Using Ads in Book Marketing

An Ad book marketing experiment.

Where do I come up with these ideas?

Actually, in the past, listing my books on various advertising venues was key to my overall book promotion. However, I would randomly select a site based on current data and post on what I guessed would be best.

So, to evaluate the more effective venue of two I liked, I decided on a little experiment. I selected Freebooksy and Book Barbarian, and varied the price, the book, and the date of each. Due to the varying rules of each site, I choose certain books.

Book Barbarian only takes the first book in a series, so Caught in Time qualified there. I wanted to offer it at a reduced price so I could earn something while giving my readers a special deal. Usually, I offer this book free as a starter to my series, but I wanted to do something new. I set the date for a Wednesday, July 27.

But would a reader pay $1.75 for a science fiction romance? Even if the price was good.

Then, I needed more reviews for A Dangerous Talent for Time and Freebooksy allows any book in a series. The rule here is that it has to be free.

Okay, no problem.

Also there is no requirement on the number of reviews, but Freebooksy has to approve it. I set this program for a Saturday on August 6.

Which would do better? I waited with bated breath.

The experiment turned out to be a disaster.

In the past, I have sold a lot of books using promotional ads sites, but this time neither did well. Book Barbarian did so poorly that I will not be using it in the future. Even though it was cheaper at $45, suffice it to say, I didn’t even earn my cost back.

Worse was the knock on my ego. I had to engage in a few cheerleading sessions afterwards.

Freebooksy did sell a total of 1316 units, unfortunately a lot of those were freebies. The good news is I also sold several Caught in Time, Space Song, Time’s Equation, Cosmic Entanglement and one Time Jumper. Each at their regular price.


Freebooksy was more expensive at $75 for a listing, but it returned a lot more than the other ad site. Also, since I’m in the Kindle reading program, I’ll pick up royalties as the free books are read.

All is not lost. But it won’t pay the mortgage. I was disappointed in the overall outcome.

However, my marketing experimentation will continue through my participation in Diana Peach’s blog book tour. On October 2, I’ll do a review on her exciting new Necromancer’s Daughter. In return, she will highlight one of my books on her very popular website. There will be a slew of bloggers promoting her book at various times and, in return, she will review theirs. It should be wild and fun. In addition, there’s a lottery for a book trailer for the winners book.

Diana used to be part of a critique group that I was in. We met once a month, but it’s now disbanded. A number of writers worked together, each critiquing the other’s work back when we were all struggling novice authors. So, I’m familiar with her work and proud to be a part of this event.

I did promise a cover reveal on my last blog so here it is: TA DAH!

This luscious book just went public August 25 on Amazon and also most book platforms for the incredible price of $.99. On October 2, I’ll review it . I can hardly wait. But you can get yours now. I already have.

Meanwhile, I’m finishing Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. I have to hurry as it is due back at the library. It’s over 880 pages long, but I’m almost done. So far, I’m enjoying the story, but I have a few issues with the writing style. I’ll tell you all about it in my next blog.

T’ill then….


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5 responses to “Using Ads in Book Marketing

  1. Bland McCartha

    Nice blog


  2. There was a lot to comment on in this post, Sheron. I haven’t tried either of those promos, and now probably won’t! Thank you for saving me time. My biggest promos are like Diana’s, through fellow bloggers. Her community is huge so don’t be surprised if her blog provides more of a boost than any of the others!

    Sharing the post (good info for other Indie authors!).


  3. Thanks for sharing your marketing experiment, Sheron. I haven’t had great results with Book Barbarian either, even though it caters to speculative fiction. Freebooksy is still the best for getting books into readers’ hands, but of course, they’re free, so it isn’t a money maker. Other than Bookbub, I don’t have a silver bullet for promotion.

    And thanks so much for the shout-out for my book and tour. You’re so kind, and I look forward to featuring you and your book on my blog. Should be super fun. This community is amazing. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. ❤ ❤


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