As a self-published author, there are nearly endless book promotion services out there for you to choose from. Many of them promise authors big results, but few follow through.
The Fussy Librarian is one of the leading newsletter promotion services and has two newsletters with readers dying to read their next book, one for bargain ebooks, and the other for free ebooks.
To help aid our authors, and identify if The Fussy Librarian is worth their time and money we decided to speak to The Fussy Librarian team and review the service ourselves.
In this article, we’ll break down:
- What the The Fussy Librarian service entails
- Who The Fussy Librarian is for
- How The Fussy Librarian works from start to finish
- Benefits of Using The Fussy Librarian
- Things to consider when choosing a book promotion service
- Platform success stories
- & More
What is The Fussy Librarian?
The Fussy Librarian is an ebook marketing service founded in 2013 with the mission to help authors reach new readers and get more book reviews. Their promotion consists of two newsletters. One is for free eBooks and the other is for bargain eBooks.
At press time, the free newsletter has about 600,000 readers and the Bargain Newsletter has about 120,000 readers.
Who is The Fussy Librarian made for?
The Fussy Librarian is made for both authors and readers. It’s a two-sided marketplace, meaning that there are separate logins and interfaces for the different user types.
As they’re giving away free and discounted books, the platform is really for anyone who enjoys reading. On the author’s end, it’s primarily for self-published authors or authors in charge of their own marketing.
How The Fussy Librarian Works
Next, let’s cover how the service works for both authors and readers. While our audience is mostly authors, it can be helpful to know what the reader sees on their end.
On the author’s end, there’s an advertising portal for them to sign up. After creating an account, and picking one of the two newsletter choices, authors need to fill out and enter details about their book such as the title, a blurb, links to the supported retailers, promotion dates, and a high-quality cover.
According to the founder of The Fussy Librarian, Jeffrey Bruner:
Authors are given real-time availability to pick an opening to insert their book into the newsletter. Most author submissions are approved within 12 hours, typically less. From there the promotion is scheduled to go out in the newsletter.
Remember that this is a free and bargain newsletter. You’ll need to change your book price before enrolling in a campaign. The Fussy Librarian has a maximum price of $5.99 or less but strongly encourages a price point of $.99-$2.99.
Authors can manipulate their book’s price in two main ways.
Assuming they’re exclusive to Amazon, authors have five free promotion days each quarter that they should align with their newsletter appearance.
The second way to change your book price is through price matching. The way price matching works is authors make their book cheaper on one of the non-Amazon retailers such as Google and Apple Books and then go back to Amazon and ask them to match the price.
Readers have the option to sign up for both the bargain ebook newsletter and the free ebook newsletter.
Upon selecting a newsletter, readers will be given the opportunity to pick from different genres, languages, and content preferences.
This will help filter the ebooks they receive via email. Readers can also select a frequency at which they want to receive emails, assuming they’re on the free ebook newsletter. The bargain newsletter is sent daily.
After filling out the fields, readers will start receiving emails from The Fussy Librarian!
It’s that simple.
Below is an example bargain newsletter that readers would receive.
The buy now link in the free ebook newsletter is going to be a Booklinker link, with universal book link technology, allowing readers to be directed to the correct store no matter where they’re from around the world.
Benefits of Using The Fussy Librarian
Even though The Fussy Librarian is not a free service for authors, and involves authors discounting or undercutting their books, The Fussy Librarian is beneficial as it helps generate sales, reviews, and word of mouth from fans.
From the reader’s perspective, think of it as going to the grocery store and getting a free sample. If a reader claims a free book and enjoys it, they’ll likely go ahead and buy the rest of the books in the series.
On the free newsletter, authors can request click data to help them calculate the ROI from the service. Unfortunately, the bargain newsletter doesn’t allow for data export as it runs on different software.
However, authors should easily be able to tell how powerful a promotion is for them by viewing the uplift in downloads and sales they get during the campaign. That being said, a lot of the ROI from a campaign like this isn’t realized until further down the line.
While many readers are subscribed to several book promotion services, The Fussy Librarian’s recommendations are highly trusted by readers as they’ve been around for a long time and have a strong vetting process.
Success Stories: Author Experiences with The Fussy Librarian
The Fussy Librarian has a lot of repeat customers, as it brings results, assuming authors do their job of writing a great book, and blurb, and have an eye-catching cover.
Here’s a few testimonials from their happy customers:
The Fussy Librarian also works with publishers like Buoy Media (who publishes Willow Rose and other authors) and Booksbnimble, which publishes a number of mystery and thriller writers.
They each do multiple free promotions a month, as they’ve found that once readers enjoy one book in a series – and it may be the first book or the fifth – they go back and buy the other books at regular price.
The main thing to consider when using a service like The Fussy Librarian is whether the drawbacks are worth the upsides.
The main drawback of a service like this is the short-term revenue loss from paying for the service and decreasing the price of your book.
For long-term thinkers, this isn’t necessarily a drawback.
Jeffrey Bruner founder puts it this way:
This also goes to show the importance of having multiple books out before participating in a campaign, in order to maximize the ROI.
Overall, The Fussy Librarian is a powerful book promotion tool for authors looking to get their names out there. If authors are looking to make a ton of money overnight, this is not the right service.
The main benefit of a service like this is the potential increase in book reviews. Book reviews (assuming they’re positive!) have tons of benefits, such as serving as social proof and increasing organic bookstore algorithm rankings.
Authors will likely see a larger increase in downloads from promoting their book on the free newsletter, as opposed to the bargain newsletter, at the cost of some revenue.
If you have any questions about The Fussy Librarian, be sure to leave a comment so the Booklinker team or The Fussy Librarian staff can answer you promptly.