Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wise Words Wednesday - Promoting Novellas

Promoting Novellas 
by Marlow Kelly

I don’t enjoy promotion, but I do understand that it’s an essential part of the job. I learned this through the school of hard knocks. Nearly twenty years ago my husband and I had a small business in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada. We had a good product and a great service at a bargain price, but the company didn’t grow as anticipated. Why? We were relying too heavily on word of mouth to promote our business and hadn’t budgeted enough money for sales and marketing. You can have the best product in the world, but if no one’s ever heard of it, it will not be a success. You need to announce your product and make sure everyone has heard about it.

That being said, I still have limited experience and knowledge of promotion and marketing, especially when it comes to books.

A Woman of Honour went on sale for two weeks in February. I had a steep learning curve when it comes to promoting a $0.99 sale, but it was a wonderful experience. And then on 4th March A Woman of Love was released and also went on sale. And once again I was plunged into the marketing aspect of writing.
There are websites that promote book deals and send out emails to their subscribers. Molly Green has a great list on her site at:

One thing that became clear at the outset of my sale was that reviews count. The sites with the best results want books that are cheap and have a lot of reviews on Amazon. The minimum requirements vary from site to site and as I’m only promoting novellas, at this stage, my opportunities were very limited.

I’ve heard some of the big names like Bookbud and Booksends are expensive but have excellent results. Neither of these sites accepts novellas so I can’t share any first hand experience.

I have to admit I haven’t poured a lot of money into promotion. Although I believe you should promote your work, at this stage of my writing career I am reluctant to invest too heavily into subscriber advertising. I decided instead to put my promotion dollars into a review book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. This was an enjoyable experience. I should point out that when you do a review tour you are not paying for a good review. You are paying for the book tour. There’s a chance the reader will hate your work. Out of the five reviews, I received, four were four-star reviews and one was a three star review. (She said she didn’t like novellas and then purchased my other novella and gave it a three star review too.)

The biggest mistake I made with my $0.99 sale was not staggering my promotion efforts so I can’t tell you what worked and what didn’t. How can I tell if Bargain Booksy or Read Freely helped the sale of my books when they both sent out emails to their subscribers on the same day?

My third and final novella will be released in the coming months. This time I will stagger my promotional efforts and let you know the results.

Here are some of the sites that take novellas:
- Bargain Booksy – they have paid and free advertising:
- Hot Zippy - this includes Bargain Ebook hunter, Romance Ebooks and Pixelscroll:

Happy sales.

About Marlow Kelly
After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories and her curiosity regarding the lives and loves of historical figures are the inspiration for her characters. Marlow has published several short stories some of which can be found on her website at


  1. HI Marlow: Thank you for the information and the "pep talk" which I always need as I have to be dragged kicking and screaming into promotional work. I'm doing the Goddess Fish blog tour/give away this week, but in retrospect wonder if the review tour wouldn't be a better approach.Will have to see if sales increase from this investment.

    1. Hi Gini, I hope the blog tour is a great success. Happy sales.

  2. Great post! I'll check out those links on promoting novellas, because it's not one of my strongest areas unless i have a new release to shout about.

  3. Hi Darlene, yes do check out the subscriber advertising. You might enjoy an uptick in sales.