My obsession lately (aside from writing a new book) has been with Amazon Ads. For a long time, I have avoided them as my budget is tight and they looked complicated. Plus, I struggle with gambling my hard-earned cash on something that may never work.
There is the saying ‘face the fear and do it anyway,’ so I decided to cast aside my fear and do some research so that I can make some calculated risks when it comes to spending money on advertising. I have been watching endless YouTube videos, Googling and scanning to see how other authors get on with Amazon Ads and the results are mixed and varied, as you would expect.
My conclusion so far is that as with any gambling, you need to decide on a budget and stick with it. It is too easy to throw money away, not get anywhere and then become despondent.
Years ago, I worked with a market trader who liked to gamble. He only ever gambled low amounts and he had a ‘system.’ From what I could gather, because he kept his cards close to his chest, he normally broke even. I will never know if that was actually the truth, but I suspect it was. For him it was a hobby.
For some, writing is a hobby and breaking even is good if you enjoy what you do and can live from other means. For others, we need to treat writing as a business and that is where we need to adjust our thinking when it comes to marketing. A book is a product and any product needs advertising. Nothing happens by magic alone.
As writers, we all have social media which is free advertising. Or at least we think it is. In fact, it isn’t, if you factor in the time you spend on it and how much your time is worth per hour, you can see that it isn’t so free after all!
I believe E.L James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey worked hard on her Facebook profile and that was a part of her achieving success. I think it’s good advice not to spread yourself too thin and try to do everything. Which is amusing coming from me because I have accounts with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. My favourite is Twitter for writing, Instagram for photography and I’m a bit of a random Facebooker but I continue to try to work on it. Promote on the platform you enjoy the most as you are more likely to stick with it.
Anyway, I digress. This post is meant to be about Amazon Ads. After watching umpteen YouTube videos and Googling away, I found two good avenues of advice this week. One is a book by Deb Potter – Amazon Ads for Authors 2021. I have not read it all yet but so far so good. Easy to read, cuts to the chase, offers clear and concise advice. Great for beginners.
The other is a chap called Dale and his YouTube channel is Self-publishing with Dale. Again, he cuts to the chase, doesn’t encourage you to throw away your life savings on Amazon Ads and although I can’t prove his system works, it makes sense to me. So, I am cautiously trying it and will report back on results, which could take as long as a year according to what he says. As much as we all want sales quickly, we should remember the story of the hare and the tortoise…
The information I give here is impartial, I am not using affiliate links for this, simply imparting what I learn as I go along. The best advice I can give is do your own research and see what fits for you and your budget.
I have seen Mark Dawson’s Self-publishing formula heavily advertised; you may want to look into that. From what I can see you will need a higher budget to take his courses, but the reviews are good. If you are on a lower budget, Amazon offer their own free course to teach you how to use their advertising platform. You can find it on their website.
Do what you can for free!
We all work hard on our books, but we have to work just as hard on marketing if we want to reach as many readers as possible. If you have any tips, please feel free to share them in the comments section.
If you like what you read here and it helps, you can always buy one of my notebooks– all writers need notebooks right? Every penny helps me keep this website going and they are lovely notebooks, if I say so myself… and postage is free to UK customers.
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Until next time…