Edita A. Petrick
Edita A. Petrick
Edita A. Petrick

I discovered a new promo site (courtesy of the blogger&writer, Molly Greene who mentioned using it) that delivers results even better than ENT (EreadersNewsToday) and it’s http://robinreads.com/  They are selective, you can only run your book once every 90 days but I was really impressed with their results.

The drawback is that your book must be either 0.99 cents or free and I no longer promote my one perma-free book because it’s getting a ton of downloads on its own and even though it has had thousands of downloads (literally!) I have not received a single review for it that may have come from such busy activity.

I’ve long started to question the effectiveness or feasibility of giving away books for free. It benefits the distributing sites like Amazon because freebie-hoarders flock to it and in the process of trolling the site for freebies, might, just might buy something else that catches their eye. But it does absolutely nothing for the author.  I don’t care what anyone out there in the marketing-land says. I have not seen a single so-called “down-the-road-benefit” from the practice (as many, many marketing gurus claim) and 18 months of experience has shown me that, (“if it ain’t comin’ after 18 months, that review jest ain’t comin’, peeriod) reviews either come in the first six months of the book’s promo or up to six months after reviewer’s promise, or not at all.

One-third of my reviews came from readers who bought the books and I have no idea who they are if they use “AmazonCustomer” handle. The other two-thirds came from my own efforts—literally writing hundreds of “Request for Review” emails, to the potential reviewers, asking them if they would do an honest review if I sent them a free copy of the book. I’d say I get about one or two positive replies for every 200+emails I send. Exhausting, but that’s a reality for indie writer.

What surprises me (and no doubt will continue to surprise me) in some of the reviews is that the reviewer(s) mention that they were initially weary of accepting a free book from an indie writer because of the prevalent belief that indie-book works are generally of sub-standard quality in every respect—writing, story, plotting, editing and even the cover. One reviewer calls them “worse than B-movies.” I’m sure there are some poorly edited indie book works out there, but I haven’t really come across too many and I do look through quite a few every week, just to see what’s out there. Some have a ‘voice’ I don’t like but that’s just personal taste; it has nothing to do with the book’s plot or writing. Others have styles I don’t care for, but the same thing applies. I’m just curious about the source of such negative sentiments that seem to prevail out there in the reader-land. It’s unfair to say the least. Conversely, the other day I landed on a romance title from a bestselling NY author—even celebrated author—and started to read the free pages. I didn’t even finish the sample and I was already wondering out loud for the 30th time, “How the he…did this book get published? What junk. What drivel. What poor writing.” But apparently according to the big letters of advertisers, a NY bestseller. Go figure.

Here are my promo results for http://robinreads.com/

http://robinreads.com/ (ran on May 19th)

Ma 19th – 104 books

May 20th – 13 books

May 21 – 1     books

The above are just the stats for the one book I was promoting. I’m sure there were other titles that benefited from this promo because the month of May had great sales for me.

Try robinreads.com if you can reduce the price of your book to 0.99. It’s well worth the $40 they charge for the day-promo.