Advertising Your Book

Most of the reading public are not part of writers social networks in any big way. They probably all have a personal Facebook or a Google+ presence, and quite a few people these days have Twitter accounts to see what the Kardashians world is up to. A lot of them are on the mailing lists of book recommendation sites though, and that’s why an important part of marketing should be popping your books up on them now and then in addition to your normal tweeting and sharing on your regular sites.

If you can afford trying for a listing on Bookbub then that’s a good option, but not only is it going to get more difficult to get accepted there now that traditional publishers are using it, it’s also quite expensive. That doesn’t mean you have to do all advertising yourself though. There are a couple of much cheaper options to go for, which while they might not pack the punch of Bookbub, they’re still going to get you more eyeballs on your books, and hopefully a couple of sales from new readers.

I have to say that I haven’t done any serious marketing for my books, so I wouldn’t even try and call myself an expert on selling books. I’ve always worked in marketing though, so I have a bit of an idea. From what I’ve seen so far, I think that the marketing of eBooks is actually the toughest job in the sales world – especially as an Indie scribbler trying to get noticed. It’s always been my plan to write three to five books before I got too involved in the selling of them, and over the past year or so I have been poking around and about for ideas for when I do. As a test, I’ve run one of my books a couple of times on the smaller sites expecting nothing at all to happen, and was really surprised when it actually got sales.

So when you’re ready to promote your books, I suggest that you prepare your strategy, choose your promo days, give yourself a budget for advertising, and put it on a few of the cheaper sites. Most of them require a specific amount of reviews in the upper star range, but not as many as you need for the bigger sites. I got the most sales when I ran African Me & Satellite TV on Choosy Bookworm, but also a couple from The Daily Bookworm, and a few from People Reads, who will also advertise your new release before it has any reviews.

When you’re finally ready to start selling your books, you really should be paying for advertising if you can afford it, and the three sites above have prices starting at eight bucks, so even if you don’t sell too many books to begin with you won’t be lining up for loans either. While our conventional marketing ourselves on Twitter and so on is vital, our aim should also be finding a portion of those millions of ravenous readers out there who don’t have a social network presence, but do subscribe to book mailing lists.

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43 thoughts on “Advertising Your Book”

  1. I have found free book giveaways, advertised by Riffle and somewhere else (forgotten now) but featured through direct email to dedicated readers brought downloads (while free) but not a single sale, or review! I published through smashwords to be able to offer coupons for free or discounted books but now believe it has little impact, if anything I wonder whether it does not ‘discount the perceived value’ of the book itself.

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    1. I never ever put my novels on free promotion (only my short stories ever go free) so I dropped the price to 99 cents instead for that week. I’ll look up Riffle – haven’t heard of them yet. The sites above are still small but definitely growing. They also tweeted the book a couple of times and shared on their Facebook pages as well as the emails and the listing on their site. I think that there are way too many free novels today, and that maybe because of the overload people might be gravitating a little more to special discounts. It’s hard to see where things are going these days with the whole free thing, but I don’t plan on ever putting anything other than shorts free. People have more of an inclination to read what they’ve paid for – otherwise it’s a waste of their money, so I reckon millions of free books will never be read.

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  2. I find marketing daunting, especially considering that I don’t write the conventional stuff you find in Costco.
    Thanks for the advice. Waiting till I have a few books under me to really invest I. Marketing seriously sounds like something I can do 🙂

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. I think I’m going to try your idea of 99cent promotions instead of free. I was surprised at how hard it is to give away something for free.

    Also, do you have any thoughts on paying to boost posts on facebook?
    Thanks

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    1. Pleasure Charles! A lot of readers only ever download free these days – there are more than enough freebies around so that they never have to pay for a book ever again. So those people aren’t readers we’re looking for. It’s best to write specific short stories to use for free promotions only I reckon, and the 99 cent promos are fabulous when you have a couple of ads running. I personally haven’t advertised on FB yet but it’s quite cheap I believe so can’t hurt to have a go. I’ve read a few articles by authors saying that they got zero sales from ads there, although I think maybe it depends on choosing the right target market.

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  4. Riffle and Booklikes allow for giveaways too (I haven’t been long in Booklikes but Riffle might promote your lists. I haven’t seen any results from it but…). I’m planning on asking in a blog post soon about advertising as I’d like to give it a good go when I publish the new series. I have the issue of the reviews though…

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  5. Some nice new links there, thank you! I have a long list of places to put my free offers, but don’t do enough pushing the books otherwise. Then again, with a series, I think it’s the first book that is the most important – and is it the best? Maybe not…

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  6. Thanks, Jo. Excellent advice yet again. I shall check those links out. My fifth novel, the first in a new series, is almost ready to launch, so your advice is very timely for me. I appreciate it x

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