It’s a common question, with the number of book launches today: is advertising a good option. Moreover, should I use Amazon Ads?
In AuthorU, a LinkedIn group, I posed this question to expert in book publicity, Sandra Beckwith. Here’s what she replied to whether a newbie should use Amazon Ads:
“Nobody — regardless of whether it’s their 1st or 10th book — should be buying ads until they have a lot of positive reader reviews. If it’s the former (authors doing it themselves), authors can manage their own advertising, but should learn how it works first. There are a lot of courses available that will help with that. Just as authors shouldn’t self-publish until they spend time learning how to do that, they shouldn’t spend on ads until they truly know what they’re doing.
And…the books that will do the best with advertising support are well-written and professionally edited and proofread, and have a professional cover design.” — Sandra Beckwith, BuildBookBuzz
Of course, readers are critics of both writing and if important, design, and only a small minority are willing to overlook mistakes for a good story.
Some multi-title authors do use Amazon Ads effectively. Find their commentary in the 2,000+ author groups in Goodreads forum. Reedsy also have an explanatory tutorial about Amazon Ads, but that’s work for another day. Strategy first!
Does Facebook Advertising for Books Work?
But from past research I’ve read, Facebook advertising does not have relevant and cash positive results for over 60% of indie authors. But I believe that’s because they are not yet informed as to how best to use them. TESTING and MEASURING is important!
The definitive guide to Facebook Ads for Book Authors is at Placeit.net. Placeit are generous with sharing information and you can also make 3D imagery or logos on the site. (No affiliation).
What I’ve personally used Facebook ads for is a book launch. This is affordable (from $5) and you can target people by interest and/or geography. Using ads in this way is much better than trying to either rank for hits (takes so long) or place general Google Ads for certain keywords (hit and miss, mostly miss).
Free Ways to Get Book Publicity
If you’re anything like me though, you’ll want to find low cost ways to get reviews and market your book. My three favourite methods are:
- Author Talks (now only online, thanks to the virus)
- Author reviews, if they have a blog
- Magazine articles, if free and easy to apply
There are so many other ways, which I talk about in my free handout: 18 Ways to Gain Book Publicity. Please let me know if you’d like to get reviewed, free of charge, on my top-ranking book writer’s blog.
Finally, if you want to understand advertising and its dollar return, you’ll need to understand the greater umbrella of marketing. And follow my advice: always have an up-sell or cross-sell somewhere in your book! You need to build fans and subscribers that you can keep in touch with.
Have you thought about getting help with your Author Marketing plan? Having a coach can help to target your advertising, mass media publicity, social media, and plan your website much better.