Certain industries build reputations over time and develop their own cliches, in-jokes and conventions that pass through society.
The culinary world is known as being fast-paced, straight talking and ruthless whilst sports is hyper-competitive, solitary and ever increasingly considered a business rather than a passion.
The literary world has a rather stuffy reputation with connotations of self-importance and pompousness. Aside from children’s books, often there’s a seriousness that is associated with both writers and publishers.
One company looking to bring a more light-hearted approach to the industry is BookDoggy.
Capitalising on the ever-increasing demand for ebooks and Kindle, BookDoggy is a promotional services company that allows writers to pay a fee to have their work showcased or promoted to their audience. The audience in turn receives personalised recommendations and is able to discover a wide variety of books they may otherwise not have had access to or awareness of. A simple concept, but one worth digging into.
In this BookDoggy review, we’ll take a deeper look at who they are, what exactly they offer authors and whether they are worth considering for anyone looking to get their work in front of new audiences or as many readers as possible.
What is BookDoggy?
BookDoggy features free and almost-free eBooks available from Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Google, Smashwords, Bookfunnel, Story Origin, and Prolific Works. You’ll often see USA Today and NYT bestselling authors promoting their new releases or on-sale books. Although they strive to work with household names that readers may recognize, they also are keen and proud to introduce new and rising literary stars.
They believe in these authors and their work and think audiences will appreciate being introduced to them. In addition to posting the book information and price, they also (when available) let their audience know if it is part of a series, whether the author gives away a free book on his or her site, and link to the audio version. They send out a newsletter daily and post all of the featured books on their website.
Unusually and impressively, they also facilitate author/reader interactions adding an extra layer to the relationship.
They provide a way for readers to connect with their favourite authors by listing contact information that links to the author’s website or the vendor author page. The authors genuinely seem receptive to this and have a real desire to intersect with their readers so this is a nice touch. There are also bonuses to interacting in this way as often the authors will do giveaways, prizes and competitions.
BookDoggy was founded relatively recently in July 2017 but has grown to become the home to tens of thousands of eBook lovers. In addition to featuring amazing books every day they offer free prize draws. Every 3-4 weeks, they give away a grand prize. Plus, from time to time, they offer bonus prizes. To date, they have given away Amazon gift cards, autographed print books, Kindle Fire eReaders, Samsung, Tablets, Kindle Paperwhite eReaders, Fire Tablets and Amazon Echos.
What types of books are promoted on BookDoggy?
BookDoggy is not tied or bound to one particular genre and from what one can ascertain from their website are open to any and every type of book. To give you some further insight into this, please see below a selection of titles currently featured on the homepage of their website.
- Self Care Habits for Busy Women – Tula Rhodes
- My Cowboy Salvation – Liv Wilder
- Spilling the Tea – Erin Johnson
- Bad Boy Baby Daddy – Gigi Reine
- The Sorceress and the Incubus – Mallory Dunlin
- Girl Island – Kate Castle
- Tuxedo Baby – Victoria Smith
- Best Friends Dad – Alexis Labelle
- Autumn Rains – Myra Johnson
- Eve’s War – Hannah Howe
From children’s books and self-help to romance novels and fantasy, BookDoggy will likely have a place for any and every genre.
Can Authors Submit to BookDoggy?
Yes, they can. There are however various criteria and specifics that should be met, which we’ll outline below.
Writers making a submission should include various information on the book such as synopsis, price point, personal social media profiles and so forth. Once a submission is made BookDoggy will consider whether they believe it’s something that their audience will enjoy.
Indeed they say on their website “We’d love to accept every submission we receive but we only pick books that we think our readers will enjoy. This takes into account the genre our readers are requesting as well as the professionalism of the product – cover, blurb, formatting, and editing of the content.”
Price wise there are a number of different options depending on the author's wishes and what they are looking to promote. If the book is free then the promotion will cost $21. A discounted ebook (which they encourage to be no more than $1) costs $24 to promote. And finally, they also have a multi-promotion deal where writers can receive 20% off on promotions of 5 books or more.
For this price the author will receive the following;
• The free or discounted eBook is promoted one time in their daily newsletter
• They feature the book on their website
• They promote the book on their Facebook and Instagram pages
• They feature the book in a Facebook ad
All accepted submissions are responded to within 48 hours so the turnaround time is very fast, which is great to hear as there’s nothing worse than an author taking time on putting together a submission only to be left in limbo as they await a response that may never arrive.
What are some alternatives to BookDoggy?
Any writer considering utilising a company for their promotional services will of course have a multitude of options in front of them. There has been an explosion of companies offering this type of service in recent years so if for whatever reason BookDoggy was not the right fit there may still be a company that has the right offering for book promotion.
Away from this, a writer could either consider submitting to a conventional publisher which if accepted would reward them with their own in-house marketing and promotions team which would take care of that all aspects of the book release. The risk-reward element for this is high with a huge upside but stiff competition and uncertainty meaning the chances of success are not high.
Lastly, self-publishing and self-promotion often go hand in hand for writers these days. No longer is it mandatory or essential to have outside help when releasing a book. The number of free resources available giving advice on how to achieve this, combined with the internet and social media result in this path being viable in a way that simply wasn’t possible a generation or two ago.
BookDoggy Review – Final Verdict
It’s certainly admirable that BookDoggy is taking a more light-hearted approach to the world of publishing and book promotion. The prizes, reader-author interactions and playful name all speak to a refreshing approach. Not to mention they’re very reasonable price points making promotion with them affordable in a way that isn’t always the case.
However, the restraints of what price point the book can be sold at combined with potentially uncertain results don’t mean this is a guarantee for success. In short, if a writer and their work meet the criteria, this is a low-level risk to take to see if they can increase their audience. It may work best as a tandem effort alongside other promotional services or indeed going it alone and managing the marketing solo.