Martin Crosbie Interviews PeopleReads

As authors, we have access to a number of professionally-run book promo sites where we can effectively promote our work. Some offer paid services and others are free. Some will post information about your discounted book and others only feature free books. Here’s a pretty extensive list of book promo sites I shared with Indies Unlimited.

There are blogs and websites that help you gain followers or connect with readers, and that’s great, I appreciate the help. Branding is important, and I participate in those sites from time to time, too. But, if I purchase advertising, or post my discounted or free book on a site, I have one goal – I want to make sales.

Bookbub and the others have built their subscriber lists and done a great job. I love dealing with them, but it’s become fiercely competitive to be considered for one of their spots. So, if you’re preparing your advertising in anticipation of the upcoming Christmas buying frenzy, you’ll want to focus on new book promo sites that are growing very quickly.

I thought it would be interesting to talk with some of the actual people behind the scenes in these sites to get a feel for what goes on and where they are headed. This week, I interviewed Van Heerling, who runs the site PeopleReads.com.

Can you briefly give us a mission statement, or a statement of intent? What’s the goal of your site, and how are you working to get there?

The purpose of PeopleReads is simple. It is to introduce readers to new authors and for authors to expand their readership. I am a man of simplicity. It really is that simple.

PeopleReads is growing by building relationships. I am not a “flash in the pan,” kind of person. I have been in business a fair amount of time and I know that for anything to be sustainable one must be willing to do the work.

My goal for PeopleReads is NOT to become the next BookBub or Kindle Nation Daily (these are great by the way and I do use them personally). I am seeking a more intimate role in the publishing industry. The reader won’t find fifty plus ebooks in their email, but rather a handful to choose from (in the Daily email). This allows the reader to really absorb these titles and it gives the author a fighting chance that their title will actually be seen.

Can you talk to us about the range that you currently have? I don’t expect you to share the size of your subscriber base, but can you give us an idea of where you’re at in terms of reaching readers? And, who are they? Who are these readers who read our books? What’s their age, gender, etc?

PeopleReads was born in July (2013). The site is less than 120 days old and it is gaining market share everyday. The majority of subscribers are women and Romance novels seem to be grabbing the most attention. I don’t keep track of the age of the subscriber so I cannot speak on this point. I am attracting subscribers and visitors mostly from Twitter and FB. However Gather seems to be a great place to be as well.

In a very real sense, you’re a pioneer. My background is business and I know that to attract customers you have to conduct yourself in a professional manner. That’s why you’re here! Your site and the way you deal with us is outstanding. Where are we going from here? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve? Is there anything new that you’re going to be offering, readers or authors?

Hopefully readers and authors see the value in PeopleReads. I will continue to do book giveaways and Amazon gift cards. Most everyone likes money.

As for the author I think I do offer one thing that goes above and beyond: if the author isn’t happy with the listing for whatever reason, I will refund their money back 100%. I can’t promise that every author will make their money back but I can promise that I will highlight their book as well as I can by providing a top-notch professional listing.


I loved reading the interview responses from Van Heerling and The Fussy Librarian (last week’s interview). The positive energy coming from these two guys is infectious, and as you can see, both of them are trying to run their sites in a professional manner, and hopefully they’ll continue to grow. There are thousands of authors out there and even more books, so there really is enough business for the big guys as well as these enterprising newbies. I’m sure there are probably others that are doing a great job, too. Feel free to let me know about them in the comments section, and good luck with your promotions over the next couple of months!

Author: Martin Crosbie

Martin Crosbie is the administrator of BookDoggy.com and writer of seven published novels. His self-publishing journey has been mentioned in Publisher’s Weekly, Forbes Online Magazine, and Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. You can learn more about Martin on his Amazon author page.

24 thoughts on “Martin Crosbie Interviews PeopleReads”

  1. Martin, thank you featuring PeopleReads today and for being such a positive influence in our industry. It is a pleasure to work with you. (Thank you Laurie and DV).

  2. I just ran a PeopleReads ad and was beyond thrilled with the results. Not only did I have 35+ sales the day of the ad, but the tweets kept the sales figures humming for another 20 books sold the next day and a half. PeopleReads has become my first selection for author advertising.

  3. To get a book on PeopleReads “Each book submission must have at minimum 10 US Amazon or UK Amazon reviews…” What is with the fixation on Amazon? Why do the 10 reviews all have to be in the same place?

    1. Hi smclaugh1 good question. I have found that readers want a certain standard. This is the reason for the 10 reviews with an average rating of 3.9 stars. I have amended the 10 review requirement on New Releases. There isn’t any review requirement on New Releases (books within 120 days of publication). All that I ask is if a New Release has less than 10 reviews it must maintain an average star rating of 3.9 or better. I only run books listed on Amazon because they have most of the share in the industry. As PeopleReads grows it will be expanded to other sites. Hope this answers your questions.

      1. I get your point and am pleased with the new release policy. I just have trouble with an Amazon-centric view of ebooks. The Smashwords blog just posted a story where Bowker says they were the #1 producer of indie books in 2012. Smashwords also has reviews. Just sayin’

  4. Great info, Martin. I ran a promo with PeopleReads a couple of weeks ago and was pleased with the results. You’re right — Van runs a professional shop. 🙂

    1. Hi Lynne, Thank you very much for commenting. All kidding aside, to run a site like this is incredibly time consuming. However to hear that most people are pleased with the services and the way I conduct business, makes it worth it. My best to you.

  5. I have known Van Heerling over two years now and find him to be one of the most professional business owners I know. He truly cares about his authors and I have used Peoplereads and will continue to do so to market my books. Thank you also to Martin Crosbie for highlighting this great site.

  6. Great info, Martin.
    I am planning my next book launch and this post is a timely one. I’m using quite a few of the suggestions in your book, “How I sold 30,000 e-books on Amazon Kindle”. Good stuff.

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