Where to put your limited marketing dollars

As a self-published author, marketing my book is a daunting challenge. I don’t have endless sums to advertise so I test the waters with various promotions. After When a Stranger Comes… got a very positive review from Kirkus Reviews–the gold standard, I was psyched. So I decided to run an ad in their online magazine and two spots in their email. Needless to say the charge was quite dear. Much more than I have  ever spent. $1,150 to be exact. But this was Kirkus. They touted a giant number of visitors to their website. Big email list. So I waited for the ad campaign to start with enthusiasm. What I got was a big fat nothing. Two sales the first week. Now I wait for the second and final week.

I didn’t understand the terms. I was a innocent fool. First of all, my ad shares the two weeks with two other ads. It is rotated so that when you hit the page it could be my ad or another ad. If you refresh or go back my ad could appear where the other ad was. They claim, I will get a report at the end with the number of impressions but I forgot to ask–how long does my ad stay fixed? A second? Because if you leave the page and come back to it my ad could be gone.

Needless to say, I would never buy another ad in an online magazine. Luckily, I didn’t go for the higher priced packages. I wonder how Kirkus has the nerve to charge so much for their advertising if the ROI is so poor. Or maybe it was just for my book. I had them create the graphic ( and that was $150 of the total) so it looked great.

So expensive lesson learned. I am hoping Bookbub will accept my book now that I have a great review from Kirkus but Amazon is my only outlet, so I don’t know. BookBub is not cheap but far less than Kirkus. However, a one day promo is estimated to have 3000 downloads in the thriller category. Even at $0.99, I can make back my investment plus I’ve sold a ton of books and helped build my platform.

Fingers crossed that the book is accepted on BookBub.

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