Budget. Many people cringe at that word. It conjures up images of over-spending, not being allowed to purchase something they want, or just plain control. Money is always a loaded topic.
Most independently published authors and small publishers have precious few dollars to spend on marketing. A budget is a must for them to follow. Because of limited funds these authors and publishers don’t want to take risks on spending their money. They want to know upfront what the expected rate of return on their investment will be—a smart question indeed.
However, I would caution you to be wise in evaluating the answer as well. No one platform works for all books. The answer you may be given might be the return on the book that did the best. Or, it might be an average return rate. You still have no assurance that your book will fare as well.
Just because one author’s book sold like gangbusters from a Facebook ad, does not mean your will do equally well. Just because one author received 20 media interviews from a press release blast does not mean you will.
There are too many variables to determine how well your book will do on in any one venue. Your best course of action to plan how you will spend your precious marketing dollars is as follows:
1. Ask other authors in your specific genre with the same target audience what has worked for them.
Knowing what has worked for other authors writing to the same target audience is a good place to start. These authors are reaching the same group of people, so they can show you where the most success is likely.
2. Test and retest.
Don’t just try a venue once and give up. Test the platform and evaluate your results. Then make adjustments to your advertising campaign and test it again. If nothing changes, test a different venue. Testing is necessary to develop a successful marketing strategy.
Marketing is tricky. No true formula exists. Trial and error and making smart choices are your best bets. Don’t fall for services that charge high dollar amounts and predict huge results. Rarely do these pan out.
Your marketing dollars are precious, so be wise. Learn from those who have gone before, keeping in mind that each book is unique. Make informed decisions on spending your marketing dollars, evaluate each venue, and make adjustments as results come in. Of course, prayer helps too. The Spirit can lead you into all wisdom.
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