Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ask PZM - Jan 2016 - Pinterest, BookGrabbr, KDP Direct

I've decided to go out on a limb and have a new blog created out of this old one. The new one is still in the works, but as of now Ask PZM, hosted by my guest blogger, Phyllis Zimbler Miller, will air on the 10th day of each month. A new day but still the great content marketing guru Phyllis is famous for.


Ask PZM:

Q: Do you recommend any specific paid advertising options for book marketing?

I cannot recommend any specific paid advertising options because there are so many variables for a successful ad campaign.  I will, though, share where I have recently been spending limited-budget book marketing funds.

1.   Pinterest.com ads
I’m using this option for a pin of my nonfiction book HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE.  This pin had gotten some repins and I wanted to increase the repins in the hopes that some repinners would then click through and actually buy the ebook (or the paperback).

There are two Pinterest ad choices for Promoted Pins: engagement campaigns and traffic campaigns.  I am using traffic campaigns although for your books perhaps engagement campaigns may make more sense.  (The difference between the two campaigns is explained at https://business.pinterest.com/en/promoted-pins and note that I have not yet experimented with Rich Pins – see https://business.pinterest.com/en/rich-pins ) 

To date I have been pleased by the number of repins and “likes” the book pin has gotten through the Promoted Pins campaigns.  On the other hand, the book has had no extra sales that I can discern.  Still, if this book pin is now on other people’s boards, there may be extra sales in the future.

To start advertising with Promoted Pins you must have a U.S.-based business account.  You can go to https://business.pinterest.com/en to join as a business account or to convert your current account to a business account.


  2.   Bookgrabbr.com

This is an innovative site I discovered for book authors and book lovers.  Book authors pay a monthly fee for each book on the site, while book lovers can download books for free and promote these books/actions via social media.  The download is in either ePub or pdf format, and you can limit the number of free downloads.

I have been experimenting with this site in this way: I uploaded a pdf of a short story prequel – THE BLOOD GUILT PRICE – that I wrote for my fantasy adventure story ROAD TO ZANZICA, which is a Kindle ebook.  I’m hoping that people who download the prequel will then go to Amazon and either read ROAD TO ZANZICA for free via Kindle Unlimited or buy the ebook.


(You can help with this experiment by signing up for a free BookGrabbr account and then downloading THE BLOOD GUILT PRICE at http://budurl.com/BloodGuiltPrice – and you don’t even have to read the four pages of the story.  The important part is downloading the pdf so that this information is spread through social media.)

SIDE NOTE: Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited monthly subscriptions may be having a tremendous impact on ebook sales of unknown authors.  I just revisited all the book pages on my author website and added for each book that it is free via Kindle Unlimited.  This is true of my ebooks because they are all KDP Select, which automatically puts those books on Kindle Unlimited. 


3.    Amazon advertising for KDP Select
I tried this advertising option several months ago with two campaigns for my women’s friendship novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and wasn’t that impressed with the results.  But I don’t remember at that time that the choice of one of two options included an opportunity to have a book advertised on Kindle.  As I have a Kindle with ads enabled, I’d love to have my books advertised that way.

As Amazon explains (the boldface is mine as this is the option I chose):

“You can choose to have your ad delivered to customers who previously browsed the Kindle Store for a particular genre (targeting by interest), or to customers interested in specific products on Amazon (targeting by product). When you target by interest, your ads will automatically be considered for placement on Kindle E-readers. When you target by product, your ads will not be eligible to appear on Kindle E-readers.”


Now I am trying one campaign each for two different books – spy thriller CIA FALL GUY and cozy mystery CAST THE FIRST STONE.  It may be that different categories do better than others when using this advertising option.

You can learn more at https://kdp.amazon.com


In conclusion, I wish there were a magic bullet I could recommend that would make all our books bestsellers.  But in the absence of such an option, all we can do is keep experimenting and sharing our information with each other.  So do share in the comments below if you have had success with specific paid advertising opportunities.



Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books on Amazon.  She blogs on book-related topics at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com


26 comments :

  1. Only the second one would be an option for me, although I'd have to have something to give away for free in the first place.

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    1. You are a legend, Alex. You don't have to give anything away.

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  2. Thanks for the Pinterest tip. I admit it's my nightly addiction, but I have created boards for my books and current works. Now I can put it to work for me.

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  3. Hi Phyllis and Joylene - always interesting to have another viewpoint and learn some new areas ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Coming from you, Hilary, that's much appreciated.

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  4. It's so frustrating to try and figure out promotion and sometimes what works for one book doesn't work for the next. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Sharing helps us all, Susan. Thanks for dropping by.

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  5. Books being published on Amazon alone have shot up over 600% in only three years. I don't think ads of any sort help, but you can't turn off the lights entirely or you'll never sell even one book.

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    1. So turn. We have to keep our options open. Thanks, Lee.

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  6. Great information, I didn't know you could advertise on pinterest.
    Thanks!

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    1. Phyllis is a wonder. Can't imagine surfing this wild world without her. Thanks, Yolanda.

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  7. I'm excited about my new monthly date slot here and looking forward to sharing more information.

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  8. Hey Joylene and the ever informative Phyllis,

    First of all, Joylene, I'm wishing you well on your next blog set up that talks about tree surgery, or something like that. You know, out on a limb...

    Fascinating stuff, Phyllis. As for Amazon, as I've said before, I will not be involved with them because they treat their employees deplorably.

    Take care, eh.

    Gary :)

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    1. And me afraid of heights--this has gotta be fun! Or at least interesting. See you in the trees, Gary.

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  9. Good luck with the new blog!!

    I'm looking into marketing at the moment and will be sure to share anything useful that isn't already doing the rounds. One suggestion was to get paid advertising from one of the programs you use, ie. for book covers, writing programs you might use.

    Good luck and have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Nicola. That's a great idea for a future post!

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  10. This sounds like a good idea! You two make a great team. Appreciate the insight and information. :)

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    1. You're very welcome, Karen. Thanks for the fascinating author interviews.

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  11. Thanks for sharing these. Sometimes, it seems I do nothing trying to simply keep up with writing.

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    1. Same here, Joy. It's hard to do it all when one is also trying to be sociable.

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  12. I haven't paid for any advertising yet, since I have only 1 book out, but I intend to when a few more have been pubbed. The tips you give are great! Thanks a lot!

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  13. I've never heard of Bookgrabbr. Sounds like an interesting site. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Thanks for the tips! My greatest sales bump came from an ad on BookBub (March 2015). It was fun while it lasted. LOL

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