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Would you launch a new product with a single tweet?

Of course not.

The same is true for launching a book. Like any other product, book marketing depends on a strategic plan, not a one-time tweet.

That includes a dedicated book launch, advertising, media coverage, social media attention, reviews, Amazon author pages, and a host of short-term and long-term initiatives.

I have some experience with selling books (I’m a 4x New York Times bestselling author), and this I know to be true.

If you want people to read your book, marketing it is just as important as writing it.

But what if you have a good plan, but are still looking for some additional sales? There is a solution:

Book promotion sites can get you a quick burst of short-term sales, if you choose the right ones.

Unfortunately, most articles about book promotion services are bad. They’re literally just lists that link dozens of sites without any information about how successful those sites are (or aren’t).

This is BS, and at Scribe, we don’t stand for BS. Our mission is to help unlock the world’s wisdom by helping everyone write their book, and I’m going to help you here.

So I’m sharing my list of the best book promotion sites for nonfiction, based on what we use for our clients in Scribe Media’s Book Launch service.

We tested 11 of the most popular sites to see what did and didn’t work. For the sites that performed best, I added individualized guides and tips to help you get the most out of each one.

But first, I’ll explain exactly how we put these book promotion services to the test.

Testing Book Promotion Sites

Most articles about book promotion services are far too broad, listing sites for every genre under the sun.

We focused our test exclusively on nonfiction.

For each site, we tested 3 to 5 books across multiple sub-genres, such as business books, memoirs, and self-help books.

We noted the average daily book sales before the test, then compared those to book sales on the day the promotion ran and for a few days afterward.

To make it a fair comparison, we discounted each book to $0.99 for every promotion.

Here are the sites that worked, based on the number of additional copies sold.

The Book Promotion Services We KNOW Work

1. BookBub

At 300-500 additional sales on promotion day, BookBub was far and away the best of all the book sites we tested.

It was also the most expensive, but it was worth every penny.

BookBub is a global service that sends daily emails to their subscribers. It offers Featured Deals on deeply discounted books, as well as free books, by category. It also sends emails promoting new releases.

Subscribers only sign up for the categories they want, and they can indicate their preferred retailer. So the list is extremely targeted.

BookBub runs ebook promotions for:

  • Kindle (Amazon)
  • iBooks (Apple)
  • Kobo (Walmart/Rakuten)
  • Nook (Barnes & Noble)
  • GooglePlay

Your book needs to be in at least one of those to be eligible, but I strongly recommend Amazon. Kindle is by far the largest player in the digital book market.

You can also run your promotion by region:

  • US
  • UK
  • Canada
  • India
  • Australia

Although BookBub does have a significant international presence, the vast majority of BookBub subscribers are in the US.

This is a very important point:

Getting a BookBub promotion is not guaranteed.

You’ll have to:

PRO TIP

Don’t confuse BookBub’s Featured New Releases with New Release Alerts. Featured New Releases are paid promotions sent to BookBub’s 6 and 7 figure email lists. New Release Alerts are free, automatic emails sent only to an author’s BookBub followers when that author releases a new book.

To qualify for a Featured Deal, your book must be:

  • Available in at least 1 of its 5 retailers
  • At least 50% off
  • NOT on sale for more than 14 days out of the past 90
  • NOT offered for a better price in the past 90 days
  • On sale for a limited time OR permanently free
  • Error-free (professionally formatted and edited)
  • At least 100 pages for nonfiction (70 pages for cookbooks)

To qualify for a Featured New Release, your book must be:

  • Available in at least 1 of its 5 retailers
  • Coming out on a specific date in the next 6 months
  • Error-free (professionally formatted and edited)
  • At least 100 pages for nonfiction (70 pages for cookbooks)
  • It does NOT have to be on sale
PRO TIP

If your book has a print edition, that determines the page count. If your book is only digital, check the Amazon book listing: look for Print Length under Product Details. Amazon estimates the print length of Kindle-only books based on word count.

When you apply, you’ll choose your preferred category, but BookBub reserves the right to change it. The nonfiction choices, along with the number of subscribers, are:

  • Advice & How-to (1,410,000+)
  • African American Interest (360,000+)
  • Biographies & Memoirs (2,550,000+)
  • Business (600,000+)
  • Christian Nonfiction (990,000+)
  • Cooking (1,590,000+)
  • General Nonfiction (1,780,000+)
  • History (1,930,000+)
  • Parenting (440,000+)
  • Politics & Current Events (350,000+)
  • Religion & Spirituality (1,170,000+)
  • Science (530,000+)
  • True Crime (980,000+)

The category affects the promotion price, ranging from $164 to $944 for a $0.99 Featured Deal, or $80 to $710 for a Featured New Release, based on the number of subscribers.

Even if your book qualifies for a Feature, that is not a guarantee it will be chosen. BookBub only accepts about 10-15% of the books submitted for deals in the US.

The three most important things you can do to improve your odds are:

  1. Invest in an eye-catching, quality book cover
  2. Gather reviews from both readers and industry professionals
  3. Discount the book deeply, preferably to $0.99

For more tips on BookBub features, read the section below on getting the most out of your next book promotion.

2. Bargain Booksy

At 30-40 additional sales on the day of the promotion, Bargain Booksy was the second-highest performer.

The service is significantly less expensive and also much less complicated.

There are only three categories of nonfiction offered:

  • Cook Book and Nutrition (list of 81,000 for $25)
  • Self Help and How-To (73,500 for $30)
  • General Nonfiction (77,000 for $25)

To qualify, your book must be:

  • Priced between $0.99 and $5.00
  • Over 50 pages
  • Meet their editorial review process

There’s no minimum number of reviews, but Bargain Booksy reserves the right to refund your money if it decides your book doesn’t meet its standards.

PRO TIP

Bargain Booksy is a division of Written Word Media. Start here to see other promotional options, including free ebooks, new releases, books in Kindle Unlimited, and audiobooks.

3. BookSends

BookSends came in third at 20-30 additional sales on promotion day.
All nonfiction books are lumped together in a single category, with 30,500 subscribers.
The price of the promotion changes by the book’s sale price:

  • $0.99 books are $40
  • $1.99 books are $60
  • $2.99 books are $80
  • Free books are $75

We can’t speak to the “Expand Your Audience” or “Facebook” options because we didn’t use them.

To qualify, your book must:

  • Be on Kindle
  • Have at least 5 Amazon reviews, with a “high overall average”
  • Have an attractive cover
  • Be more than 50% off AND priced at less than $3 for the promotion
  • Not be a novella or short-story collection

Even if your book meets these minimum qualifications, it still might not be accepted. BookSends may refuse a book based on quality, subject matter, or limitations of space in the newsletter.

4. Riffle

Riffle

Riffle tied for third place with 20-30 additional sales.

PRO TIP

If you want to run a Riffle promotion, use this link. You won’t find it by browsing their website.

For a Riffle Select promotion, your book must:

  • Be at least 50% off
  • Have a professional, attractive cover design
  • Have customer and editorial reviews

Even if your book meets these standards, Riffle has limited availability and does not accept every book for promotion.

The combined Riffle list has over 300,000 readers. Promotions cost $150, but some genres might have lower pricing based on availability.

5. ManyBooks

Many Books

ManyBooks came in fourth at 10-20 additional sales.

For a ManyBooks Newsletter Promotion, your book must:

  • Be on Amazon
  • Have at least 5 Amazon reviews
  • With an average rating of 4 stars or higher
  • Have a professional cover image
  • And a “captivating” description to “entice” readers
  • Be at least 50% off, or free
  • Be the best deal on the book in the last 3 months

Promotions are $29.

PRO TIP

ManyBooks also offers other author services, including special promotions for free books, reader reviews, and editorial reviews.

6. Books Butterfly

Book Butterfly

Books Butterfly was an unusual case. We saw, on average, 30-40 additional sales spread out over a week.

The rest of our success stories saw the bulk of the sales on the day the email went out.

There are a lot of choices on the promotions page, but we chose the “Silver 50.”

It’s $90 for indie authors and guarantees 50+ sales in a week, so we found that it underperformed on the promise.

But we’re including it here because it did generate enough sales to be worth mentioning.

The Book Promotion Sites That Didn’t Work for Us

Awesome Gang

Awesome Gang generated fewer than 10 additional sales in our test.

Their featured book listing is only $10, but the form allows you to add the book to their database for free, without the feature.

eReader News Today

Ereader News Today also generated fewer than 10 additional sales.

At $50 for the nonfiction promotion, we found this one not to be worth the investment.

Fussy Librarian

Finally, Fussy Librarian generated fewer than 10 additional sales.

Even at only $14-$20 for a nonfiction promotion, depending on the sub-genre, it wasn’t worth the money.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Next Book Promotion

No matter which site you choose, you’ll get more out of any promotion by following a few simple book marketing tips.

Polish Your Book Page

A great retail book listing will attract new readers. Make sure every aspect looks professional and projects your book positioning:

Has your book ever been a bestseller? Does it have great reviews on Goodreads? Has it appeared in the media? If your book has received any accolades, be sure to include them.

List Your Book in Kindle Unlimited

Putting your book in Kindle Unlimited (KU) can add a new source of readers to any book promotion.

KU subscribers read KU books at no additional cost, and Amazon pays authors based on the number of pages they read.

For many authors, this is a significant source of income.

If you are a KDP author, you can put your book in KU by registering it for KDP Select through your author dashboard. But read the terms carefully.

Once you enter your ebook in KDP Select, it must be on Kindle exclusively for the next three months.

For many authors, this is a good tradeoff. But if your book is selling well on other digital platforms, KDP Select might not be the best fit.

Pay Attention to Author Marketing

In the nonfiction market, your author brand is as important as your book.

Make sure you are projecting your brand on your author page, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, WordPress blog, Goodreads profile, and anywhere else readers might find you.

That includes the right bio and the right author photo.

If you’re an indie author, I strongly recommend our course on self-publishing.

It’s 100% free, and it will teach you everything you need to know about author marketing; book positioning; and producing a high-quality, professional book.

Scribe Book Launch

Scribe Book Launch

If you’re getting ready to launch a new book, Scribe’s Book Launch service outperforms everything on this list.

It’s far more than a book promotion site. It’s 6 comprehensive services in one.

For serious authors who want to use their book to generate significant revenue, Book Launch offers:

  1. Launch Week Coordination
  2. Media Placements
  3. Content Publication
  4. Influencer Relationships
  5. Reviews
  6. Paid Ads

Your book deserves a strategic, integrated marketing plan with a history of impressive results. Authors who have released their books using our Book Launch marketing services have reported:

  • Amazon ads with 5 to 18X ROI and impressions of 6 to 7 figures
  • Features in Forbes and MSN.com
  • New speaking and consulting revenue of 6 to 7 figures
  • Book reviews in prestigious publications like Kirkus Reviews

Of course, we can’t promise your individual results, but every Book Launch author gets the same level of personal, dedicated attention from our book marketing professionals.

We’ve launched more than 100 books using our Book Launch package, delivering at least 10 confirmed media hits for every one.

Before you launch your next nonfiction title, set up a free consultation with our Book Launch service.

Final Thoughts

Marketing is always an investment, and book marketing is no different.

I strongly recommend developing an integrated marketing plan for every book you write.

But when you need a quick burst of digital book sales, nothing out there beats BookBub. It’s expensive, but that’s because it performs.

BookBub is not easy to get into, and the other sites that performed well are worth considering.

But all the promotion sites that performed well have strict requirements for the books they accept.

So put the time in:

  • Write a great book
  • Have it professionally edited
  • Make sure it’s well designed
  • Give it a fantastic cover
  • Write a great book description
  • Create your author brand

If you’d like some help, we’re here.