Saturday, July 11, 2015

Book Promotion Sites For New Releases

As I’ve been gearing up to launch my new thriller The Death Row Complex, I have done some investigation into various book promotion websites. I have invested a large chunk of change into these, and I have learned a great deal about which promo sites directly translate to sales and which don't. I have collated this into an Excel spreadsheet which is available to readers for subscribing to my mailing list. The spreadsheet also includes the luck I’ve had with historical thriller The Vesuvius Isotope and with The Death Row Complex after racking up the required number of reviews. Please, if you haven't already, sign up before you waste your money on promotion that doesn't sell books. And if you're already on my mailing list, I'll be sending you this info with the next Murder Lab Report (or sooner if you'd like... just let me know.)

This is the first of two blog posts listing what promo sites are out there, with no filtration or prioritization. This first post focuses on sites that can be used for a new release, meaning that they don’t require you to already have ratings and reviews on Amazon. You only need the ASIN or link to your Amazon site. I've also listed costs and how long it takes to get a listing there. Please note that this list only contains promo sites for discounted books, not for free books. They are sites I found of interest for promoting 1) The Death Row Complex as a new release with no ratings or reviews yet, and 2) At a discounted price of $0.99 (which, FYI, is going on for a month starting June 27. So, pick up your copy while the discount lasts!) The second post details promo sites that require ratings or reviews.

There are many other sites out there for promotion of free ebooks, which I won’t cover unless I do a freebie promotion (not planned at this time.) 

Disclaimer 1: The costs listed here are not necessarily the only options; they are the options that I wrote down as being of interest to me personally at this time. Many of these sites have multiple options for promotion, including free options, so check them out and decide for yourself based on your budget.

Disclaimer 2: In many cases, the website didn’t mention what their reach is, so I looked to see how many Facebook, twitter, and other followers they have. Those numbers are listed when I found them, which was circa June 10, 2015. As you'll see in my Excel spreadsheet, numbers of followers doesn't always translate directly to sales, but the sites that sold one of my books almost always sold the other one too.

Disclaimer 3: This probably isn’t comprehensive. Please feel free to suggest other sites in the comments, but please keep in mind that this post is reserved for sites that *do not* require reviews and ratings, sites that can be used immediately to promote a new release. Please hold your Book Bub rant until the next post in this series.

Disclaimer 4: The comments are strictly my own observation and you might not agree with them, and that’s OK. As always, please feel free to beg to differ in the comments.

Without further delay:

Kindle Nation Daily: 
  • 170,000 viewers
  • $125 for Thriller of the Day ad
  • I booked ~2.5 weeks in advance and got my preferred date.
  • They take books that aren’t yet on Kindle, you just have to tell them the absolute last day it WILL be on Kindle if you can’t provide the link yet… but, if you don’t have the AISN, you need to give ~10 day advance notice 
Kindle Books and Tips:
  • $25-$50
  • Normal books require 8 Amazon reviews, 4 of which have to be verified purchases
  • **But! They now take new releases without the review requirement!*
  • Takes a little time to get booked
Just Kindle Books:
  • $18 or $26 with extra Facebook blast
  • They claim 50 average purchases per ad
  • 20K Facebook followers
  • I booked ~2.5 weeks in advance and got my preferred date.
Read Freely: 
  • Free promo site, you just sign up
  • Looks like a ton of romances; I don’t know how many mysteries/thrillers 
  • $10
  • Requires booking approximately 1 month in advance
  • This is one of those sites that asks readers for their taste and then (supposedly) only sends what the reader asks for in a daily email
  • They have ~7000 Facebook followers and 18K twitter followers
  • No evidence of how many people get their newsletters
  • Costs 5 GBP (currently $7.84 USD) to be on first half of newsletter that is mailed worldwide
  • They have multiple options for promo
  • For Amazon UK and other international sites
  • They have a sister site for US
  • I booked ~2.5 weeks in advance and got my preferred date.
Readers in the Know: 
  • 20 GBP annual membership, you can promote in advance
  • They also have a customizable matrix of promo sites you can use
  • 17k Facebook followers but unclear how many are reached via promo
World Literature Cafe:
  • They typically require ratings/reviews but they have a “new releases” section that does not require this 
  • New releases ad is $45
  • New Releases ad goes out once a month (beginning of the month) to advertise all of their new releases
  • They don’t specify how many subscribers they have but 11K Facebook followers
Bargain Booksy (Sub-site of Free Booksy)
  • $50
  • I booked ~2.5 weeks in advance and got my preferred date.
  • 20K facebook followers
Indie Book of the Day
  • $50 for an entire month of promotion
  • They also have a $300-500 “guaranteed bestseller” package
  • I booked ~2.5 weeks in advance and got my preferred date.
Kindle Book Promos
  • $25 
  • Requires ~48 hour notice
  • I booked ~2.5 weeks in advance and got my preferred date.
Indie Book Promo
  • $50
  • Books ~1 month to 1.5 months in advance
  • 14K twitter followers, 2.8K Facebook followers
  • Alexa 240K
Book Goodies
  • 15K Facebook followers
  • $20 for 1-week promo
  • I booked ~2.5 weeks in advance and got my preferred date.
  • $10 “donation” for prioritized promo (otherwise they don’t guarantee it)
  • 50K twitter users, 1000+ Newsletter subscribers
  • I booked ~2.5 weeks in advance and got my preferred date.
  • Has a "new releases" offer
  • 5000 Facebook followers
  • For Amazon UK readers
  • $10
  • 48K Facebook followers, 11K twitter followers
  • 48 hour notice
Tweet Your Books:
  • $49 for one-day promo
  • I booked ~2.5 weeks in advance and got my preferred date.
ebook daily deals:
  • No charge but you have to buy a $2.99 ebook
  • I booked ~2.5 weeks in advance and got my preferred date.
Books Butterfly:

Buck Books:
  • You have to sign up as an affiliate and advertise on your site
  • Then you can apply for promotion
  • They don’t respond to rejections
  • Incredibly amateur-looking spammy emails are sent every day once you sign up, and I never heard back again on my requested promotions. I’m removing them from my list and unsubscribing from their annoying email list.
Most of my bookings clustered around June 27, the official launch date for The Death Row Complex. The spreadsheet details exactly how much money I ended up paying, how many sales I got via during the promo period for each site, other things I have done for promotion (outside of paid promo sites) and how successful those things were, and other such stats to let the Murder Lab community know if I think it was worth it.


  1. Thanks for doing this. There are so many sites flacking books now, but there's so little information about which ones actually work. I'm looking forward to your data.

    Something else that would be useful to know is if they allow links to formats other than Kindle. I've found virtually nothing out there (other than ebookbargains) that links to Nook or Kobo.

  2. Thank you for being a trailblazer. One day soon I hope that you have to make the tough decision of picking which private island that you will spend the next month while you complete your next best selling novel.

    1. Thanks Rob! Yes, that would be great. Right now I would settle for "supplementary income that permits me to survive when my day job goes belly-up," since that happens pretty frequently in the pharmaceutical biz.

    2. You can always try to get bought out by Valeant...they're buying everything else.

  3. Hi,

    Thank you for creating your list of promotion sites.

    We’re Books Butterfly and we do $0.99 book and free book promotions to our email lists of 125,000+ email subscribers. We have 128,888+ daily active readers. We offer a prorated refund in case a promotion does not hit the specified targets.
    We'd really appreciate it if you'd add our site to your lists of useful resources.

    Our Page for Paid Book Promotions

    Our Page for Free Book Promotions

    Books Butterfly
    Where we promote:

    1. Thanks Butterfly! I'll add you to our list.

  4. Flurries Unlimited will be launching in January 2016. Formerly known as Flurries of Words, FU takes all books at all prices. They can be found at

    Thank you very much.

  5. Hi Kristen,

    I run two free book marketing websites that might be of use., a website that promotes books and authors through interviews, guest posts, excerpts and other forms of content.

    And, a free email marketing service similar to but run at no cost to the authors promoting their books.

  6. Hi Kristen,

    Have you come across this resource before? It has a ton of book promotion sites, was wondering whether you had any thoughts on these? -

    I think the key is really twofold to getting the most of book promotions - 1) Do your homework in advance as to which sites might be a good fit and 2) Test and monitor religiously.

    I see so many authors investing in book promotion but then not tracking the results at all, which makes it so difficult to determine which has a good ROI.