By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Tag: self publish marketing

7 Valuable Insights from Promo Debriefs Using IndieListers


by Jason Ladd


If promoting your book was easy, it wouldn’t be any good, right? There’s a new place for authors to gain valuable intelligence on the effectiveness of the hundreds (thousands?) of book promotions sites on the web. is the result of a question I asked after launching and promoting One of the Few:

“What if Indie authors had a singular place to debrief their promos where everyone could learn from their experiences?”

Most Indie authors love sharing their experiences and strategies with others. They’ve learned that independent publishing is not a zero-sum game. We can all win.

But these promo stack debriefs were buried in forums and comment threads on countless websites. There were plenty of needles, but the haystack was huge.

That’s when I decided to create IndieListers, the largest free online book promotions results database on the web created exclusively by authors.


There is Power in the Debrief

I learned many valuable skills while flying for the Marines. One of the most important was the power of the debrief. It’s where some of the most valuable learning occurs, and it’s what prevents you from repeating mistakes and wasting money.

IndieListers is becoming the place where authors go before and after their promos–to pick the best services and report the results.

I want to share seven valuable insights that you can gain from using this free service.


1. What’s Out There

You’re probably familiar with a few book promotions sites such as BookBub, eReader News Today, and Book Sends, but there are a ton of other sites out there.

IndieListers maintains a mega-list of book promotion websites that provide either free or paid book promotion services. There are currently over 250 listings, all hyperlinked for easy clicking.


2. What Authors Are Actually Using

Some promotion websites are focused more on their clicks than your downloads. They’re highly automated, nondiscriminatory (in the book quality sense), impersonal, and most important, ineffective.

Experienced authors don’t use them because they don’t work.

IndieListers shows you which promos authors are using, and whether or not they are effective.


3. Cost-per-Download

IndieListers is focused mainly on e-book activity, and a simple calculation built into the site reveals the cost-per-download for any given promotion. That’s good, but IndieListers data lets you take it further allowing you to estimate profit or loss.


4. Estimate Profit of Loss

Cost-per-click and book sale price combined with industry knowledge can help you estimate whether or not an author’s promo was profitable.

For instance, an eBook exclusively on Amazon during a $0.99 cent promotion will yield the author a 35% royalty from Amazon. In other words, the author will make $0.35 cents per download.

If the cost-per-download is less than $0.35 cents, it’s a good assumption the promo was profitable, and vice versa.

A book priced at $2.99 making a %70 royalty will yield the author $2.09 per download. If the cost-per-download is greater than that, they probably lost money.


5. Author Experience

IndieListers has a place to leave general comments about the promotion experience. For instance, it’s nice to know when an author is provided a refund–something we’ve seen from BKnights and FreeBooksy.

Comments have also provided feedback on the effectiveness of the “we-will-list-your-book-on-all-the-promotion-sites-for-you” services. During one of my promotions, I could only confirm my book on 5 out of 31 sites on promotion day (granted, some of these services still require a lot of author-in-the-loop, and there many points of possible failure).

Authors are also using the comments section to mention author rank changes, what they received on the tail, and whether they saw an increase in KENP.


indielisters 24jul17

A sample of the real-time feedback received by authors on Indie Lister.


6. Author Tactics

Are authors going Amazon only, or are they going wide with Apple, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, Wattled, and GooglePlay?

Not only will you see how other authors are selling their books, you’ll get a feel for their experience and platform by looking at other data such as which professional services they used, how many books they’ve published, how many promos they’ve run for that book, and if they’re a best-selling author on Amazon, USA Today, or the New York Times.


7. Preview Author Platforms

IndieListers gives you the option of listing your Twitter username and author website. This allows you to take a look at how other authors are operating online, as well as connect with other authors in your genre.

In a guest post on Indies Unlimited, I talk about how my promotion results improved after browsing information provided by the database.

It wasn’t easy, but the results were good. My goal is to help make it just a little easier for you.

Whether your promotion is good or bad, sharing your results makes you part of a solution for the Indie community. I hope your promos are successful, but if they’re not, IndieListers could be your silver lining!



About the Author:

Jason B. Ladd is an award-winning author and veteran. He has flown the F/A-18 “Hornet” and the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” as an instructor pilot. He and his wife Karry are the parents of seven children.



Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.



5 Useful Digital Marketing Pointers for Book Promotion (Part 3)

  1. 5 Useful Digital Marketing Pointers for Book Promotion (Part 1)
  2. 5 Useful Digital Marketing Pointers for Book Promotion (Part 2)
  3. 5 Useful Digital Marketing Pointers for Book Promotion (Part 3)
  4. 5 Useful Digital Marketing Pointers for Book Promotion (Part 4)
  5. 5 Useful Digital Marketing Pointers for Book Promotion (Part 5)

Instagram for authors


Part Three

Using Hashtags to Increase Visibility

on Instagram and Google


by Sarah Jarvis


Who would have thought that authors could benefit from Instagram?

The app can be a powerful tool at getting your pictures recognized in Google images as well as spreading the word about your book. You can search for people who are interested in the topic that your book is about and follow them. Then, post interesting pictures related to your topic and hope that they follow you back.

What works better than hoping is adding many hashtags. For example, when I post pictures on my Instagram about my book, I usually use #raiseaddictionawareness and #heroin as hashtags, as well as a few other related hashtags. I also hashtag the name of the book #MoralDissipation and my author name #SMJarvis.

The hashtags like #heroin are things that people might be searching for on Instagram. Once your picture is posted it will show up to anyone searching that hashtag as long as you have a public profile on Instagram. People can then follow you and like your pictures.

Using hashtags for the book title and my author name help search engines connect those pictures with those images. If you go into Google and search images and type Moral Dissipation in the Google search bar, many of the images that show up are pulled from my Instagram. While you cannot control exactly which images Google or other search engines serve up, you can suggest images the through Instagram hashtags.



Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.



About the Author

S.M. Jarvis is an author, mother, SEO analyst and waitress. She has just released Moral Dissipation, a fictional romance and suspense novel about heroin addiction. Moral Dissipation gives readers an inside glance at the life of an addict and how a single addiction can impact multiple lives. It also provides information about signs of opioid addiction and how to revive someone using Narcan nasal spray. 10% of profits will be donated to organizations that help recovering heroin addicts and their families. Read reviews and order your copy here.


How an Author Learns to Market

Marketing concept

Image Courtesy of Publetariat

From Writer to Marketer

by Robert Germaux



When I first created the character of Jeremy Barnes, my Pittsburgh private detective, I never imagined the wild ride we’d take together. I knew Jeremy was an interesting character, and I was pretty sure other people would think so too. So when it came time to send Jeremy out into the world, I was forced to consider my publishing choices.

Since you’re reading this post, I’m going to assume there’s a good chance that, like me, you’ve already gone through the Catch-22 of publishers who won’t accept unagented manuscripts and agents who won’t represent unpublished authors. Or perhaps, like many people today, you simply decided to skip traditional publishing and go the online route right away (if so, good for you).

After I completed my first full-length novel, I figured the hard part was over, and I’d soon be finding my way to fame and fortune. Silly me. Since I’d made the decision to self-publish, the hard part was just beginning. I had absolutely no idea that I would need to promote my book, much less how to go about doing that. In my naïveté, I thought I’d just put my book out there and wait for the royalties to roll in. You’re probably nowhere near as clueless as I was, but just in case, here are some things I’ve learned about selling your book as an Indie author.


Get Social

First, you must have an online presence. I didn’t have a website or a Facebook page or any other internet-related identity at all. And I had zero idea of how to go about getting those things. Fortunately, I found someone to help me, and that person, who eventually became a trusted advisor and good friend, also introduced me to the world of cover reveals, virtual book tours, book blogs, online reviewers, etc.

If you’re not familiar with any of the above, just Google them or, better yet, find a trusted advisor of your own. Find an online mentor who’s willing to take you under his or her wing. There are many writers who are willing to help newbies. Start by joining online writer’s groups. LinkedIn is a great place to find these groups. Be sure to visit your chosen groups frequently and contribute often. Ask for advice on a variety of topics. This can result in several new and lasting networking contacts.


Get Brazen

Another thing I’ve learned is that it’s not enough to just market your book. You also have to market yourself, and not just online. I’m not a particularly shy person, but I’m not really what you’d call a go-getter either, so this aspect of the whole promotion program is definitely not easy for me. Be prepared to shamelessly plug your book anywhere, at any time and at a moment’s notice. Have your elevator speech prepared well ahead of time.

Basically, I’ve adopted a sort of carpe diem approach to it. I don’t force myself on people, but if I see someone with an e-reader in, say, the line at Starbucks, I might mention that I have a couple books in the Amazon Kindle Store. After that, I’ll just go wherever the conversation leads. Sometimes it goes nowhere, but occasionally it’ll go somewhere. I’ve had people in those situations ask me about my books and then download them right on the spot.

So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Meanwhile, good luck with your own journey into the land of indie writing. Jeremy and I will be waiting for you!


Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.



Robert Germaux Author Photo TwoAbout the Author 

Both my parents were readers. I’m talking stacks-of-books-on-their-nightstands readers. So it’s no surprise that at an early age, I, too, became an avid reader. Everything from sports books (especially baseball) to Nancy Drew to the Hardy Boys to almost anything about distant and exotic places.

Although I’ve always enjoyed putting words on paper, the writer in me didn’t fully emerge until I retired after three decades of teaching high school English. I quickly wrote two books aimed at middle school readers, at which point my wife urged me to try a novel for adults. As is usually the case, Cynthia’s idea was a good one.

Over the next few years, I wrote several books about Pittsburgh private eye Jeremy Barnes. I took a brief hiatus from the detective genre to write Small Talk and The Backup Husband. Now I’m back and will be releasing my first Jeremy Barnes novel, Hard Court, on April 11.

In our spare time, Cynthia and I enjoy reading (of course), going to live theater productions, watching reruns of favorite TV shows such as “Sports Night” and “Gilmore Girls,” and traveling to some of those distant and exotic places I used to read about as a child. So far, we’ve been fortunate enough to walk in the sands of Waikiki, swim in the warm waters of the South Pacific and share a romantic dinner in Paris. I love interacting with my readers and getting their input on my characters and stories. Please feel free to contact me via my website.


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