Thursday, March 18, 2010

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide Update - 5 Sites Promote your Ebook

I updated the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide this morning. This free ebook that offers 27 easy-to-implement book marketing ideas that can be implemented at no cost.

I made various minor updates, and then added a new Tip #27, which I'll excerpt here:

Tip #27: Promote your book to top ebook listing sites

Many popular websites and blogs specialize in providing directory-style links to ebooks, and routinely link to Smashwords ebooks. The sites I list here collectively drive *thousands* of readers to the book pages of Smashwords authors each month. There is no cost to the author, although you must earn inclusion from the operator of the site. Many of the sites specialize in free books, although some will list priced books if you provide them a time-limited Smashwords coupon that will enable their visitors to access your book for free. I’m a big believer in such promotions, because it’s a great way for you to gain a lot of readers in a short period of time, and many of these readers could be your first fans and your first reviewers. Before you contact the web sites below, be sure to study the sites, their book categories and their rules. Provide them direct hyperlinks to your Smashwords book page, and pay careful attention to any other information they request, such as book descriptions, price, book cover image, etc. If you carefully follow their instructions and match your book to their needs, you’ll maximize odds of a listing. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. - This is a popular web site run by author Jennifer Armstrong. She provides links to ebooks in all categories, with one simple requirement: The ebook must be free. Submission instructions:

  2. Ebooks Just Published - This great site is operated by Mark Gladding in Australia. It lists both free and paid books. Submission guidelines:

  3. Online Novels - Online Novels provides an attractive directory specializing in free books. Unlike the, however, Online Novels will occasionally list books that are free for a limited time, such as Smashwords books that have 100%-off coupons. Consider using your Smashwords Coupon Generator to create a 100%-off coupon, and then contact this site and ask them if they’d consider linking to your book at Smashwords and publishing the coupon code. Be sure to let them know when the coupon expires! Submissions link:

  4. Getfreeebooks - An attractive directory of free ebooks. The operators ask that you carefully follow their submission guidelines, outlined here:

  5. Finding Free Ebooks - This popular site lists free ebooks, and also will list books that carry a price if you provide them a time-limited coupon code. You’ll find submission instructions at the home page

  6. Books on the Knob - This listing isn't yet in the Guide, but I'll add it as soon as I learn the submission process. This blog specializes in listing bargain books and book promotions, so your book doesn’t necessarily need to be free to earn a listing.
If you know of similar free sites popular with readers that welcome indie ebooks, please suggest them in the comments section. I'm not necessarily looking for reviews sites. The sites above rarely do reviews, though they remain very popular with readers.

Even if you're not a Smashwords author yet (hey, why not?), you can benefit from the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide. Download it at


Jason Matthews said...

Mark, these are all great sites. I had my novels on three of these in the past. Getfreeebooks sent over 10,000 downloads to my site in a 3 month period. Getting the readers and reviews was huge. I did however find my novels popping up on many rapid share sites afterward. Google alerts are handy for this. My advice to others, if you go this route just limit the time you're freely available.

Dovetail Public Relations said...

Excellent point, Jason. One risk of pricing books at "free" for temporary periods is it could lead well-meaning fans to believe they can freely distribute the books elsewhere.

It's also underscores the benefit of issuing time-limited coupons on priced books, and the importance of including the Smashwords License Statement in the book which can help reduce accidental piracy:

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

And finally, it's another benefit of sending readers to Smashwords, as opposed to a download link elsewhere. At Smashwords, customers are politely reminded at registration, at the point of coupon redemption, in the license statement, and via an email confirmation that the book they downloaded is for their personal use only.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mark-- this is such great information, as usual. I'm linking to my blog,as well.

Shayne Parkinson said...

Thanks, Mark. I've had my free book listed on several of these sites, and have definitely noticed an increase in downloads after listing. And one of these sites is new to me, so I'll be contacting them - thank you!

Lindsay Buroker said...

I will check these spots out when I publish my ebook. :)

SF/F authors can also list their free/promotional ebooks at the bottom of

Unknown said... allows authors to post a link, as well as a description and image of their permanently free or limited time, free books. Use the easy online form to submit.
Also, extaordinaryreads, offers free blog tours exclusively to Smashwords authors.

DavidjB said...

Mark, any chance of updating this. Many links are broken/down. Also, many sites are for Kindle books and don't assume a Coupon. Do you have knowledge of free sites friendly to Smashwords?

Unknown said...

Nice post

Unknown said...

To anyone who thinks that having to give away something for free on these sites is pointless - don't despair! Thanks to the principle of reciprocity, and assuming the thing you give away for free isn't terrible, you can expect to generate many sales of your for-cost ebook thanks to giving away another one for free :)

Fred | O'Malley Hansen Communications

Unknown said...

Yeah, marvelous.

Anonymous said...

Don't trust these links. The first website is for Catholic books only. The second link too me somewhere else entirely. I didn't bother with the others. Please update this blog.

Talia Felix said...

These are all really outdated - the only one that looks like it actually publishes links to non-free books is at a new site and has a real emphasis on Kindle books (it's not clear if they will consider Smashwords promos at all.)

Umair Ali said...

Smash words and all book guides have been published for the entertainment of the people. All the approvals have been taken for the use of the essay-to-go for the favor of the children. The book guide is deeply studies and analyzed for the help of the students.

Steve Vernon said...

I'd like to see some sites that promote 99 cent Smashwords releases.

Are there any out there?