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Is Advertising My Book Worth the Cost?

Recently, an author in my community asked me: Is advertising my book worth the cost? Because this isn't a simple yes or no answer, I thought I’d share a blog post where I provide you with more information on the topic so you can decide whether investing in paid book advertising is a smart choice for you. Here's what I’ll cover: 

is advertising my book worth the cost?

FAQ: Is advertising my book worth the cost? 

So… Is advertising my book worth the cost? 

Paid book advertising can be a powerful way to increase your book's visibility and reach a wider audience. However, to maximize its effectiveness, it's essential to have a clear goal and a well-thought-out strategy. Otherwise, you might end up wasting your resources. Let's dive into some frequently asked questions about paid book advertising to help you navigate this process:

Where can I advertise my book? 

Whether it's social media, book promotion sites, or other advertising platforms, plenty of options are available to showcase your book and engage with your target audience. Here are some of the most popular platforms to advertise your book:

  • Facebook: With its extensive user base and powerful targeting options, it is a popular choice for authors seeking to promote their work. You can create ads that specifically target readers who are likely to be interested in your genre or niche.

  • Instagram: As a visually oriented platform, Instagram can be a great place to showcase your book cover or teaser excerpts. You can run ads on Instagram either through the platform itself or by using Facebook's ad manager.

  • Amazon: If you're looking to reach readers who are already in a buying mindset, consider advertising your book on Amazon. Amazon offers various ad formats, such as sponsored product ads and lock screen ads, that can help increase your book's visibility on the platform.

  • Bookbub: Bookbub is a popular platform among readers for discovering new books. By running Featured Deals or New Release Alerts on Bookbub, you can reach a large audience of book lovers who are actively looking for their next read.

  • Ebook promo sites: Websites like Written Word Media offer promotional services that can help you reach a wider audience of book enthusiasts. These sites often have engaged subscribers who are eager to discover new books.

  • BookFunnel: BookFunnel is a tool that helps authors distribute their ebooks to readers. You can use BookFunnel to run promotions and giveaways and build your author email list by offering free book downloads in exchange for reader email addresses.

Which platform should I use to advertise my book?

If you're wondering where to promote your book, you'll want to consider a few different factors, such as your goals, budget, and where your target audience spends their time. Different platforms can help you achieve specific goals, so set clear intentions for your book ad campaign. Here are some questions you might ask yourself to determine your goals: 

  • Are you trying to grow your email list?

  • Are you trying to get maximum impressions/visibility?

  • Are you trying to get more ebook downloads?

Should I advertise my book on Facebook and Instagram?

With millions (and even billions) of active users on these platforms daily, Facebook and Instagram provide vast opportunities to reach a large audience for your book. While not all users may be part of your target audience, the ability to target based on demographics, interests, and behaviors allows you to hone in on the right people. Ads on these platforms can be visually appealing and incorporate engaging hooks to capture the attention of users scrolling through their feeds. The pay-per-impression model ensures that a specific number of users within your chosen target audience will see your ad, maximizing visibility. Aside from running book ads, here are some other ways authors can use Facebook and Instagram:

  • Promote a free download or webinar: If you're looking to gather more leads, such as email subscribers, advertising on Facebook and Instagram can help you promote a free download or webinar to attract potential readers.

  • Promote your ebook discount: If you're offering a discount on your ebook, running ads on Facebook and Instagram can help you reach out to people who might be interested in grabbing a good deal on your book.

  • Get more video views: If you have video content related to your book that you'd like to promote, these platforms are ideal for increasing video views and engagement.

  • Retarget website visitors or engaged followers: You can use Facebook and Instagram ads to reconnect with users who have already shown interest in your book or have engaged with your content before.

I'm also here to give you an idea of the costs you might spend running book ads on these platforms…

How much might I spend on Facebook and Instagram book ads? 

The general rule is that the more you're willing to invest, the broader your reach will be. For example, if you allocate $5 a day, you could potentially reach anywhere from 1.6k to 4.5k people within your target audience daily. Increase that to $20 per day, and your potential reach jumps to 5.2k to 15k people per day. These numbers are based on actual data from my own experience targeting authors on these platforms. When it comes to setting a budget for Facebook and Instagram ads, it's important to understand that you have control over how much you spend. These platforms allow you to dictate your daily spending limits. 

A quick note: The Facebook ad platform can be overwhelming. I highly recommend going through a tutorial or course (this one is super comprehensive) before you start spending. Alternatively, you can look for an agency to manage them for you (pssst… Written Word Media is offering this for book promo ads).

Should I run Amazon ads for my book? 

Running Amazon ads for your book can be a smart decision, given that the majority of product searches, including books, start on Amazon. This means that your potential readers are likely on Amazon searching for books like yours. The beauty of Amazon ads lies in their targeting capabilities. You can include keywords related to your book's topic, genre, competitor titles, and even competitor author names. This boosts the chance of your book appearing at the top of search results when a reader is looking for something similar.

One of the most significant advantages of running Amazon ads is the ability to directly track their impact on your book sales. You can see how many clicks your ad gets and how it translates into sales. Now that we've covered the basics…

How much should I spend on Amazon book ads? 

Amazon ads operate on a bidding system where you set the maximum amount you're willing to pay for each click on your ad. If your bid is the highest, you'll pay slightly more than the next highest bid. Amazon typically provides a suggested bid range based on keyword competitiveness. 

Determining an exact budget is hard since you can't predict who will click on your ad. A good starting point is to set competitive bids with a daily budget of $10-20 and run your campaigns for two weeks. This timeframe should provide insights into how much you should budget for your specific book. Don't be intimidated by the numbers, as it's unlikely you'll spend your full daily budget. You have full control to turn campaigns on and off as needed, allowing you to adjust your spending based on performance. Testing with a moderate budget can give you valuable data on what works best for promoting your book on Amazon.

Should I use Bookbub or ebook promo sites to advertise my book?

Ebook promo sites can help give your book more exposure, especially if you're running a price promotion. Bookbub, for instance, allows authors to showcase visual ads in their email newsletters. Additionally, services like those offered by Written Word Media can promote your ebook through email to readers looking for good deals on ebooks. 

The advantage of utilizing these sites is that they connect you with targeted audiences who are actively seeking their next read. So if your aim is to increase the number of downloads for your discounted ebook, advertising on these platforms can be a strategic approach. So… 

How much do I need to spend on Bookbub or ebook promo ads? 

With Written Word Media, they offer set packages that you can reserve, making it clearer what you're getting for your money. A good range to budget for advertising your ebook discount would be around $300 to $500. Investing in these ads can help boost your book's visibility and hopefully increase your sales.

Should I use BookFunnel to advertise my book?

Advertising on BookFunnel could be a strategic move for authors wanting to widen their audience and directly engage with readers interested in their genre. By participating in group promos or author email swaps, you can showcase your book or offer a sample chapter to attract targeted readers, effectively increasing your book's visibility. Offering free downloads captivates potential readers and can help you build an essential author email list, allowing for direct interaction and promotion of future works. And in case you were wondering… 

How much do I need to spend on BookFunnel ads?

With BookFunnel, you pay for a subscription to their services. You'll likely want the plan that is $100/year, which offers the following features: 

  • 2 Pen Names

  • 5000 Downloads/Month

  • Unlimited Books Stored

  • Custom Landing Pages

  • Direct Sales Delivery

  • Group Promos

  • Collect Reader Email Addresses

  • Short Audio MP3 Delivery

  • Watermarked Files

  • Add Direct Integration for $50/yr

  • Secure ARC Delivery

  • Book Gifting

  • Printable Download Codes

How can I start advertising my book? 

You're ready to go once you've chosen the platform(s) you'd like to run book ads on. Running book ads can seem overwhelming to those who haven't done so before, but it's not as complicated as you might think for most platforms. Each platform should offer detailed instructions about running ads. If you feel stuck, a simple Google search can lead you to easy-to-follow how-to guides that will get you started. Here are some tips for advertising your book: 

  • Start with a small test campaign: Begin by trying out one platform with a small budget. This will allow you to assess its effectiveness before spending more time and money.

  • Track your results: Keep a close eye on how your advertising campaign is performing. Track metrics like engagement, conversions, and sales to gauge the platform's effectiveness in reaching your audience.

  • Adjust your strategies: Take the time to analyze your results and make adjustments as needed. If a particular platform doesn't yield the desired outcomes, consider tweaking your approach or trying a different one altogether.

  • Remember your goals: Think about what you hope to achieve with your book promotion efforts. Are you aiming to increase sales, build your author brand, or reach a specific target audience? Your goals will help inform your choice of advertising platform.

  • Consider your budget: Take into account how much you're willing to spend on advertising. Some platforms may be more cost-effective than others, so choose one that aligns with your budgetary constraints.


So… Is advertising my book worth the cost? It can be. But to increase your shot at running a successful paid advertising campaign, consider your goals and which platforms can help you reach them. Be strategic and measure your results along the way. If one strategy isn't working, try another. Awareness and flexibility are key to an effective book ad campaign.

Whether you're in the midst of the writing process or have already finished your book, now is the perfect time to consider a marketing strategy. To help you get started, I’m offering a FREE download of my guide, 10 Things You Need For A Successful Book Launch. This valuable resource is packed with expert tips and strategies to empower you to craft an effective book launch and connect with a larger audience of eager readers.

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