Newsletter Promotion Sites deliver bang for your buck
When it comes time to plan for your new release, if book promotion newsletters aren’t a part of your marketing strategy, you’re missing an important trick! Newsletters can blast out the details of your book to thousands of customers looking for their next read, which makes them almost as useful and important as Facebook or Amazon ads. There are plenty of newsletters to choose from, which is good because most authors use more than one per release, stacking them for even greater effect. Today, Ginger is giving the low down on these promotions, as well as some of his own top newsletters to try.
In addition to my best-selling romance penname, I recently began publishing books under my real name – which presented me with a unique challenge.
After having published 25 books and selling 65,000+ copies in the last few years on that romance penname, I was suddenly in the same situation as a lot of first-time authors are – no mailing list, no social media followers, and no back-catalogue to help beef up my book sales for books under my own name.
This got me wondering about the answer to a question I get asked a lot – where should self-published authors start their journey into advertising?
This is an excellent question, because there are all sorts of different options available to promote and advertise your books. All I can tell you is that I have very definite opinions about this – and since I’ve now found myself in that exact situation with my ‘new’ penname, it’s a dilemma I’ve had to return to once again.
I’ll write subsequent posts about the other advertising options available to new authors, but there’s no doubt in my mind that there’s one clear winner when it comes to where to start: Newsletter promotions.
What are Newsletter Promotions?
Newsletter promotions are scheduled emails sent out to thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of avid readers. If you’re an author with a subscriber list, it’s kind of like a jumbo-size version of that.
The advantage for you is that these newsletter promotion sites have normally spent years and thousands of dollars assembling a huge audience. As long as you know which ones provide good results, there’s no question that getting your book featured in a paid newsletter promotion provides the best ‘bang for your buck.’ It’s still the mainstay of all my book launches – and while the heady days of seeing a 5x or even 10x return on that investment are long gone, it’s still the cheapest and most effective way to reach avid readers.
The downside is that most newsletters require your book to be a ‘deal’ – either a free promotion, or reduced to 99 cents. This means it’s harder to show a definitive profit on newsletter promotions, but if you’re looking to make an impact at launch time, it’s a solid way to get your book in front of the biggest audience you can. Don’t forget, lots of sales leads to a higher rank, leading to more organic visibility and sales of your book. So while the promotion itself may not give you a profit, the increase in visibility may end up providing far more value overall.
My only caveat is that not all newsletter promo sites are created equal. Many will charge money to promote your book, but don’t deliver the clicks or sales to make the investment worthwhile. And not all newsletters promote all genres, so it’s worth doing some research beforehand.
Start with Hidden Gems!
If you’re trying to promote a romance novel, you can start right here at home. Hidden Gems has its own Romance Newsletter that goes out every week to thousands of voracious readers, with a variety of options for both 99 cent and free books, with prices starting at only $10. And the Sunday Solo option means your book is sent out in your very own newsletter (no other offers but yours), which means all of those potential readers have no other books to distract them.
Stack those promos!
One of the best ways to maximize the impact of a newsletter promotion is to ‘stack’ them together – book several for the same week, or even the same day!
Although there’s inevitably some crossover with readers, this is a tried-and-tested tactic that can help explode the impact of your promotion – and if you stack newsletter promos for multiple successive days, it can often keep your book in the top of the charts for far longer than a one-or-done might deliver.
However, the problem with using newsletter sites is that your results may vary hugely, and while some sites may work best for certain genres or sub genres, they may not work as well for others. So that’s why it’s helpful to try them out and monitor your results so that you can weed out the ones that don’t work for you, and focus your future releases on the ones that give you the most value.
Personally, I’ve found a handful of newsletter sites that work best for me, and since we can’t list ALL of the newsletters here, I’m going to just list out the ones that I’ve tried and been satisfied with:
Other Newsletter Sites I Trust
- Freebooksy – 539,000 readers, prices between $30 (for literary fiction or travel guides) to $230 to promote an entire book series.
- MyRomanceReads – 35,000 readers. Romance/erotica only. Prices from $85 for a 99 cent ‘book of the day’ to $175 for a free romance promo.
- eReader News Today – 200,000 readers. Prices range from $45 to $140 depending on the genre and price.
- Robin Reads – Up to 68,000 subscribers. Prices range from $45 to $70 depending on genre and price.
- The Fussy Librarian – 470,000 readers on their free ebook newsletter, with prices ranging from $12 to $72 dollars.
- BookRaid – 30,000 subscribers, with prices set per-click up to a maximum of $60 per promotion.
- ManyBooks – With 150,000 readers for their newsletter, prices start at $29.
- Free Kindle eBooks & Tips – with 150,000 newsletter subscribers, price is $25 per promotion.
Obviously, your mileage will vary with each of these newsletter sites, but I’ve included these ones because I’ve used them and been satisfied with the results. If you’ve successfully used any sites not mentions above, don’t be shy about letting us know in the comments below!
Tips & Tricks
While newsletter promotions are a different animal to plain, old advertising on Facebook or Amazon, there are some principles that remain the same and will guide you toward success.
First to remember is that the principle is the same as it is with any form of marketing. You’re paying to get eyeballs onto your book – so the stronger your cover, the tighter your blurb, and the better reviews you have, the more likely you are to make an impact.
In fact, most newsletter promotion sites have requirements in terms of the reviews and rating of the books they feature – and I specifically didn’t include the Big Daddy of newsletters, BookBub, in this list because only 1 in 20 books submitted ever get featured because of those requirements. If you can get it, though, it’s definitely worth the high price as most books promoted to their millions of readers get launched right up to the top of the charts.
Newsletter promotions offer a lot of bang for your buck – but they’re generally a one-shot-deal. I’ve tried running promotions on the same book more than once, but it’s never had the impact that the original promotion did. For that reason, you’ll want to book your promotions for the most strategic time. I like to launch my books with a promotional event because that maximizes the increased visibility Amazon gives ‘new releases’ for the first six weeks.
You also have to think of what your goals are. I normally run a free promotional event and promote it via newsletter. While I don’t get a ‘return’ on that investment, I do get thousands of downloads which help fill out the Also Bought section with my book.
But offering a book at 99 cents can be very effective if you ‘stack’ your promotion with other advertising. If you can launch your book into the Top 100 of any paid category, you might see a spike in book sales.
Experimentation is the key here – just like with any advertising – but I definitely find that newsletters provide the best value for money when you’re just starting out advertising – and years later, they’ll still remain part of my launch or promotion strategy.
If you need help or advice promoting or advertising your book, remember that Hidden Gems offers 1-on-1 consultation calls that can help you build a campaign or strategy crafted for your specific book.