Daily Archives: April 13, 2014

Promotion, Promotion, Promotion – Part 2 – Weighing Air


One of the details that an indie writer who wants to promote his work has to take into account is how effective each particular promotional website IS!

Let me tell you, there are a LOT of websites out there who are more than happy to shout about your book – whether or not they do it for money or mutual promotion or just for the fun of it.

Only question is – how loudly can any given website shout?

At first glance it seems a little bit like weighing air – but there IS a way to calculate how effective any given website is.

Let me tell you about ALEXA.

ALEXA is an Amazon owned company that ranks the websites of the world, rating their ability to consistently reach global customers.

That is a pretty simplistic way of explaining it – but it sounds a whole lot better than saying that they “weigh air”.

So today my book HAMMURABI ROAD was featured on readcheaply.com

Now I went into this with my eyes open.

I knew that ReadCheaply.com was a small and still-growing company and it did not cost me anything and I am still just trying to get the hang of this whole process.

HOWEVER, if I had swung on over to Alexa I might have had a better idea on how effective this particular website can be.

The way Alexa works, basically, is they rate each website. The lower the number the more effective the website is. The more hits it gets, the more time viewers spend on it, the wider their customer base – all of these factors are taken into account.

ReadCheaply.com is ranked 757,199 on the Global rank and 211,819 on the US rank.

To give you a better idea of how ReadCheaply.com sizes up to some other promotional websites let’s take a look at a few on ALEXA.

BookBub – which is well known as being one of the most effective promotional websites out there ranks at 18,478 on the Global rank and 4837 on the US rank.

Pixel of Ink – another well known promotional website ranks 78,466 on the Global rank and 20,578 on the US rank.

StoryFinds – a Canadian-based promotional website ranks globally at 542,920.

Bargain E-book Hunter – another promotional website ranks globally at 365,555 and 221,412 on the US ranking.

Now, obviously I am not going to sit here and try to rank ALL of the promotional websites because that might take all week – but this is something you might want to put to use the next time you are trying to decide where to put your promotional dollars – especially when you are trying to choose between two or three particular websites.

Keep in mind that these rankings are like Amazon rankings in that they change regularly, depending on how many people are visiting any particular website.

Hope that helps give you folks a better idea on how to weigh air.

Remember – we are all in this indie-pub boat together.

Row for shore.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


Promotion, promotion, promotion…part 1

A writer needs to learn how to promote themselves.

Blog Photo 001This isn’t anything new.

I’ve always had to learn how to be comfortable sitting outside of bookstores at a signing table, or standing up in front of a crowd of people talking about my writing and trying to get folks worked up about that whole act of actually pulling some money out of their wallet and buying one of my books.

So the onslaught of indie publishing and books on Amazon or Kobo; the avalanche of book porn and Facebook flogging and Twitter-powered book plugs just isn’t anything new.

Book promotion is an old art.

If you doubt my words why don’t you climb into the Wabac machine and aim it for the late nineteenth century.

You get back there you are going to find Mark Twain – otherwise known to his friends as Samuel Clemens – traveling from city to city shouting and reciting and pleading to local audiences.

By all reports Twain didn’t much care for this side of the business – but he had to do it to pay the bills.

So stop your moaning about how the internet has forced you into a career of long-term literary harlotry. We writers have ALWAYS needed to possess a certain degree of applied huckster ability. We all need to make friends with the soapbox and a writer who craves success needs to improve his pogo stick techniques and learn to jump up on that soapbox and make a speech.

(how badly can you mangle a metaphor, Vernon?)

And I see you there Billy with those two bars of Irish Spring duct-taped to your feet.

(and doesn’t that tall hirsute dude have one of the worst put-on Irish accents in the history of Hollywood? By the sainted ghost of Barry Fitzgerald himself, Lord crying out blarney!)

So I have decided that 2014 is going to be a year of promotion for me.

That does not mean that I want to become one of those moronic meat puppets who spends his days upon Facebook making every single Facebook update a mind-numbing plea to BUY MY BOOK!

Nor do I intend to spend my hours skulking in public washrooms scrawling BUY MY BOOK upon hitherto untainted porcelain surfaces.

But I need to draw more people’s attention to my work.

So I have begun exploring the art of cheap and dirty book promotion.

I am not talking about some of the bigger and fancier sites such as BOOKBUB or PIXELS OF INK.

Those fancy sites all require a certain amount of money and a certain amount of book reviews to qualify. I don’t have the money and I am only slowly building up my book reviews.

No sir, I am talking about the quick and dirty websites that specialize in book promotion at a low, low cost.

Here’s one of them that I am trying today.

Today ReadCheaply.com is promoting my redneck noir novella, HAMMURABI ROAD. The novella is available for 99cents this month, marked down from a regular price of $2.99. You click that picture of the hairy balaclava-sporting dude above this paragraph and it will take you to the listing for Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple.

All I had to do for that listing is to promise to cross-promote the listing a little bit – on account of ReadCheaply.com is still building a readership. So whether or not this listing is going to actually be read or acted upon by anyone is another question entirely. Still, the website looks very professional and the moderators are very energetic in their attempts at promotion so I was immediately attracted to their company.


Another promotional website that has my books listed is StoryFinds, run by local Halifax author Renee Fields.

I’ve been with these folks for a while and they regularly promote my work and help me to raise my digital profile by mentioning me on their Facebook and listing my work on their website and sending out Tweets about my work.

That is what promotion is all about. One single Tweet may or may not sell you a book – but if you get several different promotional efforts out there working in harmony together you will very likely achieve more sales.

This is how it works.

Think of rocks in a stream. You throw one rock – you make one Tweet – and those ripples will splash out across the water and maybe reach the other shore.

You get a bunch of your friends together or you hire somebody to throw rocks for you and those ripples will begin to accumulate and to build into a genuine homemade tsunami of literary promotion.

Gee, you’d think I know what I am talking about, wouldn’t you?

Storyfinds has a lot of promotional options for authors. They are fast and professional and they reach an awful lot of readers. So definitely check these folks out as well for your very next book promotion.


That’s all I have got for you today.

I intend to make this a regular part of my blog over the next few months. I will turn over stones and try to unearth more ways for all of my fellow indie authors out there to promote and publicize your work.

We’re all in the same boat together so we might as well row for shore.

How do YOU folks self-promote?

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon