Promoting in the UK

We indie authors love ebook newsletters like Ereader News Today, Pixel of Ink, and BookBub. They offer a simple, direct way to introduce our books to thousands of new readers who’ve never read us before. But until now, there’s been one small drawback: These newsletters are all targeted strictly at American audiences.

The UK ebook market is booming. According to the UK’s Publishers Association, ebook sales there rose 134% last year to £216 million, and The Guardian reports that self-published titles now account for 20% of genre ebook sales in the UK. Those are tantalizing numbers for American indie authors, but it’s been difficult to promote our books to this growing audience.

Happily, that changed last month when the first UK bargain ebook newsletter debuted: Ebook Bargains UK spotlights ebooks that are free or discounted at top UK retailers such as Amazon-UK, iTunes-UK, W.H. Smith, and Barnes & Noble-UK. The newsletter is brand new, so their subscriber list is relatively small right now, but I’ve been very pleased with my results so far.

My time-travel romance FOREVER HIS is free this week in the U.K., and with the help of Ebook Bargains UK, it’s currently the #7 Free FFP (Paranormal) Romance at Amazon-UK and #1 Free FFP Romance, #4 Free Romance, and #10 Free storewide at iTunes-UK. Results at W.H. Smith (a Kobo partner) have been less impressive, but that may simply reflect the market dominance of Amazon and iTunes.

I would love to report my results at B&N-UK, but all of my books disappeared from the B&N-UK store weeks ago, and despite multiple e-mails to the NookPress team, I’ve been unable to get them back on sale there. I have no idea why they vanished and no idea when they’ll be back. (Yes, I have the “Worldwide Rights” box checked off and always have.) The NookPress people haven’t offered any explanation beyond “we’re working on it.” I guess B&N has bigger problems to solve these days.

Meanwhile, the folks behind Ebook Bargains UK plan to launch editions in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and India this summer. For the price of one ad, your book will appear in all 5 newsletters, and so far their rates are very reasonable–as little as US$15. Best of all, their spots aren’t booked up months in advance. Cheers to that!

Have you noticed an increase in your UK sales? Found an effective way to promote your books to English-speaking readers overseas? Share your ideas in the comments.

  • Thanks for the heads up about this, Shelly. I definitely plan to give it a try.

  • Thanks for the kind words, Shelly. Great to hear you’ve had good results so far.

    We hope to launch the Canada, Australia, India and New Zealand newsletters on July 21, which will allow authors to make readers in those countries feel a little less neglected.

    For anyone in those countries wanting to subscribe, we’ll have the subscribe links live in the next few days.

  • That’s great news! I’m also happy to report that I’m now seeing spillover sales to the other books in this series — especially at iTunes, where my paid sales are up 1200% over last week, all in the countries where FH is free: the UK, Australia, and NZ. Best wishes for great success with all the new newsletters!

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