The biggest obstacle with self-publishing is that no one knows about your novel. You don’t have a publishing house who is going to throw your book on store shelves and run an advertising campaign. Unless you’re a celebrity or already an established author, only a few people are going to stumble across your book. Even fewer are going to decide to buy it.
That’s why advertising is so important. And, as I found out, so risky.
$100 of Goodreads Advertising netted me about $20 in sales.
Choosing to advertise on Goodreads is a big risk and I’m not going to spend more money on it, but at least I have good things to say about the company. They answered my questions and helped me with bugs, tons of people were exposed to the ads, and it’s a respectable website. In other words, it’s the complete opposite of IndieBookoftheDay.com
IndieBookoftheDay claims to be one of the best ways to cheaply promote your ebook. They have a variety of promotion options, each with unique and interesting offers.
So many options = so many lies!
I decided to purchase Package 1 – Bargain Bookshelf Promo. This was back in mid-April of this year. For $50, it seemed like I was getting a really good deal.
The most important part of this deal was being added to May’s Bargain Bookshelf. This is a really cool looking interactive bookshelf on the website’s main page. I figured if there were over 10,000 people a month vising that main page and seeing my book’s cover (which I adore – thanks again Tatiana Vila) then I could easily sell the 25 copies I needed to break even. Maybe that would have been true, except look at what is still on the front page of Indiebookoftheday.com as of June 5th.
Updated on April 1st. Good to see they updated the bookshelf right on time until I decided to buy a spot.
Over 35 days late and my book is still not being advertised. I have sent two emails to this company as well as posting on their Facebook wall over the past couple weeks, but I have yet to get a response. What makes this even stranger is the fact that IndieBookoftheDay.com is still updating their site and promoting other books. They just absolutely refuse to answer my emails or promote my book. But they had no problem taking my $50.
I’m happy things worked out for you, Jen Fraser. Wish we were all so lucky.
I’ve contacted my bank about this fraud and they’ve filed a fraud claim against this website. They told me it was likely they would put my $50 back in my account, but I need to call them tomorrow and see if there’s been any progress since I still don’t have that money.
The moral of the story? Buying your own advertising for your ebook is very risky. Make absolutely sure that the website you are buying advertising from is legitimate. Search on google to see if other authors have complained about it or had success stories. And follow up on your purchases to make sure that you get what you paid for. Best of luck to all you fellow self-published authors out there; I hope your advertising adventures fare better than mine.