Ad platforms like Facebook and Amazon may be a great option for making money as an author, but they’re far from the only ones. With the right strategy, paid promotions can lead to impressive sales as well.

If you’re not sure what I am talking about, paid promotion differs from advertising on platforms such as Facebook, BookBub, or Amazon in that you buy a slot on a subscription service going out to people interested in reading books. Your promotion will be shown once only on the day that you arrange it and will be sent directly to the subscriber’s email inbox.

Here is a short list of some of the paid promotion sites I use, though there are plenty more than what I’ve included here: 

  • BookBub
  • Written Word Media (also known as Bargain Booksy or Freebooksy)
  • Fussy Librarian
  • Robin Reads
  • BookDoggy
  • BookGorilla
  • Book Cave

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An example ad from Bargain Booksy.

The effectiveness of each is up for debate and can be affected by genre, price point, day of the week, and how often you run paid promotions. You can run a promotion for a single book, a series, or an audiobook, or you can even offer a free book or boxed set. 

The price for these paid promotions varies enormously from one site to the next, but generally, the more you pay, the better the service is. 

How much am I talking about? Well, for a BookBub Featured Deal—the gold standard, in my opinion—you will pay over $1,000 for a single ad in some genres. I have paid this many times, and it has always been worth it. The results vary, but typically the title being promoted will jump to number 1 in its genre and into the top thousand or higher in the whole store. 

BookBub stands apart from the other services in that you have to apply and will probably be rejected. Don’t let this put you off; just apply again until you get one. Most other sites will take your money and run the ad, though they have limited slots, so your book will not get lost among thousands of others. 

You don’t have to offer book 1 in a series. I often push a later book because it has a great cover or because the story stands alone. Boxed sets can also be good to promote for a multitude of reasons: readers will get several books into the series and find themselves more invested in your characters. You want them to read the rest of the books, right? You can get a stack of page reads if you are in Kindle Unlimited. Offering three, five, or more books will make you stand out from those offering just one. 

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Employing a great graphic can help your paid promotion stand out from the other books being advertised. 

You can also stack promotions, making the most of your Kindle Countdown Deal days by running separate promotions each day. Amazon calculates rank over a rolling forty-eight-hour period, so you need more than a one-day spike to get that coveted number 1 spot. 

I almost always stack three of four promotions to run on consecutive days. 

Finally, having used paid promotions to grab a higher rank for your book, consider maximizing those gains with paid ads after the promotion. Once the title is number 1 in your genre, you can advertise that fact to grab those eyeballs on Facebook and other places. 

I use paid promotions as part of my marketing strategy, and maybe you should too. 

Picture of Steve Higgs

Steve Higgs

Now retired from the military, he is having a ball writing mystery stories and crime thrillers and claims to have more than a hundred books forming an unruly queue in his head as they clamour to get out. He lives in the south-east corner of England with a duo of lazy sausage dogs. Surrounded by rolling hills, brooding castles, and vineyards, he doubts he will ever leave.

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