I have spent hours over the past few days going through KBoards, a forum for Kindle users. Here’s the first thing you need to know: The forums are basically for readers, not authors. But the Authors’ area has some useful information so I’m going to concentrate on that. Why? Because most of the other stuff on the KBoards hasn’t been updated in years. You check out a thread and it’s been dead since 2011. That’s because KBoards is not owned by Amazon or Kindle; it’s a small family operation that grew into a monster. Keeping up with 90,000 members is hard.
You can find the boards by going to https://www.kboards.com/ Set yourself up with a user name and password and you are in.
You don’t have to set up your profile right away or at all, if you just want to poke around. In fact, you can’t. You have to go make a post on one of the threads in one of the forums in order to edit your profile. Once you’ve done that, you can click on the My KBoards tab, choose Profile and then Forum Profile. Upload your picture, add as much or as little information as you want. If your book is already published, you can add it to your signature block so every time you post, people will see a picture of your book. It’s a fairly simple process – you add the ASIN (Amazon control number) and KBoards automatically links to the image you have on Kindle.
Once that’s done, your next step should be clicking the Authors tab near the top of the page. It’s going to walk you through what you need to know and do without making you slog through hundreds of dead forum threads. Ask me how I know. You’re welcome.
The FAQs, Rules and Tips for the Writers’ Café will give you the general guidelines. Check the Forum Decorum thread, under the KBoards Forum Central heading or by clicking the handy-dandy link. It’s always wise to take a look at the terms of engagement before engaging. The rules are pretty easy – don’t be a jerk and watch your language. There’s also no discussion of religion or politics, so many of us may find the KBoards to be a great hideout from the real world.
KBoards Yellow Pages
You’ll see warnings all over the place saying “Self-promotion is not permitted within posts in the Writers’ Café or on our Facebook page” or wherever. You’re not here for self-promotion. Step on over to the Writers’ Café and click on the Yellow Pages thread. Here you will find all sorts of writers’ services, (Yes, I know I’m putting myself out of a job.) You’ll find editors, cover designers, layout people, audio book production services, etc. There are also vanity presses trolling in there. So, as with everything, before you put your money down, do some due diligence on the provider.
Use the search function to find what you need. A quick search on Book Promotions brought up companies like Bargain Booksy, Best Free Kindle Books, 100 Reviewers (which may or may not work now that Amazon has tightened its review policy), BookBub (of course), free and paid author promotion services, etc. THIS is why you’re here. You will need to go into individual websites to see if the promotion company is a good fit for you and your book. Some companies only promote free or bargain books. Some only promote inspirational books or some other individual genre. I am working on a spreadsheet of Kindle book promotion companies that fit the genres I write in. If you’d like my template (which has a few sites already entered) just fill in the form below:
While you’re in The Writers’ Café, add your name to the BK Authors Page. What’s interesting is that authors self-report their sales so you can be a total snoop and see how well other people are selling. Or you could if people actually updated their sales and if they tell the truth. But it’s kind of fun to look at the various rankings and see where book sales fall off and what genres seem to do better than others.
KBoard Book Promos Section
Also check out the Book Promos thread. Again, you can’t self-promote on the boards (for the most part) but you can advertise fairly cheaply with promos starting at $15 to be listed in their Book Discovery section up to $50 to promote a series or box set. KBoards is really fiction reader heavy, so this may not be the place to advertise your nonfiction book. But for $15 or $20, it may be worth a shot. The response time from when you pay them to when you are scheduled to be promoted is basically limbo – lots of complaints about not hearing back beyond confirmation of payment. But they do eventually respond and they do put up your book promotion. We live in an instant world and the folks at KBoards are not instant responders. It helps if you supply the Book Promo people with as much info as possible, in this example for a series promotion: name of the book series, ASIN of the first book in the series, price of the first book in the series, your author website, author bio, picture, etc. The more you give them when you place your order, the faster the service. If your book doesn’t have any reviews on Amazon yet, you are limited to their Book Discovery promo. It’s a one-shot deal. Your book is advertised to their list just once. But their list is extensive – over 90,000 people on the forums and 60,000 Facebook followers. All of them readers.
Do Check Out the Forums
Then take some time to peruse the individual thread subjects. This is one area of KBoards where people are talking. You will see people asking for information on book review or promotion sites, how to write blurbs, blog content, even “clubs” to help you stay on track to write 1,000 words a day or 5,000 words a week. In short, a place for writers to talk shop.
One other place to stop is under the Content section of the main page. Go to The Book Bazaar section and then click on Threadipedia. (Yeah, I know it’s weird. Just go with it.) There’s an index to all the threads on the site. Scroll down to see the list of genres and click on the Nonfiction link. That will take you to a thread where you can post your nonfiction book title.
The Book Corner contains threads where people share their reviews and recommendations. If you’re writing a certain genre, you can do some research by skimming through the threads and seeing what people liked and didn’t like about various books. This section is largely fiction, but you’ll also find people requesting books on certain topics. For instance, someone asked for suggestions for books on “good habbits.” (And no, I didn’t suggest a dictionary, but I was tempted.) Another asked for suggestions on books about child abuse. You can prompt a discussion on your topic by asking a question (without promoting yourself, thank you). For example, one person posted a thread asking “What nonfiction book stuck with you?”
You can create a Book Profile Page for each of your books. It displays all the relevant information so people can find your book and buy it. You can also include an excerpt, customer reviews, and a video trailer if you have one. I don’t know how often these pages are seen, but it only takes a few minutes to set up and it’s one more place on the web to stick your name and book title. It creates a pretty professional looking page AND you can put in a link to your website which creates a nice back link for you.
For What It’s Worth
KBoards is an interesting place to hang out. For starters, it will take you back to the days before Facebook became the be-all and end-all. It’s an old platform and some of the threads start with the newest post first and some with the oldest first. It’s part of the charm. The Yellow Pages and the Book Promo listings are probably going to be your areas of greatest interest. There just isn’t enough going on as far as nonfiction/business goes to keep you there. However, it’s a great place to get feedback on various vendors, including publishers as well as keep on top of any changes that Amazon and Kindle are making in their platform. You probably won’t spend a lot of time here, but once you’re published, it’s another spot on the web to put your information and a great place to remind yourself that you’re a published author.
Please note that Kboards has been bought by a large corporation with a predatory reputation. (All your data is ours! type thing). They retroactively and secretly changed the TOS such that all items on Kboards aren’t just assigned rights associated with normal forum management, but claim ownership in total, with entire ownership of derivative works, for all images, covers, words, logos…etc. Basically, don’t go there. Right now, it’s a dumpster fire, and people are deleting like crazy. It’s no longer a safe area to post in any way if you don’t want to wind up advertising porn or something.
It’s been shifted from green or safe, to red or run, already. Since this post is showing up on the first page of google results, it is sending a lot of referrals over there. Since that TOS is still largely hidden, people going there are giving up rights to everything without knowing it.
Thanks for commenting, Ann even though I hate to hear that — I liked the romance of k-boards being a family business. BUT… it’s a good reminder that you should use other people’s platforms only to funnel people back to your own site. K-boards, Facebook, even Medium should all be used to send people back to your site and to get them to join your list. So… time to update. Thanks again.
I am heading over there to check it out. Thanks for the research and sharing this information. You are awesome.
I spent quite a bit of time poking around in there — tons of rabbit holes to fall down. Have fun!