More on Social Media Promotion Services: BuckBooks (NO!) and BKnights (Maybe!)

BuckBooks, operated by ArchAngelInk (AKA ArchAngelEST, Matt Stone, Rob Archangel, Buck Flogging, et al), is a promotion service that requires member authors to promote and talk up the service in exchange for free promotion. Be aware that authors talking up the service typically are being compensated in some way to do so, whether by virtue of their free promotions or otherwise.

BuckBooks is not a mini BookBub or anything approaching a mini anything and those stating such are doing so for the sole purpose of getting authors to sign up. Team ReadIndies has not been able to verify any of the wild claims of sales success, and we have tried many times. ReadIndies is issuing an avoid advisory on this service, based on this behavior and the behavior of its founders.

In our earlier report on Social Media Promotion Services, we were disappointed to find that by and large the facebook/twitter/blog services didn't work. However, we did hold back on discussing a service with potential:

Our comments about Bknights have been publicly available since February 16, 2015 (http://readindies.blogspot.com/2015/02/facebook-twitter-blog-book-promotion.html) and this post expands on those comments.

Although this service was included in our earlier study, we just now completed full research on the service for the 24 participating authors who used the service to promote 34 books from many genres/categories, including:

Literary Fiction

At least 16 of the 24 participants used the service one or more times. What follows is a summary of results gathered.

We didn't include our research in the previous report as fundamental changes to the service were made subsequent to the time we started our research.

Bknights provides several Fiverr gigs, all of which revolve around various social media promotions:
  • $5 for promotion to 15 Best Kindle sites
  • $5 for FB Page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Digital-Book-Spot/376198459143010?fref=ts
  • $5 for promotion on a website at www.DigitalBookSpot.com
  • $5 for promotion on Twitter @DigitalBookSpot
  • $5 for promotion via DigitalBookSpot newsletter for ebook lovers
The first gig submits a FREE kindle book to 15 kindle sites/facebook groups. The remaining four gigs revolve around DigitalBookSpot promotions. Individually, the participants did not believe each option was worth $5, and collectively, the full package doesn't seem to be worth $25 either. However, if you can get multiple services for $5 instead of $15, $20 or $25, this likely would be a good value.

To get multiple services for $5, you must be a member of one of the discussion forums that Brian, who runs the service, hangs out at, and you must mention the forum when ordering the gig. Just be aware, that this preferential treatment, given to a subset of customers, gives extra value that may be the source of the excessively high praise. Keep in mind, however, that you might not get the preferential treatment or the value from which the raves are derived, and the raves themselves are often from the same raters over and over. (NOTE: Fiverr allows the same raters to rate as many times as they use a service with no limitations and that's how a few raters rating over and over can suddenly become thousands.)

Further, when reviewers are talking about getting XYZ of downloads from a Bknights promotion, they're talking about books in popular categories being given away for free at Amazon that may or may not have received any actual boost from the service.

ReadIndies advice for anyone considering Bknights is to use the website gig and no other options. The Twitter and Facebook gigs have virtually no value (and should in fact be free as part of the standard $5 gig). The value of the newsletter is growing, as the subscriber base grows. However, at the time of this writing, having a listing in the newsletter isn’t worth $5.

If possible, you should also ensure you receive more than one service for $5. Otherwise, at present, way too many books are being featured each day for there to be any consistent value. As examples:

  • 90 books were featured on 2/17; 71 books were featured on 2/16; 59 books were featured on 2/15
  • 121 books were featured on 3/18 and 79 were featured on 3/17

That's way too many features for any book to stand out, and substantially different than the number of books featured historically. As an example, these numbers are 3X - 4X what they were last June/July -- and that was a time when listings could stay up for multiple days as well.

To be clear as crystal, Bknights was absolutely a good value last June/July and earlier, with 25 or so books featured each day. However, with 80, 90, 100 or more books now being featured at a time, Bknights is no longer a good value. Some few who use the service may get results to return the nominal investment; many others won’t.

It should also be pointed out that Bknights is much more than a $5 service. If in fact 70 books on average are new features each day, that means Bknights could quickly develop into a $100K+ a year business. While we think Fiverr may be a good place to start a business, we hope Bknights will develop the service further to ensure every author gets true value.

Thanks for reading,

Team Read Indies

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