Neil Ostroff, author of Imagination and other novels, recently reported on his book promotions efforts via Kindle and related ebook promo sites.
Here is his advice on selling ebooks, especially novels:
I’m nearing the end of my sponsorship blitz, but I’m at the point where I can start posting my views on the whole ebook selling phenomenon.
First of all, unless you’re already famous, have a strong following, or the most amazing title and cover art ever, don’t bother with expensive sponsorships. My results have been pretty much the same in extra sales whether the sponsorship I ran was $10 or $300.
If you’re going to place a sponsorship, I recommend the Kindle Fire Department, though they’ve grown quite a lot in popularity lately and may not have the same niche effect. I’ve had my best results with them, better than any other site.
I’ve promoted nine separate books on about two dozen sites. KND and Kindle Boards have become very popular, and you can get lost in a sea of ads. It’s the same with Pixel of Ink.
Blogads.com, my latest venture, did see a small jump in sales but not enough to recoup the cost of advertising on eleven different blogs.
I am running another week-long blitz at the end of this month, so we’ll see if there are any significant changes.
I do have fresh advice regarding something that does seem to be working quite well for me. Here’s the secret: Put samples of your books on every writers’ site that accepts them. Even if the site doesn’t allow links you can still say at the end of the sample to Google your name on Amazon to download the rest of the book.
I recently put up samples on Wattpad.com, which automatically give links to buy. I noticed a jump in sales about two hours after I did this. The key is to update the samples regularly so they rise higher on the new stories list. It’s the same with AuthorsDen.com and a lot of other sites.
My advice to book and ebook writers is to spend a small amount on niche sponsorships just to give you some Internet exposure but post free sample chapters everywhere possible. And there are literally thousands of sites.
A great cover and jazzy tagline will grab people’s attention, but nothing beats hooking them with four or five free chapters.