Sunday, February 24, 2013

Book Marketing with Paid Advertising - A Study


Email Question and Author Comments



This email was sent to almost 150 authors. They all had been subjects in the HBS Author’s Spotlight blog. They are group of outstanding and award-winning authors. They support other authors heavily through social media and their own blog and writer support groups.

Question



I’m creating an article about paid adverting in book promotions to try to help authors make a good decision in promoting their books. Like I have down several times, I’m contacting the HBS Author’s Spotlight crew to get their opinions and experiences on the topic.


The industry is buzzing about the success of book advertising. Some authors have broadcast great response to their ads with a jaw-dropping number of downloads. Other authors have reported that some of these groups have turned them down when they tried to place their ad.

So, I thought I would put together a post from the experiences of the outstanding authors that make up the Spotlight crew to help fellow authors.
So here it goes.
Have you used paid advertising to promote your books? What was your experience? Did it increase your sales or visibility?
Have you they to use a paid service and been turned down? (A vendor’s name is not required.)
james

Here are the Author’s Comments.



Kelly Abell @kellyabellbooks is a best-selling Romance, Mystery & Thrillers Author.


I've used Google ads which I had no success with and I've used private blog sites that I got a lot of clicks to my website but they generated no sales.
Award-Winning Arleen Alleman @aallemanwrites is the author of the Darcy Farthing Cruise Crime Adventure series.
The few I have tried didn't seem to have any impact. I currently pay an Internet radio station in my area to run ads that I record… In the beginning, I tried paying for a print ad in a top literary magazine and nothing came of it. I think there is just too much competition for books in my genre and I am still unknown, except to my relatively few readers.
Terry Ambrose @suspense_writer is the author of the McKenna Mystery series and member of Murder, We Wrote.
My experience so far has been that paid advertising can help expand my reach, but may not always pay for itself. While I think that paid ads are a necessary part of any promotional campaign, I think that they only provide a temporary boost to sales.
Annamaria Bazzi @AMBazzi is a Mystery & Fantasy Writer and is noted for her White Swans series.
I've only tried to use BookBub and they rejected me with no explanation...
I advertised on WLC during a free promo…
amazon messed up the promo and it ran an extra half day or so
Author Cate Beauman is a Romance, Mystery & Thrillers Writer.
I actually don't pay to advertise my books. I was given advice long ago never to pay for advertising. My business manager and I promote my work for free using blog tours and giveaways which has worked out quite well for me.  
Todd Borg is the award-winning, bestselling author of the Owen McKenna Tahoe Mystery series.
Some of my thoughts may be issues of nomenclature, but I think that paid advertising (as people usually think of it) is nearly worthless for selling books. My experience is that the only traditional paid advertising worth doing is when you work with media that will likely do articles on your books in return.
In contrast, free promotions through Amazon (and perhaps others that I haven't tried such as Wattpad) are great. People have always learned about new authors by trying them at the library and having their friends lend them books. ("Hey, you should try this new guy I've been reading. I think you'll like him.") I've almost never met anyone who bought a book by a new author because of exposure to an advertisement. 
The new version of that is reading books for free on Kindle. To the extent that one pays a "Free Kindle" listing service $25 or $50 to be put on a website for a day or five is not like traditional advertising. In fact, in my experience, most of them don't "recommend" the books they list so much as they just say, "check out this free Kindle book that already has 30 four and five-star reviews..."
I know authors who have bought the cover of Publishers Weekly, to no apparent result. Same with other print ads. I know authors who have paid a publicist $6000 and got nothing but a few radio interviews, none of which produced much result.
In sum, I think that traditional advertising doesn't work. However, free ebook promotions work well for getting people to try your book. If you have other books, they may go on to purchase those. On my last book, Tahoe Trap, I paid a total of about $200 to have it listed on a half-dozen sites that list free Kindle books. They all required that the book have a fair number of legitimate reviews before they would consider listing your book. None of them endorsed my book. They only let their readers know the book would be free for the day.
Tahoe Trap was downloaded 23,000 times. After the free promotion ended, it hit Amazon's paid Mystery/Thriller Bestseller list. Sales of my other titles went up four times the following month. Several months later, they are back to normal, but I consider the free promotion a great success, and I recommend it to all authors who have multiple titles in a series.
Best-Selling Author Claude Bouchard @ceebee308 writes Mystery & Thrillers novels in the Vigilante Series.
I've used paid advertising, particularly when doing a KDP Select promotion. It made a huge difference each time, resulting in high numbers of giveaways and strong post-promo sales.
Amazon Best-Selling Author Cheryl Bradshaw @cherylbradshaw is the creator of the Sloane Monroe series and the founder of the hugely successful Indie Writers Unite group on Facebook.
I use paid advertising on a monthly basis combined with other promotional opportunities to keep my name visible, my books visible, and my brand visible. I've tried all kinds of advertising sites. There are a few I recommend over others mainly because they boost my sales the most, but I like using a variety so I can spread things out. If I am running an ad to promote a free book during its "hard release" phase, I do the following:
1. Schedule an ad on BookBub.
2. Make the book free for two days.
3. Create a paid ad on my Facebook author page that runs at the same time and pay for the option that selects friends of friends.
4. Notify all the different sites that promote freebies that my book will be free. You can do this yourself, or hire someone on Fiverr.
5. Schedule tweets on Twitter that run once every two hours (I use Hootsuite for this).

My download goal for this type of promotion is 50k and I usually always exceed it. I'd say my average is somewhere around 60k, and the best promotion I've ever had was 120k over a few days. This was for my boxed set. All of my novels have been the #1 freebie in the kindle store at one time or another.

Most people need to see a product, in this case, your book, a handful of times before they commit to purchase. Ever wonder why you see the same commercial over and over on television? That's why. This is where a lot of authors miss the boat, so to speak, focusing on the price of the ad compared to how many book sales they will receive from it. Sure, it's great to "get your money back," when you pay for the ad, but that's the small picture. The big picture is keeping yourself visible over time.

As far as being turned down, this has happened to me, but not often. I've been fortunate enough to be accepted about 95% of the time. I believe it's because I have a lot of reviews for my books and a good average ranking. Many of the sites I advertise with have to come to know me as well, and this always helps. If you are struggling to get accepted for advertising, I suggest taking a few months to see if you can get more reviews for your book. Maybe take that time to advertise on some smaller sites, and then try again.

David Brin @DavidBrin1 is the award-winning bestselling Author, Scientist and Futurist with such books to his credit as: The Transparent Society, Existence, Earth and The Postman.

I spent $100 for a web ad on Science2.0 when EXISTENCE came out.  That's pretty much it! I did spend some money to make some trailers for three of my books to post online.

HBS Author’s Spotlight answer
Frederick Lee Brooke @frederickbrooke is the author of the Annie Ogden Mystery Series.

I’ve used several paid advertising sites, including Google AdWords. It’s hard to say if any one particular initiative is really working, because I’ve always got several going at the same time. 

The problem is, you can write a really good book, but it’s extremely unlikely anyone will find out about it if you don’t get active on social media, with paid advertising, with blogging, and so on. As a writer, you also have to wear a business hat, and it’s a truism in business that you have to spend money to make money. Now so far I’ve spent more money than I’ve taken in, but I also have three books to show for my efforts. And I’m really happy to be doing what I like doing, rather than sitting in my old office doing the job I used to do. So money is not my only measuring stick.

Self-published Author Anne Carter (aka Pam Ripling) is an award-winning writer of romantic mysteries, lighthouse fiction and a variety of other works! She is the founder of Murder, We Wrote.

I don’t really have any valuable information to share at the moment. I have paid for advertising several times in the past, but not in the near enough past to be relevant. That being said, I do believe that print advertising is no longer very effective in the book marketing world. I once paid quite a tidy sum to advertise in Romantic Times Booklovers Magazine and saw virtually no return. This was 10 years ago, in a very high profile magazine with a large romance-readership base. Still, I was an unknown name, my ad was only a quarter page and I was with a small press. I also paid a publicist for a brief period of time. Said publicist got me 3 internet radio interviews and a couple of reviews. I was not impressed with the results.  

Next up for me will be a video book commercial and an audio book commercial. I believe our industry could benefit from more online venues for placement of these so-called “book trailers” (which, I understand, is now a copyrighted trademark name.)

Best Selling Author M. R. Cornelius @marshacornelius writes post-apocalyptic thrillers.

I paid for a couple listings on websites when my latest book was 99 cents, but I got very limited response. I have not used any of the big boys, like Book Bub. I have heard that if your book was free on Amazon, and now you want to advertise with a price (99 cents and up), Book Bub may turn you down. 

Australian Author Karin Cox @Authorandeditor is the prolific author of more than 28 titles, from travel guides, to natural history, to illustrated children's storybooks.

Have you used paid advertising to promote your books?  Yes, I have on many occasions. The most expensive but also the most useful (most books sold) was Bookbub, but I have also had success with Free Kindle Books and Tips and Kindle Fire Department, as well as Pixel of Ink and Ereader News Today. 

What was your experience? Overall positive, although some of the site did not return on the investment. 

Did it increase your sales or visibility? Yes, both. 

Have you they to use a paid service and been turned down? I was turned down by Bookbub to start with as I didn't have enough reviews. 

Mystery Author R.P. Dahlke @rpdahlke is the author of The Lalla Bains mystery series. She is the sponsor of the All Mystery E-newsletter.

I get into Book Bub every time I submit. Authors who submit do so first--they check to make sure the books at least a 4.0 average, good book cover, good blurb, lots a reviews. Then, they send you an acceptance and an invoice. They will redo my book blurb every time I submit. I have four books, and one in the hopper. They have been very responsive to any questions I've had.

International Best Selling author Stacy Eaton @StacySEaton is the creator of the popular My Blood Runs Blue series.

Back in April, I signed up to do BookBub for “Whether I’ll Live or Die” as a $0.99 feature. It was put into the Women’s Fiction category. The first day it was listed, I sold 518 copies.  Over the next few days I sold an additional 317 copies because it had thrown my ranking up into the number 1 spot in several categories. 

With that said, BookBub says that with a discounted book (not free) – the average number of sales is about 940 for women’s fiction. So my sales were just below average for that. Did I think it was worth the money?  Yeah, I think so, maybe.  With not a lot to compare it too, I wanted to try it again with a different book.

So, I signed up my newest novel, “Garda ~ Welcome to the Realm” and got turned down for a paid spot. They said it was to new. It has been out for about 3 months.  A month later, I requested a place for a free promotion for that same book and got turned down again. This time they told me I didn’t have enough reviews on the book.

I’m not sure what they “require” a book to have in way of reviews, or if they only do books above a certain star rating. I tried to search that information, but couldn’t find anything about it.

Before I would recommend this particular paid promoting service, I would have to try it again with another novel and see how it does so that I have something to compare it too.

UK Author Christoph Fischer @CFFBooks writes Historical Fiction.

I had a free Facebook promotions voucher but the process was not transparent and I ended up cancelling the entire promotion. There was little help as to how expensive the advert was in the various options and I had not even extra likes on my page.

Connie Flynn @ConnieFlynn is the bestselling award-winning author of many Mystery, Fantasy, Paranormal and Romance novels and short stories.

I ran 3 different paid advertising campaigns. The first one was a one-day front page visibility on a well-known author and reader website. I saw no increase in sales…

The second was with eBook Addict, who asked for $40 to list my free book with a minimum of 25 free book sites. This one really paid off.

Even better, because free giveaways aren't converting to paid sales the way the used to -- but it stayed solid when it went back to paid at 99c.

Book Bub has turned The Dragon Hour down twice. The first time the book was brand new to Kindle and I queried them about whether I should hold back for a while or advertise the new launch. They suggested I hold back. So when I got a few more reviews I went to them and they turned me down.

Dave Folsom @davefolsombooks is a Mystery & Thrillers author based in the Northwest.

I tried paid advertising on a small number of so-called book promoting sights and was unable to detect any difference although I did it concurrently with other no-cost efforts so that might have clouded the effort. 

Author Ron Fritsch @RonFritsch is a self-published Historical Fiction Writer.

So far, I've only used Google and Facebook for targeted pay-per-click ads. (I haven't tried to place ads on any of the sites that turn authors down.) Since my novels are set in prehistory, I target my ads, in part, to persons who are looking for or liking Jean Auel and her Earth's Children series, Clan of the Cave Bear to Land of the Painted Caves.

The clicks were remarkably inexpensive. Some of them appear to have resulted in sales, but they certainly didn't turn me into a best-seller. Nor did I expect they would. When I began independent publishing 2 1/2 years ago, I assumed building recognition would be a long, slow process, and I'd need to be patient. I'm not currently advertising anywhere. In 2 or 3 months I'll publish the fourth and last novel in the series. At that point, I'll pay to advertise the series. I'll probably use Google and Facebook again unless the other sites I have in mind produce better results. I'll also use some marketing money to enter the fourth novel in book awards contests, where the first 3 have done surprisingly well. The ads therefore include the words "award-winning."

Best-Selling Author Helen Hanson @HelenHanson writes Mystery & Thrillers and Suspense novels.

Paid advertising can be a prickly subject with indie authors.  It’s expensive, takes energy away from writing, and isn’t necessarily going to increase sales.  The mantra being that we pay to gain exposure–institutional advertising as opposed to expecting an immediate return on the investment.  Yet, if you watch the smart money, very little of it goes into venues that don’t have a direct line to people looking to buy books.  Right now.  As for me, if a campaign doesn’t pay for itself, why bother? 

But what do want in return?  Reviews?  Sales?  You have to define the goal or expected return before you can measure the success of the investment.  I’ve limited my advertising in the past because I didn’t have a long backlist.  When I recently advertised 3 LIES on Bookbub, I got great exposure while it climbed the charts, but they wouldn’t have accepted the book if it didn’t already have a healthy number of quality reviews.  And successful results are neither static nor guaranteed, so today’s hot advertising ticket may not be worth it next year.  As in all aspects of indie authorship, discernment and agility counts.  You assess, try, measure, and try again.  In the meantime, I’m praying for divine lightning to strike.

Brent Hartinger @brenthartinger is the author of  The Russel Middlebrook series. The movie version of his novel: Geography Club will be released later in 2013.

I have only just started doing online advertising, and just last week, I did use BookBub to advertise one my books, which had been reduced in price to $.99 with enough downloads which more than paid for the promotion.

Award winning Indie Author John W. Huffman @johnwhuffman writes Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers.

I have used paid advertising twice with my first two novels...both times it was a very disappointing experience resulting in few if any sales. It has been my experience that paid advertising does not cover it's expense nor give the author any good exposure.

Writer Matthew Iden @CrimeRighter is the bestselling author of Crime fiction, suspense, dark humor, fantasy, science fiction and more.

I've had some experience advertising and would be happy to help. Answers below:

Have you used paid advertising to promote your books?

Yes, I've used an array of advertising. All of my ads have been online, as print ads are rarer, more expensive (often by 10x), and rarely allow you to track/provide you with metrics like click-through rates. I've tried:

Bookbub
Ereadernews Today (self-serve through Buyads.com only; not Book of the Day)
Facebook
Goodreads (self-serve ads only)
Kboards.com
Kindle Nation Daily (several flavors)
Suspense Magazine

I've also paid $5-15 one-shot blasts (blog, Facebook, Twitter) to draw attention to my KDP free days. 

What was your experience? 
Generally speaking, most sites accepting online ads have the process down, with few hiccups. Only one site ever gave me fits (can't even remember the name) because they required a Pledge that I hadn't used shills or paid for reviews before they'd let me give them money to advertise the book. That was definitely not worth the time spent in "applying for" a Badge of Honesty or whatever it was.

Aside from that, I'd have to say that only a few sites (Bookbub and KND) actually offer good return on investment. The others either don't have enough reach, a qualified audience, or they drown their subscribers in book deals. The $5-15 free book blast sites are especially bad for this; some of them send out 4-5 new "rounds" of free books every day featuring multiple books--this is a waste of your money.

Did it increase your sales or visibility?
Bookbub: yes by miles. I have them to thank for my current success, in fact. I routinely give away 20,000 - 45,000 books on a free run (2-3 days), with a "tail" of several hundred sales afterwards. KND is not as effective, but still always makes its money back and then some. KND also has fantastic historical reporting (check out their Google Docs spreadsheet at https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AlfzLsx6vYzodHZaUWJ6QS0tdC1Rb1pFay1sNW5pSHc&gid=37) as well as their eBook Tracker (which you can use for free whether you advertise with them or not).

Have you they to use a paid service and been turned down?
Yes, I've been turned down by Bookbub on a new release (One Right Thing http://www.amazon.com/Right-Thing-Singer-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00BSMRE80/). It had been out for only a month, though with 12 or 15 high starred reviews, but the 'Bub still demurred. They took it about a month later for a $.99 deal...which netted me over 3,000 sales.

Dawn GreenfieldIreland @dawnireland is an award winning independent publisher. She is the creator of the Hot Chocolate series and two very popular non-fiction books.

I have not used paid advertising.

Alan Jacobson @JacobsonAlan is the bestselling author of jaw-dropping thrillers.

Hi James. I haven’t seen the buzz about book advertising success. What “groups” are you talking about that have turned down other authors willing to pay money to advertise? That sounds very odd.

As to my experiences, in the past my publisher has taken out these ads, and unfortunately they didn’t share the success or reach with me. My current publisher is averse to these types of ads (if we’re talking about the same kind of ads—that goes to my first question!). I’ve used Facebook promoted ads and they definitely had reach. It definitely got the word out about an event we were doing. (If you want me to turn that into a formal paragraph you can use, let me know.)

Award-Winning Author Jade Kerrion @JadeKerrion writes the DOUBLE HELIX series.

I have had, hands down, the best results with EReader News Today (ENT). Often, I've paid for a promotion and my sales barely break even on what it cost for the promotion. It's not the case with ENT's "Bargain Book of the Day" promotion. ENT tracks the sales made through their website and charges you a percentage of the royalties you've made. You literally cannot lose money on this promotion.

Lisa Kessler @LdyDisney is the Author of the award-winning Night Series.

Yes I've had great experience with Kindle Nation Daily and have seen a bounce in my sales numbers every time I work with them. I've also had great luck with "I love vampire novels" and their email advertising program that is geared toward vampire novel readers.  In the past, I've placed ads on some blog review sites, but it's harder to tell what the impact might have been...

HBS Author's Spotlight answer
Kathleen Kirkwood - Best-selling Author (pseudonym for Anita Gordon). She is award-winning  Romance, Historical Fiction, and Paranormal writer.

I haven't thus far online with the ebooks but am looking into it. Friends have done so with differing success - and of course the landscape keeps shifting beneath our feet in the digital world. I'm thinking of the lovely algorithm issues and how what works one moment won't the next. (Visibility goes poof!)

For Pirates' Moon I do plan to revisit a past success and place an ad in RT Magazine (formerly Romantic Times). RT is still available in print and has gone digital as well. I've advertised there with significant success - my first book, Valiant, went into three printings and sold over 100,000 copies! I can't say it was entirely due to the full page ad (it was a lead title at Berkley so there was a sales force behind that book), but the ad catapulted my book into the public eye, targeted to Romance readers and giving great visibility. Definitely made a huge difference. Defiant sold very well too, as did the other books.

Joseph Lallo @jrlallo is a bestselling author of the Science Fiction & Fantasy series: The Book of Deacon Trilogy.

The only form of advertising I've had a somewhat significant amount of experience with is Facebook Fan Page post promotion. While I cannot say that my promoted posts have resulted in significant sales improvements, they have been quite effective at spreading the word about various book updates.

David Lawlor @LawlorDavid - David is a Historical Fiction Writer. Also, he is Associate Editor with the Evening Herald newspaper in Ireland.

I have never used paid advertising so cannot give you any feedback I'm atraid. I look forward to reading what others have to say on the subject, though.

HBS Author's Spotlight answer
Caroline Leavitt @Leavittnovelist - New York Times Bestselling Author Caroline Leavitt is a Literary Novelist. Caroline also is a writing teacher and book critic.

I never have.

New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author C.J. Lyons @cjlyonswriter is the writer of sixteen Mystery & Thrillers and Romance novels.

But one form of paid advertising that did work for me with a direct impact on sales, was targeted, permission-based email. In particular, BookBub (although there are others offering a similar service) was quite effective.

Best-Selling Author Debra L. Martin @dlmartin6 Science fiction and fantasy writer. You can also find her writing Romance novels as Debra Elizabeth.

Yes, I've used a number of paid ads from Bookbub, Ereader News Today, Digital Book Today, and Kindle Books & Tips. The most effective ad has been with Bookbub. They have hundred of thousands of subscribers and any book listed has the opportunity to be seen by a vast audience. The downside is that Bookbub is extremely expensive and it's always a risk to pay that kind of money for an ad and not make enough sales to pay for the ad. My ads have been in the fantasy category and I have been lucky that my sales have paid for the ad and then some. 

On the flip side, Bookbub has turned down one of my romance titles for lacking enough reviews. There doesn't seem to be any magic formula they go by because I've seen books advertised that had fewer reviews than my title.

Author M.R. Mathias @DahgMahn is an award-winning, self-published Fantasy Writer. He is noted for his epic fantasy novels and his prolific social network marketing activity.

I advertise in two big bulk sessions during the Christmas months and the during the summer months. I do this because three months of an ad is cheaper AND it is more effective for the reader to see you several months in a row as a sponsor of their fav magazines etc... I choose where I advertise wisely because I want to hit my target market. If you are selling a cook book you don't need ad space in Outdoor magazine, but if you are selling an eBook that is an adventure involving hunters or woodsy environments that mag might be perfect. As far as sales, it is hard to say. Just by nature your visibility is increased. I also go out of my way to only advertise in magazines that have an eReader version available. Also classified ads are cheap and if you have a free title they are VERY effective.

In my experience, the magazine's advertising people did a little research and checked to see what the reviews were for my titles and then happily approved them. 

Have you they to use a paid service and been turned down?  Never been turned down, but I only advertise in publications that cater to my genre. And any print magazine that is doing well enough to turn down paid advertising is probably too expensive for my budget anyway.

Amy Metz @authoramymetz is the Author of Mystery & Thrillers as well as a blogger and book editor.

Have you used paid advertising to promote your books? I’ve only used paid advertising a few times—once for an ad on a website, once for an ad in a magazine, and once with a book blast tour.

What was your experience? Did it increase your sales or visibility? I’m really not sure how the ads affected sales, since I don’t see sales reports in real time—my publisher does. I do know that with the book blast, one of the tasks readers were required to do was to “like” my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter. I saw a big increase in both of those due to that aspect of the tour, although I’m not sure how many of those I’ve retained.

Have you they to use a paid service and been turned down? No.

Award-winning Author Michelle Muto @MichWritesBooks is a YA Fantasy and Horror writer.

I have used them. I don't think it works for certain genres very well, such as young adult. For NA or adult, it seems to work better.  

Author Jake Needham @jakeneedham is a best-selling Mystery & Thrillers writer.

Each time I have done a free promotion on Amazon I have used some form of paid advertising, and generally paid advertising from a combination of different sources. Careful fine-tuning of the process has each time raised the number of downloads I experienced during those promotions… I have been the #1 free title on both Amazon US and Amazon UK.

…that the point of the promotion is to get a lot of books out there and into the hands of people who might become new readers but have probably never heard of me.

HBS Author's Spotlight answer
Author Barry Parham @barryparham is award winning humorist and short story writer.

Personally, I've had better luck buying ads that promote appearances and readings, than I've had purely promoting books for sale in stores or online.

Award-winning Author Mohana Rajakumar @moha_doha is a writer based in Qatar.

I have tried a variety of ads including on Goodreads for specific titles. The most successful types of services, in my opinion, are experienced blog your organizers. They get you in front of those who love books and do all the organizing which can be quite time consuming.

Yes it did increase visibility which led to a modest spike in sales.

I've never been turned down by a service - delayed yes in terms of scheduling because of frequent bookings, but not turned away.

Best-selling Author David Rashleigh @DavidRashleigh writes in the Mystery, Horror and Ghosts genre.

The only paid advertising I have used is on Goodreads, which is on a pay-per-click basis. Obviously, it only applies to Goodreads’ members who should be a well-targeted audience.

Young Author Richard L. Sanders @RichLSanders is a bestselling Science Fiction & Fantasy writer.

I have tried paid adverts on several different websites and platforms. I have not noticed a statistically significant difference between using ads and not. So, from my perspective, either the ads are not as effective in general as everyone wants to believe, or else my ads in particular were not as successful as I hoped they would be. I'm inclined to think both statements probably carry some degree of truth.

The readers are smart people and are used to being bombarded by ads on every side, on every website, and have become extremely skilled at tuning them out. And, personally, I don't blame them.

Author Emily Tippetts @EMTippetts is a YA Romance writer. Also she writes Science Fiction and Fantasy as Emily Mah.

One is Kindle Nation Daily. Though they never generated a landslide of downloads, ads with them did increase my sales noticeably. The other is BookBub, who send my sales rocketing up by 24 hours whenever I advertise with them. I've yet to be turned down by them, but it's always a possibility with one of my lesser known books. I seem to fit their profile, though, since they gave me a free slot in December without my knowing it and took my book all the way up to the Kindle top 100.

Quite often the books' rankings tell me all I need to know.

Jade Varden @JadeVarden is the creator of the Deck of Lies book series.

I haven't ever used paid advertising. My budget doesn't allow it because I have to pay for book covers (I have zero artistic skill), and I believe strongly in the power of free promotion. I will let you know when my next book comes out, and thanks for contacting me about this. I'm sorry I can't contribute anything helpful.

Betty Webb @bettywebb s a bestselling author of the Desert Wind, Desert Wives, etc. & the Gunn Zoo mysteries.

I haven't used a paid service, and the few folks I know who did use one, felt their money was wasted.

My own publisher -- Poisoned Pen Press -- has done wonderfully for me in getting the word out, so there was never a need for me to pay for something like that in the first place. I have a feeling self-publishers might look at the subject differently, though.

Author Brae Wyckoff is the Author of The Orb of Truth book series. Brae is the founder of The Greater News Facebook page! And Host of Prophetic Underground radio!

I have used paid advertising for radio and internet within several forums. The key is to find the right avenue that fits the genre of your book.

There are plenty of free things you can do to get the ball rolling. Find bloggers to talk about you and your work. Build relationships with other readers and writers in the unlimited facebook groups. Be involved on Goodreads and put your paperback up on the giveaway program.

HBS Author's Spotlight answer
Author, Editor and Poet Robert Yehling @WordJourneys writes, teaches creative and spiritual writing and conducts workshops around the country.

I promote very selectively with online paid advertising – just to get the buzz going. I find it effective when used in conjunction with a promotion – “the 1000th, 1100th and 1200th autographed copies of Backroad Melodies.”

As for on-line advertising sites skewing retailer rankings, I don’t like that at all. It’s not reflective of what is really hot. I liked the old way, where they polled bookstores nationwide, got their top sellers, and built the lists from there.

Similar posts with the crew’s support.


Free eBooks Promotions Can Be Pure Gold for Authors   http://hbspublications.blogspot.com/2013/05/free-ebooks-setting-promotional-goals.html

Free Books: Give it away. Just give it away.                          http://hbspublications.blogspot.com/2012/12/free-books-give-it-away-just-give-it.html

Companion Posts


Book Marketing with Paid Advertising Study – Part 1: The Good News
Book Marketing with Paid Advertising Study – Part 2: The Bad News

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Or EMAIL at: jim@jamesmoushon.com
Or visit my blog: The eBook Author Corner
Take a look at my Author’s blog: HBS Author’s Spotlight
Or my Mystery blog: HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels:

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