Secret Sauce For Self-Published Writers and Publishers

For every dollar I spend on ads, I generate about $11 in sales.

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The biggest challenge for self-publishing book authors is generating sales. Marketing is the bane of an independent writer’s existence, since most of us don’t have anything but a minimal budget for book promotion. Obviously, there are multiple ways and channels to get exposure for your book, but I want to focus on something I bet you haven’t tried. This simple method is giving me a significant Return On Investment (ROI):

For every dollar I spend on ads, I generate about $11 in sales.

Ad Buying Online

What you will find if you try purchasing ads on LinkedIn, and Facebook is that the amounts you need to bid in order to receive exposure can be as much as $4.00 — $7.00 per click. Google tends to be a little cheaper (mileage varies on CPC costs — the more popular the keywords (and hence volume of exposure, the more you pay).

Some quick mental arithmetic tells us that if you are paying $5.00 a click, and your profit margin for a book is, let’s say $4.00. you will need an impossible conversion rate (each person clicking buys). Very quickly, you end up losing money on each sale. On these major platforms, it’s easy to lose money VERY FAST.

My experience with these three pay for click options I’ve tried on the major platforms is that it’s virtually impossible to make it work. And, you can spend an awful lot of money trying to get it to work.

Amazon Ad Campaigns Work!

It’s your standard self-serve system, and can be accessed by clicking on the “ad campaigns” tab within the Kindle dashboard.

As is the case with other CPC systems, you pick your landing page (your book), and can bid on keywords. The big difference here is that your bids are much lower. For example, on my campaigns, I pay about thirty five cents per click, and the conversion rate is high enough to not only create gross sales revenue, but to also yield a nice profit.

As I said earlier, for every dollar I spend I sell about $11.00 in books from Amazon. I won’t share my profit margins (it varies by book), but it suffices to say that it’s profitable for me.

Tracking Spend and Sales

The Kicker: Increased Sales Overall

The second observation is that not only do these ads result in incremental “new” sales attributed directly to the ad, but that there’s some sort of splash over effect, where sales occur without an actual ad click. I have a book that has, historically, not sold at all. Since I have been advertising the book, sales for that book have increased a lot, even though I’m not getting sales recorded as a result of an actual click through. In effect, it seems people are seeing the ad, NOT clicking on it, then looking for the book on their own. And then buying. Kind of free advertising, really.

A Few More Things To Know About Amazon Ads And Promoting Book Sales

Pricing: If your book prices are low, then you will still run into problems with your spend exceeding your profit margin on each book. Hence, pricing becomes extra important. There’s kind of a catch here, because the lower you price your book, the more likely you are to create sales, but the lower your profit margin. And the less you can spend on advertising. My books are based on margins, not volume, but your mileage may vary.

If you would like more detailed information on the system, or have additional hints for authors looking to promote their books sales, please leave a comment.

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Posted in Writing & Content Generation

Originally published at on March 15, 2019.

Written by

Author, Trainer, customer service, management, performance appraisal,leadership,difficult customers

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