This is part three of a series on launching a book. The focus in this post is on paid promotions, but you can read previous posts about why you should launch a book, get a simple book launch framework, and how to get other people to share your work for you.
It’s a scary thing to consider spending money when you are just starting out. Or even sometimes in the middle. When you aren’t yet making money, it can seem crazy to SPEND money. But investing wisely can lead to greater results. I’m going to share the two main ways that you can invest as you launch your book and some things to consider as you do.
Listen to Episode 142- How to Use Paid Promotion to Launch Your Book
THE TWO MAIN TYPES OF PAID PROMOTION
Much of this series focuses on books, but could apply to other launches, but this post will be more specifically geared toward book sales.
The two main options for paid promotions are:
- paid newsletter promotions (like BookBub or BookSends)
- paid advertisements (FB & AMS)
There are lots of other ways you could advertise, but these are the two main branches that I’m going to talk about today.
PAID NEWSLETTER PROMOS
Email outperforms social media for sales, period. (Read some research on that here, or listen to Tim Grahl.) If you don’t have a big list, that’s okay! You can use paid email promotions that utilize other companies big lists. Essentially, they spend the money to build a giant list, then they charge you to have your book featured to their big audience.
Things to consider:
- Do you need reviews or other requirements?
- Does it break down into specific genres?
- What is the cost?
- What do other authors say?
- Does the book have to be live to set up the promotion?
- How far in advance are they booked up? (Some are booked up for months in advance)
- Is it email or is it a social media post?
Before paying for any of these promotions, I asked other authors which sites they personally had luck using. Not everyone agrees, but it’s a good idea to ask people, not just see reviews. I also tested and found which ones seemed to work well for my books and tracked those daily sales with a spreadsheet so I could know which ones to try again.
The biggest of these are Amazon Services Ads (formerly known as AMS ads, now just AS ads) and Facebook Ads. Many people have found success with these kinds of ads, but the downside is that you have to either learn the skill and platform, or hire someone.
Things to consider:
- Do you have time to learn something new?
- Do you have the money to test?
- Do you see other authors in your niche having results?
TIP: Now you can go to a page and see what ads that person has run. You won’t see the effectiveness, but can see the image they used, their copy, and any interactions on the post.
Mastering Amazon Ads for Authors by Brian Meeks
It’s not always about the money you make back, but what it gets you. ROI, but with a grain of salt because visibility matters to your ranking, KU page reads, people reading through to other books. Some people have a formula for this, but it makes my head spin, so I can’t even.
SO HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH KIND OF PAID PROMO?
Difference between running ads and paid NL promos. Both risky, esp if you’re trying them for the first time, but ads tend to have more risk. With an NL, if you ask for reputable suggestions, people will tell you. Doesn’t mean you’ll get what you want or hope for, but often it’s easier than trying to figure out the right audience to target on FB ads or how to bid on BookBub ads or what the heck with AMS, or AS ads.
Conclusion: Invest and Test
The biggest thing is that you’re going to have to invest. Invest in your own growth of newsletter. Invest in ads for your books. Invest in the things that make your book succeed, like a great cover and time to write well. Test what you can and track your sales and pagereads and rankings on Amazon. You can’t always get this down to a science, but you can get a good idea of what works for you and what doesn’t.
I’ll leave you with this screenshot. Can you guess when I started actually doing the things I’ve talked about in the past three posts? Yep. When the income jumped. The last little blip on the graph is what I made in just over 24 hours, so don’t let that fool you into thinking that it suddenly dropped. That last blip shows that I made more money in that one day than I did during any of the months before I started implementing the simple book launch framework.