My First Month of Book Promotion: What I’ve Learned

Really helpful post on ways of promoting a newly-published book. I felt exhausted just reading it!

Niels Saunders

First Month of Self Promotion I’ve been a busy bee

Just over a month ago, I self-published my novel Mervyn vs. Dennis on Amazon. A lot’s happened since then and I’ve been much busier than I expected. Here’s a fairly self-congratulatory list of the things I’ve managed to do in 5 weeks:

  • Design my cover
  • Buy a pineapple
  • Buy a larger pineapple from a different supermarket because the first one looked a bit pathetic and not bristly enough
  • Take a load of profile pictures
  • Eat both pineapples
  • Format my manuscript for Kindle and other devices
  • Write a new blurb (this actually took hours)
  • Completely redo my cover because I’d done the whole thing in the wrong size
  • Write a bio
  • Create an author site for Amazon
  • Buy a domain name and create my own website
  • Revamp my personal Twitter account into a more authory one
  • Write my first 4 blogs
  • Feed the cat

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Promoting Free Smashwords Books

I recently re-blogged a post of Grace Risata’s about her experiences of using Kindle Countdown Promotions. As Grace’s blog suggests, if you are promoting a book on Amazon the challenge is to decide how to do it from the many possible sites available. My experience of promoting books that are free on Smashwords suggests that the reverse is true: there are very few sites interested in listing a Smashwords book that is free, if it isn’t also free on Amazon.

In the past, I have primarily been looking for free means of promoting free books and I have found that almost all sites dedicated to ebook promotion require the free deal to be on Kindle as well as other retailers. It’s often the case that if a book is free on Smashwords, it will go free on Amazon too but, in my experience, it can revert to paid on Kindle even if it’s still free on Smashwords, so you need to be aware of this if you’re scheduling a post for the future.

Good ways of promoting free Smashwords books are: to use Goodreads, most of whose Groups have dedicated discussion threads where author promotion is permitted, and to use other book forum sites (Library Thing, Mobile Read and Book Barista are all included in my links). Free Online will list your book if it is permanently free.

In part, I am writing this post in the hope that someone will tell me there are ways of promoting free Smashwords books that I’m unaware of. Personally, I’ve never come across dedicated sites to promote books on iTunes (to whom Smashwords ship) and I’ve found that many book pages on Facebook and Twitter are very much Amazon-oriented.


‘Miss Millie’s Groom’ – First World War Romance

'Miss Millie's Groom' book cover

‘Miss Millie’s Groom’ book cover

I’m delighted to announce that ‘Miss Millie’s Groom,’ a sweet romance set in England during the First World War, is newly-published on Amazon and currently available through Kindle Unlimited:

Miss Millie’s Groom on

Here’s the blurb:

It is the summer of 1914 and Britain teeters on the brink of war. Society girl, Millicent Awbridge, is oblivious to the impending conflict and preoccupied with the recent shooting of her horse. When she confronts the culprit, Ryan O’Flynn, a groom in her father’s service, Millie gets more than she’d bargained for. Their encounter sparks a series of events that brings Millie’s burgeoning womanhood to fruition.

If you read and enjoy ‘Miss Millie’s Groom,’ reviews, recommendations and ratings would, as ever, be greatly appreciated.

My Crazy Experience with the Amazon Kindle Countdown Deal, March 8-13, 2016

Interesting post on using and promoting Kindle Countdown Deals

Grace Risata: Indie Author and Fountain of Useless Knowledge

Hello. As you may or may not be aware, I am an independent author who just published her first book with Amazon.  I am enrolled in the KDP Select program which means I get 7 days every 90 day period to discount my book and still get the same royalty rate of 70%.  I am a good researcher by nature, so I browsed countless message boards and forums to make sure I maximized this deal as much as possible.  Here are my results for any authors who have done this in the past and want to compare stories, or for any new author about to embark on this adventure.

2 Weeks before the deal:  I googled around to find the best bargain ebook sites to promote the deal and sent them emails. These are all places that are FREE to promote your book.  I also booked a deal on Fiverr. …

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‘Three Romances’ – Bronte Bicentenary Promotion

Featured Image -- 246To mark the bicentenary celebrations of the Bronte sisters, ‘Three Romances,’ my collection of three short historical romantic stories, including ‘Brizecombe Hall,’ an homage to Charlotte Bronte, will be free from Smashwords and its retailers until 21st April (Charlotte’s birthday):

I would appreciate all reviews, recommendations and ratings on retailer sites and elsewhere.

Also, several of my books are available at reduced price throughout Smashwords’ ‘Read an ebook Week’, 6-12 March:


‘The Hangar Dance’ reviewed by Book Angel

I’m delighted that Book Angel recently reviewed my WWII romance, ‘The Hangar Dance,’ and published the review in a newspaper circulated in Croydon.  Many thanks to them for their commitment to promoting indie authors.

‘Braggot Park’ – Free Elizabethan Romance

'Braggot Park,' short historical romance

‘Braggot Park,’ short historical romance

My short romance set in Elizabethan England, ‘Braggot Park,’ is free on Smashwords over the festive period:

I love my new book cover for the story, which sums up not only its historical setting, but also its fast-paced intrigue.  I hope readers enjoy it and would appreciate reviews, recommendations and ratings.

Happy holidays!