Book Marketing Strategies And Tips For Authors: Pay to Play?

Book Marketing Strategies And Tips For Authors:  Pay to Play?

– Are you looking for
book marketing strategies and tips for authors for promoting
your self-published book? Are you beginning to wonder
if it’s a pay-to-play world and you’re at a disadvantage ’cause you’re not doing anything when it comes to paying
for your advertising? Well, today’s video, we’re gonna address the
pay-to-play question. Should you be paying to play? Should you not? Well, stay tuned. (hard rock music) This is Self Publishing with Dale where you learn to publish books that sell and build an unstoppable author brand. What do you think is
the most effective way of marketing your books? And also, does it have to cost a lot? Love to hear your candid thoughts inside the comments down below. Also, stick around to the end ’cause I’m gonna give
you my candid insights and my experience when it comes to marketing
your self-published books. It’s important to understand
where we came from before we start to analyze
where we’re at today. The way it used to be. Back about five years ago,
I came into this business. I noticed that people
would find that hot topic or that trending niche and
they would jump onto it. They would just kinda fire
off one here, one there, also known as shotgunning
or spray and pray. People would just kind of go
after these different things. And the nice thing is it was really, really a good methodology, and people were profiting hand and fist. Organic sales were through the roof. And you really didn’t need to do much more than spam social media and
get reviews for your book. The way it is now. If we were to compare
and contrast both models of today and about five years ago, there is one thing that
is shared in common. That is hot topics and trending niches. Yeah, everybody’s always going to be consuming the next latest
craze, but here’s the thing. Brands are winning the biggest. The authors that really
cement their legacy in a given niche are going to win bigger than someone who’s just
firing off one-offs. And let’s face it, Amazon
is getting a lot more strict when it comes to gathering reviews. The review gathering process was completely different years ago, whereas now Amazon almost
wholeheartedly gets behind just organic reviews only. The Amazon algorithm, the
thing that’s responsible for serving the customers
what they believe is going to be best for their buying needs, it’s becoming a lot more sophisticated. They’re starting to
train it up to understand what are the best buying patterns and how they can best
serve their audience. So where it was a little
clunky back in the day, now it has become smart. And especially now that
there’s been some loopholes that have been closed up and they’re starting to show the algorithm to kind of vet out those
less savory elements. So those people that are going
into a niche and they go deep into it are gonna be the
ones that win biggest. But what does that have
to do with anything when it comes to marketing
tips and if it’s pay-to-play? Well, stay with me for just a minute because it has a lot to do
with Amazon’s search engine. What is the difference maker? Well, here it is. I’m gonna serve it right
up here on a platter. It’s called relevancy. You’ve heard me say that
a lot on this channel, but search engines work a lot on whether or not your product or your service or your page is relevant. But what exactly determines relevancy? It all comes down to
impressions, to clicks, to buys, and engagement or activity. I’ve talked about this in previous videos, but those four specific
metrics really help to determine the relevancy of a product. And of course the biggest
metric is is this selling? Are people coming and landing on your page and clicking that buy button
and hanging onto that product? And the next thing is
are they really saying, “Okay, I love this product,” or they’re giving some type of a feedback? Because the name of the game is can you drive revenue on Amazon? So that’s why a lot of
these folks that are going for one-off hits are at
a bit of a disadvantage because they’re going into it
just one book on their hands, no reputation, no real
audience, and they’re saying, “Well, Amazon, you take care of this. “Bring me some customers.” Well, Amazon’s going, “What
have you done for my lately?” Honestly, what have you
done for Amazon lately? Just because you’re firing
off these one-offs doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re
all that and a bag of chips. Into the unfair advantage, paying to play. Okay, so you’re probably
saying, “Paying to play.” If you’re new to this business, you’re probably glossing over, going, “Well, what does this mean, Dale?” This means that you have
to invest in some type of advertising or marketing and promotion to drive traffic to your book. And hopefully your product
page is all dialed in and people buy the product. So let’s take a look at a few models when it comes to advertising your books, and I’ll give you my personal opinion when it comes to what’s
gonna be best for you. Amazon Advertising. Amazon Advertising, formerly known as Amazon
Marketing Services, is quite possibly the most dead simple way to advertising your book. I’m starting out in sharing
this particular model because, to me, I think it’s grossly
underused and underrated and a lot of the indie
authors are highly uninformed when it comes to the Amazon
Advertising platform. It’s cost-effective as long as you keep
your cost-per-click low and you’re choosing a wide
array of keywords relevant to your particular publication. In my opinion, right now Amazon
Advertising is Wild West. There are lots of keywords
you can really capitalize on to bring in more audience to your book. The reason why I go so bullish on Amazon Advertising
is people go to Amazon to buy things. They’re already a warm audience. They go onto Amazon’s platform, not just to research or find out how-tos. They go there because
they want to consume. So to me, I think that Amazon
Advertising is probably one of the best pay-to-play options when it comes to advertising your book. Now, let’s go and let’s refer back for just a second here on relevancy. If somebody is advertising their book through Amazon Advertising,
think about this. We’re delivering traffic
over to our book’s page, and it’s being served
up to relevant keywords. It’s having impressions,
possibly clicks, hopefully sales, and then eventually
some type of engagement. So this is why I think Amazon
Advertising is probably one of the best pay-to-play options out there. And believe it or not, Amazon’s
not paying me to say this. So you want one of the easiest
and most effective ways of increasing relevancy, Amazon Advertising is your solution. But what about Facebook
ads and Google ads? Well, here’s the deal. When you are going onto, say, Facebook, you’re just going on there probably to see what your grandma’s up to
or watch some cat videos or post a picture of your
food from this morning. You’re typically not
going on there thinking, ah, I’m gonna go on Facebook
today to buy a book. So you’re already dealing
with cold traffic. Yeah, there’s gonna be
some Facebook ads experts losing their minds because obviously it’s a
little bit more detailed. But the fact of the matter
is there is so much more work that’s gonna have to be
put into Facebook ads, say, versus Amazon ads. And then let’s look at Google ads. I’m gonna lump these two together because, again, we’re
dealing with cold audience. And unless we have some
type of remarketing or retargeting plan
put out in front of us, we stand to lose quite a bit of money. Unlike Amazon Advertising, Facebook and Google are more than happy to relieve you of your money
regardless of the outcome of your ad campaign. Amazon, on the other hand, you can probably set a $5 per day budget. You put your cost-per-clicks really low, and you may not even have any type of clicks on a given day, and that’s okay. What about BookBub? A couple years ago, I actually interviewed a good
friend of mine, Paul Rega, and Paul actually shared a little bit of his love for BookBub and how he had some great
success on that platform. Even Martin Crosbie was
another interview guest here and spoke of the
effectiveness of BookBub ads. But here is the deal. It is really, really, really tough to get a BookBub placement
inside their newsletter. They are very stringent
with their guidelines. So the likelihood of you getting
in there are slim and none. And even when you do,
it is a bit more pricey. I’ve heard some great success stories when it comes to running BookBub ads, but then I’ve heard on the
other end of the things that there’s some people
that have lost some money. Then there’s also their CPC ads to where their cost-per-click
is set at a certain amount, and it pretty much runs
like, say, a Facebook or a Google ad in they’ll
drive the traffic now. I’m gonna give BookBub the
benefit of the doubt in the fact that if they are serving
their ads out to readers, then they’re gonna be a bit more warm than, say, someone that
is off Facebook or Google because people are going
to BookBub obviously to purchase books. So I have not tried out BookBub before, and I definitely would
love to hear from you if you have tried out their
cost-per-click campaigns. And what about other promotional
services on websites? I hate to say this, and I’m not
pointing to any one website. There are a ton of websites out there that do promotional
services for your book, and some of ’em more particularly
will drive traffic to you if you have, say, free
books or 99 cent books or some type of deals. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I’ve had some great success
with some, and other ones, eh. But for the most part it’s
gonna take a little bit of time and testing for
you to kinda figure out. If there was one recommendation that I would give for all
of these types of ads, try them one at a time. Don’t try to do all of them because you never know the
effectiveness of any one area if you don’t try to focus
on it one at a time. But what about the question. Is it a pay-to-play world? Well, it’s not a necessity,
but it certainly helps. You will find other types of methodologies that are gonna be able to
get your book out there and build your author brand, but you are starting out
at a severe disadvantage over those that are already established and running ads to their particular book. I’d recommend starting out
with one avenue at a time. And if I were to recommend
anything over the other, give Amazon Advertising a shot. In fact, it was just this
past year I had a good friend of mine, Marco Moutinho,
here right on this channel where he shared some insights about running good Amazon
Advertising campaigns and how you can kinda
tweak some of the metrics inside your dashboard. You’re gonna wanna make sure
that you go and take a look at that video.
(bell dings) I’ll see you there. – I don’t wanna be
overspending on keywords that might not work, right? So I wanna test it first. So what I do.


  1. I never considered having to pay to play, honestly. I guess starting at the source (Amazon) would be the best starting point. Thanks, Dale.

  2. yes face book sucks with just about everything that is why I deleted almost everything there. I don't go to face book but 1 time a day now. everything is fake there. and you know how I hate amazon

  3. My books have done very well without paid advertising, but I think I've reached a cap. I'm now researching how to pay to play so I can go to the next level. This video was helpful. I was lucky enough to be offered a Bookbub featured deal for my debut, but I didn't take advantage of it, due to the high price. Yesterday, I just applied for another. fingers crossed

  4. About, a year ago me and friend of mine had developed a website and sold products online. We used fb ads, we failed so many times over and over again till we found the right remedy on how to target people buy our stuff.

    Spoiler alert * we targeted people who had previously bought online * somehow fb had that info .

    Anyways it makes perfect sense that Amazon ads should work. Everybody who is on their is looking for something to buy. 🤔

  5. Great vid again and I agree on Amazon and Amazon is going to push Amazon so no brainer. I use Amazon ads for every new book release. I see which of my books rises to the top and then I double down on that top 20% of the performers that push my 80% of profits.

  6. Thank you for this video. I have Amazon, Google, and Facebook ads going and not many clicks. I will concentrate now on Amazon and figure out how to reach my niche. Active Seniors and those who love someone with Alzheimer's.

  7. In my opinion, Amazon ads are a must. Bookbub ads can be very effective when launching a book at a discounted price (99c) or running a Kindle Countdown deal for instance. It's harder to make them profitable when selling books at full price though. Bookbub is huge and isn't going anywhere though. It has a lot of potential moving forward. Amazon ads aren't going anywhere either of course 🙂

  8. Amazon ads isn't scalable. Bookbub CPM and Facebook are, but you gotta know how to test ads and nail your targeting before throwing in big bucks. I think the answer, though really depends on your goals. Are you happy with drip sales, or are trying to break through the top 3,000 on Amazon and getting A9 to sell the book for you in its first 30 days? And are you trying to find new readers/followers? Etc.

    With Bookbub, I hear everyone makes back their money in the first 24 hours, BUT the new ads they are running like New Releases are a fail because Bookbub peeps are looking for deals, not full price books. With those ads, I heard someone paid over $800 and made back only a handful of bucks. I will be buying that book on Bookbub CPM ads by David G, because I plan to eventually use them, or at least try them out. He swears it's the cheapest ads ever once you learn the ninja tricks, the easiest platform to master, and is easily scalable.

    One thing I've learned, all of this requires carefully crafted strategy, and every ad service is completely different and each platform must be mastered. Best to learn them one at a time, like you said. they have strengths and weaknesses the other platforms lack. 😊

  9. The machine learning is a bit flawed. Does it take people like me into account? Sometimes I look up a book to save it in my wishlist or on a separate document wishlist. I then buy books depending on price and whether I have enough available at the time.

    I hope I can earn enough from my first book to pay for editing and covers for my second.

  10. Great video I have to research the "pay per click" it kind of went over my head lol. Thanks again Mr. Dale.

  11. Looking at my sales data it really is a pay to play environment on Amazon. I just need to get the pay per click cost down to a level where the sales actually generate a profit. Cheers for all the help so far Dale.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *