In a flooded book market, perhaps it is.
Within the next few months, the number of Kindle ebook titles will pass 5,000,000.
As of today, there are 4,867,684 available on the Kindle Store, according to my Amazon Associates account.
Since I started checking this statistic a number of years ago, the increase in the tally of titles being published every 12 months has risen more and more with each passing year.
By my calculations, there are now over 1,000,000 being published annually.
For this reason alone, paying for book promotion, and especially Kindle ebook promotion means competing with a tidal wave of new titles.
Over the same time, though, reader and book buyers have not increased by anywhere near the same ratio, so it’s definitely an over-supplied market.
Another factor to consider is that readers and book buyers are being flooded with book promotion, and are possibly becoming ‘ad blind’ on websites and social media, and email campaigns are more likely to be finding their Junk mailbox.
I read two articles today on this subject, which are well worth reading. Some Book Promotion Sites Have Lost Their Luster, by Bob Hammond, and Book Promo Sites: How long do they work?, by Melinda Clayton.
My personal view is that self-publishing, like any other business, needs advertising and promotion.
Especially when there is a lot of competition.
However, again, like any other business, the cost-effectiveness needs to be monitored and measured.
Spending money on advertising is always difficult to gauge, and is why the following quote is so well known.
‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.’ John Wanamaker
There are thousands, if not more, free and paid book promotion sites, and also more and more paid book review services.
This makes for no shortage of possible ways to promote books. But how many are truly effective?
From what I have read over the years, the one ebook promotion service that seems to have had quite positive feedback from self-published authors is Bookbub.
However this is a very expensive service, and it is also very choosy about which books it promotes.
Recently though, it seems that Bookbub is accepting far fewer self-published titles and is giving preference to traditionally published books.
Perhaps that’s the real key in book promotion. Bookbub picks and chooses the best ebooks, which obviously have a far better chance of selling.
For self-published authors, this is a difficult assessment to make about their own books, but perhaps the best rule of thumb to follow would be to promote only their most successful titles.
I know in my case that of all my titles, only three or four sell well and continue to do so, with a little book promotion. For the rest of my titles, I would be wasting my time and money.
I can’t argue about the fact. The market knows better much than I do.
Update. Yes, there are now more than 5 million Kindle Ebooks.