You can use a couple of different strategies to promote your book, depending on whether you've placed it on multiple platforms or are using KDP Select. If you've gone the first route, and have print copies available, it may be worth it to pay for a Kirkus review. Kirkus is expensive, but it is the fastest way to reach a lot of crucial markets at once.
If you have decided to publish with Amazon's KDP Select, and want a good way to reach as many people as possible on your free days, there are several paid options open to you. Almost all of these are more effective than free services, though some are more pricey than others. (For a single book - not part of a series - you should stick to the cheaper options.)
No matter how you advertise, you will have to plan ahead of time to make sure reviewers are lined up before you begin a promotional campaign. It is always a good idea to coordinate your efforts, for example arranging talks at local libraries and bookstores, sending press releases announcing your upcoming release, and hitting every social media outlet and online reviewer so that your release makes a splash.
I've only listed below the services that authors have reported are the most effective for promoting their books. There are many, many more. For a full listing of paid sites see:
7 Strategies and 110 Tools to Help Indie Authors Find Readers and Reviewers
Also see this post for one author's detailed experience with promotional sites: Call to Arms: Year-long survey reveals which book advertiser offers best value for money
A word of caution: Be selective and research before you spend you money. Not every paid service is worth your hard-earned cash. If you are strapped, avoid paying for reviews altogether. There are plenty of reviewers who do not charge. Click on the link below for a list of nearly 300 reviewers who accept self-published books:
List of Online Reviewers Who Accept Self-Published Books
Free Publicity for Your KDP Select Free Days
Bottom Line: You can get a lot of bang for your buck with a positive review. But a negative review from Kirkus is the kiss of death, so unless the review is glowing keep it private.
What they offer: Kirkus is the most prestigious book review service in the industry, and one of the oldest. All books are read by professional reviewers, who give an unbiased review of 250–350 words. Reviews for Kirkus Indie can be kept private or published. Because their reviews are distributed to Google, Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, and Ingram, they reach librarians and major media reviewers (e.g. New York Times). Your review may also be selected to be featured in the Kirkus email newsletter, which is distributed to more than 50,000 industry professionals and consumers. The Kirkus website gets more than 1.5 million page views monthly
Cost: $300 for one-week of availability. There’s also an indie special at $399 to $599 for a six-month listing.
Bottom Line: If you can afford it, Net Galley is worth the money. But make sure you have reviews lined up elsewhere well in advance. Net Galley does not guarantee reviews.
What they offer: Net Galley offers ebook ARCs to reviewers. They work with publishers in Australia, Canada, the UK and USA. The service is widely used by well-trafficked review sites.
E-Reader News Today
Cost: $60 for a book priced below $2.99 or $150 for a book priced $2.99 and above. All payments are made through Paypal – no exceptions.
Bottom Line: The price is not cheap, but authors have reported good results, depending on the genre. The demographics of ENT show that the highest percentage of readers are women between 35 and 55. Attractive covers are a must.
What they offer: Your book will get sent out to over 475,000 Facebook fans and 150,000 email subscribers who are avid Kindle readers.
Kindle Nation Daily
Cost: $30 - $160. Accepts Paypal and credit cards.
Bottom Line: KND offers a wide variety of promotional services, which allows authors to customize. Best results are for free books.
What they offer: KND has a list of 170,000 readers. The site provides tracking tools, which is useful for measuring the success of your promotion. KND also posts monthly stats so you can check to see which genres perform the best.
What they offer: The Fussy Librarian sends 115,000 subscribers a daily email, which is where your ebook will be featured once. The number of subscribers in each genre varies - you can find the latest stats on the prices page on the right. Your book will be included in their searchable database for 30 days as part of your fee.
In order to be considered, your ebook must have:
- 10 reviews and a 4.0 rating on Amazon OR 10 reviews and a 4.0 rating on Barnes and Noble, 11 to 19 reviews and a 4.0 rating, or 20 reviews and a 3.5 rating. If you have 10 reviews split between Amazon's various stores - like US and UK - your book is eligible.
- A price of $5.99 or less.
Cost: $10 to $125
Bottom Line: Book Sends is a BookBub-style service, but it costs a lot less. (Best prices are for books that are not free.)
*At least 5 reviews, with a high overall average, and an attractive cover.
*A planned sale price of less than $3 and at least 50% off full price.
*Due to limited space, authors are asked to submit just 1 book at a time and are limited to one ad per 30 days. They will not feature the same book more than once every 90 days.
*Novellas and short story collections are unlikely to be accepted at paid prices.
*If a book has been free in the previous 90 days, that's the only price they're willing to feature it at.
Free Kindle Books and Tips
Cost: For books priced at $1.01 or above, a spot costs $50; for books priced at $1.00 or less, a spot costs $25. Featured Book Posting is $100 if your book is priced at 99 cents or above, and $200 if your book is free on the day of promotion
Bottom Line: It may be worth it to start with a spot. The Featured postings are on the expensive side.
What they offer: This is an email service that goes out to 675,000 enthusiastic Kindle readers, including: 600,000+ people accessing the blog via the free reader app or the Collections app for their Kindle Fire. 150,000+ people via an e-Ink Kindle subscription, email or social media subscription, or directly on the blog’s website, or via an RSS reader.
San Francisco Book Review
Clarion is the paid service of Foreword Reviews.
Cost: $499 - More than Kirkus without the clout.
What they offer: A 450-word review with an express delivery of 4-6 weeks. The review will be posted on their website and licensed to book wholesalers.
Publishers Weekly Select
PW provides free reviews on a selective basis. They also offer PW Select reviews to Indie authors, for a fee.
What they offer: Review is posted in the magazine and on PW's websites, in the newsletter, and on social media channels, as well as a listing in its special announcements database, and to readers who subscribe to its magazines.
Marketing Your Indie Book – A Rough Nautical Map In A Sea Of Advertising Options