Some of the sites we haven’t used, so we cannot verify how worthwhile they are to an author. You may wish to research a site before spending time and money with it. A large number of social media followers may be tempting, but they may have been "bought" rather than being genuine readers. If you do have any feedback to share about a site, good or bad, please put up comments in the Notes box on the Contacts Database.
The premise behind iAuthor is that it enables readers to stumble upon authors they may never have otherwise heard of. Readers can search by genre, or theme. They can download samples, read blurbs and leave comments and recommendations.
Authors can showcase their books free, including cover images, blurbs and a link to buy the book from an e-store such as Amazon. There are also paid, low-cost advertising spaces. At present, there don’t seem to be many readers interacting with the site. The themes do differentiate it from Amazon’s suggestion pages, but whether they’re enough to keep readers coming back remains to be seen.
Readers in the Know
Unlike most of the book promotion sites, Readers in the Know is aimed primarily at a UK audience (although most readers signed up seem to be based in the US).
Authors can post book blubs, excerpts and video trailers, as well as scheduling promotions. Books on promotion are then included in a genre-specific daily email, and on the Facebook page. Unlike most of the other promotional sites, readers can find out about upcoming promotions, as well as current ones. There are no minimum review requirements for books to be promoted, other than that they must be available on Amazon.
Readers in the Know offers a free 60-day trial for authors and publishers, followed by a £20 a year annual membership fee. There’s also a Book of the Day advertising slot, which is priced at £50. Authors can earn advert credits for referring other writers. At present, subscriber numbers are quite small, although there are more than 20,000 followers on Facebook. It may be worth authors judging results from their free trial, before signing up for the paid service.
A six month author membership to Ask David costs $15 +VAT, for which you can list as many of your books on the site as you want to. Ask David has more than 50,000 Twitter followers, and offers authors 30 tweets for $10 +VAT. It appears to be free to promote KDP Select free e-books via the Twitter account and newsletter, although you are not guaranteed any promotion.
Visitors to AuthorsDen can browse authors, read excerpts and author’s blog posts, and write book reviews. There are several levels of membership for authors, the lowest one being free. The free membership allows authors to share links to their books, announce events, give and receive reviews, and undertake numerous other activities. Paid membership includes adverts and other promotional services. It’s quite a clunky site and difficult to navigate. There is also very little information about visitor statistics or results. Nevertheless, some authors do seem to have used it successfully, generating hundreds of reviews, although those reviews are just on the site, not Amazon, so it’s difficult to say whether they are likely to translate into sales.
AwesomeGang has some 7000 people signed up to its newsletter and some 100,000 social media followers. Authors can submit a synopsis, link to their books and interview, which will be included on the site for free. It costs $10 for a featured listing. Some books will be included in the newsletter and on social media, although paid for featured books do take priority.
A UK-based site, Book Bongo promotes free books via social media, to some 500,000 followers. There is a free option, for free books, although there is no guarantee that your book will be chosen for promotion. Paid services cost from £6.99. There are no requirements for a minimum number of reviews. Books don’t need to be free or discounted to be considered, but they won’t be sent to as many people on social media if they aren’t.
Book Praiser promotes books through interviews, giveaways, and daily book deals. It’s free to post your book, although there are also paid options available, such as social media promotion. We couldn’t find any information about numbers of visitors or results, so would suggest trying the free service before paying any money out.
(more copy following)