Millions of books are on the market, with a few thousand released each day.
Striving to get your book discovered, advertising is one option.
It may not be the best option for you. But if you’re thinking about placing an advertisement for your book, you want to advertise in the right place and you want to get the most out of it.
But there are so many places to advertise:
- Right on Amazon with AMS (if your book is enrolled in KDP Select).
- Through social media with Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- On websites geared toward readers, such as Goodreads.
- E-book promotion websites, like BookBub, Ereader News Today, Book Gorilla, and a host of others. See the end of this article for a more comprehensive list.
- Websites related to the interests of your specific target audience.
- Contacting bloggers, going on blog tours, social media groups, and so on.
- Local newspapers, local radio stations, magazines, online magazines, etc.
- Offline advertising with flyers, bookmarks, business cards, etc.
- With contests or giveaways.
- Running a blog or building a content-rich website.
- & many more.
WHICH IS MOST EFFECTIVE?
Wouldn’t you love to know?
Author Nicholas Rossis has taken the initiative to find out. How? By asking authors to complete a simple 3-question survey.
If you’ve ever placed an advertisement for a book, please visit the following page to share your book advertising experience:
Please help. We need more authors to complete the survey for the results to be meaningful.
It’s quick. It’s easy. And when you finish, please encourage other authors to take the survey, too.
Once there is enough participation, Nicholas Rossis will share the results with helpful analysis.
That will help us answer the important question, “Which advertising service should you use?”
BOOK ADVERTISING ADVICE
Here is my advice for getting the most out of your book advertisements:
- If you write a series, once you have multiple volumes out, you have a distinct advantage as one sale can lead to multiple sales. If you have multiple similar books, you have a similar advantage. If you only have one book out, advertising may help to build a small fan base and establish your brand, but might be more effective after you deliver more quality content to the market. In that case, you might invest more of your current time toward writing.
- If you have a complete online author platform and if you use free marketing strategies, that will help supplement your advertising efforts and the combined traffic may be more effective than driving traffic from just one source.
- Start out with free and very low cost book marketing and advertising strategies. Gain experience with paid advertising by beginning with affordable options. This minimizes your risk, helps you assess your prospects for advertising, and helps you learn how to advertise effectively before investing larger sums of money. Advertise wisely.
- Interact with other authors. Learn what they have tried in the way of advertising, including what worked and what didn’t. Research your advertising options before trying them out. However, realize that every book and author is unique, so what’s true for others may not be true for you.
- Long-term planning and thinking is far more likely to lead to success. Put your priorities on (1) writing quality content, (2) targeting a viable audience, and (3) packaging your book wisely in terms of cover design and blurb. Devote a little time toward (4) slowly developing a complete author platform, (5) learning new marketing strategies and trying them out, (6) interacting with other authors, and (7) slowly growing a fan base, but put most of your time into writing until you have a few similar books out.
- Throwing money at advertising isn’t a substitute for learning how to market your book effectively and developing your brand as an author.
- The more your cover attracts your specific target audience and the better it visually signifies the precise subgenre or subject, the more potential your advertising will have. The better your blurb and Look Inside sell your book, the more effective your advertising will be.
- Advertising options with more specific targeting will be more effective, all other things being equal.
- Driving traffic to your book’s product page isn’t your only advertising option. For example, at Goodreads you can place an advertisement to drive traffic to a giveaway or to help get your book added to more to-read lists. At Twitter or Facebook, you can place an advertisement to help grow a following or drive social media engagement. If you run an Amazon Giveaway for a print book, this can help you attract a following at Twitter. These other options may not be as good as driving traffic directly to your book’s product page, especially if your main focus is on immediate sales, but they may have some relevance depending on your goals.
- Short-term discounts and freebies help you promote a sale price, rather than simply announcing your book. These tools can be effective if you promote the discount effectively; they also help to provide a sense of urgency to the customer. However, price by itself doesn’t sell books. To get the most out of a discount, you must research websites and blogs that can help you spread the word about your sale price to your target audience. This includes e-book promotion websites like BookBub, E-reader News Today, Book Gorilla, and more, as well as blogs and even other kinds of websites on topics that may interest your readers (like a sport that relates to your book).
- Branding, marketing, and advertising take time and patience. People don’t run to the store after they see a commercial on television. Rather, months later when they’re shopping for a product, they tend to prefer a product they’ve heard of before. Similarly, many people who see your ad won’t run over and buy it immediately. Branding, through occasional repetition among your target audience over a period of months, can help readers recognize your book months down the line when shopping for a book like yours.
LIST OF E-BOOK PROMOTION WEBSITES
There are several e-book promotion websites that can help you spread the word about a temporary price reduction:
- Amazon Marketing Services, accessible via KDP if your book is enrolled in KDP Select. There really is no minimum: You set a $100 budget, but you can pause or terminate your campaign at any time, and you don’t pay up front. It’s cost-per-click advertising starting at 5 cents.
- BookBub, available in the US, UK, and Canada. This is a highly competitive e-book advertising site; it’s also somewhat expensive. BookBub has a large subscriber base, targeted by genre; your advertisement, if your submission is accepted, is emailed to targeted subscribers.
- Ereader News Today. A fairly affordable, yet popular, advertising option.
- BookGorilla, Pixel of Ink, Free Kindle Books & Tips (fkbt), Booksends, Kindle Nation Daily, The eReader Cafe, The Fussy Librarian, Free eBooks Daily, Ebook Hunter, Choosy Bookworm, Free Booksy, etc.
- Search for lists of bloggers and websites related to your genre. Be sure to read everybody’s submission guidelines carefully. For example, check out your friendly neighborhood Storyreading Ape.
- Find social media groups, such as this list of Facebook groups.
- Some events are seasonal, like Read Tuesday.
Tip: Type the names of a few of these sites together into a Google search to help pull up comprehensive lists.
If you haven’t already done so, please participate in a survey on how people read books. The more participation we get, the more meaningful the results will be.
Here is one question, for your convenience. (If you’ve already answered this before, please don’t answer it a second time.)
You can find more questions here:
Copyright © 2015
Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
- Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
- Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
- 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.
Click here to jump to the comments section:
Question since I don’t see the info there. How many of those sites require a 99 cent pricing, a specific review amount, and/or a specific star rating? I remember looking at those and there were several things that blocked me from joining up. For example, my later books don’t get reviews as quickly as the earlier ones, so anything with a 10 review minimum prevents me from joining up.
What do you think about sites that do such a thing? I understand it makes it easier and promotes high quality, but it does block brand new releases.
You’re right. The most popular sites have more requirements, yet those requirements also help to attract readers. It’s tough when you only have a few reviews though…
Yeah. My last book only has 5 reviews, so that cuts it out of a lot of things. The $2.99 pricing does too because a lot of places only promote free or 99 centers. So there seems to be more for highly rated and on sale stuff.
Great overview, Chris. I’ve picked up some of what you said by a process of osmosis, aka trial and error, but not all, so it was good to find a clear explanation in the one spot.
Thank you. It certainly takes some trial and error. 🙂
Thanks Chris. I have tried many marketing techniques but have decided to leave the advertising until my trilogy and associated novellas and short stories are complete. I need to have more of an offering. So far, the most effective marketing tool has been my blog, not in terms of book sales, but in building a brand and connecting with people. Those people have learned about me, have tasted my writing, and many of them have become friends. I know that when I need it, I can count on them to help spread the word. Blogging is hard work and takes a lot of time and effort, but it is definitely worth it.
That sounds like a good plan. I agree about blogging. 🙂
Thanks, Chris, for this helpful information. 🙂
You’re welcome. 🙂
Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
AUTHORS – LOTS of links, good information and a poll 😀
But no kitchen sink. 🙂 Thank you.
If I’d realised the Kitchen sink was missing… 😀
This is something I’ve recently started doing.
Hope it works well for you. 🙂
Thanks Chris, I really appreciate that. When I did a local paper ad last month, I sold quite a few books, so it’s definitely something I will do again. Right now I’m trying out Amazon’s ad campaign to see how it goes. I took some of your advice, from that post you did a while ago. What I could remember of it. I may have to refer back to it again. So thanks for all the great info you keep giving us. See, we do listen! 🙂
Excellent post, as always, Chris! Great study on marketing options for authors!! Thanks for all of your work on these topics!!
Thank you, Patrick. 🙂
Reblogged this on themonsterunleashed and commented:
Some of you may find this helpful if you are close to releasing your book!
Thank you. 🙂
No problem Chris 🙂
Reblogged this on Michaelphelps1's Blog and commented:
great marketing advice for everyone. thanks, Chris, The Story Reading Ape
Thank you for the reblog. 🙂
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Thank you for sharing your advices.
There`s another service for ebook promotion.
Books Butterfly does $0.99 book and free book promotions to email lists of 125,000+ email subscribers. We have 128,888+ daily active readers. We offer a prorated refund in case a promotion does not hit the specified targets. We’d really appreciate it if you’d add our site to your lists of useful resources.
Our Page for Paid Book Promotions
Our Page for Free Book Promotions http://www.booksbutterfly.com/order/?tag=op250_free_blogs_2_chrismcmullen
Where we promote: http://www.booksbutterfly.com/order/wherepromote/?tag=op250_chrismcmullen
Hey there! We just launched a service similar to BookBub called Forewordz. Our goal is to work with a broader range of authors and offer more support to indies. Would love for you to check us out at http://forewordz.com. Thanks!