Top 10 Suspense 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 marketing and promotion Suspense Novels

The Top 10 – The Top 10 Suspense Book Promotion Sites

  1. Bookbub
    1. The largest book promotion site with 10 to 15 million total readers
      1. The ‘Featured Deal’ package is the one you should get
    2. Strong in all Suspense Categories, with 3 million+ Suspense readers
    3. Bookbub only accepts 10% to 20% of books submitted
      1. If you don’t get accepted the first time, improve your book and then resubmit after a month
      2. Keep improving and submitting. It can take quite a few tries to get accepted
  2. eReader News Today
    1. A very large and trusted book promotion site which has been helping authors since 2010
    2. Very Strong in most Suspense categories
    3. Very reasonably priced and a must have for your marketing push
  3. Robin Reads
    1. A fast growing book promotion site which gets very good results for nearly every book
    2. Strong in all Suspense categories
    3. Accepts only 10% of books submitted, making it the most selective of all the Top book promotion sites
  4. Books Butterfly
    1. Books Butterfly is the 2nd largest book promotion site with 4 million readers
      1. Over 1 million readers for Suspense
      2. Helping authors since July 2014
    2. Books Butterfly is strong in most Suspense categories
      1. Very Strong: Suspense Thriller, Mystery & Suspense, Suspense
      2. Strong: Christian Suspense, most other Suspense categories
      3. Decently Strong: Supernatural Suspense, Horror Suspense
      4. Weak: LGBT Mystery & Suspense
    3. Disclosure: Books Butterfly is our Sister Company which has successfully run $1.9 million of book promotion packages
  5. Book Sends
    1. Book Sends is a large and trusted book promotion site which has been helping authors since 2012
    2. Strong in most Suspense categories
  6. Free Booksy & Bargain Booksy
    1. Free Booksy promotes free books and is a Top 5 free book promotion site for Suspense
    2. Bargain Booksy promotes bargain books and is a Top 5 paid book promotion site for Suspense
    3. These are sister sites with between half a million and a million readers. They have been helping authors since 2012
  7. Fussy Librarian
    1. A good and very reasonably priced book promotion site
    2. Good for most Suspense categories
    3. As it is very reasonably priced and not too fussy about giving new authors a chance, this is a good place to dip your toes into book promotion and marketing
  8. To Be Finalized
    1. We are constantly researching and will update the #8, #9, and #10 spots when we find additional top suspense book promotion sites
  9. To Be Finalized
  10. To Be Finalized

These Suspense Book Promotion Sites are the best and the most trusted

Your book should do well in 5 to 7 out of these 7. Please do keep in mind that the different suspense book promotion sites have different sets of readers. It is entirely possible you do well with 5 of these 7 sites, and not well with the remaining 2

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

  1. Free Kindle Books & Tips (FKBT)
  2. One Hundred Free Books (OHFB)
  3. Genre Pulse
    1. A good book promotion site that has a mix of email subscribers and Android App readers
    2. Good at giving new authors a chance and also very reasonably priced
    3. Like Fussy Librarian, Genre Pulse is a good place to dip your toes into marketing and see if your book is ready for promotion and marketing
  4. Book Gorilla
  5. Kindle Nation Daily

These are all good sites to promote Suspense Books. As reader tastes differ from site to site, your book might not do well with some of these

Detailed Insights on the Top 10 Suspense Book Promotion Sites

To Be Added Later – We will, later on, add special insights for each of the Top 10 Suspense Book Promotion Sites

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

The top suspense book promotion sites are looking to take books that will do well. Books that sell well make reader customers happy and author customers happy

So your chances are higher the more likely your book is to sell well with their readers

There are 8 main factors

  1. A very good book cover that matches genre conventions and is designed by a professional book cover designer
    1. The first thing a reader sees – your cover
    2. The first thing a book promotion site sees – your cover
    3. If you have a very good book cover, which matches genre conventions of Suspense, your chances of getting approved improve considerably
    4. You really, really need a professional book cover designer because they know
      1. What the genre conventions are
      2. How to make a beautiful cover that conveys quality
      3. How to make a cover that gets readers to click
      4. How to make a book cover that sells books
      5. These are skills that you cannot learn overnight
    5. It’s also worth nothing that 90% of the time authors who get the book cover wrong also get other aspects like genre conventions and fit and finish wrong
      1. You don’t want to send out a message to readers and promotion sites that your book is low quality
  2. A very well polished book that is edited by a professional editor and proof read by a professional proof reader
    1. It massively hurts a reader’s reading pleasure if a book is not well edited and does not ‘flow well’
      1. You need a professional editor to take your book from good to great
    2. It kills a reader’s reading experience if they keep getting pulled out of their story world (the world you have written and their imagination has visualized) because of spelling mistakes and typos and grammatical mistakes
      1. You 100% need a professional proof reader
    3. These are not optional things. These are not luxuries. You should not be charging money until and unless you have a well polished book which will make readers happy
  3. A high review rating (4 stars or higher out of 5 stars) and a good number of positive reviews
    1. Firstly, the reviews should all be genuine reviews and written by readers who have English as their first language
      1. Please note that buying fake reviews almost always sinks your book
        1. People dishonest enough to sell fake reviews
        2. Are also dishonest in their dealings with you and the reviews they put up are poorly written and scare readers away because of how obviously fake they are
      2. Reviews from people who can’t speak and write English well do a lot of damage
        1. Make sure you don’t focus on getting reviews from a country where English is not the first language
    2. Secondly, the review rating should be over 4 stars out of 5 stars
    3. Thirdly, the reviews should provide some valuable information about the book
      1. Not so much praise
      2. More of actual feedback on the book’s strengths and weaknesses
  4. A well written book
    1. Writing well is actually quite a bit down the list
    2. A reader will only have a full grasp of your writing after reading the book
    3. Your book sample only gives a rough idea
      1. However, that sample should be well written
  5. A good match between what readers have bought in the past (readers of the book promotion site) and the Author’s Book
    1. Every book promotion site has a history of what type of books do well with their readers, and what don’t
    2. If your book is a good match for a site’s readers, your chances of getting approved go up by a lot
  6. Book Categories and Sub Categories are clearly specified and match what the book actually is
    1. You must be crystal clear on what the book’s best categories and sub categories are
    2. You must make it CRYSTAL CLEAR to readers what your book’s categories and sub categories are
    3. There are 5 key places genres and sub genres must be conveyed to readers
      1. Book Cover
      2. Book Title
      3. Book Categories shown on the book page
      4. Book Description
      5. Author Profile
  7. A book that matches genre conventions and makes it clear that it matches genre conventions
    1. Romance authors do a good job of adding a note with details such as
      1. HEA guaranteed where HEA means Happily Ever After
      2. Standalone – making it clear that readers don’t need to buy other books to enjoy this book
      3. No Cheating – making it clear it is a romance that doesn’t have the absolutely unacceptable act of the hero cheating on the heroine
    2. You have to do the same. You have to make it super clear to your readers that you meet genre conventions
  8. Good value for money
    1. Your book should be good value for money
    2. This is really tough because new authors start off thinking their book is worth $100 and only after a lot of experience realize their book is worth what the reader will pay for it
    3. Make sure you provide readers with more value than they pay for, and you will have them as readers for life

There are also 7 additional factors

  1. Positive history with the book promotion site
    1. If the author’s books have done well with the promotion site, or if the author is a loyal repeat customer, then chances of getting approved go up dramatically
  2. Exceptional Book Cover which will drive sales
    1. The better the book cover the more the book will sell
    2. In most author’s minds, a book cover is just something to check off a list or an opportunity to make themselves happy by picking a book cover they like
    3. In reality, a book cover is your most important sales tool
      1. It dictates whether or not readers click on your book
      2. It dictates how well your book sells
  3. Attention to Detail
    1. The more attention to detail there is in a book and its packaging, the better the book usually is
    2. Good authors obsess over every detail of their writing and packaging
    3. Great authors ensure that every detail is perfect
  4. Author has won a Big Award
    1. If an Author has won a Big Award such as RITA, Booker, National Book Award, Hugo, Nebula, Shamus, Agatha, Bram Stoker, etc. then their book will almost always be accepted
    2. Unfortunately, smaller awards don’t count at all, neither with readers nor with promotion sites
  5. Author is a Bestselling Author
    1. 3 lists count – New York Times Bestsellers List, USA Today Bestsellers List, Wall Street Journal Bestsellers List
    2. If you are a bestseller on one of these three lists, your sales and acceptances both go up significantly
    3. Most book promotion sites will always take an author who qualifies for one of these three lists
  6. Very high number of reviews
    1. If you manage to get 50 to 100 reviews, or higher, then your book is very likely to get accepted
    2. The review rating still needs to be 4 stars out of 5 stars, or higher
  7. Author has a very strong Author Profile
    1. People buy books at a higher rate if they like the author and/or can relate to the author
    2. The more likable and relatable you are, the higher the chances your book will sell well
    3. If you have a very good author profile, you will increase your chances of getting accepted

These are the exact same criteria

  1. Based on which readers decide whether or not to buy your book
  2. Based on which book promotion sites decide whether or not to accept your book for promotion

Every bit of effort you put into improving these criteria will pay off many times over

Suspense Book Promotion Sites – Biggest Mistakes to Avoid

Authors love to re-invent the wheel instead of learning from the authors who have come before them

  1. There are millions of authors who have come before you and made mistakes you should avoid
    1. Equally important is that they have learnt valuable lessons which you should learn from them
  2. Publishing companies that have been around for centuries
    1. Centuries – That’s longer than the combined life spans of Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon
    2. Do you really think there is nothing you can learn from companies which have survived hundreds of years?
  3. There are professionals in every area of Books & Publishing who have spent decades mastering their craft
    1. Should you do things the way they recommend? Or should you be stubborn and do things the way you ‘think’ is best?

Authors want to come in and ‘do it my way’. That is a massive mistake

Unless you have a lot of time and money, we strongly recommend that you approach Books & Publishing with the mindset that you know absolutely nothing. That there are lots of opportunities to learn from your predecessors and from the experts. That doing so will not just save you a lot of money and time. It will also put you on the path to success

Please avoid these mistakes, as avoiding them is critical if you want to do well

  1. Writing a Novel for a Market that does not exist
    1. By far the most common stumbling block for authors is writing a book for a market that does not exist
    2. The easiest way to avoid this mistake is to do proper market research BEFORE you write a single word
    3. Search for proven markets and new, fast growing markets
    4. Your mind/imagination/guesses do not count
    5. Only what is actually selling counts
  2. Writing the Wrong Book for The Right Market
    1. Congratulations! You worked hard for 3 weeks/3 months and found 1 or 2 very good markets to write for
    2. Avoid the temptation to ‘guess’ what to write
    3. Avoid the temptation to ‘go with your gut’
    4. Avoid the temptation to ‘just jump into it’
    5. Please do more market research and see what books are ACTUALLY SELLING in this great market you have found
  3. Micro-managing the experts and forcing them to ‘do things your way’
    1. You have your book written
    2. You have rewritten it and improved its flow and readability
    3. Now you have to get it edited, proof read, typeset
    4. You have to get a book cover
    5. Hire people who are professionals with 10 to 30 years of experience
    6. Let them do their job without interfering
    7. Explain clearly what you want and then step back and let them use their expertise and experience to create a great product
  4. Assuming your first book is Perfect
    1. 95% of authors think their first book is perfect
    2. 5% of authors have a good first book
    3. So there is a MASSIVE disconnect between how good an author’s first book is, and how good they think it is
    4. Imagine walking around in 2020 thinking you are selling an iPhone when actually it’s a 2002 Motorola flip phone
    5. All your time, effort, hard work, analysis is wasted if you start thinking your book is an immaculate creation and there is nothing that can be improved
  5. Putting all your Marketing Budget into one book
    1. Across your author career you will probably write between 3 and 100 books
    2. If you take all your money and put it into one book
      1. BEFORE confirming there is a big market for it
      2. BEFORE confirming it is doing well
      3. Then you are taking that money away from your actual masterpiece
        1. Which might be your 5th book, or it might be your 11th book
    3. Time and Money are very strong constraints for almost every author
      1. Please make sure to not put all your eggs into one basket
  6. Thinking the Book Cover is ‘a random item to check off on your list’
    1. What is the FIRST determinant of success?
      1. Whether or not readers click on the cover
      2. That makes your book cover the single most important sales and marketing tool
    2. What is the SECOND Determinant of success?
      1. Whether you can convince readers to buy your book, after they have reached your book page
      2. Here again the book cover plays a pivotal role
    3. The Book Cover is the single most important sales and marketing tool
      1. If you don’t do a good job, people will not even click on your cover
      2. They won’t even visit your book page
      3. EVERYTHING depends on how good your book cover is
  7. Putting your book into book categories it does not belong in
    1. Whatever rationale you come up with to mis-categorize your book, it is a big mistake
    2. Your book MUST be put into the book categories and sub categories which are a PERFECT FIT for your book
    3. There is simply no other option
  8. Leaving your book half baked and unpolished
    1. After writing a book, it is imperative to rewrite it to improve
      1. How immersive it is
      2. How smoothly it flows
      3. How deep into the story world the reader can go
      4. How easy to read it is
      5. How coherent it is with respect to the characters and the plot making sense together
    2. After all that rewriting and improving is done, it is critical to
      1. Get it edited by a professional editor
      2. Get it proofread by a professional proof reader
      3. Get a professional book cover designer to craft a great book cover for your book
    3. You must have a fully baked, beautifully polished book
      1. Readers are giving 3 to 5 hours of their time
      2. Readers are spending their hard earned money
      3. You must make sure to deliver a great reading experience
  9. Replacing Market Research and Seeing Reality As It Is with Wishful Thinking
    1. There will always be a conflict between
      1. What market research tells you about what markets are hot and what books are selling in those markets
      2. Versus
      3. What you ‘wish’ or ‘think’ are good markets, and what products you think would sell in these markets
    2. ALWAYS pick markets that are proven and find what books are selling in those markets
    3. It gets even more jarring when you write and publish your book and start promoting it. There will be a conflict between
      1. How the market responds to your book
      2. Versus
      3. How you think the market should respond to your book
    4. Seeing Reality As It Is -> If your book isn’t selling then check if it is The Right Product for The Right Market
      1. After that, check that the Product Quality is good enough to sell
    5. If you instead embrace Unreality i.e. my book is perfect and something is wrong with the market or with readers
      1. Then you will never be able to sell well
  10. Not measuring what works and what doesn’t work
    1. What Gets Measured Gets Managed
    2. You must measure what works and what doesn’t
    3. This especially applies to sales and marketing – measure what generates sales for your book, and measure what doesn’t

There are millions of authors who have tested and tried and failed and succeeded. You have to learn from them. If you learn from them you can save yourself 5 to 10 years of frustration and failures

If you are stubborn about ‘doing it my way’ and ‘I will reinvent the wheel because my wheel will be the best wheel of all time’, then you will waste between 5 to 10 years before you realize that you shouldn’t be reinventing the wheel and you most definitely should not be doing things ‘your way’

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

Readers are always looking for new, good authors in the book genres and sub genres they read. You will never find a reader who complains about ‘there being too many good authors’. In fact, readers cannot find any new, good authors and are constantly searching

In a world where millions of authors are self publishing and the number of books is increasing rapidly, it has become tougher and tougher for readers to find a good author

Why? Because most of these new authors are publishing half baked or even completely unbaked books

For you, this is a MASSIVE opportunity

Show Readers that

  1. Your book is the Right Book for Them and fits into the genres they read
  2. Your book is well written and matches genre conventions
  3. Your book is well polished

And they will buy your book

Create beautiful books and they will buy every book you ever send out to them

These are the 9 things that will greatly help you improve the results of your suspense book promotion with the top suspense book promotion sites

  1. Pick the Right Market to Write For
    1. While readers are looking for good, new authors in every book category
      1. There are some categories in which there are almost no new good authors
      2. If you can identify such categories, pick the one that best suits your writing abilities and interests, and jump in
        1. You will accelerate your author career
    2. Picking what market you write for is 100% within your control
    3. It’s fine if it takes 1 month or 6 months or 1 year to find a really good marketing that is growing fast and has huge demand from readers and very low supply from authors
      1. It will be well worth it
  2. Write the Right Book for this Right Market
    1. After finding the Right Market, it is very critical to not stumble and forget the Reader
      1. Authors will often forget that they are writing a Book FOR THE READER
      2. Instead they will write ‘what they wanted to write when they were 11 and had dreams of becoming a novelist one day’
      3. You are NOT writing a book for yourself
        1. You are writing a book FOR READERS in this Great Market you have found
    2. You must ensure you write The Right Book – the exact book that readers in this market are dying to read
    3. It is rare that ‘what you want to write’ will match ‘what the market wants to buy’
      1. 90% of authors think it is one and the same
      2. In reality, they are often extremely different from each other
      3. To the point that ‘writing what you want to write’ will almost certainly kill your book sales
        1. If you are dying to write something for yourself, write a poem or a short story
        2. When writing a book, write for the readers
  3. Market & Promote to Readers in this Market (and not to readers in general)
    1. This is perhaps the most painful place to stumble. Please make sure you don’t stumble and fall when so close to success
      1. You have identified The Right Market
      2. You have written The Right Book for this Great Market
      3. Now you must market and promote to the EXACT right set of readers. The readers for whom this book is written
    2. You have to make sure you are marketing it to the same readers for whom the book is written
    3. You also have to make sure it is marketed as the Exact Right book for these readers
    4. Often, the hard work of finding the right marketing, finding the right book, actually writing the book, and polishing it, will leave you tired and burned out
    5. If that is the case, take a month or two off and make sure that when doing Marketing & Sales you are ready and have your A Game
      1. Your A Game means you MUST market and promote to those EXACT readers for whom the book is a PERFECT FIT
  4. Collect Readers’ Emails and Build a Loyal Reader Base
    1. It is absolutely imperative that you build DIRECT CHANNELS to your customers which you own and control 100%
      1. An email list is one such channel
      2. A website or blog is another (it must be a domain that YOU own)
    2. You need and want to have a way to contact your readers any time and cheaply/for free and easily
    3. Why?
      1. Because every time you have a new book release or do a book discount you can contact them and let them know
      2. Because if you don’t you might never be able to reach those readers
      3. Because if you don’t you will be at the mercy of the book store or another company/entity
        1. Imagine the ridiculousness of that – most authors are completely dependent on the bookstore to reach their most loyal readers
        2. Readers who, by the way, are dying to find out if their favorite authors have new books
    4. You have to collect reader emails because, unfortunately, right now that is one of the only ways to build a Direct Channel to readers
    5. Please do not underestimate the importance of this
      1. Over time your email list of readers will become one of your Top 3 marketing channels
  5. Ask for Reviews + then Ask for Reviews AGAIN
    1. Readers hardly ever leave reviews because they have no idea that
      1. Reviews help sell a book
      2. The author would love a review
      3. A review is the best way to appreciate the book if they like it
    2. You have to remind them
    3. Ask. Get over whatever hesitation you have and ASK FOR REVIEWS
      1. Then Ask them again on the last page of your book
  6. Make everything Crystal Clear to Readers
    1. Imagine you walked into an Appliances store and the manager told you – This big white box has an appliance in it. Just Pay $438 and it’s yours
    2. The manager won’t tell you what appliance it is
    3. There are 3 different stickers on it. One says – Fridge. Another Says – Washing Machine. A third says – Large Screen TV
    4. Would you buy that box?
    5. Yet, 90% of authors (perhaps even 97%) make it a mystery
      1. They are not clear about what the book genres are
      2. They don’t specify what popular books it is similar to
      3. They don’t specify what popular authors the book matches in style
      4. They won’t say how long the book is
      5. They won’t say who it is written for
    6. Please don’t be the kind of author who thinks the reader should spend 15 minutes solving a puzzle to find out whether or not this book is the same book genre as the book genre they read
    7. Because readers don’t spend 15 minutes. They don’t even spend 1 minute. If it is not CRYSTAL CLEAR what book categories the book falls into, readers leave
  7. Gather Data about all your marketing and promotion results and keep refining your Marketing Strategy
    1. What Gets Measured Gets Managed
    2. First of all – You MUST measure and find out what marketing methods work for your book
    3. Second of all – You must also measure and find out what doesn’t work
    4. Throughout your author career, the better you measure what works and what doesn’t, the higher your book sales will go
    5. In some ways, measuring what works is even more important than selling the book
      1. Because once you find out what works for your books, you can sell ANY book that you write
  8. Make everything EASY and Friction Free for Readers
    1. For a Reader, the path of least resistance is
      1. Beautiful Cover that matches book genres and catches the eye
      2. Clicks on this Beautiful Book Cover
      3. Book Page is CRYSTAL CLEAR on what books this book is similar to, book genres, what popular authors’ writing style this book is similar to
      4. Book Page has book in the right categories – same category or categories the reader reads
      5. Reader buys the book
      6. Book is very polished and a pleasure to read
      7. At the end of the book, in the midst of the high of finishing a good book, reader sees a note asking for a review and asking to sign up for author’s email list
      8. Reader leaves a good review
      9. Reader signs up for email list and hopes a good new book will show up soon
    2. Give readers this Path of Least Resistance
  9. Get the Absolute Best Book Cover you can afford
    1. No matter how important you think a book cover is, it is more important
    2. 100% of readers will decide whether or not to click to your book page based on your book cover
      1. It is literally the ONLY thing they see at the point of deciding whether or not to go to your book page
    3. 90% of readers, on your book page, will use Reviews and Book Cover Quality as the main two criteria to decide whether or not to buy your book
      1. Yes, 90%
    4. So, please don’t buy a $10 cover and definitely don’t design your book cover yourself
    5. Get the BEST book cover that you can afford
    6. Make sure it is an experienced, professional book cover designer
    7. Book Cover Design is not a ‘random’ skill. You can’t get a painter or a website developer to just ‘conjure up a book cover’
      1. You need someone who designs book covers for a living
  10. Polish, Polish, Polish and ensure you have a High Quality Product
    1. After you’ve reached the right readers they are going to look at product quality
    2. They can’t read the entire book to confirm the book is good
      1. So they draw conclusions based on
        1. How good the cover is
        2. How good the sample is
        3. What the reviews are like
    3. The more polish you have put into the book, the higher the chance readers will buy
  11. Learn as much about your Book as possible
    1. In the course of promoting your book you will get a lot of feedback from the market
      1. Where does it sell well?
      2. Where does it not sell?
      3. What are the people saying in reviews?
      4. Are people saying it is in the wrong book categories?
      5. How often are people reviewing
    2. This is an interesting exercise because the way readers see your book will be very different from how you see it
    3. The genre of the book is what readers say it is
      1. This is very difficult for authors to accept
      2. However, readers are much better at knowing what genre a book fits into, than authors
    4. The quality level of the book is also what readers say it is
      1. If you’re getting a 4.1 star rating then your book is a 4.1 star book
        1. It’s not a 5 star book that got some tough reviews
      2. Please Note: You have to wait to get a significant number of reviews, such as 20 reviews or 50 reviews, before drawing conclusions
    5. Sending your book out to the market (marketing and promoting it) will teach you a lot. Listen to the Market
  12. Learn Marketing & Sales
    1. Marketing & Sales is one of the 3 Core Skills
    2. Every author has to learn it
    3. Regardless of how much you hate Marketing & Sales you have to become very good at it
      1. The sooner you start, the sooner you can become very good
      2. The sooner you start, the sooner you can drastically improve your book sales

As we mentioned earlier, readers are always looking for good new authors. Meanwhile, most authors are doing wishful thinking and trying to feed readers half baked books

If you give readers a delicious, fully baked Book, they will become loyal readers for life

Critical Importance of Picking the Right Suspense Genres & Sub Genres

Suspense is very challenging when it comes to selecting book genres and book sub genres because

  1. There are a LOT of Suspense sub categories
  2. There is a lot of overlap between Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense
  3. There is even some overlap between Romance (Romantic Suspense) and Suspense, and between Horror and Supernatural genres and Suspense
  4. As it is a pretty big genre, authors are always trying to EXPAND Suspense in new directions
  5. At some level, neither readers nor authors have a very precise idea of exactly what each Suspense category and sub category is

You have to bring order to all the chaos by figuring out

  1. What are the Perfect Fit Suspense Genres and Suspense Sub Genres for your Book
    1. This also has two very big payoffs
      1. If you can figure this out you will sell better
      2.  If you can figure this out you will get more reviews and better reviews
    2. So, please invest the time and figure out what are the right genres and sub genres for your Suspense Novel
  2. What are the Genres and Sub Genres to avoid
    1. This is also important
    2. Some Suspense Genres and Sub Genres have very specific requirements and/or very picky readers
      1. You want to make sure you don’t start promoting to them
      2. Firstly, it will save you money, time, and effort
      3. Secondly, you will dodge negative reviews from people upset that the book is not the genre they thought it would be
  3. What are Genres that are a Good Fit AND ALSO very good markets
    1. Your book will probably fall into 3 Suspense Genres and between 3 to 7 Suspense Sub Genres
    2. Out of these it is critical to pick the ones that have the least competition
    3. Suspense is a pretty big category and many of the Suspense genres are also very big
      1. You don’t have to worry about being in ‘the biggest Suspense genres’
      2. Focus exclusively on being in the ‘least competitive’ and ‘fastest growing’ Suspense genres and sub genres

The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Genres & Sub Genres

This applies not just when deciding what to write, it also applies when deciding what Suspense Genres and Sub Genres to place your book in

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

Suspense is quite a big category and it is very competitive. What complicates matters is that you have three other sets of Authors jumping into Suspense

  1. Thriller authors go into Suspense categories and sub categories with Suspense Thrillers etc
  2. Mystery authors enter in Mysteries as Mystery & Suspense
  3. Romance authors put their Romantic Suspense novels into Suspense

What this means is that you are competing with three heavyweight categories and to Become a Bestseller you have to get a similar amount of sales as Mystery and Thriller authors. That is quite difficult

We run into 5 key things to keep in mind

  1. Becoming a Bestseller in Suspense is just as difficult as becoming a bestseller in Mystery and Thriller categories because you are competing with Mystery and Thriller authors
    1. At the same time, Suspense readership is slightly smaller than Mystery and Thriller
    2. You really have to bring your A game
  2. You need a very polished book to even have a shot at bestseller status
    1. Please don’t invest into a marketing push to become a bestseller until and unless your book is well written, properly polished, and ready to be promoted
  3. You need a good review rating and a good number of reviews
    1. Without reviews you can’t make a Bestseller Push (except in the smallest Suspense sub categories)
  4. The most realistic chance for most Suspense Authors is to pick a Suspense category or a Suspense sub category which is not very competitive
    1. You should pick some large categories, and you should also pick some small categories
    2. It’s VERY tough to become a Bestseller in the large Suspense categories as they are inundated with Mystery, Thriller, and Romance authors’ books
  5. The Game is Won or Lost in the Selection of Categories & Sub Categories
    1. The more effort you put into identifying the right categories and sub categories, the better you will do

Let’s start by looking at 5 Key Truths

5 Key Truths that will help you Become a Bestselling Author

Embracing Reality will give you a better chance of Becoming a Bestselling Author

  1. Reviews are the most critical aspect
    1. You need reviews that are positive
    2. You need a review rating over 4 stars out of 5 stars
    3. You need well written reviews that are in good English and without mistakes
      1. If your reviews seem fake or are in broken English, then your Bestseller Push will not work
  2. A Great Book Cover is your best marketing tool
    1. You bring all these readers to your book page
    2. You think they will read the sample, read the book description, and then make a call
    3. No!
    4. They take 15 seconds to look over the cover
    5. If it is beautiful, if there is attention to detail, if it matches genre conventions for the Suspense categories it is put in
      1. Then, and only then, they will look at the reviews
    6. If the reviews seem genuine and speak well of the book, they will then look at the sample
    7. If the sample is well written and well edited, they will buy the book
    8. Please Note: A book with an exceptional cover and/or exceptional reviews, readers will buy without ever looking at the sample
      1. That’s what your aim should be
      2. Strong Cover and Strong Reviews so that readers buys without even looking at the sample
      3. That being said, the book sample needs to be very strong
  3. Sales ALWAYS underperform expectations
    1. There is perhaps one author somewhere who got more sales than he had predicted for his Bestseller Push
    2. All the rest of us mortals have to deal with the reality that sales always come in less
    3. The solution is to plan for 2 to 3 times the sales you need
    4. Another solution is to always have your book in a few small Suspense categories
      1. So that even if sales are low, you at least become a bestseller in those small Suspense categories
  4. Spending money on an unpolished book is a waste of your time and money
    1. There is absolutely no point in spending $3,000 on a marketing push if your book sample has 3 spelling mistakes, or if your book cover is a low quality cover bought for $25 from someone in East Europe
    2. You should only set up a marketing push AFTER
      1. You have a very well polished book
      2. You have reviews (and good ones)
      3. Your book is edited and proof read
      4. You have a beautiful book cover
      5. Your book is in the EXACT categories and sub categories it is a good fit for
    3. If you are rushing in without putting effort into your book, you are basically setting your money on fire
  5. Authors tend to spend a lot when they know nothing, instead of spending after they are knowledgeable
    1. Promote your book only after you understand Books & Publishing
    2. Promote your book only after it is polished and ready to be promoted
    3. There is absolutely no ‘Spend Money to Save Working Hard’ option

Most of the time people try to become a bestseller BEFORE their book is good enough to be a bestseller

Everything is much more straightforward if you first produce a very high quality book which is very well written, very well polished, and extremely well packaged

Becoming a Category Bestseller

The ideal mix, if you are aiming to become a category bestseller, is to put your book into

  1. 3 Large Suspense Categories
    1. This is your ‘Ideal’ Bestseller Category
      1. If everything goes well, these are the large categories you want to become a Top 10 Bestseller in
    2. As a lot of people visit these Bestseller Lists to find new books, even getting into the Top 100 is a slight boost to sales
    3. Please do keep in mind that this is difficult to get (Top 10 in a Large Suspense category) so this should not be your only option
  2. 3 Medium Sized Suspense Categories
    1. This is your ‘Main’ Target – the categories in which you definitely want to become a bestseller
    2. You want to set things up so that you can reach #1 in these categories
    3. Becoming a Bestseller in a medium sized suspense category is still very good and you should take it very seriously
      1. In some cases becoming a bestseller in a medium sized category that is a PERFECT FIT for your book is better than becoming a bestseller in a large category that might not be that good a fit
  3. 4 Small Suspense Categories
    1. These are you ‘99% Sure’ categories
      1. Categories where even a small number of sales will make you a category bestseller
    2. As a small number of people check even these ‘small’ categories, these also generate organic sales (on top of whatever marketing you are doing)

Please Note: All these categories must be Suspense categories that are a GOOD FIT for your book. They MUST be categories that are a good match for what you have written

This will take a bit of work – finding the right categories for your book, and making sure it is a mix of large, medium, and small categories. However, it will really pay off

Number of Sales Required to Become a Category Bestseller

Unfortunately, due to the presence of Mystery and Thriller authors, and to a lesser extent Romantic Suspense authors, the Suspense Categories are just as competitive as Mystery and Thriller

The number of sales required to become a Suspense Bestseller are

  1. Large Suspense Category – 500 to 1,500 sales in a week
  2. Medium Size Suspense Category (or a large Suspense sub category) – 250 to 700 sales in a week
  3. Small Suspense Category (or a Medium Sized Suspense sub category) – 100 to 300 sales in a week
  4. Small Suspense sub category – 50 to 150 sales in a week
  5. Very Small Suspense sub category – 20 to 50 sales in a week

Please note that for 99% of authors, sales during a marketing push will be markedly lower than estimates. Unfortunately, that is the nature of marketing and sales – things rarely end up as the ‘best case scenario’

You always want to aim for twice or thrice the number of sales that you need to hit your target

Becoming an Amazon Kindle Top 100 Bestseller

You have to get 2,000 to 3,000 sales over the course of a week, or 1,000 to 2,000 sales in a day, to become an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller

You will need to get promotion and marketing packages from –

  1. Bookbub (the largest Suspense book promotion site)
    1. This is necessary. You can’t go for Top 100 in Amazon Kindle Store without Bookbub
  2. 2 or 3 out of eReader News Today, Robin Reads, and Books Butterfly
    1. Again, you need to get 2 or 3 of these to ensure you have a high chance of reaching the Top 100
  3. Facebook Ads running through the week
    1. If trying for a 1 day jump to the Top 100, then start running Facebook Ads a week before your ‘Big Day’
  4. All your own marketing channels such as your email list, your blog and website, your social media pages
  5. As many of the remaining Top 10 Suspense book promotion sites as you can get into

As far as how to structure the promotion and marketing, this is the ‘battle tested’ structure to make a Bestseller Push

  1. Day 1: Facebook Ads and perhaps 1 suspense book promotion site (not one of the Top 4)
    1. If you can get Amazon Marketing Services to work, use them also
  2. Day 2: Smaller suspense book promotion sites to keep sales going (not the Top 4)
  3. Day 3: Start Books Butterfly (as the promotions are 3 to 7 days in duration)
  4. Day 4: 1 or 2 of the Top 10 Suspense Book Promotion Sites
  5. Day 5: Bookbub
    1. This is the ‘Focus’
    2. Supplement Bookbub with one or both of – Robin Reads, eReader News Today
  6. Day 6: Smaller suspense book promotion sites
  7. Day 7: Facebook Ads and perhaps a bit of Amazon Marketing Services Ads

Please note that this structure requires that you have smartly and carefully picked The Right Categories and Sub Categories for your book, and that they are a mix of small and big categories

Becoming a New York Times or USA Today Bestselling Author

Becoming a New York Times Bestselling Author or an USA Today Bestselling Author is a big, big accomplishment. It is also a great, almost unmatchable marketing edge

The 5 main benefits you will get are

  1. Instant Credibility for the rest of your life
  2. Sales of every book you ever write will be 2 to 3 times more
  3. You get on the Radar of Publishers
  4. Readers trust you almost instantly
  5. Trying for Bestseller Status (of any level) will be much easier in the future

Think of Books & Publishing as an Ocean of Authors with nothing much to distinguish them from each other

A New York Times Bestselling Author ‘badge’ or a USA Today Bestselling Author ‘badge’ instantly raises you out of that Ocean and into the ‘Clouds’ of proven and trusted authors

Unfortunately, it is very, very tough – You need 5,000 sales to 10,000 sales within a one week period. Additionally, at least 500 of those must be from Barnes & Noble Nook or Apple iBooks or physical book stores

Bookbub is critical as it has very strong reach in B&N and Apple. Books Butterfly is also important as it too has strong reach in B&N and Apple with over 100,000 email subscribers for Apple iBooks

The 7 main things you need are

  1. A very, very polished book
    1. Professionally edited
    2. Professionally proof read
    3. Written and rewritten until is reads like a dream
  2. A large marketing budget
    1. You will need between $10,000 to $30,000 to take a proper shot at the New York Times Bestsellers List and the USA Today Bestsellers List
    2. If you don’t have that amount then it is better to save and wait
  3. A very well packaged book
    1. Your book cover must be beautiful and on point (for the genre it is in)
    2. Your Book Page, Author Profile, Book Description must all be flawless
  4. The Right Selection of Categories and Sub Categories
    1. You have to have your book in the PERFECT categories for it
    2. Readers you promote and market to must be Readers in THE RIGHT GENRES for your book
    3. When they reach the book page, the book page must show the exact right categories
      1. So that they are reassured they are at the right place
  5. A good number of very good reviews
    1. Ideally, you want 30 to 50 reviews and a review rating of 4.5 stars or higher
    2. At the minimum, you want 10 to 30 reviews and a review rating of 4 stars or higher
      1. Please Note: This level (10 reviews, 4 star rating) will require a lot more financial investment and we don’t recommend it
    3. Reviews that are well written out and cover pros and cons
      1. If there are no negatives in the reviews the book will not sell as well as having a mix of positives and negatives
  6. A well laid out structure and strategy and excellent execution on your strategy
    1. This varies a lot based on what your marketing budget is, and what marketing sites and channels you are using
    2. It is imperative to
      1. Have a very strong marketing strategy
      2. To schedule everything 1 to 3 months in advance
      3. To execute very well
      4. To handle any ups and downs that happen during the marketing push
      5. To have multiple points of failure
        1. That is, if one of your marketing sites fails to deliver, you need to have another that can step up
  7. A very dependable way to get 500+ sales outside of and Amazon Kindle Store
    1. The last thing you want is to get 5,000 to 10,000 sales and almost make it
    2. Only to find out you didn’t get 500+ sales from B&N Nook, Apple iBooks, and physical bookstores
    3. Set this strategy up first because it is quite difficult to get these 500 sales

Please note that this is a VERY big endeavor and is not recommended unless you have a highly polished book, which is also beautifully packaged

There are 3 ways to make your life easier

  1. Promote at $0.99
    1. $0.99 ebooks sell 3 to 10 times more than $9.99 ebooks
      1. Provided it is the same book, and the same amount of marketing
    2. Promoting a book at $0.99 is a no brainer
  2. Promote a Box Set at $0.99
    1. Box Sets can sell 3 to 4 times what a standalone book will sell
    2. Box Sets at $0.99 are almost unstoppable
  3. Promote a Multi Author Box Set at $0.99
    1. 5 to 10 authors pooling together means
      1. A larger marketing budget
      2. Sales from each author’s reader base
      3. Experience and Expertise of every author (if applicable)
    2. Please Note: Some book promotion sites do not accept multi author box sets

Going for one of the big bestseller lists is a very big journey and a Herculean task. We very strongly recommend that an author make sure their book is ready, make sure they are ready, and that their finances are in good shape and can handle such a big expense

You will not get very many chances to do such a big marketing push, so it is important to do it when you are ready and when your money and experience are enough to give you a real fighting chance

How to Increase the Number of Reviews you get after promoting your Suspense novel

The 4 most critical factors that will increase the number of reviews you get are

  1.  Asking your Readers for Reviews
    1. As most readers are completely oblivious to all the benefits authors get from reviews
    2. As they are also completely unaware that the author would like a review
    3. A simple reminder is incredibly effective
  2. Selling More Books
    1. Books will get between 0 to 20 reviews for every 1,000 sales
      1. Very well written books – 5 to 20 reviews per 1,000 sales
      2. Good books – 1  to 5 reviews per 1,000 sales
      3. Half baked books – 0 to 3 reviews per 1,000 sales
    2. So, the most straightforward way to get more reviews is to sell more books
  3. Improving the Quality of your writing and the Level of Polish
    1. Why do people leave a good review for a product?
      1. Because it is a quality product
    2. The more you improve the quality of your writing, the better the reviews you will get
    3. The more you improve the polish of your book, the more reviews you will get
  4. Placing your book in the Perfect Fit categories
    1. Who are the people most likely to leave a review?
      1. The ones who love it
    2. Who are the people most likely to love your book?
      1. The ones who are a PERFECT FIT for your book
    3. How do you reach the Perfect Fit readers for your book?
      1. By placing your book in the EXACT right book categories

There are also 6 additional factors that will increase the number of reviews you get

  1. Asking Readers who finish your book for Reviews
    1. Who are the readers most likely to give a good review?
      1. The ones who finish reading your book
    2. Who are the readers most likely to leave an in depth review?
      1. The ones who finish reading your book
    3. Where is the best place to find these readers and ask them for reviews?
      1. On the very last page of your book
      2. The ‘last page’ means where ‘the story ends’, not the back matter of the book
  2. Better packaging and positioning
    1. A beautiful cover sets the stage
    2. It create a very strong impression that your book is a quality book
      1. If your book is actually very polished, then readers’ positive first impression will be strengthened
      2. If your book is not very polished and still decent, then the positive first impression will still carry you to an overall ‘good experience’ for the reader
      3. If your book is not polished and is half banked, then the overall impression will be negative despite the great cover
    3. However, it is very important to embrace the reality that a very good cover sets you up to succeed
  3. Not placing your book in the wrong book categories
    1. Who are the people most likely to write a bad review?
      1. Those who feel you mis-represented what the book is
      2. Either because it is not polished and therefore not fit to be read
      3. Or because it is in the wrong book category
    2. How can you avoid angering these people
      1. Firstly, have a polished book
      2. Secondly, don’t put your book in a category where the readers are not a good fit for it
      3. People are sometimes careless, and sometimes they are trying to game the system
        1. Please don’t put your book in the wrong categories
  4. Filtering out people who are not a good fit for your book
    1. How do you filter out people who are not a good fit
    2. Be Crystal Clear
      1. Pick categories that only people who like the book will be checking
      2. Clearly state in Book Description what the categories are, and any notes or warnings
    3. Figure out who are the people giving bad reviews and how to avoid them
  5. Gathering your most loyal readers into an email list (your ‘Street Team’)
    1. You want a ‘Street Team’
    2. A group of 1oo to 1,000 of your most loyal readers
    3. They get special benefits
      1. In return ask them to leave reviews
  6. Having an email list and using it to ask for reviews
    1. In addition to your ‘Street Team’ you should also have an email list with all your reader base
    2. When a new book is launched, or when you discount a book
      1. Email Them
      2. Request a review

Getting Reviews for your Book is an Art and a Science

Keep improving your book and keep improving your Skill of Turning Sales into Reviews

Suspense Book Promotion Sites vs Facebook Ads

Facebook is not so much a social network, as an Advertising Network. For any one wanting to promote their product it is a dream

You can target people to an insane level of specificity. There are also 2 billion people on it. It has the perfect mix of ‘lots of people’ and ‘target anyone by any criteria you like’

If it were not for the fact that there are lots of other people also trying to sell their products in Facebook, which drives prices higher and lowers supply of advertising space, you would not need anything other than Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are good for

  1. Targeting very specific sets of people
  2. Creating a steady stream of daily visitors and sales
  3. Using ‘Lookalike audiences’ to find readers similar to your email list
  4. Using ‘Retargeting’ and targeting people who already bought your book or already clicked on your Ad
  5. Building an audience gradually, by gathering up very precise groups of readers

Facebook Ads also have some downsides

  1. They are becoming more competitive. So the glory days of 2009 to 2012 when you could acquire customers for 5 to 10 cents each are long gone. Now it can cost $1 to $5 to acquire a customer
  2. They take quite a bit of work to master. It is literally a skill set you have to put effort into
  3. They cannot create big spikes in sales because the cost for every incremental click is quite high
  4. They work better when your book is higher priced
    1. A $1 book that makes you 70 cents does not give you much room
      1. If a click is costing you 10 cents, you need to get 1 sale from every 7 clicks. That’s a 14% conversion ratio and very difficult to achieve
      2. If a click is costing you 20 cents, you need to get 1 sale from every 3.5 clicks. 28% conversion is just not possible
    2. A $3 book that makes you $2 gives you more room
      1. At 10 cent clicks, you have 20 clicks to get a sale and break even. 5% conversion is doable
      2. At 20 cent clicks, you have 10 clicks to get a sale and break even. 10% conversions is tough, but within reach
    3. The higher you go, the more ‘clicks’ you can afford, and the higher the chance of making it work
  5. There is a lot of unpredictability
    1. As there are lots of other people advertising to those same people
    2. And there are people advertising EVERYTHING, not just books
    3. You never know how well your Facebook Ads will work on any given day or week

What’s really interesting is that Facebook Ads’ strengths play in very well with the strengths of the Top 10 Suspense Book Promotion Sites

  1. Suspense book promotion sites usually have a fixed cost and specify the expected range of sales
  2. Suspense book promotion sites are good for creating spikes
    1. That goes very well with the steady trickle of sales Facebook Ads can give you
  3. Suspense book promotion sites don’t require you to learn an algorithm or figure out a bidding system

What you will find is that these two will become your top two marketing channels. At a later point of time, your own email list will join them to create a very strong triad

Suspense Book Promotion – Facebook Ads vs Amazon Marketing Services

Amazon Marketing Services is akin to a smaller, less effective version of Facebook Ads

It can be very important as a 3rd or 4th marketing tool (after Facebook Ads, Book Promotion Sites, your own email list and blog) and it is well worth it to test it out and see if it works for your books

The Pros of Amazon Marketing Services are (contrasting with Facebook Ads)

  1. You are putting your book on pages of popular books and the book pages of popular authors
    1. These are readers already looking for books
    2. These are readers in the buying mindset
  2. You can target very specific authors and books
    1. In particular, you can target EXACTLY the authors and books that are a perfect match to your books
    2. Which means, you can reach your Perfect Fit set of readers
  3. Most authors give up on Amazon Marketing Services because it is hard to understand and tougher to master
    1. So you have very little competition
    2. Facebook Ads are easier to understand and there are way more authors using Facebook Ads
  4. Roughly 25% of authors will be able to make Amazon Marketing Services work
    1. 1 in 4 is still a pretty good chance, because finding a marketing channel that works for your book is VERY valuable
  5. Roughly 5% of authors will be able to make Amazon Marketing Services work very well
    1. To find a marketing channel that works very well for your books is incredibly rare
      1. We’re talking about sustaining an author career just from a single marketing channel
      2. It might be just 5% of authors. However, it is irreplaceable if you make it
    2. You should test Amazon Marketing Services for this possibility alone

The Cons of Amazon Marketing Services are (contrasting with Facebook Ads)

  1. Fewer people than Facebook Ads
    1. Readers visiting Amazon book pages is between 10 million and 30 million
    2. That’s considerably lower than 200 to 300 million readers on Facebook (out of Facebook’s 2 million total readers)
  2. Pretty hard to learn
  3. Varies a lot and very undependable
    1. Bidding based systems like Facebook Ads and Google Ads are a royal pain in general
    2. Amazon Marketing services somehow manages to be even more painful to work with
  4. Very time intensive
    1. It is a skill in itself
  5. Can be frustrating
    1. While all forms of book marketing and promotion can be frustrating, the pay off is that once you find a good marketing channel you can, usually, depend on it to deliver for you
    2. Amazon Marketing Services is very erratic and can be super frustrating
      1. Even more so than other marketing channels

While it is very valuable if it works, Amazon Marketing Services is quite time intensive and is basically a weaker version of Facebook Ads

Look at it only after figuring out Facebook Ads and the top Suspense Book Promotion Sites

The 3 Core Skills for Authors

The 3 Core Skills are the most vital skills an author must develop. These are absolutely necessary skills. If you don’t have some basic level of mastery of all 3 skills, you are severely handicapping your career as an author

The 3 Core Skills for Authors are –

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. This is – Figuring out What Market to Write For and also What Book to Write for That Market
    2. This is the Single Most Important Skill for every author
    3. Regardless of how amazing your writing is, or how great your marketing is
      1. Readers buy only what they want to buy
      2. You have to figure out what is selling and what will sell
      3. You have to write that -> Exactly That and not what you wish readers would buy
        1. Only what readers are already buying and will continue to buy
  2. Writing Very Well
    1. This is – Writing a Very High Quality Book
    2. This is also – Polishing that book very well so it is a High Quality Product
    3. Traditionally, this is what authors think is the only skill required
      1. While it is very important, and one of the 3 Core Skills, it is the 3rd most important Core Skill for Authors
  3. Marketing & Selling Very Well
    1. This is – Marketing Your Book to the Right Readers in the Right Market, and Closing the Deal and actually selling the book
    2. This is also learning marketing and sales techniques and strategy
    3. This is also figuring out your Marketing Toolbox – what marketing methods work well FOR YOU
    4. This is also building out your own direct channels to readers such as your email list and your website and blog
    5. Marketing & Sales is the most ignored skill, and yet it is the 2nd most important skill an author must have
      1. If you think we are exaggerating just through the book stores
      2. The bestseller lists are dominated not by ‘the best writers’ – They are dominated by the best ‘sellers and marketers’

You must be very good in all 3 of these skills. Ideally you should also be World Class in 1 of these 3 Skills

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

How the 3 Core Skills apply to Suspense Book Promotion

The 3 Core Skills are especially important for Suspense Authors because

  1. While a large category, Suspense is not a Giant Category like Mystery and Thriller
    1. However, lots of Mystery and Thriller authors are going to jump into your Suspense categories
    2. You have to compete against them while having a smaller audience
  2. Selection of Categories and Sub Categories is super important in Suspense
    1. Not only are our friends from Mystery and Thriller encroaching
    2. We also have Romance (Romantic Suspense), Fantasy (Supernatural Suspense), and Horror (Horror Suspense) authors pushing their way in
    3. You have to make sure you get your Suspense categories spot on
  3. Suspense is, in some ways, still in transition
    1. When a market is in transition, there are lots of opportunities for those willing to study and see where Suspense is headed to

What all this means is that Suspense authors need to be especially good in the 3 Core Skills

  1. Knowing What to Write
    1. Absolutely critical to be able to do great market research, read the tea leaves, and figure out what categories you should be writing for
    2. Also critical to figure out what categories and sub categories to place your book in
  2. Writing Very Well
    1. You are going to be up against some of the biggest and best Mystery and Thriller writers
    2. Your writing skills need to be at least very good, and ideally great
  3. Marketing & Selling Very Well
    1. Suspense is actually not that hard to sell in, provided you write for the right book categories
      1. And then place your book in those exact book categories (the ones your book is a perfect fit for)
    2. You do need some basic marketing and sales skills

You have to become very good in the 3 Core Skills if you want to do well in Suspense. No way around it

The 8 Golden Rules of Suspense Book Promotion

These are rules you MUST follow to the largest extent possible. These are not ‘optional’

  1. The more time you spend figuring out what Market to write for, the higher your chances of success
    1. By far the most important thing you will ever do in your career as an author is -> Figuring out what Market to write for
    2. If you plan on having a 10 year career as an author
      1. Please don’t be the author who decides on a whim to go into a market
      2. Please don’t be the author who does ‘serious market research’ for 3 days and then decides what to write
    3. You must give 1 month to 6 months on hard core market research and soul searching
      1. Even giving 1 year is fine
  2. Writing The Right Book for The Right Market is, at some level, the only thing that matters
    1. Product Market Fit = Writing The Right Book for The Right Market
    2. This is the only thing that matters
      1. Creating a Supply of Product for which there is very high Demand
      2. And where there is very little competition
    3. Nothing Else Matters
      1. Forever trust in Product Market Fit, and Nothing Else Matters
  3. You are writing a book For Readers, not for yourself
    1. Imagine you went to your local bakery and the baker said – Here is an amazing pastry for you
      1. You go – I buy a croissant and a loaf of bread each day. Why are you giving me a pastry?
      2. The Baker says – Well, from now on I am going to decide what my customers buy
    2. That is so absurd, and yet the majority of authors think like that
      1. They want their readers to buy whatever book the author writes
      2. They refuse to place their readers’ desires above the author’s desires
    3. If you can be in the very small minority of authors who write EXACTLY WHAT THE READERS ARE ASKING FOR
      1. You will be on the fast track to becoming a successful author
  4. Your book is a product
    1. It’s exactly like a movie or a TV or a car
    2. It’s a product that fulfills certain roles
    3. It’s a product that customers buy
    4. Start thinking of it as A PRODUCT and not as your ‘child’ or your ‘artistic masterpiece’
  5. If you get trapped in the wrong market, or the wrong book category, you will lose at least 3 and perhaps 7 years of your life
    1. There are two categories of authors
      1. Those who decide in 15 minutes or less what book they are going to spend the next 2 years of their life writing
        1. The vast majority of the time there will be no market for this book
        2. Then, the author will waste another 1 to 5 years trying to make this book work
        3. These authors will waste 3 to 7 years of their life
      2. Those authors who take 1 to 12 months to do proper market research and decide what market to write for
        1. Many of the good, growing markets in Books are under-served
          1. Why? Because authors are not doing market research and just writing ‘what they want to write’
        2. If you can be the crazy writer who writes what readers are asking for
          1. You suddenly have an insurmountable advantage
    2. Doing market research is an absolute necessity
  6. At the start, readers know NOTHING about you except how good your book cover is
    1. When an author first sees your book – Your Book Cover is the ONLY thing that matters
    2. Please let that sink in
    3. Based on a quick 3 to 15 seconds appraisal of the book cover, readers will decide whether or not to click on the book cover and go to the book page
    4. That is the first and most important ‘Moment of Truth’
    5. In that Moment, the only thing that matters is the book cover
  7. Readers trust other Readers more than anyone else, so you must leverage the Incredible Power of Reviews
    1. Readers trust readers above everyone else
    2. Some authors struggle with this, and don’t know how to get reviews
    3. Some authors are good at getting reviews, and turning Reviews into a major sales tool
  8. Those who listen to the market outpace those who do not
    1. The Market tells you everything you need to know to do well
    2. If you listen, you will constantly be getting advice on what to do to sell more books
    3. Listening to the Market is so simple and yet it is the most powerful thing you can do

Best of Luck! Suspense is a pretty big category and it is an Eternal category. If you create high quality books and create them for the right market, you will see a steady increase in how well your books do and how well your career goes

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