Update: 1/2/2021

Recently, a friend of mine asked me where was the best place to advertise her book? I mean most indie authors know about BookBub, but not everybody can afford that, so I decided to go on a mission and find out.

Before I go on, I have to give the obvious disclaimer: Advertising of any kind isn’t going to guarantee book sales. In fact, I met an author whose book sales went down while doing a BookBub ad.  Yikes!

Trends In Book Advertising: Social Media & Amazon Ads

Thriller writer Mark Dawson started a Facebook advertising course for authors which was very popular with indie authors. However, not every authors saw success, for example, YA and children’s authors didn’t seem to get the results that romance authors do. Also, Facebook advertising is a tricky beast and many authors don’t have the ability or patience to learn the intricate nuances of advertising. Another thing worth noting is that even though it’s considered cheaper, Facebook advertising costs can add up if you don’t know what you’re doing.      

As if that weren’t enough, a year later, Amazon ads became hot and this made more sense to some authors like me. Instead of luring people to Amazon from Facebook, why not advertise to people already on Amazon? Chances are they’re at Amazon to buy something so why not entice them with a book? Indie author Brian Meeks created a course on Teachable for those looking to learn about Amazon ads, the course is expensive but if you can’t afford that, he also has a book on the subject called, Mastering Amazon Ads and it’s available of course, at Amazon.

If you’re not sure which one you want to try, Amazon has a free course for beginners and Facebook has courses that are also, 100% free as well. Also, Dave Chesson, of Kindlepreneur, has a free course on Amazon ads. If you’re interested, you should check the free courses first before committing to a paid advertising course.

As if that weren’t enough, BookBub announced they would be offering PPC (pay per click) ads and PPM (pay per impression) ads. BookBub has a large community of readers and it’s a very popular place for indie authors who want to advertise a book. If you want to learn more Reedsy, has a free video course taught by author David Gaughran here and a very thorough blog post here.    

The Obvious Problem: 

The biggest barrier for most authors is the learning curve, it requires authors to study copywriting, keywords, and graphic design. Not all authors are capable or willing to learn these things. Many indie authors work 9 to 5 jobs or have personal obligations and this is just another hurdle in the publishing world. That’s where discount newsletters became a Godsend. You just gave them the money, and they handle the rest but as I said previously, not everyone could afford it.  

Alternatives To BookBub: Those Other Discount Book Sites

Believe it or not, BookBub is not the only discount newsletter geared towards readers. There are others and though, many of them don’t have the reach of BookBub (which has 3.8 million subscribers in crime fiction alone) they are cheaper and some of them reach hundreds of thousands of readers. Like BookBub, many of them charge according to the popularity of the genre as well as the type of ad such the as Deal of the Day type or a simple slot in the newsletter.

Below, I only listed those that feature book sales and not freebies sites:

A Tip For A Stress-Free Experience

The first thing I would recommend an author do before putting down any money is to read the rules of these sites carefully. Several of them have requirements regarding; reviews, covers, and pricing. Also, some of them offer refunds while others do not, so author beware.