Thoughts on Paid eBook Advertising

Everyone wants a quick way to get book sales. As a result, they gravitate to paid media methods like online ads and expensive giveaways to grow at scale.

While quick growth may happen, your profit margins – and brand value – might take a serious hit.

I’ve tried PR agencies, Reddit ads and Facebook ads, all resulting in a loss of ROI and annoying potential customers. The people clicking my links were costing more than the value of my book. This is what happens when eBooks cost $2.99 or less. Your cost-per-click is likely to run you higher these days, with big publishers driving up costs. This is cost-prohibitive if your main objective is to increase book sales.

Amazon ads used to be effective, but now that many authors are trying out ads, the CPC has increased here too. I broke even with Amazon ads, therefore I could almost recommend experimentation here. Almost. It’s still a last resort, in my opinion.

Unless your book is a $100 “ultimate” how-to guide, you are dealing with a low-cost item with an eBook. Certainly a $100 guide can warrant paid ads, based on potential profit margins.

You’d be better off giving your low-cost eBook away for free to generate traffic and build trust for other services. Or build a series of books as secondary paid products (the foot-in-the-door sales approach).

Also, let’s look at audience as the most important component. Who is going to read this book, and why aren’t you hanging out in the online communities where these people are at?

Try unpaid methods before diving into paid awareness. This will yield better returns in the long-run, along with quality, organic brand-building. Having a loyal audience pays tremendous dividends over one-time buys.

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