Happy Holidays everyone! Only about three weeks left till Christmas, and let me tell you, things are only getting busier from here on out!
Today’s post is all about Advertising. More specifically, the types available to authors (on a relatively cheap basis) and whether or not it’s worth it. I’m going to give each type of advertisement a ranking. $ for affordability and stars for effectiveness. Ideally, you want a type that is low cost and high effectiveness, that is, purchases per click!
Opttion 1: Google Adwords: $ (Three Stars)
What you need: Google Account and a CC
How it works: Essentially, you are creating a text or picture advertisement to run alongside Google’s search results or on any google page. So for my Brass Legionnaire, if you typed in the word “Steampunk” you might see my advertisement pop up. The caveat is that you tend to pay by the click. You also need to pick good target words and hope that your book is a match for people doing that search The more you are willing to pay by the click, the more likely you are to get yours seen. But then the more expensive your advertisement campaign becomes.
I tend to run my ‘offers’ for clicks between $1.00 and $1.50 per day. That way, I can pop in fifty dollars and then let it run for a while. Have I seen a huge jump in sales? Not necessarily, but I have seen rather consistent clicking the advertisement, as well as rather consistent sales since I’ve started. Now I cannot individually target this as the factor in all honesty, but I am considering letting it stop at the end of this cycle and seeing what happens to my numbers.
Option 2: Goodreads (Or other book website/blog) $ (Three and a half stars)
Goodreads and other web blogs are great places to run your book ad. After all, you’re specifically targeting the group of ‘readers’ that you want. I’m not going to run an ad on a Women’s artwork website, I’m going to run it on one that likes to focus on Sci-Fi, fantasy, or history! Thus it is a tiny bit more effective, and if you are on Goodreads, you can see how some information on people clicking on your link. You can make the link go outside the site (and on other blogs) but for goodreads they encourage you to link to your own site on the page. I’m not sure which is better, as I have very limited experience with this site (only 4 days worth of ads.)
Option 3: Facebook $ Two Stars
So you’ve got a facebook account? Do you have a facebook page? Great, then you can run ads! Similar to the way that Google Adwords works, you create an ad then provide a link. Similar to Goodreads, you can link to an external site or to your own facebook group page. I was town between making a Steam Empire Chronicles page and an Author Page. In the end I went for an Author page, figuring that it would be all encompassing should I ever write more books (Which I plan to). Pop in some money, assign a target demographic, and off you go. Was this effective in getting me sales? Probably only a bare few. But it DID get me a much wider target base. Before the ad, I had roughly 20 ‘likes’ on my page. My ad has been running since Thanksgiving, and I’m up to about 55 or so. That seems pretty good to me. And they are people I don’t know! Even better! You have to go into this realizing that you aren’t out to make sales now, more so to build community involvement and interest.
Other advertising service: $-$$$ (three-four stars)
Bookbub and several other advertising services for self-published authors have sprung up like weeds around the proverbial well of writing. In many cases, the services can be overpriced or poorly targeted. Some specific ones are useful, but require that you discount your book in order to purchase an ad slot, and even then they can deny you. So if you’re looking for a specific time to do an advertisement, you’d be out of luck, as I was when I wanted to run Black Friday ads. However, in retrospect I’m sort of glad I didn’t spend $200 on the advertisement. I’m not sure I would have made it back.
Some other information: When I published with Wix, I got $30 free at Google Adwords and $50 free on Facebook for advertisements. Thus, I’ve only paid about $75 (out of my pocket) in advertisement costs total since my book was published. 2/3 of that was to Google. So as you can see, lots of choices, but be careful where you put your money!
Where do you guys advertise that makes the greatest bang for your buck? Or do you eschew advertisements altogether?