For many authors, scaling the bestsellers lists is their dream. After the labor of love that goes into writing a novel, there can be no greater satisfaction than it being read and well received by a large audience. But with more books being independently published than ever before, it can be hard to make your book stand out from the crowd—and that’s the first step in turning your book into a bestseller.
Riffle Select is here to help. An ebook price promotion, combined with inclusion in an ebook deals newsletter such as ours is fast becoming the single most effective way to improve a book’s visibility.
We asked our bestselling authors to let us in on the secrets of their successful Riffle Select ebook promotions, and we’re sharing them here to help all indie authors climb to the seemingly elusive heights of bestseller lists such as USA Today and Amazon:
Here are our Riffle Select Authors’ 5 Key Tips For a Successful Ebook Promotion:
- Offer your book for free
“A free book on Riffle raises the author’s profile and a book’s visibility. The key to sales on Amazon. . . is visibility.” — Hannah Howe.
Many authors wonder why it makes sense to give their book away. Although a Free promotion won’t generate an immediate return on investment (ROI), it will gain you the largest number of downloads, and this is key to visibility. Downloads = more reviews, more dedicated readers, and page read payments from Kindle Unlimited. This is particularly important for new releases and debut authors.
Return on investment is then more likely to come once a book gets onto the bestseller lists (and has returned to full price). This is particularly true of Amazon where bestseller lists feed into algorithms that drive Amazon’s recommendations engine and search results. The higher a book gets — and the longer it stays there — the more it will appear to visitors in those key places.
“For the US market I would always include Riffle Select, especially as a way of garnering positive reviews.” — Panayotis Cacoyannis
2. Promote the first book in a series
A free ebook promotion is particularly effective for the first book in a series. If the book is well received, readers will then go on to purchase subsequent books at full price. And even if a book isn’t the first in a series, making any title free for a limited time can get readers hooked on an author’s brand, generating full-price sales for their other standalone titles.
“I regularly use Riffle to promote my first in series. Riffle gives me more value for my money because my books aren’t just on Amazon, and Riffle reaches all vendors. Readers who frequent other sites tend to be more loyal, but it can be difficult — not to mention more expensive! — to reach them through mediums like Facebook Ads.”—C. Gockel
3. Stack your ebook promotions
“If I want to have a day or two with maximum impact to gain high exposure on the bestseller charts, I will stack [my] promotions.” — Tom Swyers
Of course, we love it when authors use Riffle Select, but we also understand that one of the most effective ways to climb the bestseller charts is to stack promotions—and by that we mean, promote a title with Riffle, BookGorilla, Booksends, Bookbub and others (as many newsletters as an author’s budget will allow) over a series of days.
The strategy here is that stacking doesn’t only improve a book’s exposure in the same way a regular one-off promotion does, but that it also improves a book’s sales rank on Amazon over multiple days.
“Running promotions with a number of ebook discount newsletters. . . also has the advantage of optimizing sales in the days after the promotion.” — Panayotis Cacoyannis
4. Take advantage of Riffle’s Weekend Roundup Email
In the fall we launched an exciting new Riffle Select add-on option. On Saturdays we send out a Weekend Roundup Email for books that continue to discount through the weekend after their original scheduled newsletter listing. For half the price of a regular placement, authors can take advantage of this second email blast about their book. Many authors have found that this second chance to reach our subscribers can double their downloads.
This is a unique feature among ebook promotional services, and also increases the odds that Amazon’s algorithms will detect a more sustained upward trend in sales. This is important as Amazon’s formula for their bestseller lists favors steady sales over a single dramatic surge.
“Riffle is the most cost-effective CPC option out there, and has become an integral part of my book launch strategies.” — Patrick King
5. Repeat the process
“My strategy is to list book one in a series free and promote that book on a regular basis, at least once a week.”—Hannah Howe
Promote-rinse-repeat! Once an author has had a chance to measure and reflect on the results of their first ebook promotion, they should start to experiment with how often to discount their books. Different authors swear by different strategies here, but the key is to maintain interest in your books and author brand by enticing new readers. This is particularly key if an author chooses to use Riffle Select as we are rapidly expanding our subscriber list, and each promotion opens a book up to potentially thousands of new readers.
Armed with these 5 tips, we hope you’ll see your books leaping up those bestseller lists. And we hope you’ll choose Riffle Select for your next ebook promotion. Visit our submissions page, and make sure to include this special discount code to secure our special 50% off rate for indie authors: IndieAuthor50
With many thanks to the following authors for their invaluable insights which helped us to write this article:
Tom Swyers, award-winning author of The Kildeer Connection
Hannah Howe, Amazon #1 and international bestselling author of Sam’s Song
Panayotis Cacoyannis, award-winning author of The Dead of August
C. Gockel, USA Today bestselling author of I Bring the Fire
Patrick King, Amazon bestselling author of The Science of Likability