Do you know about Booksweeps?
I discovered them last year, when Jeanne included one of her Touched By A Demon books in a paranormal romance sweep. Since then I’ve heard good things about them, so when I saw they were running an Epic Sword & Sorcery Fantasy sweep I knew it was my turn. Here’s the graphic for The Seeds of Power:
A Booksweep is a contest that aims to connect avid readers of a particular subgenre with authors who’d like to reach a wider readership. First prize is usually something like an e-reader plus a free copy of every book in the sweep. Second prize is a free copy of every book.
Authors pay to be included. Readers don’t pay to play. They sign up for the sweep by joining the mailing list of the authors they like the look of out of the selection offered. They don’t have to join every list, but each one they join gives them a better chance of winning. Of course they could immediately unsubscribe from every list they choose, but past experience suggests that many of them don’t—as long as they enjoy the newsletter.
The giveaway I joined is called Epic, Sword & Sorcery Fantasy. That’s a nice, broad definition and I think the seventeen books in the bundle offer something for everyone. Some have battles on the cover—weapons and action, red-eyed dragons, mythical creatures and whatnot. Others highlight a central character, often female. Those look like my catnip.
I’ve been reading the blurbs and the Look Inside samples, and I’m especially tempted by
The Absinthe Earl by Sharon Lynn Fisher. Fairies, absinthe, adventure and ancient secrets!
The Last Ward by Jessica Wayne. Dark, gritty, high fantasy kick-off novella.
To Kill a Fae by Jamie A Waters. I do love a heroine with mystery powers, especially when she’s in hiding. Magic, Fae, action, adventure, drama, dragons and demons, yay!
I think readers who like the sound of those books might also enjoy The Seeds of Power.
Click here and scroll down to see all seventeen books in the bundle. Do any of them especially appeal to you? Why?
If you like the idea of Booksweeps, but fantasy isn’t for you there are current and upcoming Sweeps featuring crime, female sleuths, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, inspirational, historical, sweet and clean, erotic, and steamy contemporary romance.
The Epic, Sword & Sorcery Fantasy sweep runs until next Wednesday (22 January). If it looks like your thing, I’d love you to join me there (and I hope you win)!
Hope it’s wildly successful for you! (And I think it will be. Someone commented to me yesterday how gorgeous your cover is.)
Thank you! I’m so happy with that cover (thank you, Deranged Doctor Design) and hoping I can find equally great models for the next two Elan Intrigues stories.
I’m green-as-grass at this newsletter writing gig so while I’m hoping lots of participants will sign up, there’s a sneaky voice at the back of my head saying things like ‘hope you don’t screw this up.’ Still, I remember feeling like that about blogging when we first started 8LW, and that turned out okay 🙂
Oh–and I forgot to say, thank you for telling me about BookSweeps. You were the person who first introduced me to them. Now I hear about them all the time.
I’m definitely going to check this out. I’d not heard of it before.
I’ve been doing promos on BookFunnel, which cover the gamut of genres, and have even created my own promo (there seem to be quite a lot of sweet historical promos, which doesn’t suit me, so I created my own). What I like about BookFunnel is that there’s no giveaway, aside from your free book/story/chapter. It’s just an avenue for readers to find new reads or learn about sales, but it does depend on those participating to share the promo. In fact, BookFunnel “scores” you on how often/much you share/bring in clicks. Some of the promos are pretty particular, requiring a specific “score” in order for you to participate, or whether they want you to provide full/partial downloads, and almost all of them will indicate whether the purpose of the promo is to advertise sales or build newsletter lists. Then there are some, like the last one I did, that are just wide open.
On the last promo, which ran for a month and a half with about 50 authors in a variety of romance sub-genres (Nancy was in it, too), I picked up 311 new, unique newsletter subscribers (I downloaded 389 emails, but some were dupes and some were updates, so MailerLite tossed those). I’ve created an automation in MailerLite to welcome new subscribers, and then they’ll fall into the usually once-monthly (sometimes more/sometimes less) newsletter campaign I send out.
Regarding the newsletter gig, I have the same “gee I hope they don’t un-sign-up” whenever I send something out (I’m also obsessed with not over-sending). My “schtick” is to be real. I always try to include something personal and relatable, always try to offer something (new release, check out these great new authors, here’s a recipe I enjoyed, check out this cool historical tidbit, etc.), and then, of course, market my book. My next one will be a contest to help name my Facebook Group.
Before sending, ALWAYS send yourself a test email (Lord, I have found so many errors that way), and be sure to read your email ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO THE VERY END, because I’ve found errors (like my home address and legal name!!) in the footer of my email, where the Unsubscribe information is. AACK!
I’m actually going to have to check to see if I’ve signed up for your newsletter, Jilly! And when you’re doing promos, do let us know (like you have today!). I find them to be a great avenue for finding new authors.
Lots of good information here, Justine, thank you!
I have a BookFunnel account and have heard good things about their promos. I’m planning to try them later this year, when I have a freebie to offer. As a reader I’m not a fan of partial stories so I’d prefer to offer a complete short or novella.
So much to learn, and so many choices to make!
Good info, both from Jilly and Justine! It really does sound like a win-win situation — find out about authors, and authors get the word out.
BookSweeps’ website says they have been around since 2016 and they seem to be going from strength to strength, I think precisely because they offer a win-win (or in fact, a win-win-win, because they’re building up a nice business that I guess they’ll eventually sell).
I participated in something very much like this years ago, so it’s interesting to see that a company has figured out how to monetize what used to be done by individual authors. A zillion years ago, I engaged in an activity that was called “blog hopping,“ where a sponsoring author decided what the grand prize would be, which was inevitably an ereader loaded with the books of the participating authors, and the participating authors kicked in some money to pay for it and had to commit to a certain amount of promo, as well. I kind of forget how the readership side of it worked, but readers had to go to the sponsoring author blog first, leave a comment, and then go to each participating author‘s blog and leave a comment there also. Each participating author had to have their own prize in addition to the sponsoring author’s grand prize, so there were lots of opportunities to win. Then each participating author would choose from the comments who got their prize, and somehow the sponsoring author figured out from all the comments on all the blogs who got the grand prize.
That was exhausting for me, and felt very haphazard as well, so I stopped doing it after a few times. Now it sounds like Book Sweeps is taking that basic idea and simplifying it and making it easier to do. I hope you get lots of great sign ups who never leave your newsletter!
Wow, Kay, blog hopping! As you say, exhausting and haphazard! No wonder you stopped doing it.
The BookSweeps people deal with the regulatory and admin side of the promotion, and they provide graphics for the authors to share. They also partner with Bargain Booksy, which must increase their reach significantly. And they’ve started to develop into other areas–frex, providing a place for authors to upload a profile and a free sample. It’s fascinating to see the way entrepreneurial types have found profitable models to help connect indie authors and readers–BookSweeps, BookFunnel, BookBub, Prolific Works, Bargain Booksy, BookSprout, Hidden Gems…
Here’s hoping I get lots of great sign ups. In the meantime I just have to figure out how to make my newsletters so fascinating that all these lovely readers will want to stick around. 😮