Choosing Where to Advertise

I’m spending money on advertising?  Wouldn’t it be better served going to charity?

Shut up, inner liberal thoughts.  We’re doing this!

I’m committed to it, even though it’s not the greatest idea.  Most self-published authors don’t recommend advertising until you have a few books in your catalog.  Quite understandable, but for me, not as feasible.  Simply put, I’m not going to have another book ready for at least a year.  So I’m gonna start now, see where it gets me (likely nowhere) and then advertise again next year. And then repeat until all the money’s gone.

Seriously, advertising dollars add up quickly.  Oh, this one’s only ten.  Hey, this one’s just thirty.  A few websites later and you’re at several hundred dollars in proposed costs.  This is what happens.  So what is the best way to get the most out of my limited ad budget?

It all starts with coming up with a list of venerable ebook advertisers.  Wouldn’t want to waste money on scams at this point.  So I did plenty of Google searches, most of which ended on a author’s blog, but these will only get you so far.  The best place I found was the Kindle Writer’s Cafe, which has tons of posts on experiences with advertisers.  This is the place for self-publishers.  Go here.

Once I had a list of names, the next step was going to each advertiser’s website to find out their requirements.  That’s right.  Throwing money at them isn’t enough.  You’ve got to meet the criteria, the most common of which is a 99 cent book.  There’s also limitations based on how many reviews you have, though some make exceptions for new releases.  And then, there’s the actual cost.  Some are relatively cheap.  Others will make the stomach’s of my fellow cheapskates turn.

With a narrowed-down list, some of which you still may be rejected from, it’s time to place ads.  And for most of these, that means hawking your book in a mailing list.  This whole thing all comes down to mailing lists.  I didn’t realize people still read email when they weren’t at their job.  Anyhoo, here’s the thing about most of these sites: they need a link.  And you can only provide one when your book’s been published.  Huh.  That makes sense.  But it kinda messed with my original timetable.  Why?  Because you have to reserve your advertising date, and a lot of upcoming dates are booked.  So it all came down to  timing.  The book has to be published in advanced enough to get the days you want, but be on Amazon for less than 90 days to be considered a new release.  Oh, and it means you aren’t getting any ads on the day you publish your book.  Not from these sites anyway.

That’s why I’ll be soft launching the novel.  Meaning, it’ll be there, but only a vague few will know about it.  And the rest will get the email in July.  Hopefully.  So I’m not expecting any sales at first.  That hurts my rank from what I’ve read, but it is what it is.

Once all the ads are out there and the money’s been spent, I’ll do a rundown of my budget and where the money went.  But that’s a few months away at this point.

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