Snake oil is sold by the gallon in our indie Universe
How much are you buying?
When I started this series, I thought three parts would do it. Now, I know it could go on forever. We indie authors need book promoters with active subscriber lists and media reach. We need site owners who tell us who they are and are transparent about download numbers. The following is not a new scam, but more of them have been popping up weekly.
It is not illegal to curate best selling books off of Amazon and post them on a promo site. If the site owner states in its TOS, it curates best sellers to earn an affiliate fee, that is honest, and that the site also promotes indie books, usually for a fee. Appreciate it. That activity helps to build a readership and subscribers. The scam comes into play when the site infers the authors of those best selling books are clients and paid for promotion on the site. That is dishonest. I know, because I check the books, message the authors and, to an author, they have never heard of the site. New scam sites have NO Alexa ranking whatsoever. Perhaps one or two sites linking in. The fees to promote on those sites can be anywhere from $19 to $100. They often boast 30,000+ subscribers. Really? Who? I often see these sites with a Facebook page with less than 50 followers/likes. These sites are fake promoters. You won’t see a single sale or download.
I test sites. I spend a little money to find out what their game is. I signed up on two promo sites that promised to tell me how to market my books. I bought a 90 day membership on one. Now it wants me to pay an extra $2.95 for a list of secret sites to promote my titles–because I’m only a temporary member. HUH? How does a promoter stay in business if it is secret? Another promoter just sends me to outdated blogs written by the owner–all of which have links to articles written by authors or other promoters. Most of which are outdated and in need of a serious proof.
I am not shy about telling a promoter he or she consistently over charges for what they deliver. It annoys me beyond measure when the response is, “I have to get something for my time.” Whoa. Most established sites promote at least 600 titles a month. At $135, which is what BookSends charges for a romance, comes to 81,000$ a month. That’s a little somethin’, ain’t it? And for another $150, Jason will promote your book on Pixel of Ink–which solves that mystery, because Pixel of Ink no longer accepts submissions. And golly, for $10 more, your book will be posted on a Facebook page. Booksends is not a scam, but Booksends has just about priced some of us indies out of promoting with the site.
What scam artists do, is tell you what you want to hear. Even testimonials are faked. You have to educate yourself. If you don’t, scam artists in this
business will take advantage of you. One of the best blogs to read and follow is Chris Syme’s Indie Author Book Marketing Blog. For an introduction, read her guest post on Writer Beware. Chris is far more experienced and savvy than I am. I rant. Chris tells it like it is–no holds barred.
As usual, I never like to leave a blog without sharing with you how best to generate reviews. Put this gem right after THE END in your book.
Thank you for taking the time to read [title]. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated. Thank you. [author name].
eNovel Authors at Work is 50 members strong with more than 500 books published. Readers have posted more than 13,075 reviews on our titles.
Here are a few sites eNovel promotes with consistently: The Books Machine. Books Butterfly. Book Praiser. The Fussy Librarian. Many Books. Digital Book Today. eBook Booster. Free Kindle Books & Tips. Here is why these sites are above the fold on our Preferred List: We know who they are, they are NOT overpriced for the services they provide AND we get the results we hope for.
I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work. Comments are welcome. If you have a promo experience to share or a preference for a site, please tell us. And before you go, do visit our author pages where you will discover a wonderful array of books to fit any reader preference.
@eNovel Authors at Work. 2015. All Rights Reserved. Shares welcomed, Ping back credits required if any part of a post is quoted in any manner.