There’s no shortage of websites and services purporting to assist self-published authors with gaining exposure and increasing sales, but as an extremely frugal self-published author, I prefer the ones that give me the most bang for my buck. Free with a bang is even better.
Freado.com and BookBuzzr.com are websites owned by BookBuzzr Book Marketing Technologies Pvt. Ltd., and I think of them as two sides of the same coin. According to the Freado.com FAQs page, “Freado is a website where you can win prizes while discovering interesting books. We also conduct occasional online festivals, fairs and carnivals around themes (such as Hunger Games, Summer Romance or Halloween).”
Activities include such games as Freado CoverMatcher, in which players match book covers (think Concentration), Freado Hangman, and Freado QuickQuiz. Participants earn points as they play and can win everything from books to ereaders to gift certificates. According to the website, 640 winners have collected prizes to date.
Where do these fabulous prizes come from, you ask? Okay, you didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyway. They come from authors.
That’s the other side of the coin: BookBuzzr.com Authors can sign up for one of four marketing plans at BookBuzzr, with prices ranging from free to $24.99 per month.
Their AuthorLite Plan is free and includes the following:
Book widget, mini book widget to use on blog
Gmail or Yahoo book widget signature
Automatic book tweets
This is actually a pretty cool plan (and did I mention it’s free?). The book widget looks like a mini-book with flipping pages that can be installed on your website or blog. If you’ve never seen one, mine are here on the right sidebar. Click “Read Free Sample” and it’ll open in a big screen and allow interested parties to sample your book, complete with a “Buy” link and an “About” link.
To set up on BookBuzzer you’ll upload a cover photo, provide a description, the Amazon ASIN and link, and a PDF excerpt from your book (you decide the length). BookBuzzer will convert it and provide HTML code that can be copy/pasted into the appropriate section of your blog, website, and Gmail or Yahoo email signature line.
BookBuzzr also offers a book tweeting service for each book you list. Marketing tweets can be scheduled to go out immediately, daily, or weekly. An interesting aside: On the BookBuzzr Plans page, the book tweeting service is not listed as available under the AuthorLite Plan, but I’m on this plan, and my tweets go out automatically every week as scheduled.
Thus far, I’ve opted to stick with the AuthorLite Plan. I like having the widgets on my blog and as my email signature, and I enjoy the convenience of their book tweeting service.
Because I haven’t utilized the paid plans, I can’t speak to their effectiveness, but for those interested in exploring more, the DIY Pro Plan is the next step up at $4.99 per month. It includes all of the above, plus a Facebook Author Page Widget, hourly or daily Amazon Alerts if a purchase is made, giveaways on Freado.com (this is where the prizes come from), and a “Read My Book” link on Facebook.
Also included is a Landing Page Widget, which is where readers would first “land” when they visit your blog. For example, if you’re launching a new book, you might opt for their Curtain Raiser Widget to showcase your book cover.
Author Pro is next at $12.99 per month and includes all of the above, plus 3,000 cover views. The cover views are generated in several ways. First, your book cover will be included in the Freado CoverMatcher game, which Freado lists as “super popular.” It will also be listed in the Freado Suggested Books section as well as on the Freado Blog.
Finally, Author Pro Plus is their most expensive option at $24.99 per month. It includes all of the above plus 10,000 cover views.
As mentioned previously, I enjoy the benefits of the free plan but haven’t opted for any of the paid monthly subscriptions. I’d love to hear from anyone who has. If you’ve purchased one of the plans discussed above, what was your experience?