Since I’m on this great self-pub journey with absolutely no savings or income to utilize, there’s a constant struggle to gauge what is a worthwhile expense and what isn’t. How much can I really afford to pay on this book cover? Since I can only muster up so much cash, should I do it myself and pour all of that into source files or hire someone else with more skills but higher rates for everything? Can I afford a line editor? Ads?
All of those questions and more swirl around in my head every day. If I’m struggling with these questions, probably someone else out there is struggling just as hard, confused and frustrated by the wealth of information urging indie authors to SPEND HERE. Welcome then, to the “When To Pay, When Not To Pay” series on Blargle Splect outlining some of the places I’ve decided to invest my limited financial resources and why.
So you’re thinking about advertising your new book? Well where are you going to advertise and how are you going to do it?
For every $100 dollars spent on Project Wonderful I made about $1.
There’s a few very cheap options available for people like me to utilize when they’re thinking about advertising. Project Wonderful is a nice one that allowed me to put up ads on many of my favorite websites. Which made me feel awesome in two ways, I know these sites get a ton of views, because I use them myself and also because I’m helping out other independent artists whose work I admire. Not bad at all.
Except – for every $100 dollars spent on Project wonderful I made about $1.
Thousands of views, hundreds of clicks and only a single purchase out of all of it. Yes I’m getting my name out there, but I’m already doing that with my blog, twitter, facebook fanpage and guest posts on other blogs – for free.
I also placed an ad with on Kindle Boards which is a bbs forum for people who have kindles. Perfect target market. The ad was, comparatively, super expensive for a single day advert, the price was non negotiable and there wasn’t any control over how my advertisement would be displayed (Kindle Boards creates their own ads from a thumbnail shot of your book cover) and I had to wait 8 months before the ad even ran. From this particular ad I sold 4 books which netted me about $1.33.
The whole thing was made worse when I spoke with other authors. The general concensous? Advertising, free or otherwise, has little to no obvious impact on sales! Tweeting till I’m blue in the face? No effect. Paying hundreds of dollars I could be saving up for professional editing? No effect. Spending smart in just the right place to find readers who are interested in ebooks? Very little effect (and many authors are starting to find the atmosphere at Kindle Boards less than pleasant).
When you’ve got little to no money to begin with, why flitter it away on things you don’t actually need but feel pressured to have like advertising? Definitely in the When Not To Pay category.