Learn Before You Leap into Ads

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Many bestselling authors use advertising on Facebook, BookBub, Amazon, Goodreads and other places to sell books. Any author can sign up and create these ads and with a few online clicks. Each of these companies will gladly take your money. As writers we must learn before we make this leap which is the focus of this article. The little discussed truth is thousands of new books enter the market every day and while publishing may seem simple on the surface, it is a complex business with many twists and turns.
With all of these books entering the market, authors need to understand several key factors:
*they need to be actively promoting their books in various places.
*Readers need to hear about your book at least 8 to 12 times before they purchase your book.
*Bestselling authors advertise to sell books and also to build their readers on their email list.
As an editor at Morgan James Publishing, I've had authors spend $30,000 to $50,000 on marketing and publicity for their books—and not received the earnings or results from such investments. I hate to hear these stories from my authors because these choices are costly on many levels.
While it is helpful to learn bestselling authors advertise on websites, I encourage you to use some common sense about how to apply this information to your own book marketing. From my experience, authors need to learn how to navigate the advertising from authors who are succeeding with it.  One of the bestselling authors who is effective (generating sales) using advertising is Mark Dawson, who lives in the United Kingdom. He is one of the most successful indie authors in the world. In 2020, Mark grossed over $1.5 million in revenue from his novels and he's living the dream of every author. For the past several years, Mark has spent more than a million dollars on Facebook ads, conducted numerous research studies and determined what works best. He's also a great teacher and wants to help others succeed as well. He has created training courses with detailed insights about how to successfully use various book advertising programs. His courses are only open a few times a year and in general you have to get on a waiting list to get information about them.
Dawson's course, Ads for Authors is open now and only for a few weeks. (If you are reading this article later and the course is closed, get on the waiting list for the next opportunity.) I encourage you to watch these short videos to hear what his students say about the course.  Maybe you don't write fiction, this teaching is still for you and follow this link to watch short videos from different types of writers. I've also added an image below and notice the scroll bar on the right-hand side, you can scroll down and see different videos from some of Mark's students.
I'm taking this Ads for Authors course and understand it takes consistent action to watch the instruction, then apply it to your writing life. The key is to add this training into your writing life, learn from someone who is using it successfully then apply the information to your own plans for book marketing and selling.
Have you taken one of Mark Dawson's courses? Tell us about your experiences in the comments. Or maybe you want to tell us about your results using advertising for your books in the comments. I look forward to your comments.

Prolific editor and author recommends writers learn before they leap into using ads for their books. Get the details here. (ClickToTweet)

W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. His work contact information is on the bottom of the second page (follow this link).  He has written for over 50 magazines and more than 60 books with traditional publishers.  His latest book for writers is 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed. Get this book for only $10 + free shipping and over $200 in bonuses. He lives in Colorado and has over 190,000 twitter followers


Terry Whalin said...

Deborah Lyn,

I appreciate this feedback. Whenever you write something you never know how it resonates with others without someone telling you. Grateful,


Karen Cioffi said...

Terry, it's so true that authors have to be very careful when spending money on programs and services that promise tons of sales. I've heard a number of horror stories too. That's why authors have to understand that there are no guarantees. Investments can easily be lost. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Terry Whalin said...


Wise investments is what I'm saying and Mark Dawson has an excellent program and track record.


deborah lyn said...

Thank you for this article, Terry! Great advice - follow those authors who are successful and use some common sense about how to apply this information to your own book marketing."
Your article is helpful to all writers! deborah

lastpg said...

Terry, thank you for this helpful post. I've seen Mark Dawson's ads on social media and am interested in his course. However, I took Bryan Cohen's course on advertising on Amazon and thought I'd try his advice first. In the meantime, I'm following the advice of Carolyn Howard-Johnson in her books Great Book Reviews and Frugal Book Promoter to get the word out about my books. Since my books are for young children--my first picture book was just self-published on Amazon, I plan to reach sites read by young moms. I've created a puppet show for that book which I plan to perform in local preschools, put the show on video and upload it to YouTube. If I actually am able to pull that off, I'm hoping to make sales that way--the best way I can think of without spending a lot of money. For my second picture book currently being illustrated, I've lined up with 4H and plan to perform a puppet show with 4H clubs and at the same time promote causes my books address, such as the importance of honey bees and feeding ducks properly, not bread (which is the subject of my third picture book).

Terry Whalin said...


Thanks for this comment. I know Bryan Cohen and he has a solid track record too so I'm sure his course is very helpful. Your plans sound terrific and active--which is important for every author to keep learning, then applying that information into their own writing life. Keep up the great effort and it will pay off for you.


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