Updated: Feb 20
Site comparison Advantages and Disadvantages.
Many authors hate the dreaded marketing stage when they release their books and it wasn’t what they envisioned when they started writing. We always hear ‘but I just wanted to write’, and this is so true, their zone of genius is writing complex stories that truly captivate their audience, so tackling marketing is such a challenging area for so many of them. There are a number of websites that have been created to help authors market their books and make it a less complex job, but exactly how do they work and what do each of them offer authors?
These three sites come recommended by authors I have worked with who find them a great resource but even when looking at the websites themselves they struggle to categorise how they help the author and what they effectively come under which even made it difficult for me to write a title for this blog post.
So let’s get stuck in and look at each of the platforms individually, looking at what they offer authors and the advantages and disadvantages to each of them.
“The essential tool for your author business”.
BookFunnel is essentially the top dog when it comes to these four sites with its long standing reputation, however, it is also one of the most expensive. This platform allows you to deliver lead magnets, advanced reader copies, and giveaways. You may wonder why this is needed, why don’t I just direct them to a drive file to download a .pdf, well this is a secure way to ensure that your files are protected and watermarked, this platform also allows you to see which readers have downloaded your book so that you can follow it up if you are waiting on reviews for example. BookFunnel also has the capability to organise author swaps as well as group promos.
First Time Author - $20 annually no monthly option available - allows 1 Pen name, 500 downloads per month, custom landing pages, unlimited books stored, direct sales delivery, and group promos.
Mid List Author - $100 annually or $10 a month - 2 Pen names, 5000 downloads per month, custom anding pages, direct sales delivery, group promos, collect reader email addresses, short audio mp3 delivery, watermarked files, secure ARC delivery, book gifting, printable download codes (These can be added to bookmarks and swags for example).
Bestseller Author - $250 annually or $25 monthly - 3 pen names, unlimited downloads, unlimited books stored, custom landing pages, direct sales delivery, group promos, collect readers email addresses, short audio mp3 delivery, watermarked files, integrate with three mailing lists, secure ARC delivery, book gifting, printable download codes and priority support.
User Friendly Download pages
Amazing Tech Support for readers
Helps build your mailing list by collecting emails
Efficient delivery tool for all books
Secure mail delivery for ARCs
Themed group promotions
No free trial to check it out before you commit.
Reader email collection starts at mid range which can be quite expensive
If you want direct integration with your mailing list it’s going to cost you more.
No built in audience, this is an author tool not a reader platform
StoryOrigin has very similar functionality to BookFunnel, and has been a free beta for a number of years. Personally, I think it would be beneficial for an author to have an account in both places as the audience in each is very different. There is much more information available on Story Origin to what they provide and personally, I feel it is much more user friendly for the author. StoryOrigin also has a “Goal Tracker” productivity feature, which may be useful for some writers in order to help keep them accountable and on track. Story Origin also offers a free account with the basic functions available or a paid membership which gives you much more access. We will go through the different types of accounts below.
Basic account - Free for all accounts - Integrate email service providers, unlimited file delivery, teach support for readers, universal retail links, facebook tracking pixel, amazon affiliate tags, and Track word count goals.
Standard Plan - $100 per annum or $10 a month - All of the above but with these added features, group promos, newsletter swaps, collect readers email addresses, gather beta copy feedback, vet review history and completion, automate reviewer follow up, distribute and track audiobook promo codes, and the ability to schedule newsletter content.
One stop shop for authors.
The site itself is well designed and easy to use.
Allows you to build your mailing list.
Great Reader Magnet functionality.
Universal book links and audio book links
Easy newsletter swaps.
Group cross promotional options.
Allows authors to stay organised with its built in calendar, word count tracking and note keeping.
StoryOrigin lacks one functionality of BookFunnel, you have to manually check other authors to see if they share.
Having all in one place can sometimes be a downside in the fact that is StoryOrigin trying to do too much all at once? Feel free to let me know your opinions on any of these platforms.
This was released before both StoryOrigin and BookFunnel and was previously known as Instafreebie. Both StoryOrigin and BookFunnel have gone above and beyond what Prolific Works offers its authors and does not advertise itself as a review site. This site categorises itself as a giveaway site allowing authors to give away their books, ARC copies and build their reader network. This has very limited features compared to the two other services mentioned above.
Basic account - Free - Unlimited distribution and giveaways, customer support for readers, One author page and Pen Name.
Plus - $20 a month - Everything included in basic, mailing list building with subscribers, Mailerlite or Mailchimp integration, Prolific Works Acceleration, customizable giveaways, Giveaway success tracking.
Pro - $50 a month - Everything included in basic and plus, personalised giveaway branding, up to 5 author pages and pen names.
Cost effective if used for giveaway distribution.
Tech support for readers.
No way to track if reader left a review-
Limited mailing list integrations.
There wasn’t much information available about prolific works, so if you do use it I would love to hear your feedback. Even more so if you use it in conjunction with any of the other platforms we have spoken about today.
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