The truth about advertising your book: should you do it?

How to advertise your book and why you should.

There’s a self-published book being advertised on Facebook called “Replenish the Earth”. The cover is ho-hum. The first time I saw it I smirked, thinking the author was throwing their money away. The 10th time I saw it, I bought the book. Why? Exposure creates interest and curiosity. Who is this author, who is investing so much in this book? It must be pretty good, right? So yes, paying for advertising for your book can work. That’s not to say that it will make financial sense (that you’ll make your money back) but you won’t know until you try – plus some of the benefits might not be financial (increased exposure/author recognition, etc.)

Just start with a smaller budget, maybe $200, and see what kind of results you get. If at first you don’t succeed…. stop. Don’t keep pumping hundreds of dollars a month if you’re not seeing a boost in sales.

There are plenty of opportunities to advertise, but I’ll stick with 3 book players:

1) Google Adwords

2) Facebook

3) Project Wonderful or Blogads

Setting up any of these is pretty easy: you need good ad text and a picture of your cover. (Note: if you don’t have a nice looking, attention grabbing cover, then your ads will probably be much less effective.) Why the cover? If you just have text ads, people may click on it because the text looks interesting, but then leave after they see the cover (the majority of people make purchasing designs based on the cover).

So you’re paying people to click that won’t become buyers. Showing the book’s cover in the ad makes sure they know what they’re getting into – so they won’t be surprised when they get to your sales page and see the book cover. Less clicks, but higher % of sales.

Things to do before you advertise your book

  • Get a lot of great reviews first – at least 10 on amazon and other sites.
  • Make sure the book is clean and edited with no big screw ups.
  • Make sure the website you’re using is set up, everything works, the “buy now” button is functioning, etc. (Or just link to amazon.)
  • Write another book (all marketing is more effective when you have more books written – so if you’re planning a series, it’s probably a good idea to FINISH all the books before you invest heavily in marketing or advertising.

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