How should I go about advertisement and self promotion?

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hawkey

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I have my novel set to come out through Amazon with self-publishing mid-November this year. But I can't seem to find any ways to boost my posts to be seen by anyone who cares. Are there any good places to promote these things or create advertisements? It's the main thing I've been stressing out about lately and I can't find a break in the chaos.
 

stephenf

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You might find the above useful. But to be honest , to promote anything in a very competitive market requires an investment of time and money.
 

lizmonster

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All I can tell you with confidence is that Facebook ads are a waste of money. Twitter might move a copy or two, and I've heard the occasional story of people getting the attention of someone with a lot of followers, but it's a crap shoot, really. It does have the virtue of being free.

BookBub helps, I am told, but I believe you need to apply to be included there (and it's not free).

I'm planning to use Netgalley to release an ARC at the end of the year. Also not free, but it is a place frequented by some reviewers with larger reach.

The key is to find out who might like your book, and let them know it exists. Which is not at all easy.
 

Al X.

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All I can tell you with confidence is that Facebook ads are a waste of money. Twitter might move a copy or two, and I've heard the occasional story of people getting the attention of someone with a lot of followers, but it's a crap shoot, really. It does have the virtue of being free.

BookBub helps, I am told, but I believe you need to apply to be included there (and it's not free).

I'm planning to use Netgalley to release an ARC at the end of the year. Also not free, but it is a place frequented by some reviewers with larger reach.

The key is to find out who might like your book, and let them know it exists. Which is not at all easy.

I certainly can't argue that Facebook ads are a waste of money, in terms of ROI. But, in the last couple of years, they have been the most effective thing out there (which isn't very.) AMS ads are completely worthless these days. I've had marginal success with Bookbub ads but Facebook ads have still fared better. Three years ago I would have said you would be nuts to promote through Facebook.

One of the problems with promoting your first book, is that you are only promoting one book. Once you have several under your belt and you promote your newest, then you will get some secondary sales, and the economics of negative ROI ads start to change a bit.
 
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lizmonster

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I have four books out. A Facebook ad for my latest got me a 3% click rate and no orders.

I did get orders by posting on Facebook, but I'd never spend money on an ad there again. (Having run some ads previously, I wasn't surprised.)
 
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Woollybear

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Hi Hawkey.

I was pleasantly surprised by my initial sales. Here's what I did: Before I launched, I asked my friends and crit partners and family to buy a copy (I suggested e-copy but most bought paperback and wanted it signed.) These people were, basically, my ARC team, although I did not know the term at the time.

People will say don't ask friends to buy your book, because of (various reasons.) I am glad i did. The sales spiked the book's visibility on Amazon and as a result other folks bought the book too.

Sales eventually dwindled, and I tried a free promo. (I am in Kindle Select for the e-book.) I advertised through pay-as-you-go type newsletters. Freebooksy and a few others. Saw 3500 downloads and a handful of sales after that.

Tried amazon ads (AMS) and never saw a sale from that Saw a few KU page reads.

Never tried facebook ads. On "20 books to 50K," some authors swear by facebook ads and others swear by AMS. Setting up AMS ads is a time intensive effort to do right, finding the right keywords (you will need in the hundreds of such words) and the right bids. I never hit on a winning strategy there.

Most recently I tried a kindle countdown deal, and again listed the deal in a newsletter (BargainBooksy). Sold 32 books, which is probably typical for this approach. I was happy.

And through it all, I am writing--One sequel and one prequel are in prep. As Al said above, readers grabbing a freeby or cheapy when it is promoted and then buying from the back catalog might be where the balance sheet evens out.

I am still in the red, but happy. Good luck and congratulations.
 
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