Publishing Industry

3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Paid Ad | Patty Smith Hall


Whether traditional or self-published, every author is looking for the best way to market his/her book. Specifically, how do we attract new readers? One way that has grown in popularity are websites like Bookbub, E-Reader Café and My Book Cave who send out email blast with information on sale books.

Here’s how it works: When a reader registers on one of these sites, they are sent to a page with a list of genres they like to read. This is no short list—every genre you can think of is listed, all the way down to sub-genres. The reader is given anywhere from one to five choices that they can follow. Then every day like clockwork, a selection of books on sale from their chosen genre is emailed to the reader with links to the sale sites.

What can we do as authors to get more bang for our advertising buck? Here are three things to do to ensure the best results:

1) Educate yourself on the different websites.

As I mentioned before, the genre list at most of these websites are extensive, even including sub-genres. This is wonderful for authors as well as the readers. It gets your books in front of readers who might not have otherwise picked up your book. But it means educating yourself on the list and making the best choice to represent your work.

2) Optimize Book Pricing

Most of these sites will only advertise if your book is on sale. To them, that means your $5.99 book needs to be priced anywhere from free to $2.99. This is a decision you and your publisher needs to make together.

Secondly, you need to make certain that your book is priced properly a few days before the ad comes out. About a year ago, I was tickled pink when my book was finally accepted for a Bookbub ad. (If you’ve ever tried to secure one of these ads, you know what all my excitement was about!) I had worked out the ad day with my editor and we were both anticipating great sales.

Only one problem—the department in charge of pricing mixed up the dates and my book wasn’t lowered to the sales price. Because of the mistake, I not only lost book sales, I lost the money I’d spent on the ad. So, check out one of the booksellers like Amazon and make sure your book is priced correctly before your ad releases.

3) Keep a Chart of Your Results

Each website has a varied numbered of subscribers from a few thousand to over a quarter of a million readers. The price of the ad depends on the numbers of subscribers signed up for a genre—in other words, the more subscribers, the higher the ad price.

After you run an ad, keep a chart of your sales during the ad period. By comparing your sale numbers, you’re get a great idea of what site works best for you and can set your ad budget accordingly.

Patty Smith HallA multi-published author with Love Inspired Historical and Barbour, Patty Smith Hall lives in North Georgia with her husband of 35 years, Danny; two gorgeous daughters, her son-in-love and a grandboy who has her wrapped around his tiny finger. When she’s not writing on her back porch, she’s spending time with her family or working in her garden. Visit her at

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