Crowdfunding for Authors: A Simple Guide for 2021

Do you have a fantastic book idea just waiting to be written, but you’re lacking the funds for publishing, marketing, and distributing? While you want to pursue your passion project – bills need to be paid, and groceries need to be bought. And the idea of being a starving artist isn’t that appealing. If your finances are holding you back, there are alternatives to consider before giving up on your project. 

You’ve probably heard of crowdfunding before, but perhaps you’re unsure of what it means and whether or not it’s the right path for you. It can be an excellent way for self-publishing authors to get their book out into the world. In this article, we’re going to guide you through how crowdfunding works, how to have a successful campaign, and which platforms to use. 

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This guide on crowdfunding for authors covers:

  1. What is crowdfunding for authors?
  2. Who is crowdfunding for?
  3. How long does crowdfunding take?
  4. How to give yourself the best chance of crowdfunding success
  5. Common pitfalls of crowdfunding
  6. Best crowdfunding sites for authors

What is crowdfunding for authors?

Crowdfunding is a method of raising money for a project through family, friends, and other individuals willing to invest in your work. As an author, you’ll sometimes need financial help to complete your book project since many expenses are involved. And that’s where a crowdfunding campaign comes in.  

Financial support

Crowdfunding means that you’re running a campaign to find people who are willing to pay for your book ahead of time. After choosing a platform for your crowdfunding project, you set a target amount of money you want to raise and a price for the package you’re offering. Essentially, it means that your readers are pre-paying for your book, giving you the financial support to finish your project. 

As long as you reach your target amount, you’ll receive that money to cover necessary costs, such as: 

For a successful campaign, you usually need to offer something more than just your book to the people funding your project. For example, many authors choose to provide a signed copy, a signed poster, tickets to a launch party, or something else that would be valuable for your customers. The goal for your crowdfunding should be that the money you’re receiving can cover the platform costs as well as other costs. That way, you won’t need to take money out of your pocket. 

Validating your book idea

More than just raising money, a crowdfunding campaign can be a perfect way to gauge how readers will receive your book once it hits the shelves. Say you can get a big group of people prepaying; then chances are you’ve got a book that people want to read. They believe in your idea enough to pay for it ahead of time.  

Marketing your book

From day one, you’ll need to share and promote your project through social media, email newsletters, and other marketing tactics. And although marketing may not be the primary purpose of crowdfunding, it’s still a great way to hit two birds with one stone. 

Who is crowdfunding for? 

You may wonder if crowdfunding works regardless of what type of book you’re writing. The answer is that, to varying degrees, it works with any genre. Looking at past campaigns, it seems like business, fantasy, and sci-fi are some of the more popular genres on crowdfunding platforms. 

That’s not to say you can’t be successful with a completely different type of book. A campaign’s success has more to do with the creator than in what specific genre they write. Crowdfunding is for anyone passionate about their project and willing to put in the hard yards when it comes to promotion and marketing

How long does crowdfunding take?

The typical timeframe for a crowdfunding campaign is around two to three months. You’ll need to allow for one to two months of planning and setup (once your book is written) and one month of running your campaign. 

In general, you can expect around 100-200 hours of work from initial planning to the finished campaign. Remember that the more time you spend on planning and executing, the more likely you will reach your goal and have a successful campaign. 

How to give yourself the best chance of crowdfunding success

The downside of crowdfunding (with some platforms, not all of them) is that you don’t get any of the money if you fail to reach your target goal. You will then have to put your book publishing plans aside and inform your investors that the project is canceled. 

So, with that in mind, you’ll want to set yourself up for success when you start your crowdfunding campaign. Here are a few pointers that will help you do well: 

Start early and plan ahead

Having a solid plan and giving yourself enough time is crucial for a successful campaign. Think about where you can reach your target audience, what your timeframe for the campaign should be, and how you can sell your idea most compellingly. 

Figure out how much money you need

It can be tricky to work out how much you need to raise. Ask for too much, and you may not reach your target. But if your amount is too low, it might not cover the necessary costs. You need to consider both of these aspects when you’re setting a target for your campaign. 

Work out all the costs (cover design, marketing, printing, distributing, etc.) and decide on a realistic amount. Also, look at similar campaigns to see what their funding target is and what they’re offering in return to make sure you’re correlating. 

Start growing your audience

If you’ve never published a book before (and you don’t have a large audience), you need to spend some time building a follower base to promote to. That can mean growing your social media followers, getting more readers to your blog or getting more podcast listeners. Because what happens if nobody is familiar with you or your book before your launch? Chances are it’ll be challenging to get enough traction for a successful campaign. 

Grab your audience’s attention

The first 24 hours of a campaign are often the most crucial, so you’ll need to grab the attention of your potential readers early. You can do that by following these steps: 

  • Setting up a quality website to refer people to.
  • Setting up social media accounts. 
  • Creating a video to convey your pitch.
  • Writing a clear and compelling synopsis. 

Write your passion story

The story behind why you’re doing this is the foundation of your crowdfunding campaign. So it pays to spend time perfecting it. By creating a compelling story, you’ll hook your audience and make them want to support you. When crafting your story, keep these tips in mind: 

  • Be authentic and relatable. People want to feel like they’re reading a story from a friend, someone they can relate to and understand. Put all your personality into it and write from your heart, as cheesy as it sounds. 
  • Be honest. Make sure people know what you’re using their money for. If someone’s planning on investing in your project, they’ll want to see where the money is going. 
  • Edit your story. A crucial step is to give your text a few rounds of edits to make sure it’s flawless. If possible, let someone else read it as well. 

Focus on building a community 

Crowdfunding is about more than raising money. Think about how you can use this campaign to build a community. Anyone helping to fund your project is a potential reader, and you’ll want to nurture those relationships. That includes giving updates on your progress, sharing exciting news, and giving them special recognition. By keeping them invested in your project, they’re also more likely to share it with others. 

Stay on top of your campaign

Once your campaign launches, make sure you stay on top of it. You’ll need to keep your social media active, respond to questions and comments and keep a close eye on how things progress. Your audience wants to see you engaged and invested in the project. Besides, if you go MIA on your launch day, you might miss out on some great opportunities. 

two people use a laptop for crowdfunding for authors

Common pitfalls of crowdfunding your book

When you plan to build a crowdfunding campaign, it’s good to be aware of some common issues and setbacks. That way, you can learn how to avoid them or decide whether a campaign is worth the risk of failure. 

  • On most platforms, failing to reach your funding goals means you receive nothing, even if you’re only a few dollars short of your goal. 
  • There’s a high failure rate for authors, mostly due to a lack of planning and promotion. According to a market report, between 69 and 89 percent of projects fail to reach their funding target. 
  • Crowdfunding is time-consuming and more complicated than many realize before starting. 
  • For authors who don’t have an existing base of followers, getting traction can be very difficult.
  • Crowdfunding platforms aren’t free. Most of them will take 30% of the revenue generated from your book sales. Although the fees come out of the money you’ve raised, some authors miss factoring this into their calculations. Only breaking even can be disappointing when you’ve so much time and effort into your project. 

Best crowdfunding sites for authors

If you’ve gone through the pros and cons of crowdfunding and decided to give it a shot, it’s time to find the platform of your choice. Make sure to do your research before you commit to anyone. You’ll want to check for fees, what type of crowdfunding they do, and their rules and regulations. 

Some can take weeks before your account is approved, which can cause problems if your project is time-sensitive. Other platforms may require you to back a campaign before you can launch one for yourself. So whichever one you choose, research them well before you start your campaign. 

Here are seven of the best crowdfunding sites for authors:

  1. Patreon 
  2. Kickstarter
  3. Indiegogo
  4. Inkshares
  5. Publishizer 
  6. GoFundMe
  7. Unbound

Ready to get started? Grab your copy of “Published” that you can read anywhere and start your book today!

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book distributors

How to Use Book Distributors to Reach More Readers

Are you getting to your manuscript’s final touches and starting to prepare for the anticipated launch? However, before you pop the champagne and book the release party, make sure you have a distribution plan in place.

As a self-publishing author, you need to work out how to get your book in the hands of your potential customers. 

Step one is marketing to your current audience through blog posts, emails, and social media.

But how do you make sure your book reaches a broader audience?

And what about getting it into bookstores and libraries across the globe? 

That’s where having an experienced book distributor comes in. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using a book distributor as a self-published author. 

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Looking for something specific? Here’s what we’ll be covering in this book distributor guide:

  1. What does a book distributor do?
  2. Why you need a book distributor as a self-publishing author
  3. Book distributors vs book wholesalers
  4. eBook vs printed book distribution
  5. Finding the right book distributor for your book
  6. Book distributors in the United States
  7. Book distributors in Canada
  8. Book distributors in the United Kingdom

What does a book distributor do?

Book distributors pitch and sell titles directly to retailers, book stores, and libraries through catalogs and sales reps. Their job is to maintain a relationship with the bookstores and take care of the marketing side of things for you. More precisely, they help authors and publishers with these two things:

  • Getting your book listed with wholesalers (usually a condition for getting it into bookstores).
  • Actively selling and pitching books to retail buyers, getting as many as possible in front of customers. 

Distributors can also be responsible for warehousing your book, depending on if you’re using a print-on-demand service (like Amazon KDP) or not. Authors usually have to sign an exclusivity agreement, meaning that your distributor is the only one who can sell your book to retailers.

Since distributors take a cut (sometimes as much as 55% of your book’s sticker price), you want to make sure you take your time finding the right one. 

In self-publishing, there are three common types of book distribution models. Let’s take a closer look at them to help you decide which one is right for you. 

Full-service book distribution 

A full-service distributor is similar to a publishing house regarding what services they provide. They’ll do book fulfillment, warehousing, sales representation, inventory management, and much more. 

The key benefit of working with a full-service team is that they often have plenty of experience and good connections in the industry. That said, it can be tricky for a self-published author to get a foot in the door with a full-service book distributor. Especially as a newbie with no sales records.

Having high presale numbers or a large online audience will make it a lot easier. 

Wholesale book distribution 

Wholesale book distribution is the most common model for self-published authors, with companies such as IngramSpark and Baker & Taylor.

They can help you publish your book online and take care of your printed book’s distribution. Your title will appear in their wholesale catalog to send out to book stores and libraries.

Of course, they can’t offer any guarantees that the book stores or libraries order your book – but chances are a lot higher when you’re partnering with a well-known distributor. 


Some self-publishing authors may choose to take care of the distribution themselves. The obvious downside of this approach is that it’s more time-consuming.

Plus, bulk printing your book will be a significant investment (rather than using a print-on-demand service). 

Since many larger book stores won’t work directly with authors, self-distribution usually works best if you want to reach your local independent book stores. 

Why you need a book distributor as a self-publishing author 

There are many reasons you need a book distributor as a self-publishing author.

First of all, you’re otherwise limited to your network, and the chances of seeing your book on the book store shelves are slim to none. 

Here’s why: book store buyers use wholesalers to order their books, which means your book title needs to be in the wholesaler’s catalog.

To complicate things further, wholesalers often have an application process and require a minimum number of titles before listing your book. 

For example, to be listed in Ingram’s catalog, authors or publishers need to have at least ten titles.

Otherwise, you’ll need to work with a distributor.

So as a self-publishing author, chances are you won’t get very far without a distributor. 

book distributors

Boost the marketing of your book

Not only can they get your book listed with wholesalers, but they’ll also actively market and sell your book to retailers.

Without someone continuously pushing to get your book into the book stores, it will likely stay in a warehouse somewhere, far away from potential customers and readers. 

Experienced distributors and their sales representatives often hold credibility in the industry and already have a well-established relationship with retailers. Even if you had the time to approach every store in your area, they’re more likely to do a better sales job. Plus, they’re just as invested in selling your title as you are.  

If you already have a large online audience, you could get away with not using a distributor.

But even then, a distributor could amplify your sales and give you time to focus on other things. 

Book distributors vs. book wholesalers

While wholesalers are the middlemen between you – the author or publisher – and the retailers, distributors take a more active marketing and promotion role. You could say that wholesalers act as depots for your book, storing copies in a warehouse and sending them out as customers order them. Retailers usually want to order from a few trusted sources (i.e., wholesalers) rather than hundreds of individual authors or publishers. 

Book distributors often function as book wholesalers (although this isn’t always the case), but their main focus is to handle the promotion and generate demand for your book. Really, there’s no need for a wholesaler if you’re using a print-on-demand service, but a book distributor is still necessary. 

eBook vs. printed book distribution

Since you’ll only need to deliver files digitally, eBook distribution is less complicated than print distribution. It’s also cheaper, with the eliminated shipping costs. For this reason, eBooks are typically less expensive to buy for the customer. 

And naturally, you and the distributor would usually get a smaller profit from this deal. But eBooks are still a great way to sell your book, especially when more people choose the digital format.

If you choose to go down the road of eBook distribution, the process looks something like this: 

  • Find a self-publishing platform (such as Amazon KDP) and set your price. 
  • Customers will find your book by searching online and then (hopefully) place an order. 
  • The self-publishing platform syncs with the customer’s eBook platform.
  • The eBook is delivered for the customer to read. 

Amazingly, the whole process is done through automated systems online, so you free up more time and concentrate on writing your next book. 

Finding the right book distributor for your book

Getting set up with the right distributor is vital for self-publishing authors. Ideally, you want to find one specializing in your particular niche or genre. If you’re self-publishing a book about personal finance, signing an exclusive deal with a children’s book distributor isn’t the best move. Ensure that you do plenty of research, check their websites, and read about the services information. Be aware, and pay close attention to detail and make sure you understand what they’re offering, so they line up with your niche, values, and priorities. Here are some more tips to help you find a book distributor that fits: 

  • Check impartial reviews online (i.e., not the reviews on their website.) 
  • Ask questions. Prepare a list of questions about the process and how they’re going to promote and distribute your book. Here are some examples:
  • Is it an exclusive contract? 
  • What are their fees and commission structure? 
  • What are the costs of warehousing and logistics? 
  • Are there other fees or requirements along the way? 
  • In what regions will they be promoting your book? 
  • To what types of outlets will they sell your book? 
  • Can you see some examples of books they’ve sold successfully? 
  • Read the fine print carefully. You need to know what you agree to before signing anything. 

We hope this guide has given you some clarity around planning your book’s distribution. If you’re ready to start searching for your next distributor, check out the list we’ve put together. 

Book Distributors in the United States

There are many book distributors in the United States. Check them out!

Ingram Content group

The largest distributor of books to schools, libraries, online and retail stores.


Independent Publishers Group (IPG)
The second-largest book distributor in the U.S, distributing for large and small independent publishers.

Baker & Taylor
No longer supplies books to retailers but focusing instead on public library and publisher services businesses.

Publishers Group West
The largest distributor of independent titles in the U.S, with full-service distribution.

American West Books, Inc.
A nationwide supplier, focusing on regional chains, specialty grocers, and mass merchandisers.

BCH Fulfillment & Distribution
Distribution services for small presses, with ten or fewer titles. Authorized distributor to Baker & Taylor and Ingram.

Bella Distribution
Distribution to independent and chain bookstores for small presses.

C&B Books Distribution
Specializing in urban books and African American authors. 

Cardinal Publishers Group
National book distributor for print and digital books.

Casemate Group
Book distributor specializing in military history books.

Consortium Book Sales
Distributor working with independent publishers and academic, wholesale, and specialist markets.

DeVorss & Company
Distributor and publisher specializing in spirituality and self-help books.

Gem Guides Book Co.
Publisher and distributor of books on rocks, minerals, gemstones, fossils, and crystals.

Greenleaf Book Group
Publisher and distributor focused on helping independent authors and small presses.

National Book Network
A full-service sales, marketing, and distribution company, serving publisher’s on a global scale.

New Leaf Distributing Co.
The world’s largest distributor of new age, spirituality, and metaphysics titles.

Sunbelt Publications
Distributor specializing in natural science, outdoor guides, and regional history, mainly distributing to specialty retailers.

Book Distributors in Canada

Publishers Group Canada

An award-winning wholesale and distribution company offering full-service distribution to independent and specialty retailers. 


Heritage Group Distribution
One of Canada’s largest independent book suppliers and a leading book distributor.

Raincoast Book Distribution
Full-service book distribution working with large chains, libraries, and online retailers.

Sandhill books
Marketing and distribution with a focus on indie authors.

Book Distributors in the United Kingdom


Distributor of gift books, children’s books, and stationery in England and Ireland. 



CBL Distribution Ltd

A distribution company focusing on books and digital media, working with publishers across the U.K. and Europe.


Gardners Books

Britain’s leading independent distributor of books, eBooks, music, and film.

Combined Book Services Limited
One of the largest distributors in the U.K, offering publishers in the U.K and overseas full-service distribution. 



Oxbow Books

Distributor specializing in archeology, history, and sciences. 


Want the book that breaks down how to successfully write and launch your book?

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How to Sell Your Novel: Learn Essential Steps Here

Writing a book is hard work. The crying, frustration, and stress of getting all those words down on paper (and it is fun!) but let’s be honest: Writing is work. Knowing how to sell your novel is even more work.

But what about selling your book once it’s published?

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Marketing Your Novel

This is—for every author—when the real work begins. You created this great book, and now, you have to sell it and try to recoup your money from the initial book production investment. Now, I said it was a lot of work, but it’s the part of the process where you really learn how to promote and sell your book. That can be both scary and exciting.

To sell your novel like a pro, there are several things you MUST get right before you even think about publishing. As an author, you want to set yourself up for success in every area possible. Ask yourself:

Do you have a  great cover?

Is your book professionally edited?

Did you research your market genre to write to market?

Is your book description optimized with high ranking keywords?

Are you in at least 8 categories to rank well on Amazon?

Do you have a lead magnet set up to build an email list?

In this article, we are going to dive deep into the best ways to sell your novel. Although we can’t promise you will sell books by the truckload, we are confident that by following these steps and implementing the process for getting noticed, you will create an impact with your message and possibly change many lives along the way.

Book Selling Strategies

If you’ve already published your book, you can start implementing these book-selling strategies now.

If you haven’t yet published, you can start working these ideas into your book launch plan. Every action you take towards having a successful launch will funnel your book’s success. 

Do you know what you need to have a successful book launch? 

Download your FREE Book Launch Checklist here!

Here are The Four Pillar Strategies to Sell Your Novel

  1. Run Ads with Amazon Advertising
  2. Book Your First 5 Podcasts
  3. Create a Box Set Bundle & Series
  4. Run Regular Book Promotions (Book Promo Sites)

Before you think about selling your great novel, we need to dial back to the basics. The reason most authors fail to sell their books after publishing, is because they fail to set up the book for success before publishing.

You need to have the critical elements lined up first. Briefly, let’s take a look at what these best 5 elements are:

5 Critical Elements for Selling Your Book (Before You Sell Your Book)

Optimize Your Book Description

Your book description will be a sales page that lists the best features of the book, and why readers should buy your book over another in the same genre. The description should have a mixture of various font styles and structure to create a clean, attractive description of your book.

We recommend using the free Amazon Book Description Generator Tool at Your book description should include highly-optimized keywords selected from Dave Chesson’s Publisher Rocket software.

Here is an example of a fully-loaded book description:

A Magnificent Book Cover

Your book cover has to be smashingly convincing. Unless you’re a famous author, and can guarantee to move millions of copies per year no matter the cover, you need to impress people with your cover design whenever you can. But even best-selling authors need great covers. Your cover doesn’t have to win an award for creativity, but you do have to win the sale.

Here are a few examples:

Best advice is to do your research. Check the authors and books in your genre, see what is selling, and then customize your cover design to feed your market. When you write to market, you are also presenting your book with a professional design.

Professional Editing

Please don’t forget to edit your book. Or better yet, hire a professional to edit your novel. Nothing will kill a book sale faster than a poorly edited manuscript. 

A book that has been poorly edited is going to receive negative reviews.  By poor writing quality we’re not talking about the occasional grammar error (which can easily be corrected,) but a book filled with bad grammar, misspelling and a sloppy appearance.

You can hire a great editor. Your editing will be the biggest expense for the book but, you don’t want to cut corners with this. The cost is worth the price for your book’s success.

Optimized Keywords for KDP

Finding the best keywords will get your book ranking in the top search results, which means it’ll turn up in front of your customers as they search for the relevant keywords. High rankings means more visibility which leads to greater book sales. This makes it easier to promote your book when you already have the best keywords locked into your description and KDP.

As mentioned, your best tool for this is Dave Chesson’s Publisher Rocket for sorting out great keywords. Keywords that rank in the Amazon algorithm will drive the right traffic to your book. This accumulates into book sales. 

Publish Your Book Across Ten Categories.

When you publish your novel, did you know that you can promote your book in ten categories, and not only the two categories offered in KDP? At a first glance, you will notice that the selection seems rather limited and is missing plenty of categories that you’ve seen other books rank for. Unfortunately, Amazon has done this intentionally so that they can place new books into their own kindle categories.

There’s thousands of sub-categories you can rank for, and you can even include an additional eight sub-categories not found in the usual channels.

Using Publisher Rocket, determine 8 more categories to place your book in. Be sure to make a list of the category strings and then, when your book is live, email Amazon directly through the KDP contact form and request your book to be placed in the additional categories.

Take a look:

Click on the top tab and then send them an email with your list that should look something like this:

You can do this for both the eBook and paperback version. Then wait 24-72 hours for Amazon to update this.

Here is a walkthrough of the top 4 book selling strategies to sell your current novel—and all future books

Our Best 4 Top-Level Strategies for Selling Your Novel

Learn to Run Ads with Amazon Advertising

If you want to sell books (and we all do!) setting up and running AMS ads (also known now as Amazon Advertising) is a must. You should be using this platform, even if you hire someone to set up the ads for you. You can use the AMS feature built into the Publisher Rocket software to discover thousands of keywords for your ads.

The best way to set up AMS is to dive right in and get to it. You can sign up for AMS by following these steps:

  1. In KDP, next to your book and under Promote Your Book, click on this.
  2. Scroll down to Run an Ad Campaign and go into Store. Yes, you can run ads in many more countries, but keep it simple for now. Only set up ads in the US store to start with. Click on Create an Ad Campaign.

3. You will be met with a choice of three types of ads. Only do the first option, Sponsored Products.

To further demonstrate, we will set up an automated ad. This ad is easy to do in under 5 minutes as it requires almost no research.

There are several types of ads you can create that are keyword specific ads, suggested keyword ads, and category/product ads.

4. After entering the ad section, fill in the required information. Keep your budget to $5.00 to start.

Next, select automatic targeting.

Then, choose dynamic bids—down only. You can choose up and down but be aware, you could end up with high click costs.

Now, choose your ad format. You can enter a customized blurb (recommended) or a standard blurb, in which case, Amazon pulls your blurb from your book description.

Next, choose your book. Note: You should set up one ad per book format, so one for eBook and another for paperback.

Select your bid price. Amazon defaults this to 0.75. But if you want to bid less, you decide what your pricing is. Recommended 0.15 cents to 0.40 cents for a first generation ad.

Now, plug in your custom text and hit Publish Campaign!

Amazon ads are a great way to start selling your books. For a FREE course on how to set these up and organize your campaigns, we recommend you check out Dave Chesson’s FREE AMS training here:

Book Your First 5 Podcasts

When Hal Elrod launched his international champion The Miracle Morning, he says he did over 250 podcasts in one year. That’s a lot! You don’t have to do that many, but this goes without saying, podcasts can drive book sales in a huge way. 

Podcasts can be broken down into three areas as seen here:

how to sell your novel

Reachout: These are cold call direct reach outs to podcasters through a contact page or website. Depending on your own platform, this will determine if you get an interview or not. For audiences with large subscriber numbers, you may have to wait until you can build up your own platform.

Research: You can do a quick Google search to find podcasts in your genre. Or, the best strategy is to go directly to iTunes and discover the loads of categories there with direct links to podcasts. This is the fastest way to put together your list of nifty fifty (the best 50 podcasts for your platform). Start with direct reach outs, and then, as you get these interviews you can use…

Referrals. During your podcast interview, you should have a few minutes before and after to talk with the host. This is an opportunity to ask for a direct referral to another podcast. It is a thriving community and somebody knows somebody that can help you get featured onto another podcast. Referrals are far easier to get connected than direct reach outs. 

To begin putting your list together, here is what you should do:

  1. Put your list together by visiting the iTunes store.
  2. Plug in Apple Podcasts and search for your genre.
  3. Reach out to podcasters via cold calling by visiting their site
  4. After you get a podcast booked, ask for referrals for getting featured on more sites.

Now, go line them up! Get featured on as many podcasts as you can. This is a great way to drive traffic to your book pages and site.

Create a Box Set Bundle & Series

A book series keeps readers returning for more of your content. It shows your fanbase that you’re a serious author that continues to deliver value-packed content with each book release. Plus, if you have a series, readers are anxiously waiting for your next release. The box set product is a great way to balance your writing between the next set of books.

For a series author, publishing a box set bundle of your books is a strategic way to boost sales. Box set bundles have been around for a long time, and if you visit a bookstore, you will likely discover boxsets in the traditional fashion for popular series such as Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

This method of releasing box sets has been a strong marketing strategy for book publishers and the music industry giants. Who doesn’t want to pick up a compilation album featuring all the #1 singles from their favorite artist? The book industry is no different.

For authors in the self-publishing space, writing a series and creating box sets are an effective strategy for increasing book sales consistently and cross-promoting other books.

How do you set up a box set bundle? What are the specific steps to launch for success?

What are the advantages to publishing your series in a boxset and series format, even after the single editions are published?

The Benefits of Creating A Series Page for Your Titles:

1. All books in the series are linked together: Having multiple books allows you to discount one title to 0.99 for a limited time, or offer it for free to drive higher converting traffic to your backlist and the series funnel.

2. Build a Higher Converting Traffic Funnel: You can drive traffic to your book series page instead of individual books. Linking to your series page will result in higher conversion rates than linking to your individual book product page.

3. Provides advanced options for 1-click purchases: A series page lets readers view all books in the series on a single page. You can see the titles in the series already purchased. Amazon allows you 1-click shopping to grab the rest of the titles you don’t have yet.

4. Reduce “Click” Distractions: Series pages are free of ads and other distractions keeping customer attention on your books only. When you direct potential readers to your single book options, they still have recommended books from Amazon in your genre that could result in losing a sale if the customer opts for another book that is more appealing to them. Keep the user experience on your store front whenever possible.

5. Customized Series Description: You can now create a description—similar to a book description—for your series page only. Generally, Amazon will pull the description by default from the first title features in the series. This could lead to a poor user experience if they land on your series page and want to know more about what the series of books is about.

Setting up Your Box Set (and Series)

A couple of restrictions to observe:

  1. Kindle (eBook) series only is available. For now, the series page exists for Kindle only, and not paperback. You can create a paperback with the series books, but not a series page.
  2. Limited stores available for the series page. As of now, series pages are available:,, and Amazon is increasingly expanding these options and will improve in the future.

Here is a screenshot walkthrough for setting up a series page:

  1. Choose the language.
  1. Enter your series title.
  2. You can select the reading order. These books can appear randomly or in the order they are published.
  1. Amazon will add the series image of the first three books (if you have 2 books only, it will be the two book covers side by side.
  2. Write a description for your series page. This description should reflect the series as a whole instead of focusing on one specific book. 

Your series page should be live within 24-72 hours, but generally, takes only a few hours to appear. Now you have a book series!

Driving Promotions

Once you have a few books in your series, you can drive traffic to the series page instead of individual books. This works better for conversions and the more books you have—your backlist—the better are the chances that you’ll sell a ton of books from just one click.

When running BookBub Ads, you can now include a link to your series page:

For Amazon Ads, you can now run ads for your series page through sponsored brands:

Create a Box Set

It is surprisingly easy to create a box set for your trilogy.

Here is how you do it:

1. Hire a cover designer to make a box-set cover. Get a 3D and a flat version, since iBooks only accepts the flat version and Kobo recommends the flat version for better sales, so it’s better to have both options.

2. Merge all books into one file. When you build your boxset, you will need to take all the books that are to be included in the set and combine these together into one file. Depending on the size of the box set, this could be three books (Life-Changing Habits Series) or ten books (Universe in Flames Series). 

3. Set Up Your Kindle Box set in Amazon KDP. You set up a box set the same way you create an individual book.

KDP Box Set Publishing:

  1. Log into your KDP Bookshelf
  2. Enter the box set title, subtitle, series title, series number (Boxset/Volume 1, 2, or 3)
  3. Enter your author name. Note Reminder: In order for this to be a series, all books must belong to the same author.
  4. Write a book description. Enter it in the book description box.
  5. Research keywords (7) and enter in the Keyword boxes.
  6. Categories: Choose 2 categories. Use Publisher Rocket to determine additional categories.
  7. ISBN: You can purchase ISBNs at for US based authors.
  8. Upload your formatted manuscript. Check for KDPs recommended formats that include MOBI, Word, or ePub.
  9. Upload your box set cover in jpg format. This could be a 3D version of the cover with a side shot of all books in the series.
  10. Set your price. Recommended $0.99 for launch. KU reads are critical for box set launch success.
  11. Hit PUBLISH!

Now you can run Amazon ads to your box set and BookBub ads.

Publish Your Book in Various Formats

Here is an example of a great lineup in the Amazon store:

If you have your book set up with every variation possible, you can exponentially expand your book sales. Instead of having one income stream with a kindle book, you have two with a paperback. Instead of just two with kindle and paperback, you have three if you add an audiobook. And you can now add a Hardcover book published through Ingram Spark or Amazon.

The more variations you have of your book, the broader your scope and this feeds into the Amazon algorithm. When you run ads to do your books, this works even better! People can land on your Amazon page and take full advantage of your other versions of the book they want. 

There are many other ways to get your book out there. To break it down, you can publish a:

  • Kindle Book: This is the first version of your book used as the initial launch out of the gate.
  • Paperback. With a different format in PDF form, you can sell paperbacks to customers in over 12 different countries through Amazon.
  • Audiobook: Record this yourself or hire a professional to record your book. Audiobooks are on the rise as huge sellers for driving book sales. Don’T miss out on this!
  • Hardcover: THis is optional but another version of your book that is easy to set up. And now, Amazon is rolling out hardcover books (currently in Beta) but is another option for authors to expand their reach. Note: You will need a different formatted size for your hardcover book size.
  • Social Media Snippets: Another alternative is to record five minute snippets of your book and post to social media. This doesn’t bring indirect income p

Advantages to Publishing in various formats:

  • Earn more royalties per book
  • Build your email list exponentially
  • Become an expert in your field by reaching a wider audience
  • Feed into Amazon’s algorithm that fuels traffic towards your products

When you launch your book, consider all the options available as a self-publishing author. Plan ahead and make the most of your launch! Expand on your potential for maximizing book sales. 

Run Regular Book Promotions (Book Promo Sites)

I run regular promotions with my books—at least once every three months—and a great way to leverage this is to use the best of the Book Promo Sites for bringing in sales. These are the book promo sites you should use to rocket to a #1 bestseller by gaining book sales.

How to use Book Promo Sites:

You can use these Best Book Promo Ads two ways:

Launch a new book: Stack up your promo week with book promo ads.

Promoting an existing book: You can promote current books every 3-6 months using the book promo sites. Drop the price of your book to 0.99 for 5-7 days and set up the ads. Use this in conjunction with your email list (or influencer lists) and you should have a successful launch/promo week.

How to schedule book promotions

There isn’t any one-size-fits-all formula for scheduling book promo sites. You can set up one promo per day over the course of 10-12 days, or stack 2-3 promos per day over five days.

When I launch a book, I usually set up a group of paid promo sites to boost the rankings and get the book onto the front page [and the #1 spot] of that category.

Book Promo List Consolidated

Here is a list of the best performing promo sites I target for both a new book launch, and running regular promotions on existing books.

The price will vary depending on the category and audience (wide or niche) of your book.

Most of these sites charge a standard one time fee to promote your book for one day at 99 cents, or when running  a free promo if your book is in KDP. For best results, and to maximize on your book rankings, I recommend using the sites for their paid ads (at 0.99cents).


Price: $29. You need 10 reviews before they’ll schedule you. Note: You can promote a 2nd book on the same day for only 25% of the price. Great deal. But you can only promote each book once every 6 months. You can apply here:

Robin Reads

Robin Reads is an innovative and supportive service for both publishers and authors looking to expand their audiences. They offer several premium promotion plans with genre-based pricing.

Note: Tough to book in advance. RRs calendar is booked out 3-6 weeks in advance. Pricing: $85.00 / Reviews: 10 Reviews Needed.


If you can match this up with Robin Reads or Bucks on the same day it’s a great little boost. Needs 5 reviews.

Booksend partners up with BookRunes and will give the option to sign up with Bookrunes at the same time. 


BKnights [Fiverr]

You can’t go wrong for $5. I would also take the extra gig for $5 and get in on their daily newsletter. You won’t get a ton of downloads but on average 12-25 depending on the book. No Reviews needed.

eReader News

Great gig but can be hard to get approved. Takes several days for a response. $50.00. 0 reviews needed but they do check if you have reviews. May sway their decision to promote your book or not depending on review count.

Check here for promotional requirements.

Pricing: $50.00


You are basically paying for downloads, one of the few [if only] sites that does that. They have various packages for everything. I recommend the Silver Eagle [$90] that gets you 50+ downloads KU borrows. […/paidbookpromotion/

Note: Books butterfly has a lot of packages so be sure to choose the right one. 

My Book Cave

My Book Cave offers authors the possibility to promote their book to an audience of 75,000+ readers. According to their notes they prefer to select titles with over 10 reviews, but will consider books with at least 5 great write-ups. In addition to promoting links to retailers, authors have the option to offer \reader magnet\” titles to attract new subscribers.”

For Fiction and Nonfiction

Reviews: 10 Reviews Recommended.

Pricing: $19—$31 (depends on genre)

Choosy Bookworm

Choosy Bookworm provides subscribers with a daily selection of free and discount eBooks. So long as your books are $3.99 or less, you can submit it for free consideration. For a guaranteed placement, you’ll be looking at one of their paid options starting at $25.

Fiction and Nonfiction Books

Price: $36 for the Premium Package

Reviews: 0 reviews needed

The Fussy Librarian

[]. Great promo but very hard to book in advance. Booked out 2-3 weeks ahead. Need 10 reviews to get accepted.

Bargain Booksy

Great promo, no reviews needed and you can sign up right away and get approved. $30 for nonfiction. Lots of categories and good results.

Pricing: From $20, depends on genre. Works for Fiction and Nonfiction

Awesome Gang

Awesome Gang is a place for Kindle book authors to share their books and get them in the hands of readers. You can submit your book for free and also decide to have it featured in their special books listing for $10/book (this includes a featuring in their homepage for 2 days, as well as a special mention in their newsletter and social media). Paid promotion: $10

Book Runes

[]. Global reach with over 40k mailing list, $25—$35. Good results. Trustworthy Site.

Reviews: No reviews needed / For Fiction and Nonfiction

There are both paid and free book promotion sites to tap into.These sites, depending on their conditions, will help you get more exposure by putting your book in front of thousands of visitors on their website.


As you can see, it takes a lot of effort to sell your novel. But with the right pieces in place and a commitment to marketing and promoting your work, anything is possible. The secret to book sales and selling a truckload of books varies from author to author.

You have to try several strategies and often, do several things together to make it work. I would recommend trying one strategy first, get the results, and then diving into something else. Give it a chance to work, and if it doesn’t, you can always try again later on. 

How do you sell your book? What has worked for you in order to get more book sales? Share your story here!

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