Top 10 Crime Fiction Book Promotion Sites

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

This Top 10 List covers the best book promotion sites for promoting Crime Fiction books

If your book fits in better with Mystery or Thriller, then please look at these lists

  1. Top 10 Mystery Book Promotion Sites
  2. Top 10 Thriller Book Promotion Sites

Crime Fiction covers books about crimes and criminal investigations. It is a super set of Mystery and Thriller book categories

Wikipedia has quite a good write up of what Crime Fiction is

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

  1. Bookbub
    1. The largest book promotion site and the most effective
      1. The ‘Featured Deal’ package is the one which works amazingly well
    2. Bookbub has 10 to 15 million total readers, with 4 million+ readers for Crime Fiction
      1. Strong in all Crime Fiction categories
    3. Accepts only 10% to 20% of submissions. Keep improving your book and its packaging and keep submitting if Bookbub doesn’t take you the first time
  2. eReader News Today
    1. A very large book promotion site which has been helping authors since 2010
    2. Very Strong in most Crime Fiction categories
    3. Very reasonably priced, considering how good its results are
  3. Books Butterfly
    1. Books Butterfly is the 2nd largest book promotion site with 4 million readers
      1. Over 1.6 million readers for Crime Fiction
    2. Books Butterfly is strong in many Crime Fiction categories
      1. Very Strong: Psychological Thriller, Cozy Mystery, Murder Mystery, Suspense Thriller, Clean Mystery, Traditional Mystery, Crime Thriller, Historical Thriller, Forensic Mystery, Christian Mystery, Spy Thriller, Survival Thriller
      2. Strong: Detective Mystery, Legal Thriller, Supernatural Thriller, PI Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Supernatural Mystery, Assassination Thriller, Prepper Thriller, Women Sleuths, Terrorism Thriller, and most other Mystery & Thriller categories
      3. Decently Strong: Technothriller, Christian Thriller, Hard Boiled Mystery, Medical Thriller
      4. Weak: Climate Thriller, Gay & Lesbian Mystery, Comedy Mystery
    3. Books Butterfly has dedicated blogs, email lists, Apps, and websites for Mystery and Thriller categories
    4. Books Butterfly requirements include a professionally designed book cover and a professionally edited book
    5. Disclosure: Books Butterfly is our Sister Company which has successfully run $1.9 million of book promotion packages
  4. Robin Reads
    1. A fast growing book promotion site which gets very good results for nearly every book it runs
    2. Strong in Crime Fiction
    3. Accepts only 10% of books submitted
  5. Book Sends
    1. Book Sends is a large and trusted book promotion site that has been helping authors since 2012
    2. It’s strong in most Crime Fiction categories
    3. The Book Sends website lists their requirements
  6. Free Booksy & Bargain Booksy
    1. Free Booksy promotes free books and is a Top 5 free book promotion site for Crime Fiction
    2. Bargain Booksy promotes paid books and is a Top 10 paid book promotion site for Crime Fiction
    3. They are sister sites and have been around since 2012. They have between half a million and a million readers
  7. Fussy Librarian
    1. A good and very reasonably priced book promotion site
    2. Good for most Crime Fiction categories
    3. Fussy Librarian is very reasonably priced and is a good choice if you want to dip your toes into book promotion
  8. To Be Finalized
    1. We are evaluating various Crime Fiction book promotion sites and will update the #8, #9, and #10 spots in the near future
  9. To Be Finalized
  10. To Be Finalized

Most of these Crime Fiction book promotion sites will work well for your Crime Fiction novels. Book promotion is an inexact science and not every book promotion site will work for your book

Please also note that while Bookbub has a specific Crime Fiction category (in addition to Mystery and Thriller categories), most of the Top 10 Crime Fiction book promotion sites do not have a specific ‘Crime Fiction’ list and you will have to select either their Mystery or Thriller or Cozy Mystery list to promote your book

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

  1. Genre Pulse
    1. A good book promotion site with very reasonably priced packages
    2. This is (like Fussy Librarian) a good choice if you want to dip your toes into book promotion and marketing or if you have a small marketing budget
  2. Free Kindle Books & Tips (FKBT)
  3. One Hundred Free Books (OHFB)
  4. Book Gorilla
    1. It is the Sister Site to Kindle Nation Daily
    2. Works well for some authors
    3. Has a pretty high quality bar to get accepted
  5. Kindle Nation Daily
    1. The first Kindle Book Promotion Site
    2. Helping authors since 2009
    3. Has worked with over 10,000 authors

These are all good book promotion sites for Crime Fiction. If you are not accepted by the Top 10 Crime Fiction book promotion sites, or if you want to ‘add on’ to your book promotion with the Top 10 Crime Fiction book promotion sites, then you should consider one or more of these Honorable Mentions

Detailed Insights on the Top 10 Crime Fiction Book Promotion Sites

To Be Added Later – We will, later on, add special insights for each of the Top 10 book promotion sites

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

There are 8 main qualities that the top Crime Fiction book promotion sites are looking for when deciding whether or not to take the book

  1. Good Reviews and a Review Rating over 4 Stars out of 5 Stars
    1. Good reviews are the biggest determinant of how well a book will sell
    2. As the top book promotion sites want the book to do well, they will give a lot of weight to the number of reviews your book has, and the review rating for your book
    3. A review rating over 4 stars is critical as books below 4 stars do not sell well
      1. This is just a fact of life
      2. Readers look at the review rating and if it is below 4 stars, 90% of readers skip the book
  2. High Quality Book Cover designed by a Professional Book Cover Designer
    1. A very well done book cover is absolutely necessary
    2. It must be designed by a professional book cover designer because there is no substitute for experience and domain expertise
    3. Neither can you design a good book cover, nor can your ‘creatively talented’ friend who has never designed a book cover in their life
    4. Please also note that the fastest way to assign your book to a swift death is to get a $5 or $10 cover from an ‘outsourcing site’ or a ‘crowd design’ site
  3. Well Polished Book that is Professionally Edited and Professionally Proof Read
    1. A professional editor will take your book from good to great
      1. The value of a good professional editor should be clear from the fact that the large publishing houses never ever let go of their best professional editors. They are valued as highly as the best authors
    2. A professional proof reader will take your book from ‘somewhat OK and somewhat readable’ to ‘very smooth and polished’
      1. You might think that does not have much value
      2. It’s the difference between getting 1 review per 1,000 book sales Versus getting 10 reviews per 1,000 book sales
      3. That, in turn, is the difference between selling 20,000 or more copies or selling 1,000 copies
  4. Well Written Book
    1. On paper, how well written a book is should be the primary factor when selecting
    2. In reality, a book must be well written. However, factors like book cover, quality of editing, and book having reviews take precedence
    3. That being said, the book must still be a well written book
  5. A Good Fit for the book promotion site’s readers
    1. Every top 10 crime fiction book promotion site has its own unique set of readers, with their own particular likes and dislikes
    2. Each site will look for books that are similar to books that have done well in the past with that site’s readers
    3. There is not much you can do about this selection factor
      1. However, you should be aware of it and not take it personally if a well polished book is not accepted
  6. A Very Good Fit for the book categories and sub categories the book is placed in
    1. In some ways, this is the most important criteria to determine the success level of your book
    2. The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Categories
    3. If your book is in the PERFECT categories for your book, then it has a higher chance of being accepted
    4. If you have placed your book in the wrong book categories, you book will almost always be rejected
    5. Please make sure you cover both
      1. Knowing what the right book categories and sub categories for your book are
      2. Placing your book in those EXACT categories and sub categories
  7. Good Value for Money
    1. The determination of ‘good value for money’ is made by readers
    2. A full length ebook can be discounted to $0.99 or it can be free for marketing purposes, or it can be $2.99 to $9.99
      1. Each book promotion site will assess whether the price you have selected is good value for money or not
      2. eBooks over $9.99 will almost always be rejected
      3. Some of the top crime fiction book promotion sites will only take ebooks up to $2.99 or ebooks up to $4.99
    3. Paperbacks over $20 will usually be rejected
    4. Short stories and novellas are usually rejected because readers do not consider them good value even at $0.99
    5. You have to ensure your book gives readers a lot more value than you are charging
  8. Book Title, Book Cover, Book Description, Author Profile, and Book Categories match the Book’s actual genres and match Genre Conventions for Crime Fiction
    1. Readers need reassurance that the book is a book they will enjoy reading
    2. You can look at the bestselling romance authors to see how they do this, and then you can replicate it
    3. The top Romance authors will
      1. Clearly indicate book genre and sub genre via book title, book cover (that matches romance conventions), and book description
      2. They will usually clearly state that it is a full length book, has a Happily Ever After ending (crucial for romance novels), has no cheating (also crucial for romance novels)
      3. They will clearly state what the sub genre is
        1. Contrast to a lot of Crime Fiction authors who make it a mystery for readers to figure out exactly what type of novel their book is
        2. The Mystery should be INSIDE the book, not on the book page
      4. Have a very well done Author Profile which will portray the author as an ROMANCE author
      5. Have clear examples in their book description of authors similar to the author, and books similar to this book
    4. You have to do all of this, and improve on it
    5. The more reassurance you can give readers, the better
    6. The more you can pre-select for readers who will love your book, the higher your chance of getting reviews and building a loyal reader base
    7. This is absolutely critical because on the book page, the reader is full of doubts and fears
      1. They have been burned many times in the past by careless authors and unscrupulous authors who sold them books that were not a good match for them
      2. They need to be convinced that they are not wasting their time and money by purchasing a book that is in the wrong categories

There are also 8 additional factors that come into play

  1. An exceptionally well written book
    1. If your book is exceptionally well written, you have a good chance of getting selected even if you mess up the other factors
    2. However, you should not take this as a license to continue to be careless about fit and finish and packaging and marketing
  2. A very good fit for Crime Fiction readers
    1. The more suited your book is for Crime Fiction readers, the higher the chance it will get approved
  3. Very strong reviews and/or a large number of reviews
    1. Think of each review as a reader vouching for your book
    2. If lots of readers are vouching for your book, that increases the chances your book will do well
    3. If some of the people vouching for your book are writing very strong reviews and recommending it highly, that will also increase the chances your book will sell well
    4. A book selling well and pleasing their readers is EXACTLY what the top crime fiction book promotion sites are looking for
    5. More reviews = higher chance of getting approved
  4. Very Beautiful Book Cover which matches genre conventions
    1. A book cover is the single biggest sales driver before a reader reaches your book page
    2. A book cover is the 2nd biggest sales driver (after reviews) after a reader reaches your book page
    3. Authors will spend 3 years of their life writing a book, spend $2,000 on editing and proof reading, and then purchase a $5 cover or try and make the cover themselves
      1. That is literally ‘killing the book’s prospects’
    4. If you can avoid that and work with a professional book cover designer and make a very strong cover
    5. If you can make sure that the cover matches genre conventions
    6. Then you have a very good chance of getting approved
  5. Attention to Detail
    1. Everyone judges a book by its cover
    2. They also judge a book by the amount of detail in the cover, the attention to detail on the book page, and whether or not the author has paid attention to the small things (proper author profile, the right book categories, no mistakes in the book description)
    3. The more attention to detail in your cover, book description, and author profile, the higher the chance your book does well
  6. Author has won a big Award
    1. Very Important: Only BIG Awards count
    2. If you’ve won a big award such as Hugo, RITA, Shamus, Nebula, Bram Stoker, Man Booker, Booker, Golden Quill, National Book Award, Golden Heart, etc. then your book will almost always be accepted
  7. Author is a Bestselling Author
    1. Very Important: Only 3 lists count – New York Times Bestsellers List, USA Today Bestsellers List, Wall Street Journal Bestsellers List
    2. If you have had any book reach one of these three bestseller lists, then you have a very high chance of getting accepted
  8. A strong author profile that will connect with readers
    1. Your author profile has to do three main things
      1. Present yourself as a likable person who the reader wouldn’t mind having a drink with or sitting and chatting with
      2. Show that you have some passion and/or experience with your book genre
      3. Show that you have worked hard on your writing skills and have experience writing in this book genre
    2. If you can do 2 out of these 3, or ideally all 3, then your chances of getting accepted go up

If you implement these qualities you will find that not only will your book get accepted at most of the Top 10 Crime Fiction Book Promotion Sites, you will also see sales of your book go up significantly

The top sites filter for the EXACT SAME criteria which increase book sales. This makes sense because picking books that sell well with their readers make both their reader customers happy and their author customers happy

Crime Fiction Book Promotion Sites – Biggest Mistakes to Avoid

One of the smartest things you can do as an Author is to learn from the mistakes of Authors who came before you, and avoid them to the maximum extent possible

Towards that end, these are 11 of the Biggest Mistakes authors should avoid

  1. Writing a Crime Fiction novel for a market that does not exist
    1. You get the idea for an amazing new product. A shirt with no sleeves. In your mind it’s amazing. Nothing like it exists. It could be a great gift. People are surely tired of having to put their hands through the sleeve. Sleeves get torn. A shirt with no sleeves solves Everything. You make it. You start selling it. No one buys it
      1. Unfortunately, no body else thinks a shirt with no sleeves is as amazing an idea as you did
      2. The Market decides whether to buy a product or not. The creator/author does not
    2. It’s exactly the same with books
    3. You might think a book is the best book of all time. Nothing like it has ever been written. If readers don’t agree they won’t buy it
      1. PERHAPS the reason nothing like it exists, is that no one buys a book like it
    4. You cannot just ‘go out there and create a brand new market’. Even the BEST authors in the world can’t do it. Yes, once every 5 to 10 years some author creates a big, new market
      1. 1 Author out of 10 million+ authors worldwide
        1. Most of those 10 million+ authors, by the way, are trying to create their own markets because they believe the crazy dream that they can invent a whole new category of books
      2. Every 5 to 10 years, one author succeeds in creating a brand new market
      3. That’s a probability of 1 out of 10 million or lower
    5. You have to write a book for a market that ALREADY EXISTS
      1. The market research must come BEFORE you start writing
  2. Writing the Wrong Book for The Right Market
    1. You do a lot of hard work (2 to 3 months of market research) and identify a great market to write for
    2. After that, you have to do additional work and proper market research
      1. Find out what is selling in that Right Market
      2. Find out what is ETERNAL and always sells
      3. Find out what the hot new trends are
      4. Find what sub categories are growing fast
      5. Find where demand from readers is much higher than supply from authors
    3. You have to find The Right Book for The Right Market
      1. Then you have to write that ‘Right Book’
      2. Not what you think readers in this Right Market should buy because you’re the King of Wishful Thinking
      3. You have to write EXACTLY what they are ALREADY dying to buy
  3. Promoting a Crime Fiction novel that is not ready for sale
    1. There are two types of authors in this world
      1. The ones that think their book is ready the minute they finish the first draft
        1. They consider any improvement as a luxury
        2. They think readers will stampede to the ebook stores to buy their very first draft
      2. The ones that know a book is never really fully finished
        1. You keep improving and at some point you send it out because you know it will never reach 100%
    2. Authors who think their first draft is perfect don’t sell well at all
      1. Why?
      2. Because authors who think the first draft of their book is perfect think everything else is unnecessary
        1. They don’t think they have to rewrite their book
        2. They don’t use an editor. Why should they? It was born perfect
        3. They don’t use a proof reader
        4. They don’t care if readers have to struggle through the book
        5. They think the story and first draft are so flawless that readers should be willing to bear the pain of walking through their half baked book
      3. What that does is that these authors’ books never even get to ‘barely good enough’
    3. On the other hand, authors who realize a book is never truly finished keep improving their product
      1. If they are able to overcome their reluctance to send out a book that is not yet perfect
        1. They sell very well
        2. A book that has been polished a lot is not just 25% better than an unpolished book
        3. It is usually 500% better
      2. If they get stuck in ‘perfectionism’ then you get 10 to 15 year waits for the next book in a series
      3. Somehow, you have to strike a balance and write an amazing book and polish it very well
        1. And also, at the point that it is 95% complete and you realize it is NEVER going to be 100% complete, you must ship it
  4. Putting your entire marketing budget into your first book, or into the first month of your first book
    1. For 99% of authors, their first book is going to be their worst work
    2. Unfortunately, because this is not a well know fact
      1. And because no one is willing to take the bullet of telling first time authors their first book is probably completely useless
      2. Most new authors think their first book is their masterpiece
    3. Imagine you are a Chef, and the Michelin Guide sends food tasters to your restaurant
      1. Would you make a dish for the first time ever, and send that to the food tasters?
        1. Or would you take a dish you have practiced and perfected and send that?
      2. Would you have the young, inexperienced sous chef cook a dish and send that to the food tasters?
        1. Or would you have the much more experienced Head Chef cook the dish
    4. It’s the exact same with Books & Publishing
      1. A first time author usually writes a book that is not very good
      2. Every author’s first book is usually their worst work
    5. You should wait until you have a few books under your belt
      1. Then pick your BEST book
      2. It will, 99% of the time, NOT be your first book
      3. Focus your marketing and promotion budget on that book (Your BEST book) and not on your first book
  5. Promoting a Novel as a Crime Fiction novel when it is not Crime Fiction
    1. A Crime Fiction novel has to meet certain criteria
      1. For Example: There has to actually be a crime
    2. You should only promote a Novel as a Crime Fiction novel if it 100% is a Crime Fiction novel
  6. Not discounting the book properly/in time for the book promotion
    1. At least 10% of the time the author forgets to discount their book, or forgets to have it live on the stores, or the stores make a pricing mistake
    2. How do you avoid that?
      1. Double check everything
      2. Discount your book 1 day BEFORE the marketing starts
      3. Make sure everything is set up and ready
        1. That includes publishing the book 3 or 4 days before the marketing starts
    3. You have to make sure everything is working on the date that your marketing push starts
  7. Placing your Crime Fiction novel in the wrong categories and sub categories
    1. There are a lot of reasons authors put their book in the wrong categories
      1. These range from sheer carelessness to not being tech savvy to trying to game the system
      2. The result in each case is that they sell far fewer books than they would have sold if they just put the book in the right category
    2. Let’s say you go to a Mall
      1. There’s a Restaurant/Food Cart that comes up with the brilliant idea that instead of being in the Food Court, it is going to place itself in between the sports outlets
      2. Why? Because there is low competition and because the sports outlets get a lot of foot traffic
      3. This is a GENIUS can’t miss idea, right?
      4. Actually, it’s not
      5. Everyone looking for food goes to the food court
      6. This Food Cart might get 1% or 2% of the people visiting the sports outlets. However, it is going to miss 100% of the people visiting the Food Court
      7. Authors seem to be completely blind to the fact that readers interested in Crime Fiction will go and check in the Crime Fiction categories and sub categories
        1. That’s the single best place to place your book
      8. The same applies for sub categories
        1. You have a Spy Thriller?
        2. Just place it in Crime Fiction > Thrillers > Spy Thrillers
        3. That is the best place to put your book
        4. Trying to use upside down logic such as –
          1. Let me instead place it in Non Fiction > History > World War II
            1. Because 5% of people interesting in Non Fiction about World War II might be interested in Spy Thrillers
          2. Does not work
          3. It’s much better to have 100% of Spy Thrillers category, than to have 5% of World War II
            1. Coincidentally, History > World War II is not a very big category for ebooks. So you’re choosing 5% of a small category over 100% of a large category
    3. Placing your book in the PERFECT categories and sub categories is by far the best thing you can do as an author
      1. It’s kind and good for readers
      2. It’s also kind and good for your career as an Author
  8. Being Pound Foolish and Penny Wise and trying to save money on the Book Cover
    1. After spending 3 years of their lives writing a book
    2. Authors want to dress up a Ferrari in the body of a Ford Pinto by getting a cheap, horrendous cover from the dark depths of the Internet
    3. Does that make sense?
      1. Well, look at book covers and you realize 50% of authors think it makes sense
    4. They would rather that every single reader look at the cheap, badly designed book cover they have ‘saved money on’ and assume their Ferrari is a Pinto
      1. And run away from their book
      2. Than to get a book cover that accurately matches the quality level of their book and their writing
    5. By far the worst money saving decision you can make is ‘saving money on the book cover by doing it myself or by getting some unknown stranger from Ecuador to make it for $10’
  9. Underestimating the Importance of Packaging and Fit and Finish
    1. Packaging is very important. Your book cover is your first and most important sales tool
    2. Fit and Finish is very important. A well edited book which is also well proof read is between 200% to 1,000% better
      1. Yes, it’s literally 2 to 10 times better
      2. In most authors minds, editing and proof reading is a 10% improvement
      3. In most readers’ reality, edited and proof read books are 2 to 10 times better
        1. What’s even more important, is that for most readers, a book that is not well edited and not well proof read is basically unreadable
    3. If Apple started selling their iPhones from dinky little stalls and packaged in torn cardboard boxes
      1. Would you say – Oh, they are geniuses. They are saving so much money by not wasting money on pretty stores and beautiful packaging
      2. Or would you say – Well, I can’t believe their sales fell 50%. I thought packaging was pointless and only inner beauty matters
  10. Making assumptions instead of Seeing Reality As It Is
    1. We all like to make assumptions rather than face the cruel, harsh truth
      1. Publishing is Easy
      2. Everyone is making money from books
      3. I can write a book in 3 weeks
      4. There is no need to polish books
      5. Readers are telepaths and they can understand what is in my mind
    2. In reality, Books & Publishing is just like any other business
      1. The products that have had the most hard work put into them do very well
      2. All other products don’t sell
      3. To do well, you have to create a very high quality product and polish it really well
    3. You have to eliminate all assumptions
      1. Every assumption is a trap
      2. The more you want to believe an assumption, the higher chance it is a fantasy and not a reality
  11. Looking for Shortcuts and Easy Buttons, and focusing on them instead of great writing and great marketing and great market research
    1. There is an entire Cottage Industry of people selling Get Rich Quick Courses and other book marketing secrets
    2. It’s the Books industry equivalent of the ‘4 hour workweek’ fantasy that you can find a career where you work 4 hours a week and it makes you enough money to buy your own private island in the Bahamas
    3. There are no short cuts. Well, actually they are more like flying carpets that take money from your wallet and straight to the people selling you short cuts
    4. There are only 3 Skills that are Eternal
      1. Learning to write very well
      2. Learning to do great market research and find great markets and figure out what book to write for a great market
      3. Learning to market and sell very well
    5. Those are the only things that last
      1. Unfortunately, each of those takes 3 to 10 years to master
  12. Not measuring which Marketing Methods work for your book, and which don’t
    1. Every single dollar you spend on marketing, you must measure what you get back
    2. What Gets Measured Gets Managed
    3. You have to learn what works for your books and what doesn’t
    4. Then you use Pareto Principle (80/10 Rule) and focus all of your marketing budget on the marketing methods that work well for your book
    5. If you don’t measure then you don’t know what is working
  13. Having 5 to 10 different aims for what you want from your Author Career and spreading your energy and resources too thin
    1. You have to have laser focus
    2. Initially, you should focus 100% on finding a good market and writing the right books for that market
      1. Everything else should take a back seat
    3. Once you have figured that out, you should focus on the 3 Core Skills for Authors
      1. Knowing What to Write – keep improving your ability to find great new markets and figure out what books to write for these markets
      2. Writing Very Well – keep improving your marketing skills
      3. Marketing & Selling Very Well – keep learning marketing and keep honing your skills as a salesman
        1. If you are an author, you are a marketer and salesman
  14. Thinking that ‘Anyone can Publish a Book’ means ‘Now everyone will sell a lot or books’ OR ‘Now I am going to sell a lot of books’
    1. Anyone can Publish – a revolution in books
    2. That means NOTHING at all with respect to whether or not those books will sell
    3. The number of readers is not growing much at all
    4. The number of authors is growing rapidly
    5. That means is it now TOUGHER to sell books than in the past
    6. The Great Revolution of ‘Anyone can Publish a Book’ means there is ever growing competition
    7. What is even worse is that there is now an avalanche of authors who think that they can publish a half baked book and it will automatically ‘sell’
      1. That makes readers even more reluctant to take a chance on a new author

These are all avoidable mistakes. You will make a few of them. These are all mistakes you can recover from and should recover from. Most of all, you should not be stubborn and repeat your mistakes. If what you are doing (your beliefs of what makes authors successful) is not working, then switch to what has worked for successful authors

Avoiding these mistakes will set you on the path to becoming a successful author

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

99% of readers cannot find enough good authors in the book genres they read

It is a two sided problem

  1. Good authors cannot find readers and are struggling to find readers who will appreciate their books
  2. Readers cannot find good authors and are struggling to find good books to read
  3. Both sides are looking and searching for the exact same thing – the right product for the right market

The proliferation of self published books has made things harder because now a reader has to go through tens of thousands of books in their Favorite book categories to find 5 to 10 high quality, well polished books

Above all else, you must accept this reality – Readers are dying to find new good authors, and your #1 job is to make it crystal clear to them that you are a good author with a high quality book and you will satisfy their reading needs and desires

The 11 things that will help you to improve the results of your Crime Fiction Book Promotion with the top Crime Fiction Book Promotion Sites are

  1. Picking the Right Market to Write For
    1. You plan to start a clothes shop and you have a choice of 5 towns
      1. The first town has a small market and also has 4 clothes shops competing for that small market
      2. The second town has a large market (lots of people who buy clothes) and has 3 clothes shops competing for that large market
      3. The third town is a very small town with hardly any people and no clothes shops
      4. The fourth town is a fast growing medium size town with only 1 clothes shop
      5. The fifth town is a fast growing small town with no clothes shops and people have to drive 2 hours over to the nearest large town to buy clothes
      6. Which town would you open your clothes shop for?
    2. Deciding what market to write your book for is very similar
      1. You NEVER want to write a book for a market that is very small with hardly any readers
      2. You also Never want to write a book for a small market with lots and lots of competitors
      3. Ideally, you want a fast growing small town with close to zero competition
      4. If that is not possible, it is fine to write for
        1. A market that is a fast growing medium market with low competitionr
        2. OR
        3. A market that is a large ETERNAL market with decent amount of competition
  2. Selling The Right Book to The Right Market
    1. From the previous example, let’s say you correctly picked the fast growing small town with no competition
    2. Would you then go and open up an ice cream store instead of a clothes store?
    3. Opening up an ice cream store, when the product that small town is asking for is clothes, would be madness
    4. It’s the exact same with books. It is not enough to find The Right Market
    5. After finding The Right Market, you have to supply it with The Right Product
  3. Selling a High Quality Product
    1. The more you improve the quality of your book, the more it will sell
      1. PROVIDED you have written it for the right market, and it is the right product for this Right Market
    2. The core is the book itself. Writing and rewriting the book to improve flow and readability is key
    3. The fit and finish includes editing, proofreading, layout of the text (typesetting) and design of the interior of the book
    4. The packaging includes the book cover (most important), the author page
  4. Asking for Reviews
    1. Most readers are unaware that an author would like a review
    2. Most readers are also unaware, even though they themselves depend on reviews when deciding whether or not to buy a book, that the best thing they can do to help an author whose book they like, is to leave a good review
    3. If an author politely asks them for a review, they will gladly leave a review if they like a book
    4. Don’t be shy – Ask for a Review
    5. If you have some way to ask your most loyal readers for reviews (perhaps through your email list) then definitely do that also
  5. Collecting Reader Emails and Building a Loyal Reader Base
    1. You want to build DIRECT channels to readers
    2. A way to reach them easily and cheaply, without having to pay someone a marketing fee, and without having to get someone’s permission
    3. Towards that end, make sure you build up an email list
    4. If possible, also have a website or blog, and also have a Facebook account and a Twitter account
    5. As you grow your reader base these will become increasingly important
  6. Making Things Very Easy to Understand for the Reader
    1. Imagine you went to the Electronics Store to buy a Television
    2. And in the Televisions aisle was this big black box
      1. It didn’t tell you what was inside
      2. It was not clear about what feature, if any, it had
      3. It was not clear about what it was meant to do
    3. Would you
      1. A -> Spend half an hour trying to solve this puzzle, and then buy this ‘not sure what it is’ product
      2. OR
      3. B -> Just skip it and buy a TV that clearly indicated it was a TV and was clear about its features
    4. Unfortunately, most authors go out of their way to make it difficult for readers to figure out what their book is, what book category it is in, who it is meant for, and what it is about
    5. Making it tough for readers to figure out what your book is, does not increase sales
      1. In fact, it reduces sales by 50% to 90%
      2. To maximize sales, make it so simple even a caveman could figure it out
  7. Gathering as much Data as you can about your book marketing push
    1. This will probably not increase the results of your ongoing book promotion
    2. However, saving data on what works and what doesn’t will MASSIVELY improve your future book promotions
    3. Please remember that it is very important to gather lots of data on BOTH
      1. What works for your book
      2. What doesn’t work for your book
  8. Eliminating Friction for Readers and removing Doubt from their minds
    1. A reader does not know whether you are a sincere author who spent 5 years writing a book, 6 months polishing it, and your book will be a great read
      1. OR
      2. You are a content farm that pumps out 10 low quality books a month – all 10 of which are garbage
    2. Firstly, your book cover and packaging determine whether the reader even takes your book seriously
      1. Yet another reason to give emphasis to your book cover
    3. Secondly, you have to make sure that your book sample, the quality of its editing and proof reading, your selection of book categories, your author profile, and your book description reduces friction and eliminates doubt from readers’ minds
    4. Thirdly, readers’ experience is that the more work done on the book cover and packaging and polishing, the higher the quality of book
      1. So you can NEVER EVER expect readers to go against what they are seeing
      2. They will not think – The packaging is low quality, that must mean this author is a true artist who wants the inner beauty of the book to be a surprise
      3. They will just think the inside of the book is as half baked as the outside, and they will move on
  9. Getting as many Reviews as you can BEFORE you do a marketing push
    1. This is tough and for some authors (especially new ones) it might not be possible
    2. Whenever possible, you want to get a decent number of reviews of high quality BEFORE you start your book marketing push
    3. Reviews are the single biggest driver of book sales (2nd is a quality book cover)
      1. Marketing without reviews is not at all ideal
  10. Getting the best book cover you can afford
    1. Regardless of how important you think a book cover is, it is actually more important
    2. A good book cover gets readers to click on the book
      1. That, in itself, is priceless
      2. Please remember that only readers who click on the book cover will ever buy a book
      3. The book cover is instantly the single most important marketing and sales conversion tool you have
    3. Even on the book page, a book cover is the 2nd most important determinant of sales (after book reviews)
      1. And it is a CLOSE second
      2. A beautiful book cover that matches genre expectations can massively increase your sales conversion
  11. Creating a Very Polished Product
    1. This goes hand in hand with creating a quality product
    2. You have to not just work on Inner Beauty (Quality), you also have to work on Outer Beauty (Fit and Finish)
    3. Polish Polish Polish

These are principles that will take a bit of time to sink in, so please feel free to return back to this post every few months

Critical Importance of Picking the Right Crime Fiction Genres & Sub Genres

Please always remember – The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Genres

Crime Fiction encompasses so many different categories and sub categories that it is basically a loose collection of 100+ different categories. These are VERY different from each other and the readers have very specific interests and expectations

You must pick the right crime fiction genre to write in. Then you must make sure you promote it to readers in that EXACT genre

Consider that Crime Fiction encompasses nearly all of these Thriller categories

  1. Suspense Thriller
  2. Psychological Thriller
  3. Crime Thriller
  4. Conspiracy Thriller
  5. Historical Thriller
  6. Legal Thriller
  7. Spy Thriller
  8. Forensic Thriller
  9. Serial Killer Thriller
  10. Post Apocalyptic Thriller
  11. Supernatural Thriller
  12. Assassination Thriller
  13. Political Thriller
  14. Dystopian Thriller
  15. Technothriller
  16. Terrorism Thriller
  17. Artificial Intelligence Thriller
  18. Adventure Thriller
  19. Military Thriller
  20. Prepper/Survivalist Thriller
  21. Survival Thriller
  22. Disaster Thriller
  23. Medical Thriller
  24. Religious Thriller
  25. Christian Thriller
  26. Heist Thriller
  27. Kidnapping Thriller
  28. Creature Thriller
  29. Horror Thriller
  30. Mystery Thriller
  31. Space Thriller
  32. Climate Thriller
  33. Dramatic Thriller
  34. Police Thriller
  35. Noir Thriller

Next, consider that Crime Fiction also encompasses nearly all of these Mystery categories

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

The readers in a specific Crime Fiction category are SUPER interested in their own category. They are not interested in other Crime Fiction categories

Let’s consider an Example

If you decide that Cozy Mystery is a great book category to write in

  1. You MUST do market research and figure out EXACTLY what a Cozy Mystery is
  2. You MUST figure out what kind of books are doing well in Cozy Mystery
  3. You must write EXACTLY that kind of book
  4. After that, you have to make sure your book page, your book cover, your book title, and the categories you choose to place your book in, all MATCH COZY MYSTERY conventions perfectly
    1. This has to be PERFECT
    2. You cannot say it is a ‘Mystery’ so let me put it in any Mystery category
    3. New authors find it hard to believe that people who love Forensic Mysteries read nothing except Forensic Mysteries
      1. However, that is far closer to the truth than some fantasy that readers reading ‘any kind of Mystery’ will buy and read my Cozy Mystery, because they are all ‘Mysteries’
  5. Finally, you have to make sure your market and promote your book ONLY to Cozy Mystery readers

This is such a different mindset from what new authors have (who go as far as to think that a Mystery can be put into ANY book category, even categories like Non Fiction)

This is, unfortunately, the only mindset that works

People put their book into the wrong categories for so many reasons (carelessness, lack of technical understanding of how to set book categories, trying to game the system, thinking everyone who reads books reads all types of books, etc)

In every case, regardless of the reason the book is in the wrong categories, it leads to much lower sales and bad reviews

You have to place your book in The Perfect Categories and Sub Categories. There really is no other option if you want to do well as an author

Crime Fiction Book Promotion Site Insights – Make Sure You Know the Conventions of Your Book Genre

Every book category has its set conventions

This is especially true for Crime Fiction novels. In fact, each Crime Fiction category and sub category has its specific genre conventions. Please read up on these and follow these

In addition to the book itself, even the book packaging must follow conventions for that particular Crime Fiction category. Perhaps most important is the Book Cover. If your book cover does not match genre conventions, readers will not buy it. This is yet another reason you should work with an experienced professional book cover designer and not self design your book cover

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

Becoming a Bestseller in Crime Fiction is a very nuanced thing. Here are 5 key things to keep in mind

  1. Crime Fiction is a very big category with some very big authors and is very competitive
    1. You need a very polished book
    2. You need a large marketing budget
    3. You need to KNOW how to market and promote well
    4. It is almost impossible to Become a Bestseller in the big Crime Fiction categories unless you have an exceptional book and a large marketing budget
    5. You must start off by focusing on becoming a bestseller in a Crime Fiction sub category
  2. Crime Fiction has lots of categories and sub categories
    1. Your focus must be on the medium sized sub categories and the small sub categories
    2. Those are the only places where you have a realistic chance of becoming a bestseller if you don’t have a big marketing budget
      1. This is especially true if you are a new author
  3. You have ZERO chance of Becoming a Bestseller if your book is half baked
    1. ZERO
  4. Your book needs to have reviews and a good review rating
    1. If you try to Become a Bestseller with a book without reviews, then you are just burning money
  5. The Game is Won & Lost in the selection of Categories and Sub Categories

There is no Easy Button. This is not Guitar Hero

To Become a Bestseller, you have to sell a lot of books, and that requires a high quality product and marketing acumen

5 Key Truths that will help you Become a Bestselling Author

These are 5 key truths that you must embrace

  1. $1,000 spent on a very polished book will go further than $10,000 spent on a half baked book
    1. Your book must be very polished. That includes
      1. Professional Editing
      2. Professional Proof reading
      3. Being placed in the PERFECTLY RIGHT Categories and Sub Categories
      4. Beautiful Packaging (Book Cover)
      5. Book Cover created by a professional book designer who makes a book cover that is eye catching and beautiful and detailed and matches genre conventions
  2. A Book with Good Reviews and a high Review Rating will sell 5 to 10 times more than a book with bad reviews
    1. A book with bad reviews, or a low review rating, or with fake reviews, will not sell well at all
    2. On the other hand, a book with genuine reviews that speak well of the book will sell well
    3. There is absolutely no workaround
      1. You must have reviews
  3. A book placed in the wrong book categories will not sell well
    1. This is a universal truth that no author can escape
    2. Putting your book in the EXACT book categories it should be in is the ONLY way to getting good book sales
  4. Sales in reality are very different from Sales that are planned
    1. All your estimates of how many books you will sell are going to be wildly optimistic
    2. It’s great to be optimistic when writing
      1. However, when doing your planning for your marketing push, you must face reality head on
      2. Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
    3. Sales in Reality will almost always come in lower than you expect
      1. So the only way to ensure your Bestseller Push stays on track is to plan for significantly more sales than you will need to Become a Bestseller
  5. It is much better to Fail Softly
    1. Failing softly means that even if you miss becoming a Bestseller in your target Big Crime Fiction book category, you should have your book in some small book categories so that you at least become a bestseller in those

The harsh reality is that 90% of authors who try to become a bestseller miss the first few times

If you prepare yourself for a soft landing (of at least becoming a bestseller in a small category or a medium sized category) you keep your momentum and energy for a larger marketing push in the future

Becoming a Category Bestseller

You can email your ebook store and get them to add your book to the right categories

  1. Emailing support lets you add 10 categories. Use them all. Make sure they are all RIGHT for your book
    1. Normally Amazon only uses 2 and assigns the other 8 randomly
    2. So it is critical to specify the Perfect 10 categories to them via email
  2. You can also email Apple iBooks, B&N Nook, Kobo, etc or you can use their store dashboard to set the right book categories

What you want is a mix of Large and Medium and Small Crime Fiction Categories and Sub Categories

  1. 3 Large Crime Fiction Categories
    1. This is so that when you start getting sales you start showing up in the Top 100 Bestsellers List and Top 100 New Releases list for these large categories
    2. A lot of people check these lists and even showing up at #88 has value
  2. 4 Medium Sized Crime Fiction Categories
    1. These are the categories where you have a decent shot at actually becoming a bestseller
    2. You must pick categories that are The Perfect Fit for your book
    3. Becoming a Bestseller in a Medium Sized category is still very good for your future book sales
      1. Set up your marketing so that even if you don’t get to Top 10 in a big Crime Fiction category, you can get to Top 10 in a Medium Sized category
  3. 3 Small Crime Fiction Categories
    1. These are small categories where it is easy to become a bestseller
    2. Aim to get to #1 Bestseller in one or more of these smaller categories
    3. Some people do check even these smaller categories, so you will get a decent amount of visibility from these categories’ Bestseller lists

It would be foolhardy to not use this strategy of having your book in a mix of large and small book categories. It is a proven method and it is a safe method

Number of Sales Required to Become a Category Bestseller

Always aim to get a higher number of sales than listed here

The number of sales required to become a Crime Fiction Category Bestseller are

  1. Large Crime Fiction Category – 500 to 1,500 sales in a week
  2. Medium Crime Fiction Category (or a Large Crime Fiction Sub Category) – 250 to 750 sales in a week
  3. Small Crime Fiction Category (or a Medium Sized Crime Fiction Sub Category) – 100 to 300 sales in a week
  4. Small Crime Fiction Sub Category – 50 to 150 sales in a week
  5. Very Small Crime Fiction Sub Category – 20 to 50 sales in a week

Sales usually come in lower than hopes/expectations. So please make sure you aim for the higher end of the range (or even higher)

Becoming an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller

You need to get 2,000 to 3,000 sales over the course of a week to become an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller

You can also become an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller by getting 1,000 to 2,000 sales in a single day (though it is safer to do the ‘2,000 to 3,000 sales in a week’ method)

You definitely need

  1. Bookbub, which is the largest Crime Fiction book promotion site
  2. 2 or more of eReader News Today, Books Butterfly, and Robin Reads. These are the #2, #3, and #4 Crime Fiction book promotion sites
  3. Facebook Ads or Amazon Marketing Services Ads to add more sales
  4. Promotion to your existing readers via email list or blogs or website
  5. A few of the remaining Top 10 Crime Fiction book promotion sites

Without Bookbub it is very hard, and very expensive to aim for Top 100 Bestseller in the Kindle Store, and we don’t recommend it. Focus your efforts on getting your book polished enough to get approved by Bookbub

You also want to set up a structure that is a week long marketing push –

  1. Day 1: Start Facebook Ads on Day 1 and keep running them throughout
  2. Day 2: Have a few smaller Crime Fiction book promotion sites to generate some initial momentum
  3. Day 3: Start Books Butterfly (as Books Butterfly promotions are 5 to 7 days in duration)
  4. Day 4: A top 10 Crime Fiction book promotion site
  5. Day 5: Bookbub
    1. This is your focus day
    2. Days 1 to 4 are the build up
    3. Day 5 is the main focus and you must get as many sales as possible on this day
    4. Supplement Bookbub with one or both of eReader News Today and Robin Reads
  6. Day 6: 1 or more of the remaining Top 10 crime fiction book categories
  7. Day 7: Facebook Ads (which should be running all week)

This structure WORKS and it works very well

Becoming a New York Times or USA Today Bestselling Author

Becoming a New York Times Bestselling Author or an USA Today Bestselling Author does five things

  1. You get instant credibility and respect for the rest of your life
    1. This should not be underestimated
  2. Sales of EVERY book you ever write are higher
    1. Not just the book with which you became a bestseller
    2. You can put ‘New York Times Bestselling Author’ or ‘USA Today Bestselling Author’ on the book cover and in the book description of EVERY book you ever write
  3. You feel Great for a very long time
    1. It is a great reward to you for all your hard work
    2. It’s very important as an Author to cherish the wins
    3. This is a HUGE win
  4. You get on the radar of Big Publishers and Large Publishers
    1. It does increase your chances of getting a book deal
    2. We are not saying you will get a book deal
      1. Just that the chances become higher
  5. Readers are MUCH more comfortable buying your books
    1. We see Bestselling Authors get 2 to 3 times more sales with the same amount of marketing spend
    2. It is a ridiculously high increase
      1. That every dollar you spend will get you 2 to 3 times better results, for the rest of your life

Of course, actually becoming a New York Times or USA Today Bestselling Author is INCREDIBLY tough

  1. For Crime Fiction, you will need 5,000 to 10,000 sales within a one week period
    1. Please check what exact one week period you need to get the sales in
  2. At least 500 of the sales must be from B&N Nook, Apple iBooks, and Physical book stores
    1. 500 out of the 5,000 to 10,000 MUST be from outside the Kindle Store and outside
    2. Bookbub is invaluable as it can sometimes generate 500+ sales from Nook and Apple by itself
    3. Books Butterfly is also valuable as it has over 100,000 email subscribers for Apple Store and over 20,000 subscribers for B&N Nook Store

You have to bring your A Game

  1. You must have a very, very polished book
    1. Whatever your definition of ‘good enough’ is, you must replace by our definition of ‘good enough’ i.e.
      1. Professionally edited
      2. Professionally proof read
      3. Written and rewritten for flow and readability
      4. Flawless
    2. If you don’t have a very polished book, you are just burning your marketing money
  2. You cannot do it without a large marketing budget
    1. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way to do this without a lot of money
    2. You will need between $10,000 to $40,000 to do a proper marketing push
  3. You must have Excellent Packaging
    1. You need a very well done book cover from a world class professional book cover designer
    2. Trying to save $100 or $1,000 on the book cover will result in you wasting the $10,000 or $20,000 you are spending on your marketing push
    3. The Book Cover must not be ‘your idea of what will work’
      1. It must be THE REALITY of what is proven to work in the book store
  4. You 100% need a good number of good, well written reviews and a review rating of 4 stars or higher out of 5 stars
    1. There is no substitute for good reviews
    2. The review rating must be 4 stars or higher out of 5 stars
  5. You have to have everything well planned out and well structured
    1. You cannot stumble your way through this
    2. You need to set up everything 3 months in advance, or even earlier
    3. You need to spend your money very wisely, regardless of whether you have a tight budget or a massive budget

Regardless of how good of an author you are. Regardless of how successful you are in your day job. You have to bring your A Game when going for the Big Bestseller Lists

These are 5 things that can help increase your chances of becoming a bestseller, and you must leverage as many of these as you can –

  1. Promote a Box Set discounted to $0.99, instead of a book
    1. Box Set = 3 or more full length books
    2. Box Sets have a ‘Box Set’ effect i.e.
      1. Readers love the immense amount of value
      2. Sales for Box Sets are 2 to 4 times higher than sales of a standalone book (provided the price is the same)
      3. Box Sets get a lot more attention
        1. Please Note: This only works if the Box Set has a book cover that ACTUALLY SHOWS A BOX SET
    3.  In a situation where you need 5,000 to 10,000 sales in a week, a Box Set which will sell at 2 to 4 times the rate of a standalone book is an irreplaceable marketing strategy
  2. Promote at $0.99, not at a higher price
    1. It’s insane to try to become a bestseller at a higher price until and unless you have a very large Publisher or a very large company like Amazon or Barnes & Noble backing you
      1. Even then, your chances are very low with a higher priced book
    2.  $0.99 is the price that works
      1. We’ve hardly seen any self published authors become a bestseller with $2.99 or $2.99 books
    3. You have to go with $0.99
  3. Leverage a Multi Author Box Set at $0.99
    1. Firstly, every author can pool in their marketing budget
    2. Secondly, every author’s reader base can be tapped into
    3. Thirdly, you can leverage the experience and expertise of all the authors
    4. The one big downside is that some promotion sites won’t accept multi author box sets
  4. Create a world class book cover
    1. A book cover is so important that
      1. A world class book cover will double or triple sales over a ‘very good’ book cover
        1. This is so difficult to explain to authors – Authors simply can’t ‘see’ what a world class book cover is, and neither can they understand why a book cover is far more important than how well written their book is
        2. Yet, a book cover is the single best sales tool an author has
        3. Regardless of how much it irks you that your book cover (which you have zero control over, because a book cover designer has to make it) determines your success to a far greater extent than your actual writing
          1. That is the reality
      2.  Many readers will buy a book just because the cover is beautiful
        1. Think about that for a second
        2. There are readers who will simply buy the book because they ASSUME that a book with such a beautiful cover must be a good book
        3. They will not even read the book sample. They will not read the book description. They will ignore the reviews
        4. The HUGE benefit of a world class book cover is that, with a significant percentage of readers, you skip all the stages of ‘the interview’
    2. Find a world class book cover designer
    3. Let them do their job
      1. They will be creating a world class book cover
      2. All your ‘help’ and ‘input’ only spoils things
      3. Yes, as crazy as it sounds, all your well meaning ‘My Zero years of experience with designing book covers that sell books’ is not going to help create a better book cover
  5. Get good reviews, ideally from your most loyal readers
    1. You don’t want to get fake reviews. Definitely not as readers can instantly tell when reviews are fake
    2. You don’t want any over the top reviews
    3. You want GENUINE reviews from readers who are your most loyal customers
    4. You want these reviews in BEFORE you start your marketing push

These are 5 critical things that every author should seriously consider

They will increase the chances that your Bestseller Push is a success

How to Increase the Number of Reviews you get after promoting your Crime Fiction Novel

What motivates you to review a product you bought?

  1. It’s exactly what you were looking for
  2. It satisfies the needs/desires you bought it to satisfy
  3. It’s very high quality
  4. It surprises you (in a good way)
  5. It’s very polished
  6. It works like it is supposed to
  7. The company follows up with you and requests a review
  8. Product is exactly what is said it would be
  9. Product has a lot of love and hard work put into it

It’s EXACTLY the same with books. Readers leave a review when one or more of the above factors are true

HOWEVER, there is one big difference with Reviews for your book

  1. You ALWAYS have to Ask for Reviews
  2. Why?
    1. Because readers have a blind spot and are completely unaware that you would appreciate a review

That brings us to what you can do to increase the number of reviews you get for your book

  1.  Ask your Readers for Reviews
    1. Readers are blissfully unaware that
      1. Authors love reviews
      2. If they like the book, the best thing they can do is leave a good review
      3. Reviews help authors to sell more books
    2. By asking for a review, you make them realize that you would like a review if they like the book
    3. It’s such a simple thing, and yet it is the single most effective thing to increase the number of reviews you get
  2. Sell More Books
    1. Another painfully simple and marvelously effective catalyst to getting more reviews
    2. Let’s look at normal review rates
      1. A very, very well written book will get 5 to 15 reviews for every 1,000 sales
      2. A well written book will get 1 to 5 reviews for every 1,000 sales
      3. A decent book might get only 0 to 3 reviews for every 1,000 sales
    3. This number will go up if you ask for reviews
      1. Sometimes it will double
    4. However, the other direction you can approach it from is – What if I sell more books?
      1. That will automatically lead to more reviews because the number of reviews for every 1,000 books sold is relatively stable for most authors
      2. Selling more leads to more reviews
  3.  Improve the polish and fit and finish of your book
    1. Get a better editor
    2. Get a better proof reader
    3. Rewrite the book for a better reading experience for your readers
  4. Gather loyal readers into an email list or on your website or blog
    1. Who are the readers most likely to leave a good review?
      1. Your most loyal readers
      2. Readers for whom you are ‘one of their favorite authors’
    2. You need a way to be able to reach them quickly and easily and without a middleman
      1. The most loyal will become your ‘street team’ and help you launch books well by providing reviews early after launch
      2. The remaining will be your go-to readers to get early sales boosts and early reviews
    3. This has two VERY BIG added advantages
      1. Not only are you going to get reviews
      2. First: You will get mostly good reviews because these are your most loyal readers
      3. Second: You can pick WHEN you get reviews from them
        1. Politely ask them to start leaving reviews right around launch
        2. OR At another time that best fits your marketing needs
  5. Place your book in the Perfect Fit categories for it
    1. Who is most likely to review your book?
      1. The reader who loves books exactly like yours
      2. The reader who is looking for books exactly like yours
    2. So one of the most effective ways to increase the number of reviews and the quality of reviews
      1. Is to place the book in the PERFECT FIT categories for it
      2. THAT is where its ideal readers will look
      3. Those ideal readers are the ones most likely to review, and, even more importantly, they are the ones most likely to leave good reviews
    3. That’s why we keep saying – The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Categories

There is one more thing you can do to get more reviews. It’s critical for all authors so we will discuss it separately

  1. Improve the Quality of Your Writing – The Master Key to Unlocking Reviews is Becoming a Great Author
    1. Product Quality is a critical factor
    2. The better the product, the higher the chance a reader will leave a review
      1. PROVIDED you ask for a review
    3. The better the product, the higher the chance a reader will leave a good review
  2. Don’t think your writing is perfect
    1. No one’s writing is perfect
    2. There’s always room to improve
    3. Even bestselling authors evolve and improve
    4. You can see this in the work of authors such as King
    5. You can see it even more in the classics
      1. You can trace a path from the author being very good to becoming great
  3. Put in the hard work
    1. This is something that is completely under your control
    2. There are very few areas in life where you have something that 100% depends on how much effort you put in
      1. No one can interfere
      2. No one can stop you

It’s critical to think of getting reviews as A SKILL

It is both an Art and a Science

Most new authors struggle for even their first few reviews

You have to push through that wall, even though at times it seems impenetrable

As authors get more experienced, their ability to get reviews and get good reviews improves. It is a skill and the more you practice it, the better you will get

Crime Fiction Book Promotion Sites vs Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads have a very specific place in your Book Marketing Toolbox. They are actually a very good complement to the Top 10 Crime Fiction book promotion sites

Let’s understand how and why

Facebook Ads are very good for

  1. Reaching very specific sets of readers
  2. You can do ‘retargeting’ i.e. advertise to the same readers again and again
  3. You can use ‘lookalike audiences’ i.e. share your email list with Facebook, and they will show your ads to people most similar to the people on your email list
  4. You can create a steady, small stream of incoming readers
    1. Please Note: As Facebook Ads are bidding based, they are most suited to getting a slow, daily stream of readers
      1. If you try to create a big rush, it gets very costly
  5. You can reach 2 billion Facebook users. Roughly 10% of those read books, making for a massive audience of 200 million potential readers

This fits in very well with what the top crime fiction book promotion sites offer

  1. Reaching readers who have signed up to receive book deals and offers
    1. So it is not so much ‘marketing’ as it is sending people something they have actively signed up for
  2.  Creating spikes in sales
    1. Book Promotion sites usually create a sales spike that lasts for a day or two or up to a week
      1. Facebook Ads can’t be used to create sales spikes like this because the bidding model makes every incremental click costlier
      2. On the other hand, Book promotion sites are not good for creating a steady, small stream of readers like Facebook Ads can create
    2. These sales spikes are even more powerful when combined with a steady trickle of daily sales (which Facebook Ads are perfect for creating)
  3. Readers who are specifically interested in Crime Fiction
  4. An ability to create a large number of sales in a short period of time
    1. Critical for launching a book, and taking advantage of the 2 week or 4 week ‘honeymoon period’ the store gives every new book
    2. Vital when trying to make a Bestseller Push
  5. Fixed Costs and Reliability
    1. As opposed to bidding based systems such as Facebook Ads and Google Ads, you know exactly what you will pay when purchasing a book promotion package at one of the top crime fiction book promotion sites
    2. Additionally, you know that on that day your book will be promoted and you will get sales within a certain range
      1. You cannot get ‘outbid’ by someone with a larger budget

These are two very complementary marketing channels

As you test the various book promotion sites and Facebook Ads you will find that these two become your Top Two marketing channels for promoting ebooks (which is #1 will vary from author to author)

You should work on understanding and mastering both these marketing channels

Crime Fiction Book Promotion – Facebook Ads vs Amazon Marketing Services

Amazon Marketing Services is a smaller, less effective, and far more confusing version of Facebook Ads

That being said, it can be a valuable addition to your Book Marketing Toolbox if you can get it to work

The major strengths of Amazon Marketing Services are

  1. It is advertising to people already visiting Amazon book pages
    1. They are already readers
    2. They are already in the buying mindset
  2. You can target specific Crime Fiction Authors and specific Crime Fiction books and show your book ads on those pages
  3. As Amazon Marketing Services are tough to learn and change more frequently than Facebook Ads, most authors give up on it
    1. If you can get it to work the level of competition is lower than Facebook Ads
  4. Though Amazon book pages get far less visitors than Facebook (2 billion), it is still between 10 million and 40 million people you can potentially reach
  5. There are 25% of authors who are able to make Amazon Marketing Services work
    1. If you can be in this 25% you have found yourself a solid marketing channel
  6. There are also 5% of authors who are able to make Amazon Marketing Services work very, very well
    1. If you can be in this 5% you can get a very good amount of sales and profits from Amazon Marketing Services

The major weaknesses of Amazon Marketing Services are

  1. You cannot create sales spikes as you can with the top Crime Fiction book promotion sites
    1. Nor can you create a steady stream of sales as you can with Facebook Ads
      1. This is because Amazon Marketing Services  bidding system is very hard to figure out and changes a lot
    2. So Amazon Marketing Services can only function as an ‘add on marketing channel’ and it’s hard to make it a pillar of your book marketing efforts
  2. It’s pretty hard to learn, and what makes it almost impossible to use is that it changes more frequently than Facebook Ads
    1. You can learn and master Facebook Ads
    2. Or you can learn and master Amazon Marketing Services
    3. However, the latter will change so often, and will only work for 25% of authors
      1. So if you are in the 75% you just wasted an incredible amount of time and effort
    4. To be quite frank, finding the time to master even one of these is very tough
    5. We would very strongly recommend starting with Facebook Ads and learning that first
      1. It’s a better version of Amazon Marketing Services
      2. It reaches a lot more people
      3. It is more stable

Amazon Marketing Services is still a relatively new and unpolished advertising platform. Over time, hopefully, it can improve and become viable for a larger percentage of authors

The other thing they really need to work on is not needing to do a PhD in AMS to make AMS work

The 3 Core Skills for Authors

As a Crime Fiction author there are a plethora of skills you can focus on. It’s very critical to put everything else in the background and focus, above all else, on The 3 Core Skills necessary to do well as an author

  1. Knowing What to Write (Writing the Right Book for The Right Market)
    1. This is the skill of knowing what Market (book category and sub category) you should be writing for
    2. It is also the skill of knowing exactly what book you should write for this market
    3. This requires a lot of market research
    4. It also requires a little bit of instinct which comes from experience
    5. It’s not a fool proof skill and there are times when your market research will not lead to a win
      1. However, getting ‘The Right Book for The Right Market’ correct even one time sets you up for a long career as an author
  2. Writing Very High Quality Books
    1. This is the skill of writing a great book
    2. It is, in some ways, the skill that is the most under your control
    3. It is also very important to not focus solely on this skill and ignore the other 2 Core Skills for Authors
  3. Marketing Your Books Very Well
    1. This is the skill of reaching the right customers and convincing them your book(s) are the right product for them
    2. This can sometimes be the toughest skill for authors to master
    3. There are actually two separate parts to this skill
      1. Marketing – Reaching the right readers and getting your book in front of them
      2. Sales – Closing Sale by convincing readers that your book will give them what they desire and need

To do well as an Author you will have to become very good at all 3 of these skills

If you can master 1 of these 3 Skills and still be very good in the other 2 skills, you can reach a very good level of success

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

How the 3 Core Skills apply to Crime Fiction Book Promotion

Crime Fiction is a very competitive category and also a very big category

  1. While you have the immense promise of becoming one of the thousands of Crime Fiction authors making a good (perhaps even great) living as an Author
  2. You also have the almost infinite competition that comes with being in a large book category (largest in the UK, one of the largest in the US)
  3. The system is wildly skewed in favor of ‘The Winners’
    1. While the Top 1% all make a decent to good living
    2. The difference between the Top 0.1% and the Top 1% is very large
    3. The Top 0.1% make very, very healthy amounts of money

In such a system, the importance of The 3 Core Skills is magnified

  1. Firstly, being very good at all 3 of The 3 Core Skills will ensure that, if you so wish, you can be a full time author and make a good living as an Author
  2. Secondly, Mastery of one of the 3 Core Skills, while still being very good at the other two, will ensure that you reach the Top 0.3% to Top 0.5% and start making a good amount of money
  3. Thirdly, if you can achieve mastery in 1 or 2 of the 3 Core Skills, while also becoming very good at finding what markets to write in, you can reach the Top 0.1% of Crime Fiction authors
    1. That brings with it a very good amount of readers, success, fame, money, and many other benefits

This is not to be taken lightly. It will require your very best

If you intend to write as a full time pursuit. If it is your love and your passion. If you are OK giving extra effort for considerably larger rewards

Then you must go for the Top 0.1%. Why not give 100%?

  1. Sometimes the difference can be as simple as facing the truth about where you are in each of the 3 Core Skills and re-dedicating yourself to becoming world class in 1 or 2 of them
  2. Sometimes it can be as simple as writing what readers are buying instead of writing what you think they should buy or what you want them to buy because of how you view the world
  3. Sometimes it can be whether you watch 15 hours of Netflix a week or 3 hours of Netflix a week

That is a question every author should ask themselves – do they want to give 100% and be one of the best? OR, and this is fine too, they just want to write and take it easy?

Let’s take a quick look at what aspects of The 3 Core Skills are especially important for Crime Fiction Book Promotion

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. The fastest way to get into the Top 0.1% is not ‘writing very well’ or ‘marketing very well’
      1. It is – Finding a new, emerging Crime Fiction sub category and becoming one of the top authors in that category
    2. We have never seen an author who regretted ‘spending too much time researching what people are buying’
      1. On the other hand, we have seen that 90% of authors jump in without thinking about what readers buy
      2. Then they feel invested in their wrong decision (choosing the wrong category to write in), and spending even more money and time on it
        1. This is called The Sunken Cost Fallacy
    3. If you jump into writing a book and giving 2 to 5 to 10 years of your life to a particular book category
      1. You owe it to yourself to spend 3 to 6 months BEFORE jumping in, to research the market and confirm it is a market worth writing for
  2. Writing Very Well
    1. After you find The Right Market
    2. After you figure out The Right Book to write for this Right Market
    3. After you learn to market and sell to readers in this Right Market
    4. Then, and only then, the Quality of Your Writing becomes incredibly important
    5. You have to have very well written books to do very well as an author
      1. If you find a great market, or have great marketing for a good market, you can do decently well even with a decentish book
      2. However, learning to write better is a learnable skill and totally within your control
  3. Marketing Very Well
    1. Marketing and Selling Books is an Art and a Science
    2. This is the Skill most authors struggle the most with
    3. Unfortunately, it is a critical skill
    4. You have only two options
      1. Option 1: Become an expert at marketing and sales yourself
      2. Option 2: Ally up with a powerful partner like a large publisher or a large publishing/tech company, and let them do the marketing
    5. You cannot skip out on Marketing

The 3 Core Skills become more and more important as you strive to get more and more out of your career as an Author

The 11 Golden Rules of Crime Fiction Book Promotion

These are absolutely critical rules. Please follow them to the greatest extent possible

  1. The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Crime Fiction Book Categories & Sub Categories to Write In
    1. If you were building a hotel would you prefer
      1. A city that has no hotels but huge demand for hotels
      2. OR
      3. A city that has low demand for hotels and already has 11 hotels competing for the limited demand
    2. It’s EXACTLY the same with books
    3. Before writing a book
      1. Firstly, you need to find a GREAT market to write for
        1. A market that has high demand
        2. A market that has low supply or no supply
      2. Secondly, you need to find The Right Book to write for that market
        1. The ACTUAL book that readers in that market are dying to buy
        2. Not what you THINK they will buy
          1. No – you have to see what they are actually buying, not your guess or your assumption
  2. The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Crime Fiction Book Categories & Sub Categories to Place In & Promote In
    1. You have The Right Book for The Right Market
    2. Now, you have to make sure that you place it in the Exact Right Categories and Sub Categories
      1. Why? Because that is where the Perfect Readers are
      2. And those are the ones that will buy your books
      3. The book store model works very well
        1. You go to the bookstore and walk to the Mysteries section
          1. It is full of Mysteries
        2. People who want to read a mystery don’t go to Romance or Non Fiction
          1. They go to Mystery
        3. You have to make sure your book is in the right categories for it
    3. Additionally, when promoting the book you have to promote it as the right category
      1. Why? Because if you promote it in the wrong category it will reach readers who don’t even buy books like yours
      2. It’s very important to not overthink things and to not try and game the system
      3. Promote to the readers who are most likely to buy it
  3. Product Market Fit is more important than Everything Else Combined
    1. Product Market Fit = The Right Product for The Right Market
    2. Figuring out The Right Market to write in, and then figuring out The Right Product for this Right Market is called Product Market Fit
    3. If you have Product Market Fit, everything else becomes easy and straightforward
    4. If you don’t have Product Market Fit, life is a series of never ending struggles
    5. Product Market Fit is more important than everything else (writing quality, marketing budget, marketing skills, awards, your 5th grade teacher’s approval)
  4. The Market Always Wins
    1. You, as the author, can write a book, price it competitively (or not), and place it in the bookstore/ebook store
    2. At that point, all the power and control passes to the reader (the market)
    3. The Market decides what to buy and what not to buy
    4. Sadly, you have close to zero control over what the reader decides
    5. The Market Always Wins
      1. If you want to win too, then give the market EXACTLY what it is asking for
  5. It is easier to succeed in a Good Market, than it is to fail in a Bad Market
    1. If you pick the wrong market, then no matter how hard you work, you will not be successful
      1. This is a very painful truth
      2. After wasting 5 to 10 years struggling in the wrong market, it will become evident to you
      3. Save 5 to 10 years by ensuring you NEVER enter a wrong market
    2. On the other hand, picking the right market makes everything smooth and easy
      1. Things automatically start falling into place
      2. Please don’t mis-understand us
        1. Finding the right market takes a lot of work
        2. It takes even more work to figure out The Right Product for this Right Market
        3. Then you have to create a quality product
        4. Then you have to do very good marketing and sales
      3. What we mean by ‘things become smooth and easy’ and ‘things automatically start falling in place’ is that Provided you have done your part well, the book sales will follow
    3. Picking the Right Market successfully sets you up for 3 to 10 years of a great run as an author
      1. The one act that 90% of authors ignore (market research before deciding what market to write for)
      2. Is the biggest determinant of success
      3. It is also the biggest determinant of whether you waste 3 to 10 years of your life on a fruitless venture or you spend it very productively on an amazing venture
  6. Quality of Product matters only AFTER Finding the Right Market and Doing the Right Marketing & Sales
    1. Author have a ‘Writing Quality matters more than anything else’ mindset
      1. It’s natural
      2. You’re an author and you think success should be based on ‘who writes the best’
    2. In reality, if you don’t pick the right market, it doesn’t matter how good your book is
    3. If, after finding the right market, you don’t write the right book for this market, no one will buy your book
      1. Then what does it matter if it is beautifully written?
    4.  After writing The Right Book for The Right Market, you have to do Marketing and Sales
      1. You have to reach the right readers and sell them the book
      2. If you can’t get your book into their hands, how will they know it is well written?
    5. It is only after getting all of this right, that your writing skill matters
      1. Then it matters a lot
      2. However, if you don’t get the previous steps right, then it does not matter whether you are Hemingway or a dilettante
  7. If you want to succeed as an author, make sure you NEVER fall in love with your book
    1. This is so, so, so, so tough
    2. Authors tend to make the MASSIVE mistake of thinking of their book as their child
      1. It could never do any wrong
      2. It is the other kid’s fault
      3. My kid is born perfect
    3. It’s a BOOK. A product. It is not your kid
    4. Authors fall so madly in love with their book they start automatically finding things to blame if the book does not do well
      1. That is a road to Hell paved with good intentions
    5. You should actually do the opposite – Treat your Book as a Product. Love it directly proportional to how well it sells
  8. Your Book is a Product and it is completely different from ‘Your Story’
    1. It doesn’t matter how beautiful or powerful your story is
      1. 50% of people have had something absolutely wonderful and incredible happen in their life
      2. Less than 1 in 1,000 people can turn that into a beautiful book
    2. A Story is AN IDEA
    4. People only see how beautiful the book is
      1. They cannot see ‘the story’ or ‘your beautiful view of the world’ because they do not have your mind connected to theirs
      2. They can only see the book
    5. If you have a ‘beautiful story’, then make sure you create a beautiful book
      1. Without a beautiful book the story has no meaning
  9. Those who Listen to the Market will ALWAYS Win over those who Listen to Their Heart
    1. This romantic notion of ‘follow your heart’ is such a destroyer of author careers
    2. Follow Your Heart is great if you just want to write and don’t care if you ever sell a single book
    3. If you want to sell, then you must listen to the market
      1. Please do note that there will be cases where you find there is an intersection between What the Market Wants and What Your Heart Wants
      2. If so, consider yourself very lucky
  10. Readers trust other Readers more than Anyone Else – You MUST Get Readers to Vouch for Your Book
    1. Reviews are super critical because readers trust other readers more than they trust anyone else
    2. They don’t care two hoots that some ‘professional editor’ or ‘successful author’ said your book is amazing
      1. They really don’t
      2. OK, they might care if you get Stephen King to say your Horror Novel is amazing
      3. In general, unless it’s one of the best authors in the world recommending your book, readers will just ignore recommendations
    3. Readers only care what other readers think about your book
      1. That means – Reviews from other readers
  11. Picking a Market you are Passionate About can be a big help in becoming successful
    1. Above all else, pick a market that is a great market
    2. If you happen to find multiple markets that are great markets
    3. Focus on the one that you are most passionate about
    4. Writing Books is tough. Selling books is even tougher
      1. If you pick a Market which is a Great Market and you are also passionate about
      2. Then you have a very good chance of doing well
    5. That Passion translates into higher quality in everything you do
  12. BONUS: Authors who listen to what the market is telling them ALWAYS Win over those who don’t listen
    1. Two authors both write Crime Fiction novels centered around the Middle East with a small section covering Russia and China and the majority covering Iraq
    2. The reviews keep talking about how interesting the Russia and China angle was and that the main Iraq storyline didn’t really work well
      1. A few readers even think the entire book should have been focused on the China and Russia storyline
    3. Author A says – these readers are idiots. I am the 23rd descendent of Shakespeare. How dare these peasants think they know better than me
      1. Author A NEVER becomes successful
      2. The Market is Cruel. It is a heartless, vicious thing
      3. If you don’t satisfy the market, it does not give you success
        1. The Market does not care that you wanted to write a Crime Fiction novel about Iraq since you were 11 years old
        2. The Market only cares about what The Market Wants
    4. Author B says – Wow, that really hurt my feelings and bruised my ego. What I wrote in 3 weeks (Russia & China side story) they like, and what I wrote in 2 years (main Iraq storyline) they don’t
      1. Do I throw away 2 years of writing?
      2. Do I write what the people paying for my books want me to write?
      3. Can I just walk away from what I thought would sell (Iraq) and focus on what readers want to buy (China & Russia nexus)
    5. Author B spends many sleepless nights wondering why a fascinating place like Iraq is not connecting with readers
      1. It’s the last big war
      2. Why do readers want Russia and China instead?
      3. After much soul searching, Author B starts writing a new novel focused on China and Russia
    6. The Market gets what it wants (Russia & China based Crime Fiction)
      1. It rewards Author B
      2. Author B’s ego is bruised
      3. However, his bank account is healthy
    7. It’s up to you to decide whether you will listen only to yourself, which will bruise both your ego and your bank balance
      1. Or Whether you will listen to the market, bruise your Ego, and enrich your Bank Balance

Best of Luck!

Crime Fiction is a very large and competitive book category. There are a lot of opportunities. It is also an ETERNAL book category. If you invest into becoming a very good Crime Fiction author you don’t have to worry about the market for it disappearing in 5 or 10 or even 1,200 years

If you can focus completely on what readers are asking for and what readers are buying, you can definitely achieve success as a Crime Fiction author

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