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Selling your book through book ads

This post is the fifty-sixth post in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.

Over the past few weeks I have talked about offering your book on promotion whether it is for free or at a discount. From my own experience, no sales promotion is going to succeed without readers knowing about it. And no book will ever be read without readers being able to find it. This is where advertising comes into play.

Now you can go with free routes – posting on Facebook, Twitter or blogs. But your reach can be limited on these venues. You need to go where readers go. You need to go where people buy, review or discuss books.

But before you purchase an ad on any of website, I would suggest you research whether this will help you reach your target market of readers. It doesn’t help to just advertise your books to just readers in general. You need to get it in front of those that actually might read your book. In other words, don’t advertise your sci-fi thriller to romance readers.

Some websites will offer you an ad on their website or perhaps a listing on their “special” or “deal section.” And some even will include your information in their e-mail newsletter. Other sites will offer advertising based on a Cost-per-Click (CPC) program. This is where you have an advertisement (sometimes just copy and sometimes with an image) and you only pay for the people who click on the link in your ad.

Let’s go over briefly a few places you can buy an advertisement.


What better place to advertise than on the biggest e-book retailer out there? Amazon offers Amazon Marketing Services, which offers sponsored ads, display ads or video ads. The sponsored ads are cost-per-click while the display ads or video ads require a $35,000 budget to start, so those are out for most of us. Find out more here.


Goodreads is another good place to advertise. They have over 80 million members and 430 million page views a month. This is where many readers go to discuss books or to find their next great read.

Here though people won’t be clicking to buy your book. They will be adding the book to their To-Read list. This may be an easier commitment than an actual purchase and the plus for you is that when people add books to their To Read list, it shows up in their friends’ news feeds and email digests meaning more publicity for you.


With over 1 billion users, Facebook could be the way to find the next reader for your book. Like Amazon and Goodreads, you pay when people click on your ad. You can narrow who you want to see your ad by region, age, sex and interests.

Book/Reader Websites

There are numerous reader websites such as BookBub, Kindle News Daily and Ereader News Daily to name a few that offer advertisements. These can range in price from $15 up to several hundred dollars (especially when looking at the very-challenging-to-get-accepted BookBub). Before considering any of these, you need to look at how many of their readers are in your target market.

There are many blogs out there that will tell you which sites they have had success using but remember that each book, each promotion is different. My results will not be the same as yours just as your results will differ from another authors. My advice is to set a budget and experiment to see what helps increase your sales and reviews.

Previous topics

#1 – Deciding to write a novel – Writing Myths

#2 – Three areas to develop before starting to write a novel

#3 – Finding a Story Idea and How to Know if it “good enough”

#4 – Developing Characters for your Novel

#5 – Major characters? Minor Characters? Where does everyone fit in?

#6 – Developing the Setting for your Novel

#7 – The importance of developing conflict in your novel plot

#8 – To Outline or not to outline 

#9 – The importance of a story arc

#10 – The importance of tension and pace

#11 – Prologue and opening scenes

#12 – Beginning and ending scenes in a novel

#13 – The importance of dialogue…and a few tips on how to write it

#14 – Using Internal Dialogue in your novel

#15 – More dialogue tips and help with dialogue tags

#16 – Knowing and incorporating back story into your novel

#17 – Hinting at what is to come with foreshadowing

#18 – Tips for writing different scenes in your novel

#19 – Dealing with Writer’s Block

#20 – Killing a Character in your Novel

#21 – Keeping things realistic in your novel

#22 – Establishing Writing Goals and Developing Good Writing Habits

#23 – Using the five senses and passive voice in your novel

#24 – The benefit of research in fiction writing

#25 – Novella or Novel, Trilogy or Series – decisions for writers

#26 – Avoiding Plot and Character Clichés

#27 – Novel Writing – Endings and Epilogues

#28 – Fantasy Novel Writing – World Building, Dragons, Magic and More

#29 – Finishing your First Draft

#30 – Your Second Draft and Beyond

#31 – Picking Stronger Words and Watching out for Homonyms

#32 – Omitting unnecessary words in your novel

#33 – Beta Reader, Proofreaders and Copy Editors

#34 – Knowing your grammar or at least using a grammar checking program

#35 – Using a Revision Outline during your Novel Editing

#36 – Editing Techniques: Taking a Break and Reading Aloud

#37 – Publishing Options for your book

#38 – Self-publishing an ebook decisions

#39 – Picking Your Book Title and Your Pen Name

#40 – Investing in an eye-catching book cover

#41 – Writing an awesome book blurb

#42 – Deciding on Front Matter for your novel

#43 – Deciding on Back Matter for your novel

#44 – Formatting your eBook for publication

#45 – Pricing your e-book

#46 – Selecting Categories and Keywords to improve your Novel’s visibility

#47 – Book Promotions: Cover Reveal and Pre-Orders

#48 – Publishing your novel with Amazon and KDP Select

#49 – Publishing your e-book with Smashwords or Draft2Digital

#50 – Marketing your E-book

#51 – Finding your Book’s Target Market

#52 – The importance of Book Reviews and how to get them

#53 – Is it worth it to offer your book for free?

#54 – My results from offering my novels for free

#55 –

MUDDY TOES (Part 2 of 2 Parts)

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