The Challenges of Advertising

Filed in Book Marketing by on June 23, 2013

Advertising for the self-published author on a strict budget is quite a challenge. Short of taking out a glossy ad in the local paper which would be beyond the means of many, including me, what does one do? If you publish with one of the traditional publishers they advertise for you. OK, you pay for it via their percentage, but they do it all.

When you are self-published, you have to fund advertising of your book – unless you can find a venture partner and sadly I haven’t found one yet!

Two obvious places to advertise are Facebook and Goodreads. Facebook has a relatively easy (maybe too easy) advertising platform while Goodreads are trialling a beta version of a self-serve ad system.

For $6.61 on Facebook here are the results for one status update, a link to an article on my website about media coverage of sexism. The reach (views) count is 6,036 and I “boosted” the item 14 hours ago.

Facebook Stats 1

In comparison, on June 9 (USA time) I purchased $25 of advertising on Goodreads and although the ad has been viewed 3,258 times to date (June 19 in Australia), not one click has been recorded. Of course, I still have $25 credit as on Goodreads the payment is by click, not per view.

Facebook Stats 2

Of course, this comparison may mean many things or nothing at all. Sexism is a hot topic, so the Facebook status update may catch the reader’s eye faster than an ad about Love versus Goliath.

Maybe my ad on Goodreads is just a bad ad! After all, I am not a marketing guru by any stretch of the imagination!

Choosing a price-per-click on Goodreads is difficult. I have tried various amounts up to $25.00 (I’d paid the amount already, might as well use it) and I have yet to register a click on the actual ad.

On the other hand, has the boosting of Facebook status updates actually sold any books? I do not know the answer to that, but certainly traffic has been driven to my website and that has to be a positive. I hope.

Both Facebook and Goodreads offer inexpensive advertising. So does Twitter, which I have looked at but to date not taken advantage of. I don’t see the Twitterati as being very receptive to advertising on Twitter and I would prefer not to displease my followers.

The question is, for many of us, where to from here?

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Robyn Oyeniyi

About the Author ()

Robyn Oyeniyi has recently self-published her memoir LOVE VERSUS GOLIATH, detailing her battle with the Australian government to be allowed to have her husband and step-children join her in Australia. A complete novice in the world of publishing, Robyn has successfully published both the eBook and paperback versions and her book has been catalogued by the school library service in Australia. Robyn is a guest speaker at professional development seminars for migration agents and her book is spoken about at various seminars. Robyn shares her self-publishing journey on her website


  1. Michael N. Marcus says:

    For fiction or poetry, advertising could cost millions. Unless you’re loaded, forget about it.

    For nonfiction, Google Adwords can be effective and inexpensive.