10 Places To Advertise Your Book—And Should You? | Web Design Relief

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Writers who self-publish—and even those who contract with traditional publishing houses—often dream of a big ROI (return on investment) for paid book advertising. So first, Web Design Relief presents the options available for advertising your book in hopes of reaching more readers and increasing book sales.

And then we’ll let you in on one of the publishing industry’s biggest secrets.

10 Places To Advertise Your Book To Reach Book Readers

Goodreads advertisements. Goodreads is a social media site just for book lovers, and it offers writers the opportunity to bid for ads placed next to books in their genre. For example, a casual reader searching for the newest big hit thriller novel might also see a small ad for your thriller.

Social media ads. Facebook and Twitter have their own specific ways of reaching audiences through targeted, paid ads. To make the most of these opportunities, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the nuances of each particular platform.

Amazon sponsored links. If your book meets Amazon’s criteria, you may be eligible to advertise your book so that it appears when users search for other people’s books or books in a specific genre.

Reader and reviewer blogs. For an example of a vibrant reader/reviewer blog that offers paid ads, check out Fresh Fiction.This blog connects readers and writers to the benefit of all.

Google Ad words. Google is able to target certain products to certain customers based on browsing history; writers pay by the click (PPC ads).

Reader email lists. BookBub, Shelf Awareness, Author Buzz, Buzzing About Books, and other lists reach millions of voracious readers every day. But do your research—some require that books meet certain criteria before they are eligible for promotion.

Local newspapers. Old-fashioned advertising can be effective, especially if the book that’s being advertised has regional connections.

Writing group conference SWAG (Stuff We All Get). Writers can often sponsor conference tote bags, notepads, luncheons, etc.

Trade organization publications. Writing associations like AWP and RWA create nationally distributed periodicals that offer ad space. But you might have to be a member to advertise your book.

Paid mass mailings. Some book publicists cultivate large mailing lists (email and snail mail) in order to promote their clients. Some people regard the success rate of well-targeted snail mail to be higher than an equal number of sent emails—but the costs are much higher.

Does It Work? The Truth About Paying For Book Advertising

Ever wonder why cars, mops, and cosmetics are regularly advertised, but it’s rare to encounter a book advertisement? One of the most notorious secrets of marketing in the publishing world is this: Many book publicists believe that advertising can raise awareness—but will not necessarily lead to book sales.

To put it more bluntly: Advertising can make people aware that your book is available, but it won’t necessarily make people want to buy.

Some major publishers will back a title with a big awareness campaign, usually involving a huge print run of advance reader copies (ARCs) to reviewers, in hopes of generating some buzz. But most traditional publishers listen for word-of-mouth sales before they make a major investment in awareness-building ads.

So what does this mean to authors? Generally, the most powerful way to build books sales is to garner great reviews online and to nab coveted person-to-person book recommendations among groups of readers.

Click to learn more about how to increase your odds of drumming up organic word-of-mouth book sales.


Question: Do you think advertising helps book sales?


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