Advertising, Business, Marketing

Cheap Book Advertising for Indie Authors


Final Advertising Pic

Update: 12/6/21015

Several of these advertising sites have changed their policies since the publication of this post.  Please be sure to go to the actual website and read carefully the terms and conditions before signing anything.  ~Rachel Rueben

Recently, we had a discussion on the podcast about marketing and the subject of advertising versus PR (social media) came up.  One of the guests who had a background in marketing said, “Many authors buy Facebook ads and don’t sell anything.”  She went on to explain that PR and marketing were different animals and not many authors know that.  I agreed, though I had to come to that conclusion the hard way.  I too advertised on Facebook, and Goodreads then wondered why I got no return on my investment.  I quickly learned that the best places to advertise are in email newsletters but not all of them are cheap or indie friendly, so I went on a quest to find affordable and effective advertising.

In my search I found lots of sites with poor web traffic charging upwards of $6,000 for an ad.  And when I say poor web traffic, I mean sites with less traffic than my own blog.  Indies have to be careful, there are a lot of people looking to take advantage of a naïve author.  Case in point, a website catering to ebook readers emerged recently and was actively promoting on indie forums.  However, when several authors did a little digging, it was discovered the site had an Alexa rating that was comparable to that of a small blog.  To add to the confusion, they (the site) boasted of a subscriber base of over 100,000 readers which seemed impossible.  Then a theory was purposed that maybe the site had purchased an email list and was most likely spamming people.  I won’t list that one here and I’m warning all authors to do their research before handing over any money for an ad, blog tour or social media blitz.

It wasn’t easy finding 10 sites that are cheap and indie friendly.  I searched in author forums, blogs and even went to social media to find out what authors were saying about their experiences buying ads on these various sites.  Those with bad customer service where automatically left out, while those with no tangible ROI outside of exposure were kicked to the curb.  Some of the places listed are well known in the indie community, while others might be new to you.

The Obvious Disclaimer: 

I need to warn you that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to advertising.  Just because one author had success with a particular site doesn’t mean you’ll reap the same benefits.  There are many factors that come into play when it comes to a successful marketing campaign like; popularity of genre, timing, placement, packaging and platform.

10 Cheap Promotional Ads for Your Books

Pixel of Ink
Is free, but your book must be .99 cents or lower to qualify and there’s no guarantee that your book will be picked.  From what I’ve been told, it’s hard to get in.

Ereader News Today aka ENT: Takes 25% of all sales made through their ads and they exclusively use PayPal.  Many indie authors swear by this site.

Masquerade Books: Offers to Tweet your book 200-500 times as well as post a promo ad on their site for $20-$30.

Book Praiser: Advertises your book to 120 sites including social media groups $30

Ebook Booster Advertises your book (which must be priced at 0.99 cents) to over 30 sites for $30.

Kboards: Their ads range from $35 for a featured book 1 day to a 7 day feature book at $195.

BookBub Is the golden standard of advertising that many indies swear by.  Prices here range depending on genre, with the lowest price at $40 for Parenting books, to the highest being $640 for Mysteries.  Be warned they take the price of your book into consideration so the cheaper your book is, the less expensive the ad will be.

Book Send is set up like BookBub where they charge you based on Genre, the lowest price being $10 for YA and $100 for Romance. They claim to have over 60,000 subscribers.

Kindle Nation Daily aka Book Gorilla
Now I know this one is a wee bit expensive but I’m listing KND anyway. Why? Because I used this site myself and it worked for me and many others.  Keep in mind this was 2 years ago and a few authors have complained that KND doesn’t seem to work anymore for them.  Prices starts at $99 for a one day feature and ends at $529 for Thriller of the Week.

Kindle Books and Tips
I just discovered this site via the Kboards.  At $50 this site has done well for both fiction and nonfiction authors.

Freebie, Shmeebie

For those of you doing a giveaway, there are millions of sites on the internet willing to help you promote for free.  Heck, if you do nothing to promote your free book it will probably still do well in most cases.  So I’m not listing freebie promotions, just the sites that offer ads for books on sale.  You know, so we can actually make money for a change.

Now back to you, do you know of any cheap and effective sites to advertise a book?  Spill the tea and keep another indie author from wasting their money.

10 thoughts on “Cheap Book Advertising for Indie Authors”

  1. Instead of marketing messages to customers through email blast or mailers, it is better to update
    them on social media within CRM. It’s about finding a more effective and efficient way of creating added value for
    customers, or seeking out new clients, or fulfilling
    whatever your goals may be. Organic links, such as social networks,
    also generate traffic.

  2. Thank you for the article, however, I must let you know that many of the sites on bookpraiser and ebookbooster haven’t been promoting books for 6 months +. The sites still accept books, but no longer post them.

  3. Thanks for the heads up Kathy. I noticed that some of the sites they labeled on the landing pages are defunct but they do promise they’ll submit your book to 50+ sites. They (BookBooster) generally send a confirmation email to the authors that purchase their services as do the other sites they submit to. So it looks to be on the up and up. However, I think they need to update their website and get rid of those dead sites because it makes them look very suspicious. If I find out in the future that they’re not keeping their promises I’ll definitely take them off my list.

  4. There’s certainly nothing wrong with “cheap” advertising as long as it’s at least somewhat effective. Although, indie authors need to understand that in order to market their book well, they will need to invest in marketing of the non-cheap variety.

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