As a part of my series on what authors need to sell books, I’ve covered the overall author platform, email, social media, and blogging/content strategy. Which leads me into another piece of the puzzle: ads for authors.
Let’s first rewind a bit to talk about author platform. I defined it in my post as the way that authors connect with readers. And while ads aren’t NORMALLY what someone might think of when it comes to platform, it absolutely is a way to connect with readers. It’s simply … not organic.
Let’s dive into what you need to know about ads for authors, when you should consider running ads, and how you can learn them without breaking the bank.
*This post contains affiliate links!
LISTEN TO EPISODE 201 – ADVERTISTING FOR AUTHORS
ADVERTISING FOR AUTHORS
WHAT KINDS OF ADS ARE AUTHORS RUNNING?
There are a lot of places where authors can run ads, but a few that stand out as the most common among authors right now.
Paid email promos- These run often by genre of book and are paid spots that go out to readers in email newsletters.
PPC ads, aka Pay-per-click – These are ads where you pay per click or impression.
- Facebook ads
- Instagram ads
- Amazon ads
- Bookbub ads
- Google ads (I don’t know anyone using this)
- Twitter ads (I know few people using this)
- Pinterest ads (I know few people using this)
- Magazines or other media (I know no one using this, but it happens)
WHEN SHOULD AUTHORS START RUNNING ADS?
Right away. Or when you can afford it. Or when you want to sell books.
Books can sell organically, but it’s not easy to find that sweet spot. It takes a lot of factors, like a really big platform already, word of mouth, some kind of happy PR accident, Amazon picking up your book and throwing it at readers (which normally only happens when it’s already selling), having someone really big share your book, etc. It’s not TYPICAL for a book to sell a lot of copies organically, or through unpaid means.
Authors should start running ads when their books are primed for selling, when they have some money, and when they know what they’re doing. You should know that there will be an ROI for the book first.
You should probably have SOME budget when you launch a book. Determine this and see what you can spend. Maybe your plan is to start with email promos, then gradually build up as you make money. That’s what I did!
WHERE SHOULD AUTHORS START WITH ADS?
The best place to start is with the paid email promos. There is no learning curve and they’re delivering directly to readers by genre who are hungry for books. And as I’ve pointed out, they’re using the best platform for sales: email. Not social media. (Avoid the sites just tweeting out your book 300 times a month.)
Kindlepreneur’s big list of promo sites
Nicholas Erik’s list of promo sites
WHERE CAN AUTHORS LEARN ABOUT ADS?
There are tons of courses, but before you drop your money on them, here are a few books and cheaper resources for them.
The issue with any material is the trustworthiness of the info, and whether it relates to YOUR BOOKS. Sometimes authors have only one kind of experience (fiction or nonfiction) or have outdated material and aren’t updating. It’s a good question to ask when you’re getting into courses to look at what the author’s experience is, where they sell things, etc.
MY RECOMMENDATIONS ON ADS FOR AUTHORS
Focus on your craft and writing books to market. Knowing how to get the cover and blurbs correct and meeting reader expectations will go a long way, and will mean your books are ready to advertise when you are.
Learn as you go. Start with smaller things, and then invest more when you know that you’ve got a good product on hand. Read books, listen to authors talk about ads on podcast or YouTube. Enjoy free and cheaper resources as you’re writing.
Make sure your book is ready. You need eyeballs on your book. If you’re having trouble selling books through the email promos or newsletter swaps, it may be a cover or content issue. Just throwing money on your books won’t help, so make sure you’ve got the right product.
Invest when you can in a more extensive course. Courses are great because you’re going to get more video tutorials and things to walk you through. For something like ads, you might really need this! Ask around and maybe ask privately, as no one wants to badmouth people publicly. (Usually.) It’s a small world. Be sure before you invest that you have the money to pay for a course AND money for ads. But also that your books are proven enough that you can get that money back.
WHAT ABOUT MY COURSE?
Is my ads course for you? The good thing about my course: it’s a lot of information, but not OVERWHELMING. It takes you from the start (position your book to make sure it’s one that will sell) through specifics of the ad platforms and leveling up.
These are things I’ve tried and tested, and I’ve also learned from multiple schools, so present what works for me and also will recommend other things to try that have worked for others, even if not for me.
I’m not just out for money–fiction is my primary source of income. (Fiction that I sell by use of ads, just so we’re clear.) I put together the course as extra income and as a way to help teach authors because I LOVE TEACHING.
If you jibe with my style, you might love the course. It’s a great price for what’s included, but still may not be on your radar because, remember–don’t buy a course until you’ve got the money for a course AND ads AND that your books are positioned to sell. 😉
WHAT NEXT FOR YOU?
If it wasn’t clear yet, start at the starting point. Write great books that are serving up a reader experience people are looking for. Learn what you can for free and low cost.
When you’re ready and sure you have books that will sell, take a deeper dive into a course!
Know that advertising for authors is going to be a necessity to sell books, at least in some form or fashion. Don’t be scared, and build as you go. 🙂