Where Do I Advertise My Book?
I’ve written the next top seller, great. Now what? It’s sitting on that shelf on Amazon, watching tumbleweeds blow past. But Where Do I Advertise My Book?
After almost putting money into websites which looked like i’d get a good return, i started researching which sites would perform best, as it seems that nearly all of them charge a pretty penny. Some charge a hell-of-a-lot-more than others.
One thing I learned pretty quickly, is that you really need to think twice before you advertise on book sites. At least have a think about the genres they cater for, what their readership is all about, how much traffic that site really gets. It’s really important that you connect with your readers and understand where they shop. There’s no point trying to advertise your Sci-fi on a website which has the largest collection of Romance or Erotica on the internet. Even if their traffic is in the millions, you’re not going to be in your target demographic. Pick your site carefully and based on who their readers are, and if those readers would be interested in your book.
Also, be extremely careful of websites who boast large traffic numbers. Some of this traffic might in fact be legitimate, but it might not be the kind of traffic you would be expecting. Let me explain.
Let’s say you went to any website and read their spiel about their thousands of viewers. Luckily, with my background in IT and being naturally skeptical of high traffic numbers, I performed a little research using this site. Go ahead and put in the URL of the site you’d like to investigate and you’ll see a report that should give you an indication of whether or not the site’s claim is legitimate. Often, sites don’t brag about their traffic which is fine, just click on that link and find out for yourself how many people go to that website.
In this instance, it seems that an example website I used are in fact over-stating their traffic. The one I used, claimed around 100,000 visitors a month. Similar Web tells me differently, it shows me that they have a visitor count of around 20,000. Nothing to be scoffed at, but when you’re trying to entice me to spend my money advertising with you, you’d better be a little more accurate about your traffic. The other thing you should note, is the Bounce Rate. My sample site’s Bounce Rate, at the time of writing this blog, was 76.39%. That’s really, really, really bad. A high Bounce Rate for a website where you’d expect readers to spend leisurely hours, browsing books, clicking on pages etc, is really bad. The average time spent on this website is 1 minute and 44 seconds. My advice? This wouldn’t be somewhere you’d pay to advertise, as the readers seem to leave the page too quickly. When you’re looking at Bounce Rate, the lower the better. A few good sites I looked into had around 30-40% Bounce Rate-not bad…
Before you go ahead and pay to advertise your book, do some research like I did, because just like you, i wanted to know Where Do I Advertise My Book too. You’ll quickly discover sites which have genuine traffic and a good Bounce Rate. A good Bounce Rate means readers are spending time reading the actual bio’s. That’s what you want, readers potentially reading your bio and hopefully, clicking on a link to your sales page. A lot of traffic to a website with a high Bounce Rate can be an indicator that they’re advertising in places which give them traffic, but low engagement. That’s fine, but don’t make us pay for it.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some other ways you can advertise your book.
Social Media – yes, you already knew that. You’ve heard it time and again that if you’re not on Social Media, you don’t exist… blah, blah. It’s kind of true, but not really. Readers connect with the author usually after they’ve read the book, not before. So if you’re looking to sell your book, Social Media isn’t the way. Sure, it’s a great way to build a following, connect with other authors and you may make a sale or two. I wouldn’t list it as a high priority place to advertise your book. Though it’s a catch 22 situation, you still need to have your presence on social media, so make sure you Insta, Tweet and Pin-Tumble-Face your favourite quotes from your book each day. Don’t be boring, add humour, fun, be interesting and someone even you would want to follow.
Google Ads is one of the smartest ways you can advertise your book. The downside? You’ve either got to pay a tidy sum for someone to work out your keywords, long tail keywords or you’ve got a very long learning curve ahead of you if you’re going to do it yourself. Luckily, there’s a lot of information on the internet about how to do-it-yourself Google advertise. My advice is save yourself a bit of money and work it out yourself. You’ll not only become an expert at promoting books, which will inevitably help with your future promotions, but you’ll also learn very quickly what’s trending on Google.
Google Ads provides you with a smart way to target your audience and allow you to only pay per click if the person within that target, clicks on your advertisement banner.
That’s it, there’s a small handful of quick ways you can advertise your book that can easily tailor to your budget.
One last thing, you can spend millions on advertising your book, expend countless energy on it. But if you haven’t had it professionally edited, then forget it. You’ll get 1 star reviews and readers who will resent having read your book. One single spelling mistake will turn a reader off and force them to close it in disgust. You can spend thousands of dollars on advertising but if your book isn’t perfect, it’s a waste of money. If your book is truly great, it would take one happy customer to do all that promoting for you free. You cannot buy referrals like that.
I’ll go on about this point one more time in case you missed it (I’ll shut up soon, I promise) make your book perfect before you try and peddle it. Give Independent authors a good name, not a bad one. Before even thinking about Where Do I Advertise My Book, I made sure my book was as perfect as I was capable of making it.
Spend any budget on an editor or sales copy specialist who will make your bio stand out. After looking at a cover, the reader will read the bio-sales copy of the book. If it’s interesting, they’ll buy it.
Get an amazing book cover. Readers read with their eyes. People scan Kindle for books that will grab them, the first thing they will see is a tiny, almost microscopic, book cover. If that cover is good, and only if that cover is enticing, they’ll click on it and read the bio. If the bio is good, and only if that bio has grabbed them, they’ll probably try the first chapter of your book.
Make sure that your first chapter is gripping. It’s the third thing your reader will see and they still haven’t bought your book yet.
Then, and only then, if you have a stunning book cover, a professionally edited book, social media accounts at the ready, a fantastic intro/first chapter and a pleasing and interesting website to look at, go publish then go advertise on Google Ads and sell millions of books.