Best Book Editors


Competitions are a good idea–but you will be up against equally good writers…gamble, and no guarantee that a sticker will improve sales. But a whole lot of fun to do and still good for your marketing and advertising.

I think paid advertising is a better choice, but … gamble.

The following advice is for people who would like to make a career out of their writing. Most of us are a million miles away from that–I know I am. I’ve been taught HOW to do it, but DOING it is a completely different matter. I would love to hit the sweet spot of self-generation and adverts being covered 500% + in rising profit. At the moment I’m happy if my adverts make me just 1 single penny in profit because then they haven’t cost me anything. I wouldn’t mind spending a thousand pounds a month on advertising, as long as I got a thousand pounds and one penny back.

It’s all about branding. If you’re going to use Amazon or Facebook advertising, you’re up against a huge brick wall of stigma to begin with. You’re an indie author..the reading public doesn’t trust us. And let’s face it, we’ve all read books that are so badly written and formatted that they should never have been published. The public wants names they know and trust. We are up against that.

I’ve been experimenting with Facebook ads. But it isn’t easy. This month I’ve sold 78 books, had 50 thousand page reads, and made 344 quid, but, it’s nowhere close to making a living, and it’s cost me. Some people do five times that with their advertising costs being swallowed in huge profits. I have one client who has reached that point.

Your branding has to be shit hot. If you haven’t got professional covers, a blurb, and a well-edited ‘Look Inside’ I wouldn’t use Facebook or Amazon advertising…. And when your branding and product is good, even that probably isn’t enough. Almost everybody will fail in the first few months, and you’ll see your money being washed down the drain. It’s terrifying seeing your balance owed going up by the day and not having enough sales to cover it. Here’s where you have to have balls of steel. You have to be prepared for that and not turn your adverts off. (But never gamble more than you can afford to lose.) The second you turn them off, any money you’ve spent is just lost and when you try again you’ve got to start from scratch. The gambler’s mantra is only put in what you can afford to lose. The sweet spot says that if your book is good, your branding is on point and you have a product that people want–then the adverts will work.

So you try it for a week (I do one for UK and one for US) When it fails, you change one thing starting with the easiest thing to alter… Your ad content. Try a different image. Change your budget, your headlines, and every other option that can be changed…. but one thing at a time and then give it a week to settle and make a difference.

Look at your target audience, If you’re using FB ads over Amazon (and I’ll explain why I think these are best in a minute) look at your target audience. Straight away you can get rid of the under-24s–nobody under 24 uses FB,  apparently! So I put a minimum age of 24 plus on my adverts. Then look at your sales market age and gender range to see where your books are landing. Alter appropriately. Mine are predominantly women over 50. And yet a lot of my stuff is so dark and graphic that it alienates that category.

That’s all the easy tweaks covered–now we come into the big boy stuff that’s going to start costing you if you can’t do it yourself. Go easiest first to most difficult and expensive to change.

Your book listing categories, first. Are they working for you? Check out other books in your genre and see what they are listed in, change your book listing categories (in KDP) to match.

Give it a week.

Your edit. Check the ‘Look Inside’ sample read on Amazon. Get some Beta readers to read it and give you an opinion (they can be brutal). Is it well-written, engaging and likely to pull readers in? If not, your book needs pulling and re-editing. I would say if you have any errors or formatting issues at all in those first few sample pages. Pull your book and re-edit (this advice goes for if you aren’t advertising as well.)

Next is your blurb. Is it enticing enough to make people want to buy it? If not, you need to pull your book and republish it with a tighter blurb. You may need to do this several times.

And finally your Cover. Does it fit your genre? To stand out, you have to fit in. Is it enticing and exciting? If not, you need to pull your book and get a new professional cover. Good designers know what they are doing. Here’s the stinger, you might have to change it SEVERAL times.

I am on my third Nowhere Boulevard cover. NB is one of my most popular books, it does sell. But not enough, and not well when it’s got paid advertising against it. We tried changing everything, but it never went into and stayed in profit, so we’ve cut it from my campaigns completely (for now)

And why I think FB ads are better than Amazon.

FB advertising is far more aggressive. When you set your daily budget, amazon might use a little bit of it, but your click rate will be low. Facebook will take every single penny. If you put an advert at £20 a day. FB will take it, and a bit more. It’s terrifyingly aggressive–but that is reflected in your click-through rate. You WILL get the clicks–the rest is down to you and your branding.

Basically, it comes down to. How good is your product? Mine isn’t good enough. I am writing in hugely populated genres, with far too much competition to ever break through. Hence the reason I’ve been persuaded to try writing in a brand new genre.

We try, we fail. We rub our kicked backside and we try again. But paid advertising can be a bottomless pit. It’s a massive gamble. Always, always set a budget that you can afford to lose and stick to it..and then tweak, tweak, tweak. If it still fails, go out, drink vodka and twerk, twerk, twerk.