Best: Goodreads Giveaways
Goodreads giveaways are an excellent venue to introduce people to your books. Requirements for the giveaway include that the entry has come out somewhat recently and it can be offered as a paperback. E-books are not currently accepted. My recent book giveaways had more than 700 people enter to win and many others mark to book “to read” on the website. Giveaways are free to list and only cost the price of the book and shipping to the winner. An additional bonus on Goodreads is Listopia. Make sure to check it out. Readers, including authors, can create book lists and add book to those lists. There are a multitude of categories like Best Books of 2015 or Most Exciting Upcoming YA Books.
Good: Inexpensive Promotions
The Masquerade Crew has Cover Wars each month and Cover Wars, as well as some of the other promotions, costs as little as five dollars. Your book cover goes up against many others and people vote for which their favorites. While it might not lead to a lot of sales, it provides some good exposure, and it is fun to get friends and family involved in voting. Fire and Ice Book Promos also offers five dollar deals. If your e-book goes on sale or you offer it for free, Fire and Ice will post promotions on Mondays and Wednesdays. Your ad will include your e-book cover, the discount price, a blurb, and Amazon buy link. The ad will be featured with other e-books also on sale, and the post will be shared on a variety of social media outlets. Both of these five dollar promotions can help with getting your book out to the public.
Goodish: Facebook Promotions and Book reviews
Facebook offers a promotion service when you post. You can boost a post for as little as five dollars. I was curious and tried it, spending twenty dollars to boost some of my posts when my book went on sale. While boosting the post helped the information reach more than 1,000 followers, I did not see additional sales on Amazon.
Book reviews are also great to get, but are listed as goodish for a couple reasons. Sometimes it is hard to find reviewers. Reaching out to reviewers can be difficult as many other indie and self-published authors contact them as well. Listing your book on review sites can also lead to the file being stolen and reproduced or pirated. Most of the time, reviewers who do get back to you are wonderful, and if they do not feel they can post a positive review, contact you. But bad reviews happen and they are never easy to handle. Reviews are still worthwhile as they give readers new insight into the book.
Good and Bad: Online Book Tours
Online book tours run the gamut. After three books, I have experienced many tours. Signing up with Bewitching Book Tours has always proved positive. They are organized, create a media kit for the author, and have well-established bloggers who post consistently. The owner also has a magazine that highlights the guest posts from each tour. Another good company is Red Moon Book Tours, with reasonable rates and an owner willing to accommodate authors. My giveaways during both my tours had hundreds, sometimes close to a thousand entries.
On the other hand, my recent tour with Enchanted Book Tour went horribly awry. They set up the tour quickly, which exceeded my expectations, but then most of the blog sites used seemed to have few or no followers. Many of the bloggers who hosted my book did not come off as legitimate, listed little information about themselves, posted nothing but Enchanted Book Tour posts, and lacked an audience. The owner, who did a review of my book obviously had not read it as she got much of the historical information explained in the book wrong. After the first week of my tour, not one person had entered my giveaway for two Amazon gift cards.
There are many excellent, affordable opportunities online for indie and self-published authors. Take advantage of them, and let me know what other ones I missed!