What Works for Online Advertising for Books
Everyday I log into my gmail account, I see a text link for NobleRomance. I’ve seen it so often that I’ve started wondering about it when I wasn’t even online. Last week, I finally gave in and clicked on it. It’s a nice site offering standard romance epublishing fare (read: erotic romance). I haven’t bought anything, but the name has been flashed in front of me so many times that it’s embedded behind my eyelids and now, I’m blogging about it. So obviously it’s Google AdWords is paying off, a little bit, at least.
Carolyn Jean commented at Meljean Brook’s blog that “The rule of thumb in the world of advertising is that it is cumulative. So you’re right in your instinct that you are being “worn down’ toward a purchase.”
We held a viral blog campaign early on in the inception of Dear Author for Nalini Singh because I really loved her debut mass market, Slave to Sensation, and wanted to spread the news about her awesomeness. The response was varied. Some people were critical of the blog posting because it wasn’t new content but it did raise Nalini Singh’s name recognition online. This is not to say that we had anything to do with Singh’s success. I am not claiming that at all. Anyone who has read her books recognizes that she brings something unique and special to the romance genre.
It does seem, though, sustained presence can lead to a click through and that enough penetration into a reader’s psyche can lead to a sale. I have no idea whether Michelle Moran or Colleen Gleason had any positive benefits from having their “ads” run on our sidebar or whether the ads at sites like SmartBitches or Romancing the Blog have a positive effect on sales.
As a reader, I have responded to frequent text ads (like the NobleRomance ad). I noticed in my search last week that LiquidSilver epublisher showed up alot as a paid ad on Google Search results but I’ve rarely clicked on any flash ad or picture ad on a blog. I might have noticed from the ad that a book that I was thinking about getting was out now but I don’t think I’ve bought a book based on a picture ad.
Many authors seem to be committed to blogging as a form of online advertising. I’ve heard that agents and editors are strong proponents of this. Many authors have also jumped on the book trailer bandwagon. Most DearAuthor readers have said that book trailers rarely have an impact but many like the low production, self effacing AuthorTalk videos. Still book trailers have a significant presence online.
Meljean’s blog post that prompted Carolyn Jean’s comment was about whether a cost per click ad campaign versus a cost per impression ad campaign made the most sense for her November release, Demon Bound (older woman, younger man for what it’s worth). The cost per click was more expensive but apparently drove more people to click through to her site. The cost per impression (how many times an ad appears on computer screens) was getting nearly triple the impressions at the same price. Meljean decided to go for cost per impression reasoning that
Clicks are awesome, but I’ve realized that my book-buying patterns aren’t really all that impulsive (and will probably become less so as my belt tightens in this economy). Instead, I’m worn down by repeated mentions of a series or an author’s name, so that when I’m at an online bookstore or a brick-and-mortar, I’ll pick up a copy and look it over because, “Oh, yeah, there’s the one I’ve been hearing about.”
In light that at least one up and coming epublisher thinks to blow our socks off with a national media campaign. I’m interested in hearing from readers and authors what they think works in terms of online advertising. Are you in the “worn down” category? Clearly I am as I’ve clicked on the NobleRomance site, blogged about it, and will probably end up over there by the end of the day looking for a book to buy. Is it book trailers, text links, flash ads on romance blogs, blogging or something else that seems to induce you to buy, even perhaps against your will?