and the quality of the book cover
  4. Ensure your book has good, honest reviews and a review rating over 4 stars
    1. Your book must have some reviews
    2. They must be good, honest reviews
    3. Any fake reviews will get your book rejected
      1. People who read books are SMART. You can’t fooled them with fake reviews written by people who don’t even speak English well. Yet, a portion of authors will insist on adding fake reviews
        1. Please do not add any fake reviews
    4. Any over the top reviews will get your book rejected
      1. Ask Aunt Grace to remove that review calling you ‘better than Stephen King’ and ‘funnier than Wodehouse’
    5. The review rating must be 4 stars out of 5 stars or higher
      1. Don’t get into an argument when someone points out that books with a review rating under 4 stars sell slowly
      2. Instead, figure out how to get your review rating over 4 stars
  5. Ensure your book is put only into the right categories and sub categories
    1. Your book must be in the absolute right categories and sub categories for it
    2. Your book must not be in any wrong categories
      1. This is just as important because having a Thriller book in a Non Fiction category makes thriller readers question whether or not it really is a thriller novel
  6. Ensure your book is good value for money and competitive in its category
    1. Your book must be worth at least what you are charging for it
      1. If you are a doctor and charging $4.99 for a book on good, solid medical advice, that makes sense
      2. If you slept in a Holiday Inn and the next morning decide to charge $9.99 for a book on holistic medicine advice scrounged from the Internet, that’s not going to work
    2. If you are in a category like romance where $4.99 and $7.99 are some high prices, then you can’t get away with selling a $9.99 book
    3. If, on the other hand, you are in a price insensitive category like Historical Fiction or Business, you can price at $9.99 without issues
    4. Please make sure your book pricing matches what the reader expectations in your book’s categories are
  7. Ensure you share your credentials
    1. Share your credentials as an Author
      1. If you have won an Award, share details on that
      2. If you have had a bestselling book, share specifics
    2. Share your credentials as a Person
      1. Share a little bit of your accomplishments
      2. People will trust you more if you have good experience and/or success in your normal line of work
    3. The stronger your credentials as an author, or as a person, the higher chance your book will get accepted
      1. The higher the chance your book will sell
  8. Make yourself as human and relatable as possible
    1. Share a little bit about yourself – make yourself as human and real as you can
    2. Put up a photograph
      1. Both book promotion sites and readers are wary of anyone who they cannot confirm is an actual human being
      2. If you can clearly show you are a real person, you get an advantage
    3. Have an author website or a Linked In Page or some evidence you are a real human being
  9. Be Exceptional in one or more areas
    1. One of the best ways to get accepted by the top book promotion sites
      1. As well as one of the best ways to sell your book
    2. Is to be Exceptional in one or more ways
    3. You can be exceptional in any of these areas
      1. Exceptionally good writing
      2. Very Beautiful Cover
      3. High Quality Editing
      4. Excellent Proofreading which creates a book with almost zero errors
      5. Very Impressive Credentials
      6. A very solid Award
      7. New York Times Bestselling Author or USA Today Bestselling Author
      8. Exceptional Author Profile and/or Author Website

Make your book as polished as you possible can. Make yourself stand out as much as possible. Not only will this get your book accepted by the top full price book promotion sites, it will also lead to good sales

To end this section, we will repeat this critical advice from earlier. Most authors selling books at full price don’t realize this, and it is absolutely vital –

  1. You have to have a very high quality book, and a very well written book, to get readers to pay you $5 or $10 for your ebook
  2. At those prices ($4.99 to $9.99) you are competing directly with Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, and other top tier authors
  3. You have to match those authors in writing level, polish of the writing (editing and proofreading), packaging (book cover), and other aspects

To add to all of that, you have no brand name or existing readership. Therefore, the quality of your writing and the quality of your book are your only selling points

If you’re asking readers for their hard earned money and their precious time, please make sure you have put in the work to have a very polished book

Full Price Book Promotion Sites – Biggest Mistakes to Avoid

Above all else, should you really be promoting your book as a full price book?

  1. If you are a new author without an established brand and with no reader base
    1. You have to play to your strengths
    2. One of the biggest of which is that you can discount your ebook to $2.99 or $0.99 and gain a big strategic advantage over established authors who are listed at $9.99 and higher prices
  2. Why would a reader pick your book at $4.99 to $9.99 when they can get Nicholas Sparks and Stieg Larsson at that price?
  3. How can you show readers that your book is worth reading?
  4. Is your book in a market where readers are insensitive to price?
  5. Is your book in a market where demand for books is much higher than the supply of books (very few authors)?

If you don’t have convincing answers to the above questions, you really should consider promoting your book as a discounted book, instead of as a full price book

After that, here are the biggest mistakes to avoid when promoting a full price book with the top full price book promotion sites

  1. Please don’t write a book for a market that doesn’t exist
    1. Ideally, you want to FIRST search for a very good market and only then write a book
      1. You do proper market research and figure out what is a very good market to write for
      2. You do more research and figure out what is The Right Book for this Right Market
      3. Write that book – That Exact ‘Right Book’ for the ‘Right Market’
    2. If you wrote your book BEFORE checking if a market exists, then do some research after your book is written and see what book category it best fits into
      1. Make sure you place your book in that category
      2. Make sure you promote your book to readers in that category
  2. Please don’t promote to the wrong readers. Promote your book to the right readers and in the right book categories
    1. Books are not like food
      1. When someone is hungry they don’t mind eating ice cream if a cookie isn’t available
    2. However, a Romance reader who is hungry to read a book will almost NEVER read a Thriller
    3. Likewise, if a Thriller reader is starved of good thrillers, they will not satiate their hunger with a Biography
    4. Reader’s hunger is Category Specific
      1. They are like a Tiger who has tasted human flesh
      2. A deer is not going to suffice
      3. They must read a book in their favorite genre to satiate their vampire hunger
    5. A disconcertingly high percentage of authors think book categories don’t matter
      1. Just shove the book somewhere
      2. It’s someone else’s job to figure out what my book’s category is
      3. Perhaps the readers will figure it out
      4. Perhaps the automatic non-human ebook store will figure it out
      5. Perhaps my long lost great aunt’s spirit will sort things out for me
    6. No, it is YOUR JOB as the author to
      1. Figure out what your book’s categories are
      2. Put your book in those exact categories
      3. Promote your book to readers in only those exact categories
  3. Please don’t spend all your money in your first month after publishing your first book
    1. You should spend no more than 20% of your marketing budget on your first book
    2. Until and unless you have figured out how Books & Publishing works, you should first spend 10% to 20% of your marketing budget figuring out what works for your book and what doesn’t
  4. Don’t DIY (Do It Yourself)
    1. Regardless of how smart you are, how quick of a learner you are, how many times your mother told you that you are brilliant, how many Nobel Prizes in Physics you’ve won
    2. You cannot learn how to edit well and edit your own books
      1. You will never reach the level of expertise of a professional book editor who has 10 to 40 years of experience
    3. You cannot learn how to make a good book cover
      1. You will not be able to make beautiful and genre-appropriate book covers that sell books, like a professional book cover designer who has been making book covers for 10 to 20 years
    4. The same applies to other skills such as typesetting, formatting, etc
    5. Make sure your Core Competencies are
      1. Writing Very Very Good Books
      2. Knowing What to Write – doing market research and figuring out what Market to Write For and What Book to Write for This Market
      3. Marketing & Sales
        1. This is a very difficult skill and you should aim for a decent level of skill in Marketing
        2. Once you can afford a very good marketer hire them and focus on Writing Well and Market Research
        3. If you really like marketing, you can stick with doing it yourself and becoming an expert at it
  5. Don’t waste your time trying to save nickels and dimes
    1. A lot of the big mistakes authors make stem from trying to save $5 here or $20 there
    2. Let’s say your time is worth $25 an hour (a low estimate for most authors)
      1. You say – I’ll learn how to edit my book, and then I’ll edit it myself. I’ll save so much money
      2. In reality – It’ll take you 20 to 30 hours to figure out editing and then another 40 to 80 hours to edit your book
        1. Even at a relatively low rate of $25 an hour that’s $1,500 to $2,750 worth of your time
        2. You can get a very good editor for that price
      3. What is worse – The ‘editing’ you do will be the editing of someone who has zero experience of editing books
        1. It will be not even 1/10th as good as a very good book editor
        2. So, you’re paying $1,500 to $2,750 of your time to get 1/10th of the quality of editing you could get for $1,000 to $2,000
        3. Is it worth it?
    3.  That’s not even the worst example
      1. Authors will get a $10 super low quality book cover from the Internet
      2. Then they will spend $500 to $5,000 over 3 months promoting that book
      3. That $10 cover will reduce the impact of all their book marketing by 80%
        1. Why? Because readers judge a book by its cover and a $10 book cover makes readers think the book will be terrible
        2. In effect, their $500 to $5,000 marketing becomes worth just $100 to $1,000
        3. Is is really worth it to save $90 on a book cover (getting a super cheap $10 one, instead of a good $100 one) to end up wasting 80% of your book marketing budget?
  6. Please don’t mislead readers
    1. If you turn it into a game of – Can I trick readers into buying my book?
    2. If you win – They get mad and leave a bad review. You lose
    3. If you are not able to trick them – They don’t buy the book. You lose
    4. Readers have been facing all sorts of tricks from self published authors for the last 12 years
      1. They are not easy to trick
    5. In fact, it is MUCH easier to just write a good book than it is to figure out some new fangled way to trick a lot of readers
  7. Please don’t fall in love with your book
    1. The worst thing you can do is become infatuated with a book that is not fully done, is half polished, and is not properly packaged
    2. If you fall in love with your book you will lose the ability to improve it
    3. The best authors are very hard on their books, and on themselves
    4. This is why you see big name authors sometimes take 5 to 10 years to craft the latest installment of their masterpiece series
    5. To them there are so many areas to improve, it takes longer and longer
    6. It is only new, inexperienced authors who think the book was perfect the first time they typed it out
    7. Keep improving your book as it needs to be constantly improved
  8. Please think deeply and develop clarity on Exactly What You Want & Desire & Need from Books & Publishing
    1.  There are lots of different paths
      1. The Path to quickly become a bestselling author and then build a consulting service
      2. The Path to use a book as a lead generator for your business
      3. The Path of writing for pleasure
      4. The Path of building a large readership
      5. The Path of adding a small second source of income
      6. The Path of becoming a very big and successful author
      7. The Path of spreading your knowledge and experience
      8. etc
    2. You should figure out what Path you want to walk down
      1. Ideally before you start writing your books
      2. Definitely before you start spending money on marketing your books

These are mistakes that you can recover from. However, it is best to not make them in the first place

You are going to face some big challenges on your journey as an author. If you can sidestep the above mistakes, then you will have a lot more energy and resources for when real and unavoidable challenges crop up

Improving the Results of Your Full Price Book Promotion with the Top 10 Full Price Book Promotion Sites

Firstly, the best thing you can do to improve sales is to master one of the 3 most important skills for Authors

  1. Master Knowing What to Write
    1. If you can do very good market research and find an under-served market with huge demand for books and low supply, that is The Very Best thing you can do to sell your books
    2. OR
  2.  Master Writing Very Well
    1.  If you can write very, very well
    2. Then readers will be willing to pay full price for your books
    3. OR
  3. Master Marketing Very Well
    1. If you become better than everyone else (or almost everyone else) at reaching the right readers
    2. If you become better than everyone else (or almost everyone else) at showing these right readers that you have the right book for them
    3. Then you can sell a lot of books, at any price (even at full price)

If you can master one skill, that itself will be enough. Ideally, you also want to become decently good in the other two skills

When you are marketing and selling full price books, you have to be very good at one or more of these skills

People are not going to pay full price ($4.99 to $9.99) if you aren’t

Now, let’s look at some other things you can do to improve the sales of your full price book when promoting with the top full price book promotion sites

  1. Always give the book promotion site the correct book genres & Always put your book in the right book categories
    1. Make sure you specify the right book categories to them
    2. Make sure your book page has the right book categories
    3. Make sure your book cover, book title, and book description specify the right genre and match genre conventions
      1. Please don’t put a photo of your dog on the cover of a romance novel because
        1. You love him so much
        2. You believe that everyone looks at dogs and thinks LOVE LOVE LOVE
      2. Even other dogs don’t want to see a dog on the cover of a romance novel (well, unless he has a body like Fabio)
      3. You have to stick to genre conventions
  2. Make sure you have written The Right Book for The Right Market
    1. Is there a good market for your book?
      1. If so, great. Move on to the next step
      2. If not, then remember next time to do market research BEFORE you write a book
    2. Is your book The Right Product for this Right Market?
      1. If so, great. Move on to the next step
      2. If not, then please remember next time that even after finding a Great Market you have to make sure you create The Right Product for this Great Market
  3. Embrace the Reality that You are Selling A Product and Not A Story
    1. Most authors have a very, very hard time with this
    2. Every author has a beautiful story
      1. If you could get your story into the hands of the right readers, in the right form, almost every author has a story that would do well
    3.  The problem is that readers can’t tell what your story is, and how good it is
    4. They see A PRODUCT – your book
      1. Your book cover
      2. Your book title
      3. Your book page
      4. Your author profile
      5. Your book description
      6. They combine to create a ‘Package’ for your Product
        1. THAT is what readers see
        2. They cannot see that you have a beautiful story
        3. They cannot see the love and pain you have put into your book (hopefully you have put in effort and love)
      7. The ONLY thing they see is THE PRODUCT you are selling IN PACKAGED FORM
    5. What you are selling is A PRODUCT
      1. You have to convince the reader is it a good product
      2. Otherwise they are never going to get to the Actual Story you have
  4. Ask for Reviews & Ask for Feedback
    1. Always be polite, and always be insistent
      1. Ask for a Review if readers like your book
        1. something simple – If you liked reading my book, I would really appreciate a Review
      2. Ask for Feedback
    2. Never pass on an opportunity to get review and/or feedback from a reader who contacts you
  5. Listen to what the Market is telling you & Gather as much data as you can
    1. Listen to what the market is telling you
      1. It will tell you what you need to do to improve your book sales
    2. Gather up as much data as you can
      1. Which categories work for your book
      2. Which don’t
      3. Which marketing methods work for your book
      4. Which don’t
      5. Which book promotion sites work for your book
      6. Which don’t
      7. Gather all this data and keep it safe somewhere
        1. Analyze it and figure out what it’s telling you

Promoting and selling full price books is tough. However, it becomes much easier if you measure what works and what doesn’t

Full Price Book Promotion Sites – Unless you pick the Right Book Genres you won’t sell at all

It’s exceedingly simple when promoting full price books

  1. Pick the perfectly right book genres for your book, or you won’t sell your book at all

The higher the price you are asking for, the more readers will check to make sure the book is in the right category

No one, and we do mean no one, wants to spend $9.99 buying a romance novel –

  1. Only to find out the author put a literary satire in romance
  2. The author thought – Romance has a lot of readers. Surely some of them must be interested in Literary Satire
  3. The author never once had consideration for the reader’s perspective
    1. Unfortunately, there are a lot of authors who keep doing such things
    2. And they keep doing such pointless things again and again
    3. They think confusing readers and breaking store categories gives them some sort of ‘advantage’

This has made readers very cautious

If they see authors messing up genres, or being unclear about genres, or putting the book in the wrong category – they simply don’t buy the book

If you want to sell a full priced book, you have to make sure you put your book in The Absolute Right Categories for Your Book

Becoming a Bestseller with a Full Price Book

It is almost impossible for a new author to become a bestseller with a full price book

Therefore we strongly recommend that you do one of the following

  1. When trying to become a bestseller, you go with a REALISTIC price such as $0.99 for your ebook
  2. Become a very big author, with a large reader base and a strong brand, and then aim to become a bestseller with a full price book

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

If you’re asking for full price, the bar is pretty high. You must have a very high quality book and it must be very well written

These are the main things to do to increase the number of reviews you get after promoting your full price book

  1.  Your book must be written well enough to be worth full price
    1. If readers don’t feel they are getting their money’s worth they will not leave a review
  2.  Your book must be very well polished with a professional editor and a professional proof reader
    1. If charging $4.99 or $7.99 or $9.99, then the onus is on the author to produce a very high quality book
    2. A professional editor with experience in the book’s categories is absolutely mandatory
    3. A professional proof reader is also a necessary requirement
  3.  Your book must be in the exact right book categories
    1. You must accurately figure out what the book’s categories are i.e. what readers will enjoy it
    2. You must place the book in these correct book categories in the ebook stores
    3. You must market it as the right book categories
    4. You must market it to the right readers
  4.  You must Ask for Reviews
    1. Readers are completely oblivious to the fact that reviews greatly benefit an author
    2. Paradoxically, the more a reader likes a book, the less likely they are to know that a positive review will benefit the author and the book
    3. It is YOUR JOB (the author’s job) to make sure to ASK READERS FOR REVIEWS
  5. Sell as many books as possible
    1. So common sense that most people forget it
    2. The best way to get more reviews is to sell more books
  6. Keep improving your book
    1. While this is a good idea for any book, it is twice as important when promoting a book at full price
    2. Keep improving the book
    3. The biggest thing is to keep increasing the VALUE readers get
      1. At the point that they start feeling they got double the value of what they paid, they will start leaving positive reviews at a significantly faster rate
  7. Polish Your Book and Every Aspect of Your Book
    1. The more polished a product the more likely readers will leave a positive review
    2. Everything from book cover to book description to author profile to typesetting within your ebook should be polished and well thought out
    3. Polish the writing itself
      1. If required, rewrite it until the story flows smoothly

Getting Reviews is a Skill. There are some aspects that are easy to learn (Ask for Reviews) and some that are hard (Polish, Polish, Polish). In the beginning, it seems an insurmountable task. However, with time you will become adept at getting a good number of reviews

Avoiding Negative Reviews when promoting Your Full Price Book

Luckily, readers who pay full price for a book tend not to give negative reviews. You have to really, really mess up to get negative reviews from selling full price books

Please do make sure of some basic things

  1. The book MUST be worth the price you charge for it
  2. The book must be well written
  3. The book must match the category/genre it is put in, and is marketed as
  4. The book must be well edited and well proof read
  5. The book must not put people to sleep

The main thing is that if you’re selling an ebook for $9.99 or $4.99 then it must be worth $9.99 or $4.99

Full Price Book Promotion Sites vs Facebook Ads

Book Promotion sites get better and better as you go lower in price, and shine the most for $0 books, $0.99 books, and $2.99 books

Facebook Ads get better and better the higher you go in price

For full price books, Facebook Ads are markedly better than book promotion sites

It’s important to understand WHY so that you can better leverage Facebook Ads

  1. Facebook lets you target very specific audiences
    1. The more specific you get
    2. The more relevant your book is to the readers you reach
    3. The higher the chance they will pay full price
  2. Facebook costs a certain amount per click
    1. A full price book supports a lot more clicks than a low price book
      1. A $4.99 ebook might have to sell just 1 copy per 20 clicks to be positive return on investment
      2. Whereas a $0.99 ebook would need to sell 1 copy per 4 clicks
        1. An almost Herculean requirement of a 25% click to sale conversion rate
    2. This gives you a much bigger ‘window of opportunity’ to make Facebook Ads work
  3. Facebook readers are not used to seeing discounted books like book promotion site audiences are
    1. While some fraction of book promotion site readers will also buy full price books
    2. Most Facebook readers either don’t know $0.99 ebooks exist, or are used to high priced paper books
    3. You can successfully sell full price ebooks to these readers because of this information asymmetry
  4. Facebook has a very, very large number of readers/people
    1. Even the largest book promotion sites (Bookbub, Books Butterfly) have just 10 million and 4 million readers
      1. Only 5% of those might ever buy a full priced book
      2. That’s a few hundred thousand readers (500,000 for Bookbub and 200,000 for Books Butterfly)
      3. That number becomes even smaller when you consider each reader only buys books in certain categories
    2. Facebook, on the other hand, has 2 billion people (as claimed by Facebook)
      1. As most of them are not used to $0.99 ebooks, a larger percentage (perhaps 10%) are open to buying a full priced book
      2. 10% of 2 billion is 200 million people
        1. 200 million is a lot more than 200,000 to 500,000 readers
      3. Facebook has 1,000 times more readers open to buying full price books than even the largest book promotion sites
        1. Please Note: This is total addressable market
          1. In reality, you might have a very hard time finding the right set of readers and might struggle to sell even 100 full price books
        2. Please Note: You also have to figure out how to make Facebook Ads work. Not an easy skill to master
  5. Facebook allows retargeting and Lookalike lists
    1. You can upload your existing email subscriber list and Facebook will let you advertise to people who are very similar to your existing email subscribers
    2. You can keep targeting the same people again and again

Facebook Ads will remain the best marketing method to promote full price books for a long time

The combination of the sheer size of Facebook and its ability to let you micro target very specific audiences makes it very good for promoting full price books

Full Price Book Promotion – Facebook Ads vs Amazon Marketing Services

Amazon Marketing Services is decently good for promoting full price books

Unfortunately, it allows neither the micro targeting abilities of Facebook, nor the immense size of Facebook

Amazon Marketing Services works best if

  1. You target authors very similar to you, and at the same time very popular in your book categories
  2. Books in your book’s categories, which are selling very well
  3. Advertise your book on those book pages and on those author’s book pages

You also have to

  1. Figure out how Amazon Marketing Services work
  2. Keep bid prices low enough to be able to make a positive return on investment
  3. Keep bid prices high enough to have Amazon keep showing your ad, and to a good number of readers
  4. Make improvements to your book page and book categories, so as to increase your conversion rate of clicks to sales
  5. Keep track of conversion and clicks and sales
    1. To make sure you know how your marketing with Amazon Marketing Services is going
  6. Stay patient when things jump around for no reason
    1. Amazon Marketing Services is notoriously erratic

To be quite frank, you would be much better off just focusing on Facebook Ads

Is Full Price the right price point for your book?

There are pros and cons to pricing your book at full price

The Pros include:

  1. Full price books make more money and more profit
  2. Full price books signal quality
    1. In some genres this is important
    2. Please Note: The book must also BE high quality
      1. Signaling quality via selling a full price book is worthwhile only if the book delivers quality
  3. Selling Full Price books forces you to make sure you are very good in the 3 Core Skills (the next section)
    1.  You must find a good market because if your book isn’t in the right market they will never pay full price for it
    2.  Your writing must be very high quality because at full price readers expect very high quality
    3.  Your marketing and sales must be top notch because without very strong marketing no reader is going to buy a full price book
  4. Some book stores give higher sales ranks to full price books
    1. PROVIDED they are selling
  5.  With Full Price books you have more flexibility to change prices and do discounts
    1. If your book is already $0.99 what discounting can you do? None
    2. On the other hand, a full price book you can discount down to $2.99 or $0.99 and cycle between those price points and full price

We will steadfastly avoid useless ‘pros’ such as ‘validation that you can sell a full price book’. You don’t get any special prize for that

The cons include:

  1. It is almost impossible to compete against big name authors with a full price book
  2. It is almost impossible to compete against $0.99 and $2.99 ebooks with a full price book
  3. You cannot succeed with a full price book in a market that is very competitive
    1. You must find markets that are very new and/or have very little competition
  4. You really have to work hard to make the book being good enough to sell for full price
  5. It is very hard to get data as sales are much slower with a full price book
    1. Hard to say what is working and what is not

It is up to you to decide whether or not you go with full price for your books

Please be open minded and adjust the pricing based on what the market is telling you. If the market is telling you that it will buy your books at $2.99 but not at $9.99, then LISTEN TO THE MARKET!

The 3 Core Skills for Authors

The 3 most important skills Authors need to master are

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. Finding The Right Market and then writing The Right Product for this Market
  2. Writing Very Well
    1. Writing very, very well and polishing the book well and creating a very high quality product
  3. Marketing Very Well
    1. Making sure you are marketing to The Right Readers in this Right Market you have found
    2. Making sure you are marketing The Right Product you have written/created to them
    3. Making sure your marketing and sales are effective and lead to results

Become very good at these three skills and you will most definitely do well as an author

Lacking in one or more of these skills sets you at a very big disadvantage. Please make sure you do not ignore these three super critical skills

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 Full Price Book Promotion?

If you’re a self published author or a newly published author, and don’t yet have a strong brand and a reader base, then the 3 Core Skills become absolutely critical

Even more so if you want to sell your books at full price

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. You are not going to be able to do very well in highly competitive markets
      1. If you write Thrillers it is madness to try and compete head on with New York Times Bestselling Authors, while pricing your book at full price
      2. Instead, find niches in Thrillers which are under-served
      3. Where readers are willing to buy books from self published authors, and buy them at full price
    2. You must figure out market niches and categories and sub categories where there is one or more of
      1. Very High Demand
      2. Very Little Competition
      3. Low Supply of Books
      4. Insensitivity to Price
      5. Insensitivity to whether an author is a big author (big brand name, well established) or not
    3. It’s very important to – See Reality As It Is, not as it was, or as you want it to be (Jack Welch)
      1. Reality is that you have to find The Right Market
      2. Then write The Right Product for it
      3. An under-served market with low competition is ideal
        1. Even more so when you are an unknown author
        2. Even more so when you are not willing to discount your ebooks to gain a competitive advantage
          1. Please keep in mind that the ability to discount ebooks is the biggest advantage new authors have over established authors
  2. Writing Very Well
    1. The vast majority of authors don’t realize the amount of polish and hard work that goes into creating a high quality book published by a large publisher and written by a big, established author
      1. They are not sitting around twiddling their thumbs for two years
      2. The book publishing process takes two years because they are relentlessly improving and polishing the book
      3. Those two years are in addition to the 2 to 5 years the author has spent writing the book and rewriting and improving it
    2. If you want to sell your book at full price
      1. You have to make sure you match established authors and spend enough time writing a very good book and rewriting it and improving
      2. You have to make sure you get a professional editor and a professional proof reader and create a very strong, well polished book
      3. You MUST match the quality level of the big authors and the large publishers if you want to have any chance of selling your books at full price
  3. Marketing Very Well
    1. Perhaps most important is marketing to The Right Readers
      1. Readers who are willing to pay full price for ebooks
      2. Readers who are willing to pay full price for ebooks from new, self published authors
      3. This is why Facebook Ads are the best choice. You can reach readers
        1. who have no prior experience with self published authors (so they won’t think you have cut corners in your book, as most self published authors do)
        2. who don’t realize that most ebooks are cheap and discounted now (so they don’t mind paying full price)
    2. Equally important is marketing to readers in the right categories
      1. They must be readers who buy books in the same categories as your book is in
    3. It’s very important to understand that the reading world has split into
      1. Readers who buy mostly paper books. They don’t mind buying full price books from a new author provided the book is very well polished
      2. Readers who buy mostly ebooks and buy ebooks at all prices. They will buy a full price ebook from a new author provided the book is very well polished
      3. Readers who buy most ebooks and only buy discounted ebooks. They will never buy your full price ebook
        1. Some of them won’t even buy full price ebooks from top, top authors

You have to become very, very good at the 3 Core Skills if you want any chance of selling your ebooks at full price

Can Self Published Authors be successful selling Full Price Books?

No, and Yes

These are the conditions under which Self Published Authors can be successful selling full priced ebooks (most of these also apply for paperbacks)

Not every single one of them must be true. However, a few of them must be valid

  1. One or more of the author’s ebooks are free or $0.99, and the remaining are full priced
    1. The free and $0.99 ebooks are the Loss Leader which give readers a taste for the author’s work
    2. They prove to the reader that the author is worth their time and money
    3. After they are reassured, those readers (some of them) will buy the higher priced ebooks
  2. You are not in a market that is very competitive
    1. The more authors there are, the lower the chance you can sell full price ebooks
  3. You are not in a market with lots of very well established authors
    1. You can’t compete with a well established author
    2. If there are enough well established authors, the reader will never get around to the new authors
  4. You find a market with very little competition
    1. If there are just 10 authors in a niche and half a million readers, then you can sell full priced ebooks
  5. You create your own niche, or your own category
    1. This is extremely difficult to do
    2. However, if you manage to do this, then you can charge full price
  6. You find a market that is under-served
    1. This is a market where the number of readers and their reading habits are such that the existing authors cannot supply enough books
    2. So the readers are always hunting for more books to read
    3. As Supply is lower than Demand, you can charge full price for your ebooks, and still be successful
  7. You become really good at marketing and find a way to reach a TON of The Right Readers for your book
    1. Additionally, you have to do it in a cost efficient manner i.e. your marketing costs must be lower than the amount you make from selling your book
  8.  You become an exceptionally good writer and readers love your book so much that it spreads via word of mouth
    1. Exceptionally good writer means – one of the best writers in the world
    2. It doesn’t matter how amazing your story is. It is the quality of writing that leads to word of mouth sales
    3. Please remember that every person on this planet has a beautiful story that would touch the hearts of hundreds of millions of people. That is what makes us human
      1. Being able to write a book that captures that story
      2. THAT is what makes someone a very good author
  9. You create your own market (find a completely new market) and can write enough books and build a strong brand before competitors rush into your market
    1. Please note that it is not just enough to create an entirely new market (which is extraordinarily difficult)
    2. You also have to be able to write lots of great books and take advantage of this market you have created
    3. You have to be able to do this BEFORE other authors realize this market exists and can flood it with their own books that are clones of your original ‘market creating’ superstar book
  10. You expand an existing market in a new, innovative direction and can produce enough books before other authors realize this innovation
    1. You test out and find that a lot of authors in X Genre are interested in a fusion between X Genre and X Area/Time Period/Location
    2. You write a very good book and it takes off
    3. You are able to create a series or a set of books that tap into this new sub-market BEFORE it gets inundated by other authors

This gives us a methodology we can adopt to consistently succeed

The Gameplan to be Successful selling Full Price eBooks

7 Steps

  1. Step 1: Find a market that has low competition, low supply, high demand, and where readers are willing and able to buy full priced ebooks
    1. This is – Knowing What to Write – one of the 3 Core Skills for Authors
    2. A skill you absolutely MUST master if you want to succeed as an author
  2. Step 2: Write very high quality books, and ideally 3 to 10 to 30 of them
    1. It’s very difficult to succeed with just one book
    2. You need at least 3 books and ideally 10 or more very well written books
    3. You also need them very well polished
  3. Step 3: Set up a Loss Leader and set up a path to readers buying all your books
    1. Set the first book as your Loss Leader
      1. The book MUST be $0 or $0.99
      2. It cannot be a parsimonious strategy
      3. The free/$0.99 book cannot be a short story or a sample or a novella
      4. It must be INCREDIBLE VALUE ($10 or more of value) for $0.99 or $0
      5. It must be one of your BEST books
        1. You have to convince and hook readers on your writing
        2. Don’t take your 10th best book and make that the Loss Leader
        3. Take one of your best 3 books
    2.  Set a second and third book as the Ramp Up
      1. 2nd and 3rd books should be at a price that create a gradual ramp
      2. If 1st book is free
        1. 2nd and 3rd should be $0.99 and $2.99
        2. Or $0.99
      3. If 1st book is $0.99
        1. 2nd and 3rd should be $2.99
        2. Or $2.99 and $4.99
    3. Set the remaining books at a price the market will support
      1. For some markets it will be $4.99
      2. For others it will be $7.99 or $9.99
      3. A few might support only $2.99
    4. Make sure all the books connect to each other
    5. Make sure all the books ask readers to review the book
    6. Make sure all the books ask readers to sign up for your email newsletter
  4. Step 4: Identify the best marketing methods to reach The Right Readers for your book
    1. Test what methods work and what don’t
    2. Most important is to test which methods lead to acquiring readers who buy the rest of your books (the full price ones), not just the loss leaders
    3. Create a structured marketing method built on the marketing channels that work for your book
  5. Step 5: Keep iterating and improving
  6. Step 6: Keep writing more very high quality books
  7. Step 7: Keep doing market research and keep finding market niches which have very high demand and low supply

The 8 Golden Rules of Full Price Book Promotion

These are very important rules you should follow if you want to be successful as an author

Please Note: These rules are critical even when promoting discounted $0.99 ebooks. When promoting full price books you have to make 100% sure you follow as many of these rules as possible

  1. The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Book Genres to Write In
    1. We’ve talked about how Knowing What to Write is the most important Core Skill for Authors
    2. We’ve talked about how researching and finding a market with high demand and low competition is the key to successfully selling full price ebooks
    3. The Game is decided the minute you decide what category to write in
      1. If you do proper research and find a growing market with low competition, your chances of success go up dramatically (still low, however, much higher than before)
      2. If you pick the wrong market, your chances of success become slim
      3. If you pick without thinking, it is like buying a lottery ticket (the odds are just as low)
  2. The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Book Genres to Promote In
    1. Even after doing all the great work of picking the right market, writing a great book, polishing it very well, packaging it well
    2. You still have to make sure you confirm what the book’s categories are and who its target audience are
    3. You have to make sure that you market and promote it to The Right Readers
      1. If you do, your chances improve
      2. If you promote it to the wrong readers, it is almost impossible to do well
  3. Product Market Fit is more important than everything else combined
    1. Product Market Fit = Writing The Right Product for The Right Market
    2. Some authors focus on marketing
      1. Marketing is powerless if readers don’t have interest in the book
      2. Marketing only works when there is some DESIRE or NEED that the book can fill
    3. Some authors focus on writing quality
      1. If you write for the wrong market, no one is ever going to read it
    4. Some authors focus on quality of editor
      1. Again, if you write for the wrong market, no one will read the book
    5. Some authors focus on how beautiful the cover is
      1. A beautiful cover, while critically important, can only catch the eye and get the reader to click on the book cover
      2. On the book page the reader will very quickly realize the book is not what they want
    6. The ONLY thing that matters is whether you have written The Right Product for The Right Market
    7. It is more important than EVERYTHING ELSE combined
  4. Until you find the right customers and market and sell your book to them, the quality of your writing does not matter
    1. As authors we like to ignore everything else and focus on ‘quality of writing’
    2. If you don’t write something people want to read, the quality of writing will not matter
    3. If you don’t do proper marketing and sales and actually sell your book, the quality of writing will not matter
  5. The Market is telling you everything you need to know to succeed
    1. The market tells you whether you’ve written the right book or not
    2. You have to be willing to listen
    3. If everything seems tough, then perhaps you’ve written the wrong book for the right market, or the wrong book for the wrong market
    4. Is the book selling slowly? Make sure you have the right book and are promoting it to the right people
    5. Is the book selling and reviews are not coming in? Make sure your book is very well polished
    6. Is the book selling and reviews coming in are mostly negative? Read what people are saying
    7. The market will tell you exactly what you need to do to sell your books
      1. You just have to be willing to listen
  6. Give readers $20 to $40 worth of value with your full priced book
    1. Too often authors try to write a book worth $1 and sell it for $10
      1. That never works
      2. Authors trying to sell 50 page short stories for $2.99
      3. Authors trying to sell an unpolished, half finished ‘book’ for $9.99
    2. Why not offer readers a COMPELLING proposition
      1. Sell them a very well written book worth $20 for $4.99
    3. The more value you give to readers, the more they will buy your books, and the more of your books they will buy
  7. In a War between Market and Authors/Publishers, the Market Always Wins
    1. The Market Always Wins
    2. Authors try and come up with new ways of offering less value for money and it doesn’t work
    3. Publishers try and come up with new things that make life convenient for them and tough for readers, and it doesn’t work
    4. The Market gets what it wants
    5. Sooner or later, The Market Wins!
  8. Picking the Wrong Market does not just lead to Failure, it also wastes your time and energy and money
    1. Some authors will ignore the ‘Write for the Right Market’ Golden Rule and claim it makes little difference
      1. So what if I pick the wrong market
        1. After a few years I will adjust
        2. My writing is so good I will succeed even in the wrong market
        3. Genre doesn’t matter
    2. Picking the Wrong Market has a lot of hidden costs
      1. There is, of course, the visible cost of failing to sell your books
      2. You also waste a lot of time. Time you can never get back
      3. You expend a lot of energy
      4. You form a lot of bad habits
      5. You don’t know what worked and what didn’t
        1. Did you do everything right and it was just that the market was wrong?
        2. Or did you do everything wrong?
        3. If you are in the Right market, at least you can figure out what works and what doesn’t
          1. In the wrong market, NOTHING works
      6. You spend a lot of energy
        1. People ignore the effect of investing a lot of energy into a project
        2. If the project is successful you get reinvigorated and re-energized
        3. If the project fails it takes a heavy toll
      7. If you are careless when picking what market to write for, you will not just embrace failure
        1. You will also lose money, time, and energy

These are Golden Rules you should do your best to adhere to. There are many, many mistakes you can recover from. You cannot recover from breaking the Golden Rules

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