Monday, January 26, 2015

To pay or not?

Now that my latest book is complete I can focus my energies on marketing and promotion. In the coming days my books are going to be featured on numerous websites, blogs, and book listings. I’ve taken out paid promotional spots on some of the top reader’s sites. I’m curious to see how this affects sales.

In the past I have not been a big proponent of paying websites to advertise my books. I was relying mostly on my own developed platform and word-of-mouth. This worked for a number of years and my sales had always been relatively consistent; not enough to quit my day job but enough to buy a few nice things for myself and my wife. Times have changed.

No one would argue that the ebook market is now flooded with unseasoned writers pumping out many sub-par books. I don’t blame that causality for my dwindling sales however I believe I may have exhausted my own channels. To gain new readership I must be available to be discovered. New readers aren’t likely to stumble upon my blog or books without something garnering their attention. I’ve come to believe that paid promotion is necessary in my circumstance.

Before sending your hard earned money to the flashiest, newest, hipster, and seemingly most promising sites, I advise you check the Alexa ranking. Anything below 50,000 is pretty darned good and probably worthy of a paid ad. However, I advise spending no more than $100 on sites other than the really big hitters like Bookbub, you mostly likely will not see a return on investment.

I fully understand that earning a living as a writer is a marathon venture and not a sprint and that any promotion gives exposure. I also understand that brief exposure means nothing if the book isn’t bought and the author is forgotten a day later. My World Wide Web promotional sweep begins tomorrow with several sponsorships going at once. My online writer’s group Enovel Authors at Work is also sending out its newsletter with my latest as a feature. As sales stats begin to roll in I will chronicle my results on this blog. Thanks to all who are interested.