I think if you were to ask any indie writer, they would tell you writing is the easy part; selling their books is the greatest challenge. According to the latest Bowker Report (September 7, 2016), more than 700,000 books were self-published in the U.S. in 2015.* Try making your voice heard above the noise in THAT crowd!
Many of us, of course, resort to all manner of marketing and sales mechanisms, from websites to online advertising (e.g., on Amazon.com and other sites), from e-mail and Twitter blasts to blogs, and from running giveaways on Goodreads (a waste of time and money, in my opinion…but that’s for another blog) to sales on such sites as BookBub and Ereader News Today (ENT), among others. It’s to the latter two sites that I’ll devote this blog entry.
Both sites alert subscribers to books that authors either are offering for free or at discounts for a limited time on such retail sites as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and others. For this they charge a fee that is dependent on your book’s genre or how the book is being presented (e.g., Book Of The Day on ENT). Alas, despite several efforts, I’ve never had any of my mystery/thrillers accepted by BookBub, to whom they were submitted despite some misgivings I perceived regarding the risk/reward ratio. That is, my concern here was the cost to place my book on their site vs. the potential number of sales I might expect. You can estimate for yourself what your return might for this site here:
For example, if you were to list a Thriller and wanted to discount it to, say, 99¢, the charge would be $788 with an average expected sale of 3,370 books. That’s big coin for my wallet, even though I was tempted to give it a try. Rejection (three times) at least had a silver lining; my bank account remained intact.
Searching for an alternative, I chanced upon ENT. This site’s price list can be found here:
In addition to a conventional listing, ENT offers you the opportunity to sponsor their Book Of The Day. The cost is $60 for a book priced below $2.99 or $150 for a book priced $2.99 and above.
I’ve done both types of ENT listings, with mixed success, depending on the genre! In the case of my mystery/thrillers (my Antarctic Murders Trilogy and Detective Lou Martelli, NYPD, series), I sold hundreds of discounted eBooks (Kindle) through ENT over the last three years (somewhere in the range 800-1000, to be exact). On the other hand, attempts to sell discounted Kindle editions of my YA novel The Hypnotist (written under the pen name Alyssa Devine) and my illustrated children’s storybook Pepe Builds a Nest were disappointing. When I discussed these disappointments recently with Gary at ENT, he indicated the best performing genres on their site were, typically (with some variance, of course), Mystery, Thriller, and Romance. You’ll have to be the judge, here, depending on the genre of your work.
By the way, I never give my books away. I worked hard to write and publish them. It’s never been my experience that giving someone a book for free has resulted in a future sale (much less a review, on most occasions . . . and what’s up with that!).
Explore the possibility of engaging ENT. You could be well rewarded by the results.
Author of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Rufus finds a Home”