So you’ve decided to go the indie route and publish your own novels. One of the most daunting aspects of the process is promotion. It takes time and money that could be better spent on the creative project itself. Hopefully, the latter is not really the case–the end result, at least we all hope, is that more people become exposed to and read our novels, thus ensuring that the time spent on promotion wasn’t wasted.
The first thing I did was begin to scour the internet to find the best places to promote and advertise ebooks. I read several different opinions about several different sites. While there is a small amount of promotion you can do for free, most of it costs money. Surprise surprise, all products we know and love probably have thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars of advertising behind them. Unfortunately, if you’re like me, and have a mortgage payment, a car payment, and other expenses, that isn’t really an option. So what’s out there? This is my experience with several that I’ve used. I’ll provide the cost and the results so far.
1. Kindle Nation Daily for eBook Advertising- The best ebook advertising I’ve done so far. $30.00 (There are more expensive options that I have not tried yet)
Kindle Nation Daily looks like such a confusing website to use that I avoided it for a time. I didn’t want to deal with what looked like clunky interfaces. It seemed half-bogus if not for the positive reviews by some other authors, such as Lindsay Buroker, who I am following as a model for myself in the self-promotion and indie success category. With those positive reviews out there, even though they stated the golden age of Kindle Nation Daily was over, were enough to get me in.
One nice thing about Kindle Nation is they chart your ebook sales through an ebook tracker, and they show stats from previous sponsorships. I went with the FBH option, and they posted an article on their Facebook page and website about my free book, Darkin, the first book in the Darkin Fantasy Saga. The result was that I sold a lot more free books, which I am hoping turns into more reviews for my book, especially with the sequel coming out this December. I have yet to get a single new review however, though it’s been only a week and a half since I used the promotion. All told, My book had sold 60 something free copies the week prior to Kindle Nation sponsorships, and after three total sponsorships, (only two non-consecutive), the book went back up to several hundred copies in a week sold. I know it sounds meager, especially compared to established indie authors, but we all have to start somewhere. I will probably use these guys again.
2. Goodreads Ads for eBook Advertising- $50
I bought $50.00 worth of Goodreads advertising. The budget moves very slow on this one. My book doesn’t seem to get much out of it, but I don’t seem to be spending much either. In over a week, I’ve only used $5.00 from my total $50.00. I might be able to change that setting, I’m not sure. I can’t be sure of the long-term effects here, but I have seen a couple people add my book to their shelves. They can access the free downloads from there, so maybe that will help. As of right now though, I do not think I would use this service again. Maybe things will be different after all the money is used, but I can’t say.
3. Facebook Ads for eBook Advertising- $10.00 a day, here and there
These have been good ads for me, if only to build up my like count. People see my ad, check out the cool Darkin artwork, and like my page. Some people comment, or check out my official website for , but that seems to be a rarer occasion. In fact, sometimes when I post cool new art, my like count goes down. While I can live with that, I still think having a good starting base on Facebook is important, and I am up to 428 likes as of this post on. I will continue to use Facebook ads intermittently through the near future.
4. Google Adwords for eBook Advertising – $50.00, used twice
I made a banner ad that directed traffic to my official novel website. On my official website, whether for good or bad, I let people download my book free on .epub or .mobi. I have tracked about 75 book downloads since I began doing this. That isn’t a lot compared to my Amazon Kindle downloads, but it’s something. I think the adwords ad creation process is the most confusing of them all, because there are so many settings you can fine tune. I never really generated a lot of traffic from this, and will use it sparingly in the future, but I think if I researched it further, I could get more out of it.
5. Youtube Booktuber Review – $100.00
While this isn’t really advertising, I submitted and paid for an honest review from an honest reviewer: Authors Unleashed – Darkin’s Book Review. Going into the review, I knew the reviewer did not like my genre and its basic structure (epic fantasy sagas), so I could be called stupid for submitting it. He openly derided The Hobbit after all, and caught flack from his audience. Despite that, I am happy with my review and will use him again for the sequel. Although he admitted the book wasn’t for him, and that it followed some of the standard, typical structure that is found in all fantasy books (frontloading fake names and countries and world elements), he still went on to recommend the book and say that it was as good as anything to be found in the stores. With over 2,000 subscribers, and his base growing larger, I expect the nearly 600 views on the video to steadily grow over time and become worth the investment there.
I am out of time for this blog entry. This weekend I have an ad running with the Kindle Fire Department, so I will write about how that goes. I also forgot to mention that with the Kindle Nation Daily ads, my book consistently got into the top 100 best selling fantasy epic books on Amazon. This probably helped sales, and the sales results usually lasted 2 days afterward. I will also write about my failed Kickstarter project soon too, which some view as advertising. Until next time.