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?
17 thoughts on “Marketing with Freado and BookBuzzr”
Thanks for the info, Melinda! I’m going to check these out.
You’re very welcome – hope you find some cool stuff to work for you!
I’ll be checking into this! Thank you, Melinda!
You’re welcome, Laurie! I like the little flip-books. 🙂
Thanks for this post – I’m sharing 🙂
I thought about using BookBuzzr a while back, but it fell off my radar screen. Thanks for the reminder, Melinda!
You’re very welcome, Lynne!
Thanks for the info, Melinda! Like Lynne, I thought about using BookBuzzr a while back but didn’t act on it. This post has prompted me to get moving.
Good luck, J.P. – hope you find it helpful!
I am always open to hear about promo sites–and free is good. I am still learning how promotion works. However, Simply because I’ve learned so much from IU, I ask questions now. Free tweets sounds great–but how many tweets and what is the reach and who is the audience? I visited the site and it has a drop down menu: Meet our authors. So I did and I read the testimonials and followed the links. One of the authors and her book/webpage no longer exists on Amazon or anywhere else. Another author’s book is #1,628,120 in Az Best Seller ranks and in 3 months since publication doesn’t yet have a single review. $24.99 a month is $300 a year. I can buy a Bookbub promo for less than that which will give my titles far more than 10,000 cover views. The widgets are cute, but really small–I would ask this: Do you put your books in or does Bookbuzzr add them with their associates link to your book? I have an Amazon Associates carousel on my blog pages: my books and my AZ associates codes. As you say in your opening a lot of sites purport to assist indie’s with exposure. Truth. I don’t understand what ‘cover views’ means. Like you, I’m frugal. I want my promotional dollars to count.
Hi Jackie – you have some really great questions. Let me see if I can help answer some of them. I believe you can set up as many tweets as you want. They go from your account to your followers, just as if you manually went in to Twitter and did it yourself, but it’s kind of nice to have them done automatically (one more thing crossed off a busy list!).
The widgets are really small until you click on them, then they pop up to fill the screen. To generate a widget, you upload your cover, book description, ASIN and Amazon link, and a PDF excerpt. BookBuzzr then generates code that you copy/paste into the appropriate space on your blog/website, etc.
The cover views happen in a few ways with the paid plans. The book cover and information is listed on the Freado blog as well as in the “Suggested Books” section, but their main way of generating cover views seems to be through the games on their site. One game calls for participants to “match” covers (sort of like the Concentration game my siblings and I played when we were kids).
You’re wise to research marketing options. My experience has been that what works for some doesn’t work at all for others. I actually keep a spreadsheet of what has worked best for me. As far as BookBuzzr goes, I’ll take the free widgets and tweets, but I’m not sure at this point if I want to buy one of their packages.
Hope this helps, and thanks for stopping by!
I have used their paid service, at the time was $7.99/month and I got the tweets, my book listed in the games for people to play, the widgets to use on my site as well as for my signature in my email (loved the book widget), they created a special summer widget which I used and still have on my blog, people played the games to win my book, which I gave and she wrote a review, but the part I really liked was the daily notificatioins (several a day) of when my book was bought (the sales ranking table from Amazon). I would use their services again, but the reason I currently do not is because I only have the one contemporary romance book that I can’t keep promoting and the books I am doing now I don’t feel are the right fit (and shorter in lengh) for Bookbuzzr. I do know and have heard of some authors getting great sales from the site, but I think that was early on when they first started. The people who run the site are great to work with and they still put out my tweets. (Shhh don’t tell anyone). Great info, Melinda.
It’s great to hear from someone who has firsthand experience with one of the paid ads – thank you! Sounds like it was helpful for you – this pushes me a little more towards trying one. 🙂
I did it for an entire year and I felt the price was reasonable for what I got and what I used them for. The $4.99 one sounds good, especially if it offers the daily tweets. I liked that you can go in and change them whenever you want to, which I would suggest doing so people who follow you aren’t seeing the same ones over and over. Good luck with it.
Thank you. it was good of you to share and so helpful for those os ditheringa bout which PR things work and which don’t.
Not sure about regular tweets as they used to annoy me!
You’re welcome, PDR! And yep, auto-tweets can definitely be annoying. I think the trick is to not schedule them too often, and to change them up fairly often (something I’ve needed to do for weeks now, but keep forgetting).
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