Cheap Book Advertising for Indie Authors

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Update: 1/2/2021

Recently, a friend of mine asked me where was the best place to advertise her book? I mean most indie authors know about BookBub, but not everybody can afford that, so I decided to go on a mission and find out.

Before I go on, I have to give the obvious disclaimer: Advertising of any kind isn’t going to guarantee book sales. In fact, I met an author whose book sales went down while doing a BookBub ad.  Yikes!

Trends In Book Advertising: Social Media & Amazon Ads

Thriller writer Mark Dawson started a Facebook advertising course for authors which was very popular with indie authors. However, not every authors saw success, for example, YA and children’s authors didn’t seem to get the results that romance authors do. Also, Facebook advertising is a tricky beast and many authors don’t have the ability or patience to learn the intricate nuances of advertising. Another thing worth noting is that even though it’s considered cheaper, Facebook advertising costs can add up if you don’t know what you’re doing.      

As if that weren’t enough, a year later, Amazon ads became hot and this made more sense to some authors like me. Instead of luring people to Amazon from Facebook, why not advertise to people already on Amazon? Chances are they’re at Amazon to buy something so why not entice them with a book? Indie author Brian Meeks created a course on Teachable for those looking to learn about Amazon ads, the course is expensive but if you can’t afford that, he also has a book on the subject called, Mastering Amazon Ads and it’s available of course, at Amazon.

If you’re not sure which one you want to try, Amazon has a free course for beginners and Facebook has courses that are also, 100% free as well. Also, Dave Chesson, of Kindlepreneur, has a free course on Amazon ads. If you’re interested, you should check the free courses first before committing to a paid advertising course.

As if that weren’t enough, BookBub announced they would be offering PPC (pay per click) ads and PPM (pay per impression) ads. BookBub has a large community of readers and it’s a very popular place for indie authors who want to advertise a book. If you want to learn more Reedsy, has a free video course taught by author David Gaughran here and a very thorough blog post here.    

The Obvious Problem: 

The biggest barrier for most authors is the learning curve, it requires authors to study copywriting, keywords, and graphic design. Not all authors are capable or willing to learn these things. Many indie authors work 9 to 5 jobs or have personal obligations and this is just another hurdle in the publishing world. That’s where discount newsletters became a Godsend. You just gave them the money, and they handle the rest but as I said previously, not everyone could afford it.  

Alternatives To BookBub: Those Other Discount Book Sites

Believe it or not, BookBub is not the only discount newsletter geared towards readers. There are others and though, many of them don’t have the reach of BookBub (which has 3.8 million subscribers in crime fiction alone) they are cheaper and some of them reach hundreds of thousands of readers. Like BookBub, many of them charge according to the popularity of the genre as well as the type of ad such the as Deal of the Day type or a simple slot in the newsletter.

Below, I only listed those that feature book sales and not freebies sites:

A Tip For A Stress-Free Experience

The first thing I would recommend an author do before putting down any money is to read the rules of these sites carefully. Several of them have requirements regarding; reviews, covers, and pricing. Also, some of them offer refunds while others do not, so author beware. 

11 comments

  1. Instead of marketing messages to customers through email blast or mailers, it is better to update
    them on social media within CRM. It’s about finding a more effective and efficient way of creating added value for
    customers, or seeking out new clients, or fulfilling
    whatever your goals may be. Organic links, such as social networks,
    also generate traffic.

  2. Thank you for the article, however, I must let you know that many of the sites on bookpraiser and ebookbooster haven’t been promoting books for 6 months +. The sites still accept books, but no longer post them.

  3. Thanks for the heads up Kathy. I noticed that some of the sites they labeled on the landing pages are defunct but they do promise they’ll submit your book to 50+ sites. They (BookBooster) generally send a confirmation email to the authors that purchase their services as do the other sites they submit to. So it looks to be on the up and up. However, I think they need to update their website and get rid of those dead sites because it makes them look very suspicious. If I find out in the future that they’re not keeping their promises I’ll definitely take them off my list.

  4. There’s certainly nothing wrong with “cheap” advertising as long as it’s at least somewhat effective. Although, indie authors need to understand that in order to market their book well, they will need to invest in marketing of the non-cheap variety.

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