Every business, whether large, small, or sideline, has expenses. One of the essential costs for authors and publishers is to spend money on book marketing.
The only problem is in deciding how to spend your money wisely to promote your book.
It doesn’t need to be a hefty sum.
But relying on success coming to you for free is not really ever going to happen.
Why you need to promote your book
There are millions of people trying to sell books. You need to give your author name and books a little nudge to get your word out above the crowd.
Spending a little money on book promotion helps.
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” John Wanamaker.
The above quote is a good reason many authors are reluctant to spend money on book marketing and author promotion.
Much of what is spent seems wasted, as book sales don’t necessarily give you a quick return on your advertising investment.
If you expect book marketing, advertising, and promotion to work within a week, or a month, stop here and don’t spend a cent.
You will be spending your money for all the wrong reasons.
Promoting your book is for the long-term
Marketing your book, advertising, and book promotion should have long-term goals and expectations.
From the time you decide to invest money in book promotion, it will take some time for any sales momentum to build.
The other difficult decision to make comes a little later.
You need to decide whether to continue spending your money, even though you haven’t seen any reasonable sales increase during the first stages or cycles of your promotion.
Am I throwing good money after bad?
The key to successful book marketing
It is not to be seen once, but to be seen often, and if possible, very regularly.
It is especially true on social media platforms.
People are, to some degree, advertising resistant, especially nowadays when it comes to click advertising. But they still notice advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, Google, websites, and blogs.
It is why a lot of advertisers sometimes pay per 1,000 views and not per single click.
There is great value in simply being seen, again and again, by your target audience even if the consumer doesn’t click through to an advertiser’s site immediately.
It builds a brand or name recognition, which will hopefully reap the rewards when the consumer has a buying decision to make.
From the perspective of self-publishing, this could be when a potential reader picks up their Kindle and wonders what book to buy next.
Promoting your book is not only about advertising
Expenditure on book promotion doesn’t necessarily only mean buying dedicated advertising.
Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Goodreads, and Twitter advertising are all well known and easily purchased.
But sometimes, it is better to consider investing in a professionally developed blog or website to promote your book titles.
Or in better targeted and managed online distribution of blog posts, articles, and news stories about your books and writing on social networks.
This is my preferred means. But it is much more expensive upfront than buying two weeks worth of pay per click or pay per view ads.
It is a lot of work and a substantial financial investment. But it works over a much, much longer period.
A well-designed blog can last for years after the initial investment. It then only requires minor maintenance costs over its life.
In the end, the cost per view of your blog or website is negligible when compared to gaining the same exposure from paid ads.
If this road is too expensive for your budget or would take more time than you have to commit to writing content for your blog, then paid promotion and advertising is much more time-efficient.
Once you place your order, it will run without you needing to do anything.
Which book advertising works best?
I have tried many services over the years. Not only to promote books but also for other businesses I have now and have had in the past.
The main online advertising service providers do pretty much as they promise. But I have found that Facebook Likes are well worth the cost when launching a new Facebook Page.
Trying to gain Likes organically is painfully slow, so a kick-start to say 500 Likes is money very well spent.
However, paying for Twitter followers is worthless. They are robot accounts and won’t deliver you a single page view. Twitter is a terrific free promotional tool, but you should work on increasing your following organically.
Google Adwords works efficiently. Although I have to say that creating ads on Google that point directly to an Amazon book page does not work well.
They are much more efficient at gaining web traffic to your site or blog, particularly if you use it in combination with something enticing such as a competition, free books, or a giveaway.
Facebook ads work similarly, but from my experience, the click-through rate was quite a bit less than Google and was slightly more expensive.
However, you can target much better on Facebook. By narrowing down your target market, it can be quite economical.
Whichever avenue you choose, it depends on the target market you are looking to reach, what you want to achieve, and the budget you have set for your promotion.
Even $5 per day, limited to a short one month campaign, can gain a lot of exposure.
Just know that John Wanamaker’s quote will probably be true for you too. You will waste 50%, but which 50%?
Will book promotion and marketing increase your book sales?
If you have a great book to promote with a stunning book cover, the answer is usually yes.
However, be aware that no amount of money spent on advertising and promotion will help sell a poor or sub-standard book.
By far, the best and most cost-effective means is to have a popular blog to leverage your book marketing.
Work on building your blog traffic using basic SEO techniques, and complement it with the occasion advertising campaign or email blast.
You can also consider using dedicated book promotion services that will help you reduce the amount of time you spend promoting your books on social media.