If you’re a self-employed author, you run your own business. Chances are you have spent some money, or a lot, on promotion. The idea of promotion make sense. If someone said to you “if you give me ten dollars, i’ll give you twenty back.” you’d do it, in fact i’d ask what happens if you give them 10,000. Some promo is scalable, some isn’t, today we’ll talk about the difference between long term and short term advertising and why PPC (Pay Per Click) is not the only option.
Today, we’ll try cover the long term and affordable options for authors.
Facebook, Amazon & Google PPC
PPC normally works via a daily budget and keyword bid. So you spend $5 (budget) a day for clicks that cost .20 cents (bid) each. You get 25 clicks per $5. Now depending on your conversion rate . Click to buy (CTB), you can either do or die here. Just say it is 1/10 buy, that is great. 1/20 shit.
1/10 buys, so a buy costs $2.50 you, if your book is .99 cents on amazon you get .30 cents. $2.50/0.30
Let say you have a 3 part series, like you should, the price is 0.99, 2.99, 2.99, profit is $0.30, $2, $2 or $4.30 for the series. Now you have to work out your through. Who buys a .99 cent book and buys the 2.99 sequel? if you’re in Kindle Unlimited it should be high like 80%.
It’s 1/15ish to click to series read. So it’s $3 cost vs $4.30 income. Now this is ok but requires all things staying the same forever. Now some people make tons of sales via these methods, for some people it works. If you have a series of products, like a book series with high read through, great art and some romance, it might work. If you have less than $150 per book as promotion i’d look elsewhere, as this is $5 a day.
Websites & Mailing lists
A lot of authors don’t have websites, or if they do they are sub-par. Also often they don’t have mailing lists and sign up forms. Given a website is a very low cost item, it’s madness not to have one. The thing is an author website may cost $0 -100 but will last forever and bring in customers forever. Now i don’t try sell via my website, it’s too hard. Still think of it as a mailing list hosting station. I also have links to my amazon sales page.
A good way to think of a website is clicks per cost. If the aim is to get 0 – 1000 click a year. 1000/10
Costs – www.authorname.com
- Custom domain : www.authorname.tv (www.godaddy.com) $2 – 10
- website: www.wix.com $0
- Mailing list: 0-2,000 customers (www.mailchimp.com) $0
Mail-chimp will give you a free mailing list with a 2,000 capacity. With automation and landing pages. You can make a funnel, so when people sign up they get sent whatever you want (magnet) they also support website pop ups, which you should obtain.
5 ways to Promote your author site
- Link from Amazon author page
- Monthly blog based on SEO keywords, ie Epic Fantasy
- Link from Facebook Groups
- Book Chapters, Linkin docs, medium etc
- Back of Book ads
Blogs & Youtube channels
As an SEO producers and Influencer agency we know the power of Google and youtube to bring in organic traffic. Many authors can hit a 5,000 word a day target but can’t do a weekly blog. Google loves consistency so even a monthly blog will do better than whenever you like. People are searching for things a lot so if you write Epic fantasy, why not run an Epic fantasy blog? spend a few hours less writing and build your name. Blogs are about becoming an expert in a field.
Youtube can and should be used for Video reviews, Audiobook samples, Author profiles, free giveaways even to build your own channel. For a low budget promo push, try hiring influencers directly from us or a website like StarNow. You can hire a skilled actor, who has thousands of followers, who can self film for less than £100 per short video. Just put an ad and require that they can self-film and have access to a kindle.
ARCS, Funnels & Magnets
ARC (advanced reader copies) groups can really help an indy author to make it. Can you imagine on launch day you’re book gets 50 reviews for loving fans. Our friend Caroline Peckham has built a strong career on good decisions, but the first was ARC. If you want an automated ARC that has a link to the book and shoots it out in any format and gives you the chance of joining other authors. We recommend goodread to find ARC members.
A reader magnet is a normally written, goodies, that is used to tempt reader to do something. “free short story when you join the mailing list” while a full book can be used. A unique short story is always good. When starting out a great habit to get into is write a short story based on your book, one day after you finish.
A sales funnel is just a way to get sales in stages. Imagine you offer the first book in your series free (0.99) , and your writing book two (2.99). The customer gets book one for joining your list. They then get three more mails from you, each mentions books two coming soon.
Finally you send a book two sales ad to your list, at a discount. The sales funnel works via percentages so the more people you get into the start the more you should make.
Book funnel – Group promo
Bookfunnel is a platform where you can automate ARC, Magnets & Funnels, we like it because it’s well made, cheap and has yearly payment ($20). If you’re wanting people to download your book for free, they can deliver about 100+ copies a day. This only works for non Kindle Unlimited books, or Amazon can’t delist you. They also have sales & KDP groups.
- Add your book (.epub. pdf. mobi)
- Create landing page with mailing list sign-up (Group)
- Create landing page with no requirements (ARC)
- Join “Group promo” with other authors
- Promo group event
- Add names to mail list.
Quality & Budget
When it comes to self-publishing poor editing has been my own downfall, poor covers is often another. The goal with a self-published book is that you can’t tell it’s not from a major house. Whenever you have a book, set a marketing budget even is it only $50-200, it can help, but if spent on PPC it may last only a month.
Here is our top five for new authors, other than make an awesome book.
- Website – Link to Amazon page
- Mailing list – Mailchimp
- Book-funnel for ARC
- Email Good readers to join ARC
- Regular blog – link to amazon author page
Do these five things and you’ll be reaping the rewards in years to come.