What is eBookBetty? Who is the founder of this site? Why was this site started? Of what benefit is this site to authors and to readers? What genre of books are accepted by eBookBetty?
First of all, for those who are unfamiliar with sites like yours, I suppose we should clarify—what service does your site provide and how does it work?
I like to think of our site as dual-service. Our main function is to provide an outlet for readers to find great deals on ebooks. Our secondary function is to give authors a chance to get their books in front of those same readers. It’s a win-win—readers find discounted books from authors they may never have heard of before, and authors get to make that same connection but in the other direction.
How does it work? Readers interested in our service can go to our site—eBookBetty.com—and subscribe to our mailing list. It is 100% free for readers. There will never be a charge to be a member of our list. We only ask for an email address, nothing more. Once subscribed, they choose their favorite genres. They will receive one email per day containing links to ebooks they enjoy (the genres they chose). Every ebook in our list is discounted, most priced at $0.99 or free.
Why did you start this website?
I’m an indie author myself. After I wrote my first book, I imagine I was probably a lot like most first-time authors. I hit the “Publish” button on Amazon, excited as I’ve ever been about anything in my life, and waited for the sales to start rolling in. And then I waited some more. After a few weeks of staring at a flatlined sales report, I realized I wasn’t the only author on Amazon… Funny how we authors like to think our book will somehow magically stand out over the millions of other books.
So I began doing research, joined kboards and a bunch of Facebook groups. Through some extremely kind and valuable mentoring from other authors, I was pointed toward subscription sites like the one I run today. There are a bunch out there, and many provide good results, but when I landed my first Bookbub ad, I realized, “Wow! A site like this can make an author.” My sales skyrocketed, I was on cloud nine and I wanted more. I wanted to run an ad again, immediately, but there was a sixty-day waiting period. Most sites have the same rule, and it makes sense. That way they consistently have fresh, quality content for the readers. But an author like me needed more options. I realized if I kept my books on a constant rotation of the best sites, I could keep the rankings up and the sales steadily flowing. And that was when I said… hmm—why not create my own site? It gives me a place to advertise my own books and help other authors like me get noticed. Very cool stuff.
eBookBetty founded by Matthew Keith… what’s with the name? Where did it come from?
Well… Long story. I’ll try and be brief. I started the site in September of 2014 on my own, calling it “scififantasyfreak.com.” I’m a huge science fiction and fantasy fan, and I really wanted to create a niche site for those two genres. But almost immediately, I was inundated with requests from writers of other genres so heavily that it was impossible to ignore—they wanted to advertise their romance, mystery, etc. on the site too. But with all those additional genres, I knew the workload would be much heavier than I could handle by myself, especially with regard to the technical side of things. My brother is in IT, so I called him, offered to go in as partners, and he agreed. “BettyBookFreak.com” was our next incarnation as we transitioned to multiple genres and gave the site a facelift.
Why “Betty?” Betty is the name of my brother’s wife’s Camaro. “Betty” goes really well with “Book,” and we all love that car so… why not!
We dropped the “Freak” and switched to “eBookBetty” about a year ago at the urging of our ad agency. It felt a little like giving in to The Man when we agreed, but it was probably a good decision in the long run. 😉
Interesting that you would mention a competitor like BookBub in an interview for your own site. Don’t you worry about pushing readers and authors to other sites?
No. I don’t see sites that do what we do as competition, I see them as peers. We aren’t “Big Mac vs. Whopper.” People can and should choose both. Readers won’t always like the day’s selections on other sites. They might like ours. Why wouldn’t they want as many options as possible when shopping for a deal on their next ebook?
For authors, the same way I described wanting my books in a steady rotation earlier in our conversation is true for any author of any genre. No site like ours is going to advertise your book weekly, probably not even monthly. Authors need as many options as possible to keep their books in front of readers’ eyes.
What kind of books do you accept?
Any kind of fiction. We will eventually open up a non-fiction and a how-to option, but I don’t feel our subscriber base—currently at 29,751—would generate enough sales for an author of those genres to substantiate paying for placement. We’re in the business of helping authors succeed, not the other way around.
We especially enjoy highlighting new release titles. As an author, I empathize with the struggle associated with getting a book off the ground.
Readers can join for free at http://ebookbetty.com.
Authors can find information on submitting their ebooks at http://ebookbetty.com/authors.