One of the most frequently questioned areas at ItsWriteNow.com is around the books that are acceptable for promotion.
We want to find and bring new authors to the world and we recognise that setting a large number of requirements can exclude a large number of books from promotion, and leave authors who are trying to break into self-publishing with limited options to share their book with the world. Because of this, we do not impose restrictions like other sites do around things like a minimum number of reviews, word counts, pages or release dates.
In short the only books that we will not consider for promotion:
Are erotica, or
Have covers that look like the book is erotica, or show naked people, or
Promote, encourage or give step-by-step instructions on how to do illegal things.
This means that when books are being reviewed for promotion, the following decision-making process is going on in the head of our book promotion elves.
Have you gone through the decision chart, but are still a little unsure if your book is acceptable for promotion? You can double-check your specific book question against our book question response page here to see what other authors have asked. Otherwise, you can enter your book and contact details into the form below and we’ll check out your book and let you know if we can help you.
We often get questions from authors asking if their book would be acceptable for promotion. We’ve answered this question in detail in our post ‘What Books Do You Accept for Promotion?’, but we’ve also decided to show questions we’re received below to see if your book is likely to be featured.
Our Asked & Answered Questions About Acceptable Book Content
My book has dark themes. Can I still promote with you? Yes. Like it or not, the world is a dark place and we can’t deny that by refusing to promote these books.
My book is poetry. Can I promote with you? Yes, we love to promote poetry and poetry collection books.
My book is dark poetry. Do you promote books about dark poetry? Yes, indeed we do promote dark poetry.
My book is short. What is your minimum word count? We don’t impose a minimum word count for the books promoted at ItsWriteNow.com.
Are you dipping your toe into the world of Kindle book promotion, but find yourself a little bit lost as what information that you need to giving to promotional services? To get you up and running with the book information we need at ItsWriteNow.com, we’ve provided a little reference guide to help you out.
Your Book Details
Your Name: We want to know who you are, so please let us know who you are! Author/ Pen Name: Many of our authors write under pen names, but it can be confusing for our team to know if we’re addressing the author by their real name or their pen name. To make it a little easier let us know your pen name.
Contact Email Address: If we select your book to be included in the daily list we want to let you know, so please let us know your e-mail address so that we can send you an e-mail.
Author’s Twitter Handle: If you have a Twitter account we’ll send you a tweet to let you know your book has been selected, so please let us know your Twitter handle.
Confused about where to find your Twitter handle? There’s a few ways to find it, but the easiest way is to login to Twitter and then look at the top left hand corner. Here you’re looking for the text with ‘@’ as the prefix.
For example, here’s the Twitter handle for ItsWriteNow.com – @itswritenow100
ASIN Number: The ASIN is the code that Amazon uses to uniquely identify your book. Because this code is unique we also use this code as the basis to find the information about your book that we use for promotion. You can find your ASIN by navigating to your book page on Amazon. And then clicking on the ‘Ebook’ of ‘Digital Book’ book.
After that you need to scroll down to the ‘Product Details’ section and your ASIN is located there.
Link to your book on Amazon: We also ask you to provide us a link to a book on Amazon. Why do we need a link to your book when you’ve already given us the ASIN, well it’s for checking purposes. When authors are promoting many books, or are just starting out from time to time we find that the ASIN and the link to book to be promoted don’t match, and this can be confusing for us to know which book you’re looking to have featured. In these cases we can drop you an e-mail and clarify what book should be promoted. Also, having the direct link to your book makes our selection process a little faster, which means there’s more time to work on your feature!
What Categories does your book fall into?: Categories are important as they help readers figure out if they want to read your book. The categories that we have align to the top level categories that Amazon use so you can use the same categories that you’ve setup for your Kindle book.
Tag your book: Sometimes categories just aren’t enough to really show a reader what your book is about, so we’ve added the ability for authors to tag their books. Think of tags as ‘buzzwords’ about your book that give enough of a hint to readers to show what your book is about. For example some of the most popular tags we have seen include: cozy mystery, vampires, series, historical fiction and mystery. Remember to separate the terms with commas!
Is your book permafree?: Permafree books are books that are permanently listed as free or are listed as free. If your book is always listed as free let us know as we flag handle these books a little bit differently :).
What is the first day that your book will be free?: So that we can line your promotion up with when your book is free let us know the first date that your book will be free. We accept books that where the free promotion has already started, and books that will be free in the future, so it doesn’t matter if this date is in the past or future.
What is the last day that your book will be free?: This is the last date that your book will be free. Fairly obviously this date shouldn’t be in the past as we unfortunately don’t have time machines to turn back the clock and include your book in a past promotion!
Hopefully those tips help you find the information that you need. If there’s any other questions that you have when setting up a request check out our FAQs for more information, or drop us a line using the contact form.
It’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to complete your very own book. It is even better to start making income from all of your hard work. If you are lucky, your book will become a runaway hit. More than likely, your book will need a gentle nudge to get in front of the eyes of potential buyers. This is where promotion comes in.
One promotional tactic that many authors have had success with is creating a series of books and then making the first book in the series permanently free. To go the perma-free route, you would have to list your book for free in another store besides Amazon, such as Nook, Kobo or iTunes and then hope that Amazon price matches. This method only works if you already have an existing series and you don’t mind opting out of KDP Select.
If you want to stay in KDP select you can use the 5 free days and promote different books in your series for free in order to increase your rankings. Just be sure to promote your free dates as much as possible. You can do this by listing your free Kindle books on sites like mine, on social media, and any other place your potential readers may be frequenting.
Another great way to promote your book is to offer it at a discounted price for a limited time. If you are in KDP Select you can take advantage of the new countdown deal option. Some advantages of using Kindle Countdown deals are that you can retain your royalty rate, even at the lower price, and you get a cool countdown timer on your listing page.
Kindle Countdown deals also get their own dedicated page on Amazon. You want to get your bargain book promotion in front of as many eyes as possible. So, you still need to promote your bargain discount. You can use the same methods you use for a free promotion such as bargain books sites, social media, and forums or any other place your target audience may be hanging out.
When it comes to bargain book sites, you want to list your book on the sites with the largest audience, or as many small sites as possible to get your book in front of the most eyes. BookBub has a subscriber base of over 2 million, and I had success running one of my book promos on their site. You can read about my BookBub promo here.Â Promoting on BookBub can be a successful strategy, but it is not cheap, and it is not always easy to get accepted.
A new feature that we are offering is promotion of bargain books. You can get your bargain book listed on our front page, plus listed in our bargain book category, the book goes out to our subscriber list along with our free ebook newsletter, and we will share the listing on facebook, pin it on Pinterest, and Tweet it to our followers. You get all of this for the low price of $10.
We are always trying to increase our subscriber base, and we want to give you the most value for your promotion. You still may want to list your book on other sites at the same time to get the most eyes on your promo. Here is a list of additional sites that you can use to promote your books. In the future I hope to test each site and do an in-depth review on which sites work best. Here’s to a successful promotion of your book.
eBookLister – Accepts bargain books. After you fill out the submission form you have to respond to a confirmation email before the listing is valid. They have a paid option you can find out about by emailing them.Â http://www.ebooklister.net/submit.php
Book Goodies – Several advertising options: highlight free Kindle days, enter bargain books category, KDP Countdown books, perma-free and feature your book on tour. Get featured and check out options on this page: http://bookgoodies.com/advertising/
I have always heard positive things about BookBub, so last September I decided to run a BookBub promotion. I had a coupon book that was a runaway smash when I first published it. I ran a free KDP select promo and received about 30,000 downloads, plus my free book went viral, and tons of coupon websites posted about it being free. Unfortunately, the coupon book topic is very popular with authors and without continued promotion my rankings began to fade.
During the beginning of September I had only sold 5 copies, and I knew something needed to be done. Coupon policies change frequently, so the first thing I did was go through my entire book and edit and upgrade anything that had changed. Then I submitted my book to BookBub. My book was normally priced at $4.99, and I decided to run a bargain promo priced at .99.
The current pricing in BookBub runs from $30 for a free book in the Supernatural Suspense category to $1,350.00 for a book priced over $2.00 in the mystery category. At the time of my promo I paid $160.00 to run a .99 promo in the Advice and How-To category. You can also use BookBub to promote free ebooks.
During my .99 promo I sold around 900 books and the best I ranked was #60 in Paid Kindle Store, and I was #1 for the categories of Finance, How-to & Home Improvements, and Reference. I made back more than my investment the first day of the promo. This was before Amazon Countdown deals, or else I would have doubled the earnings because I could have kept my higher 70% royalty.
Eventually, my book began to fade back to obscurity, but the promo was great for improving my rankings and giving me a little financial boost, as well. BookBub continues to be a popular site with authors and readers. They continue to increase their subscriber count, which reflects in the prices that have gone up a bit since my promotion last September. I paid $160, and now the price is $240.
In my opinion, BookBub is a great tool for promoting books and improving rankings. Below are a couple of screenshots of my rankings after the promotion.
I joined Twitter in 2007 and played around with it a bit and then forgot about it. I used to view social media as just a huge waste of time. Boy, was I wrong, I wish I would have cultivated a proactive Twitter following much sooner. Now that Twitter is main stream it’s usefulness is obvious. You can use it to get breaking news, share your opinion about the latest reality show, keep up with current events, and get your books and blog posts in front of a targeted audience.
The latter seems to be a popular subject with authors, bloggers, and marketers, but how is it accomplished? One word, well, uh two words, hash tags. A hash tag is a keyword with a number sign in front of it like this #hashtag. By including a #hashtag in your post, your post will show in the Twitter stream for that tag. For instance, if you click on a #hashtag or just type one in the Twitter search box and you will see a stream that contains tweets related to that #hashtag.
Use Relevant Hashtags
It’s proper etiquette to put 2 or maybe 3 #hashtags in a tweet, don’t over do it, and make sure that the #hashtag you use is relevant to what you want it to mean. It’s always a best bet to do a search of a #hashtag before using it to avoid potential embarrassment, and to have your tweets targeted correctly. There are also numerous websites devoted to #hashtags and their meanings. If you are new to #hashtags a quick search might help you find some relevant tips.
Signing up for Twitter is easy. Just use an email address, a user name, and a password and you are in business. One caveat is that you can only have one Twitter account for each email address, but too many Twitter accounts would get unruly, anyway. Once you sign up, you want to setup your profile so that potential followers will know if you are a right fit for them to follow. You can create elaborate backgrounds and color schemes, but the most important thing is to clearly let people know what you will be tweeting about.
CreateÂ A Compelling Profile
Put up a picture, and let people know exactly what you are about. Whether you are promoting your website, your books, or love animals and vegetarian food, having a clear blurb in your profile about who you are will help potential followers know if they want to follow you or not. Once you have an inviting profile, you can start following people in hopes that they will follow you back. Personally, I’m trying to cultivate a following for my ebook website. My target demographic is writers, publishers, and readers.
I also follow certain people or groups just because I like their profile or think they are fun. Plus, readers fall into a broad category. I don’t usually participate in the follow me and I’ll follow you back schemes, where you can have 100,00 untargeted followers that will never check their feed. It’s my goal to have an active follower list that will actually click on some of my tweets and maybe even find a new book or two to read. I also want to get as many eyes as possible to my website and Twitter feed.
Increase Targeted Followers On A Daily Basis
As I began this article, I had increased my Twitter following by over 900%, which sounds like a lot, but the numbers are relative. I started out with a handful of followers, and now I have a little over 1200, but the numbers are increasing every day, and they are mostly targeted towards people who may be interested in what I have to offer when I tweet. Update: I am now closing in on 10,000 followers.
When I first began my Twitter quest, I read several Twitter ebooks and blog posts. I also tried out a myriad of free Twitter tools. Many of these have paid options that you can upgrade too, but so far I have stuck with free. The two tools I decided to stick with are Tweepi and Hootsuite. Tweepi is great for growing your followers and Hootsuite is awesome for managing followers, creating lists, and posting and auto-posting Tweets. I always use Hootsuite to auto-post my paid book submissions at the most popular times of the day. I also use #hashtags to make sure these tweets get in front of the right people. As my following and the popularity of my site grows, this service will only become more beneficial.
Using Tweepi To Find and Manage Followers
You can do some pretty cool things with Tweepi. I just use the free services, but updating to premium would even unlock more features and would be good if I were a social media maven or wanted to give my twitter account a boost. For now I am fine with building a slow and steady following of targeted users.
Tweepi can tell you who you are following and if they are following you back. You can use the flush feature to unfollow those that aren’t following you back. Be relentless, if people don’t follow you back then unfollow them. You want to keep your follow to unfollow ratio low and this is a good way to do it. You can also use tweepi to reciprocate follows you may have missed. Just keep in mind that you may not want to follow everyone. I never follow anyone without at least glancing at their profile and I usually read some of their tweets and look at their books or visit their site. There are a lot of people in this world and not everyone will fit in the demographic you want to actively tweet with.
When if comes to finding who to follow, Twitter will make suggestions and you can also look at other people’s profiles and follow some of the people they are following. You can also explore different #hashtags and keywords to find people with similar interests.
Using tweepi you can find users to follow based on their tweeps, you can follow friends of other people on twitter, and you can find lists to follow. These are great ways to narrow down your potential follows by people who have the same interest as you. You can also take a look at their profile, how active they are on Twitter, and take a peek at how many follows and followers they have, and even their Klout score.
Use Tweepi To Find People To Follow and Flush Those Who Don’t
When you follow someone, there is a good chance they will follow you back, if you are a good fit and they are active on Twitter. It is also polite for you to reciprocate follows. Some people will send you direct messages using some type of automated tool. Personally, I’m not a fan of the direct message spam and the automated tools. If you want to ignore these people don’t feel bad about it.
Tweepi has a lot more to offer than what I listed here. But these few tools will be enough to kickstart an ever growing Twitter following. Each day I spend a little time on Twitter following back my followers and finding new people to follow. I also use tweepi every week or two to unfollow those people who haven’t taken the time to follow me back. My followers are growing and by this time next year my Twitter account should be an extremely powerful marketing tool.
If you use an email address that you use regularly for Twitter and your settings are set to receive email notifications then you will get an email when you get a new follower. If you miss some you can use tweepi to reciprocate. Keep in mind that the newest followers will show up first, so start with the back page and work your way forward. You can also click on columns and make sure things like the users profile and location and any other pertinent information shows ups. Then go through each person and glance at their profile and put a check mark next to their name if you want to follow them. Then click on follow on the top or bottom of the page. When it comes time to flush unfollowers use the same technique. Just don’t unfollow too frequently or Twitter may think you are spamming. Just do it every week or two, and spend a little time each day or so following and reciprocating follows.
Hootsuite Does It Best
There is no shortage of free and paid Twitter tools available. One of the most common and the most popular is Hootsuite. This is a powerful tool and the paid version does more then I am even aware of, they even offer classes to help social media people learn how to get the most out of it. I use the free version of Hootsuite to view followers and group streams that I want to follow. Once you have many followers your stream will move so fast you will miss most of the tweets. With Hootsuite you can create specialized streams. I have some business ones and some fun ones. It’s great to group friends in real life, business partners, and favorite celebrities in their own streams. Hootsuite makes this easy.
The other thing that Hootsuite is great for is composing tweets. You can post now or schedule future posts. It even compresses your links and adds images and files. The best thing is you can auto schedule posts and Hootsuite will post for you at the appropriate times. I use this for my free ebook promotions. I will make a post with the proper #hashtags and the book’s link. Then I will copy it and post it. Then I will paste that post into the compose window again and auto schedule it to post again. After all, I want to get my client’s books in front of the most people possible. I don’t over do it or spam the posts, but I try to get a reasonable amount of exposure for the books.
Use Hootsuite To Create Custom Streams and Schedule Posts
I barely scratched the surface of what you can do with Hootsuite, but this should be enough to get anyone started without over complicating things. Keeping Twitter simple and effective is the best way to enjoy it. Having tools that help make things effective without over complicating is my goal. So even though there are a lot more things you can learn and do, I’m keeping it simple.
The bottom line is follow business contacts, and people for fun. Tweet about important things you want to share and tweet about intereting things that humans may find entertaining. Slow and steady wins the race, and cultivating a solid Twitter following of real people, who actually participate, is the best way to get the most out of Twitter. You can follow me here. Let me know how you liked the article @NewsScribe and I’ll follow you back.
Usually by the time an author is ready to publishÂ their book, they have read, re-read, and proof read, the book so many times that they are ready to be done with it. Then there is the formatting and making sure the cover is just right, and then uploading it into Amazon. Oops, I forgot the description, now I have to write that. By the time they get to the keyword section they just hap hazardly fill in some related words or even worse leave it blank.
Even if you left your keywords blank, don’t fear, you can always go back to your bookshelf and edit your keyword choices. The keywords are important because they help Amazon shoppers find your book. So take some time to use words that describe your book and that people are searching for. Also, take the time to see which keywords are working and change the ones that aren’t.
If you have no idea what keywords you have used on your books, now may be a good time to go to your bookshelf and copy them into a text file or a spreadsheet. Now go to Amazon, I like to use the Kindle Store Page since I am working with Kindle books, and type in your keyword and see what books rank for that.
If you are on the first page of results then that keyword is probably working for your book. When you type in that keyword make note of related keywords and Amazon auto suggest keywords, these may be good choices to replace your losers with. Keywords that you don’t rank for or that don’t have many results or searches are probably loser keywords, that you will want to replace with better keywords.
How Do I Know Which Keywords To Use
You want keywords that get a lot of searches, yet are relevant enough to your book that you can rank for them. If you want to check search volume you can always check out the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. You can also just choose a keyword that you think is appropriate and type it into the Amazon search bar. If there are a lot of other books in the results then it’s probably a popular keyword, other popular and relevant keywords will pop up in the auto suggest box as you type in your original keyword. There are also related search suggestions that will help point you in the right direction.
Sometimes adding the keyword you want your book to rank for in the book description can help with relevance. If you take the time to periodically adjust the keywords that you use it can give your book a bit of a boost. With competition becoming more fierce everyday we all need to do what we can to get our books in front of the public’s eye. Little adjustments like this can help in the long run.
If you are an author or a publisher and want to help get your book noticed, partner with us. We list free Kindle book promos on our front page and create a post about the book in our book blog. The front page listing will go away once the book isn’t free anymore, but the blog entry is permanent. We also share marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. You can sign up for our publisher newsletter, which is separate from our free eBooks newsletter, and we will occasionally send marketing tips or quality articles to your inbox.
You can also Submit Your Bookto run on our front page during your free promo, and in our book blog afterwards. Also, don’t forget to sign up for out publishing newsletter or our free and bargain book newsletter. Which we like to call the list.