Sunday, March 20, 2016

Why Didn't My Promo Work?

Photo by Cherie Haines

So if you are an Indie author, you've probably heard you must spend money to get money. And unless you're living under a rock, you most likely know Bookbub is the king of all promo sites. But what about the countless other sites? You know the ones. Pay them some money and they'll promote your book deal on their site. Or perhaps you've gone to sites who offer FREE promos... if they have the space. Otherwise, you can pay money for a 'guaranteed' listing.

As for free sites, yes, they might be free, but it does take lots of time and effort to submit books to them... time that might be better spent writing if they don't sell you any books.

I've spent a lot of money... more than I care to admit ... on promo sites that didn't work. And I wish I had taken the time and trouble to do this a LONG time ago. Oh well. Maybe I will save YOU some time and money.

I made a spreadsheet of promo sites. Now, this is not a complete list, I'm sure there are hundreds more. But they are the ones I found today. Then I went to and found out the website rankings for the sites. This shows monthly updates for how websites are ranked in the USA. The lower the number, the more visitors the site has. (for example, Facebook is number 2) 

Here are the top ten ranked sites as of March 20, 2016, and a link to a Google doc. with the rest I researched. Please feel free to share any other sites that have worked well for you, and don't forget to compare notes with other writers. Some genres might do better on some sites than others. 
(Note; Pixel of Ink is not listed, since it's not currently taking submissions)

1. Bookbub
Ranking:  1866
Price: 50.00-2000.00      

2. E-reader IQ 
Ranking: 8955 
Price: 20.00-150.00

3. Robin Reads (I've had great results with these folks, but they are picky)
Ranking: 9954
Price: 15.00-20.00

4. Booksends
Ranking: 17147
Price: 10-125.00

5. One Hundred Free E-Books
Ranking: 20054 
Price: 75-100.00

6. Freebooksy
Price: 40-200.00

7. Bknights (Fiverr)
Ranking: 28153
Price: 5.50

8. Daily Free E-books
Ranking: 32626

9. Book Lemur
Ranking: 32700
Price: 25.00-35.00

10. E-reader News Today
Ranking: 33828
Price: 15-50.00 (This site has done great for me and many others)

Here is the link to the Google spreadsheet. Hope it's helpful!
Please feel free to comment with thoughts/experience. 


  1. What great info! Appreciate you sharing your hard work.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I'm bookmarking this page :)

  3. This is terrific information. Thank you for taking the time to put it all together.

  4. Thanks so much for the information. I've picked up a few new sources. I love how authors are so willing to help other authors.

  5. I don't know that Alexa rankings are a meaningful metric in this case. The power of these services is the size of their email lists, not the traffic to their website. In fact once people sign up for most of these services they'll never or seldom return to the actual website.

    1. It's true that email lists play a factor. However, these Alexa rankings are updated once a month, so it has to be assumed that a large amount of people are visiting each month, whether it be new or unique visitors. Also, most of these sites have e-mail lists. Every writer should do more research, of course, before they simply plunk money down.

  6. Thanks, Angela! You're a doll for sharing!!

  7. What do you think about paying for a book review from a review periodical like San Francisco Book Review?

  8. I need to get on that promo train again sometime. Thanks for the list!