There are so many options available to advertise and promote your books. Sunbury Press does a lot of this for you behind the scenes, but we are always open to creative ideas that help to sell more books.
Primarily, we promote your books to the book trade, meaning booksellers of all kinds–chains, independents, distributors, and non-book retailers (special sales). These marketing efforts are outside the scope of the author activities, but you should certainly be aware of them. We are constantly promoting our books within these channels through emails, participation in catalogs, and selling through various online stores.
Where can you help? So many authors want to run advertising campaigns on Amazon or on Google or other print or online advertising. Let’s take a look at some of the opportunities:
Amazon is the largest bookseller in the USA and also sells in a dozen or more other countries. Your book is set up to sell on Amazon, but how can it be further publicized on that platform? There are two primary ways:
- Kindle Promotions — We can set up several promotions on the Kindle platform for you. Within a six month period, we are permitted up to five days during which we can make your eBook FREE. While we have seen diminishing returns with this, it is one way to get some additional readers and, hopefully, reviews. We can also set up countdown deals that span about two weeks during which the price climbs from 99 cents to your regular price. Lastly, we can adjust your price at different levels for longer periods. For instance, if you wanted to run a month-long 99 cent special, we can certainly do that.
- Amazon Ads — There are several types of ads that can be set up on Amazon for your print books and eBooks. The most effective are those that promote your book when a user looks at a popular similar title that you have selected, aka “You may also like …” We can also set up ads based on keyword searches on the platform.
We will occasionally run ads and campaigns for our books without your direction. We always let you know about them in advance. However, if you have some ideas or are trying to coordinate a broader campaign, send your promotion proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make the title of the email: Amazon promotion wanted for (book title) by (author name). Include in the body of your email the details of the campaign (comparable authors and books or the keywords you suggest) including the timeframe desired. Always give us at least two weeks to get it on the schedule.
Many have asked about BookBub campaigns. We have generally found these to be only modestly effective, and sometimes they are completely ineffective, so we have not been running them of late. But, if you have a desire to run such a campaign on BookBub or similar sites, let us know via the email mentioned previously. While we will not pay for the BookBub advertisement, we will support you by setting up the price requirements for the desired duration.
Google ads are another way to draw attention to your books, especially nonfiction books. Bear in mind, you will need to drive the clicks to a specific webpage on a specific website. If you choose your Sunbury Press product page, and the customer buys through us directly, you will receive a larger royalty. If you send them elsewhere, you are not earning as much per sale. However, if you directed Google ads to Amazon, you could affect your Amazon ranking. At this time, we do not sell ebooks through the Google platform. We are still evaluating the benefits of being exclusive with Amazon regarding eBooks.
From time to time, authors ask about advertising in certain magazines, newspapers, or websites. Our experience has been that print advertising is all but dead and very ineffective. There may be exceptions for very targeted audiences tightly related to your book(s). Sunbury Press does not participate in paid print advertising because it does not provide the necessary benefits the vast majority of the time. We will consider online ads on the right platforms if they could benefit numerous books or are absolutely the right place to promote your book. Even if we do not think it will be effective and decline the opportunity, this does not have to stop you from trying. Be careful, though. Dropping $10,000 on an advertisement for your book in the New York Times Book Review might look really cool that Sunday, but it is highly unlikely to turn your book into an instant bestseller.
Many ask about advertising on social media platforms. We believe social media is to be used to build your network of fans and is less effective at selling books directly to consumers. We recommend you use social media ads to collect followers on your author platform. We also promote on social media about our imprints, new releases, and bestsellers. We generally do not recommend nor do we pay for paid advertising on social media very often due to the lack of direct results. However, if you have ideas about your book and its target audience, we are always willing to listen and you are free to give it a try, yourself.
Lastly, know that we have large email lists of bookstores and customers. You are welcome to a complete list of our bookstore emails. We send to them regularly about our new releases and bestsellers, but there is nothing stopping you from following up — especially with bookstores in your region or places you plan to visit. It can be very helpful for you when setting up book signings.
Regarding our customer list, we do not share these emails, but do send to our existing customers periodically concerning books in which they might be interested. We are careful about this so as not to be labeled spammers!
Again, if you have an idea you would like to pursue and are requesting our help, please send your promotion proposal to email@example.com. Make the title of the email: Amazon promotion wanted for (book title) by (author name). Include in the body of your email the details of the campaign (comparable authors and books or the keywords you suggest) including the timeframe desired. Always give us at least two weeks to get it on the schedule.