Email List Promo - What I've Experienced
This is my second entry in my book promo series. You can learn about my experiences promoting books on social media here.
Again, I don't pretend to be an expert, just a small press author trying to move books.
As promised, here is my second post about my experiences hawking books. In this post, I'll share the discount book email lists I've found the best for moving my books. I write YA fantasy, so you might find other companies better for your genre. However, most of these companies have many different email lists tailored to almost every imaginable genre.
By far, the best option out there is the BookBub Featured Deal. These come in two varieties: U.S. and International. Both are extremely difficult to land; however, persistence can pay off. I've landed two international deals for Dragons Walk Among Us but have yet to get a spot in the U.S. version. The key is to try and try again, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances.
1. Have a concise and engaging bio (https://insights.bookbub.com/great-author-bio-examples/).
2. Ask people to leave reviews on your book on the BookBub website.
3. Grow your followers.
4. Be active on the BookBub website, generally by recommending books.
In my case, I got my first featured deal after streamlining my bio. I read a BookBub article about crafting a good bio and followed the advice. Then I landed the deal. Was that the reason? Don't know, but it certainly didn't hurt. Primarily, be persistent. You can apply for a featured deal once a month, so do so.
If you write speculative fiction, then Book Barbarian is a good one. I’ve run several promotions using this company with good luck each time. The only requirements are the book be science fiction, fantasy, or horror and have ten reviews on Amazon averaging 3.5 stars or better. This one is a must for speculative fiction authors.
Other companies I've used are Fussy Librarian and Ereader News Today. I've
had moderate success with both and have used both multiple times. Both companies have lists for a variety of genres.
Hands down, for this kind promotion BookBub is the 800-pound gorilla. Feature deals at hard to land, but well worth the effort. They can be pricey, though. I found the international deal to be priced very reasonably, so you can just go for an international deal if money is an issue.
Some final tips. Most of these companies provide estimates on the sizes of their various email lists. So if you are a YA author, try a company with 50,000 subscribers on their YA list instead of a company with only 15,000 subscribers. Another factor to consider is the buzz around the company. Just because one company has a small list doesn't mean that list isn’t more powerful for selling your books. The list might be smaller because the company does a better job recruiting and retaining rabid book buyers opposed to people who signup for a mailing list and ignore all the subsequent emails. Also, don't be afraid to experiment. I have tried many other companies that haven't panned out for me, and many more I haven't tried. Anyone of them might have a list of subscribers who will love your book. You'll never know if you don't give their service a spin.