Enlisting a book discovery service promoting cheap or free eBooks to a subscriber list is one way to get reviews, grow your social network, find readers, and increase book sales.
Whatever your long-term plans for promoting your book, free or bargain book listings could be one way to kick-start your promotion or energize back-catalog titles for a new book release. As with any book promotion, it’s up to you to vet providers and make the right decisions regarding where to spend your money and how to position yourself in the market. In other words, we’re not specifically recommending this approach, but if you’re inclined to give this promotion tactic a go to aid in book discovery and sales, here’s a list to set you on your way.
The idea is simple enough: These services give you access to their lists — via email, websites, and social media — for a fee. Most are up front with their subscribers that these promotions are advertorials, and each has its set of criteria. Some services boast stringent editorial review, meaning every title is approved by an editorial staff before being included, while others guarantee placement. This means that, should your book not make the cut at one service, others will promote your title.
Here are 13 book discovery services that cater to independent authors. An asterisk designates a “Friend of BookBaby” as listed on the BookBaby website.
Goodreads is a site with book recommendations where members can see what books their friends are reading, track the books they want to read, and receive personalized book recommendations. Any author with a published book available in the Goodreads database can join the Goodreads Author Program for free.
|The Author Program allows anyone with a published book available in the Goodreads database to join.||Goodreads authors can run giveaways, connect to their blog or website, advertise books, and gain access to other marketing opportunities.||Goodreads boasts over 300 million pageviews and 45 million unique visitors a month.||Free to list a book, paid advertising prices vary.|
Riffle Select helps authors and publishers reach new readers through limited-time eBook deals. Subscribers sign up to receive a daily email highlighting free or discounted eBooks across a variety of different categories.
|Your book must be free or discounted by at least 50%.||Riffle’s editors review submissions and select titles — books must be well-edited, professional, and at least 50,000 words to be considered.||Over 300,000 readers.||$150 for most genres.|
Book Lemur‘s daily email alerts its subscribers to free or deeply discounted eBook offers available for Kindle readers or a Kindle Cloud account.
|Your book should be priced between $0-$3.99.||Books are screened for approval, must meet promotion criteria.||16,000 subscribers + 8,700 Facebook followers.||$25-$35 depending on genre.|
NoiseTrade Books helps authors and publishers connect with readers through the exchange of free eBooks and audiobooks for email addresses and postal codes. Build your audience by giving away full-length eBooks, audiobooks, sample chapters, study guides, or episodic books and graphic novels.
|All content is free (in exchange for email address and postal code).||Authors can give readers the ability to leave a tip if they like what they read.||Over 100,000 email subscribers.||Free.|
Bublish facilitates social media promotions by allowing authors to create “book bubbles” across different social platforms to reach new readers and track engagement.
|Must have one or multiple social media accounts.||Offers a print and digital distribution program for premium members.||Depends on the outreach of your social network.||Free for “emerging authors,” $9.99 a month / $99 per year for “authorpreneurs.”|
BookBub is a free service that helps readers discover books. BookBub promotes titles available on retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble’s, Apple Books, and others. BookBub notifies its subscribers about free and deeply discounted eBooks selected by its editorial team, based on the genre preferences of the subscriber.
|Your book must be free or discounted at least 50%||Won’t consider a book if it has been offered for a better price in the last 30 days, or if it will be offered for less in the near future.||Between 370,000-3.8 million depending on genre||Ranges from $113–$4,000|
Freebooksy and Bargainbooksy
Freebooksy posts free eBook deals on its website, covering multiple genres, and includes books in email and Facebook promotion as well. Bargainbooksy features books on sale (99¢–$5).
|Your book must be free for the duration of the promotion||A home page feature includes links to your book on Kindle, Apple, and Nook.||Varies by genre, from 24,000 to 399,000||Varies by genre, from $30 – $200|
Free Kindle Books & Tips
The Kindle Books and Tips Blog provides a mixture of free Kindle book offers to the Amazon Kindle store and to sites other than Amazon, featuring discounted or “exclusive” deals to the blog readers.
|Must have a 3.5 star (or higher) rating on Amazon with at least eight customer reviews (three of those need to be Amazon verified purchases).||Erotica and get-rich-quick content is not accepted.||Book promo will reach over 675,000 Kindle readers.||$25-$100 depending on promotion|
The Fussy Librarian
The Fussy Librarian matches readers with the genre of books they like along with their preferences about content through the “Mostly Bargain eBook” newsletter and the “Free eBook Newsletter.”
|Must have a “quality cover” and be $5.99 or less (for “Bargain”) or free at time of promotion.||Free eBooks are featured on the “Free eBook” page on the day of your promotion.||119,000 subscribers for Bargain newsletter, 435,000 for Free newsletter.||$12-65 depending on genre and newsletter.|
eReader News Today
eReader News Today has been delivering highly rated free and bargain eBook deals to readers since 2010. Every day, ENT subscribers receive an email with books tailored to their individual reading tastes.
|Book must be available on Amazon, free or on sale, full length (at least 125 pages), and more.||Also promotes book deals that are available at Barnes & Noble/Nook, Apple iTunes, and Kobo.||500,000 Facebook followers and 200,000 email subscribers who receive daily updates||Between $40-140 depending on genre and price of your book.|
BookRaid is a book advertising service that sends dozens of best-selling free and deeply discounted eBooks to its subscriber every day. It’s free to the readers on its list.
|Free or discounted 50% or more; available on Amazon.||No minimum requirement for total number of reviews or average rating, but “takes those numbers into consideration.”||No list size mentioned.||Charged per click based on price of your book.|
GoodKindles is a book promotion site for authors and book promoters that helps writers sell books by listing them on its website and sending information about promoted books to social media followers and newsletter subscribers.
|All books are accepted.||Books do not need to be on sale||No mention beyond “thousands of readers” will see the promotions||$25 / $35 / $45 depending on the package|
HotZippy is home to four promotional book sites featuring multi-genre and genre-specific (horror and romance) categories so authors can target the communities of readers that best suit their book and budget.
|Bargain eBook Hunter promotes eBooks priced from $0.00 to $4.99, and the list of requirements can be found here.||Offers 2-, 3-, 5-, and 30-day promotions.||Book posts appear on your chosen sites during your promotion. Each site also sends a daily email newsletter and provides social promotion.||Promotion plans start between $23–$337.|
Know any other services worth noting? Let me know in the comments and we just might add it to the list!
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