Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Should Authors Advertise Their Books?

Does advertising pay off for authors?

Well, it depends on:

* The cost of the ad campaign
* What you would net per book sale
* Where you advertise
* How often you advertise
* The quality of your ad’s offer

Further, compare the time/cost involved in advertising vs the cost-benefit of other pursuits, such as pursuing speaking engagements, securing traditional media exposure, time on social media, applying for book awards, etc. 

You may not have to choose to do advertising vs something else. You simply can do it all or a combination of things. Experiment. See what works. Then double down on anything that pays off. 

Popular ad destinations for authors are:

* Facebook
* Google 
* Amazon
* Twitter

Paid book reviews can be considered advertising, and I certainly recommend doing those with proven, industry publications such as Kirkus Reviews, ForeWord, and Book Life from Publisher’s Weekly. These ads may not sell enough books initially, but their third-party validation will support your brand and contribute to more sales down the road.

Advertising especially pays off for itself when the author has:

* Multiple books available for sale.
* Other services being sold on his or her website.
* An agenda and uses the ad to put forth a message or mission.
* A way of using the ad to directly raise funds.

The days of full-page ads in newspapers is dying but still exists. They rarely pay for themselves and are reserved for either a debut author hoping to make a splash or an established, best-selling author who merely wants to announce the newest book in an established series.

So what types of advertising can authors engage in?

Paid search — your site or book comes up when people search for a specific term.

Social media — ads can live on popular platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Display ads — ads on other websites.

Sponsored content — articles could be advertorials; or a legit article can then have a link to an advertisement that presents itself as an article.

Influencer placement — having someone with a good sized and targeted following post online about you and your book; it is similar to companies paying for product placement in a movie.

Google is the biggest online advertising source. Facebook is second best, capturing 20% of the digital ad marketplace. Google owns YouTube and Facebook owns Instagram. The tech world is incestuous and dominated by a handful of monopoly-sized outfits. 

The rules of advertising are:

* Frequency plays a key role, so advertise multiple times
* Vary the message and look of your ad
* Customize an ad’s message to the demographics of the advertising outlet, medium, and platform
* You may get lucky or you may sell nothing

So, will advertising pay off for you?

I don’t know, but it is worth a shot. Follow some best practices and experiment with small budgets to see what works best. 

Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum

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