Showing posts with label targeted advertising. Show all posts
Showing posts with label targeted advertising. Show all posts

How to "Advertise" with Reviews and Excerpts


 September 5, 2022, #3

How to Use Your Reviews and Excerpts Series

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

A continuation of Carolyn’s guest post series from July, 2022, with excerpts from her 
How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: 
The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing caree

Feel free to retrieve the first and second for this series from July 5 and August 5, 2022
here on Writers on the Move.

“Very simply put, reviews are the gift that keeps giving.” ~ CHJ

This is my third guest post on getting and using reviews and how to make them into forever reviews to launch a book or to jumpstart the sales of a book that has been around for a while. It is always my pleasure to share excerpts from my multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers when I can reach (and help!) more authors with that information. Find more on the magic of reviews and the endorsements you excerpt from them in my How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career. Do go back to the first and second in this series of posts for more vital information on the topic on the fifth of each month beginning on July 5, 2022. Or read the entire book to get a more complete story on the magic of reviews and blurbs—all 300 pages of it.

The Does and Don’ts of Using Excerpts in Your “Advertising”

If you plan to advertise your book, think twice. Most authors report advertising—meaning paid-for stuff in the media—is a bust. It generally doesn’t result in enough sales to pay for itself. If you insist on taking your chances, use proven blurbs and excerpts from your reviews to give your ads the edge they need. Here are some does and don’ts for that:

    Don’t advertise unless you can dedicate a good chunk of your budget to a frequent and focused advertising campaign. If you put your toe in the water and withdraw it too quickly out of disappointment, you are sure to fail. Advertising—done right—takes money and commitment.
    Find the perfect media for your ads. That might be social media because their algorithms can focus on the audience best for your book.
    Recognize that it may take some time and trial-and-error to find the perfect demographics of your audience and what these “tests” will cost you during your learning curve.

Tip: Though an experienced publicist may have media contacts in your demographic, you are probably better able to judge your audience than anyone else. Let your publicist work in areas she is more likely to have success with like big-name media she keeps in her frequent contacts list.

Your blurbs and review excerpts are a proven tool that convinces readers of the benefits of your book. Don’t attempt paying for an ad until you have a great one aimed specifically at your book’s most likely audience.

Tip: One of your most effective mottoes may be something like “As Seen in Entertainment Today.” “As Seen” may refer to an ad or a review in a medium with clout and it is a great alternative if the review doesn’t include a knock-out soundbite that can be quoted. This works when you are quoted in major periodicals, too.

Google’s AdSense is one of the online programs I tried. I used a freebie coupon I received in the mail and, though personal support Google offered was excellent, I wasn’t thrilled with the results for my how-to books which—it is said—advertising works best for.

Some authors report they like Facebook’s amazingly targeted ads. But beware: They are not frugal unless they turn out to be a sizzling success. Part of that success may be attributed to Facebook’s use of images which Mark Zuckerberg lauded as the most successful result-producing tool ever. I dare take issue with him. Review excerpts (blurbs) are, but the effectiveness of two of them used in conjunction can’t be denied. Even then, every part of the ad must be planned perfectly to avoid disappointment. To do that:

      You must choose the perfect demographics (basically keywords) in terms of interests, economic level, education level, and other keywords of your targeted audience.
      You must carefully manage the price-per-click and the limits on your budget for each ad.
      You must have a review excerpt (blurb) that is perfectly attuned to the demographics you are targeting your ad to, and it should be one that is memorable because of the person or media being quoted, because of the impact of the blurb itself, or both.
      Your image must also arrest the interest of your targeted audience. Your most powerful image will probably be your book cover because it is the ultimate brander. It’s visual. It gets repeated in many places from bookstores to Amazon even by the most casual marketer.

Note: Great cover design is essential, but it will be more effective if you use a three dimensional image. Gene Cartwright of @AmazonLinks fame offers my readers a special price ( to create one.

Circle October 5, 2022, on your calendar to learn how to use reviews in your media kit and the blurbs you extract from them in those books you have planned for the future. Feel free to go back on the fifth of each month on this-- Karen Cioffi’s #WritersontheMove blog-- to July 5 and August 5, 2022, where you can catch up on earlier posts on the topic of making reviews into marketing magic that pretty much lasts forever!

More on Guest Blogger and Regular WritersOnTheMove Contributor 

Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and founder and owner of a retail chain to the advice she gives in her multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. All her books for writers are multi award winners including both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter, now in its third edition from Modern History Press, and her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. The third full book in the HowToDoItFrugally series for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically.

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts.

The author loves to travel. She has visited ninety one countries before her travels were so rudely interrupted by Covid and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is


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