Promoting Your Ebook with Online Advertising: Four Options

We can talk all day about the importance of good writing/editing, good cover art, and good blurbs when it comes to selling ebooks, but obscurity is the toughest thing for us to overcome. Whether you’ve written a thrilling science fiction adventure or a manual on dog training, nobody is going to line up to buy it if they don’t know it exists.

Advertising is one way to create awareness of your ebooks.

Advertising can be hit or miss, though, and many authors end up spending more money on the ads than they recoup in royalties. Two decent places I’ve found are Kindle Nation Daily (a blog that specializes in writing about ebooks available for the Kindle) and Goodreads (a huge community for book lovers).

Over on my e-publishing blog, I’ve written posts on my experience with each venue:

Goodreads has been a steady performer for me. It’s a pay-per-click advertising system, meaning you cough up coins every time someone clicks your ad, so you have to be careful to word things carefully so you don’t get the window shoppers. This is especially true if you’re strictly an ebook author and don’t have print versions of your books. You want to make sure the only folks clicking your ads are the ones with ebook readers (or who are at least willing to read on screen).

With Kindle Nation, I broke even or thereabouts on my sponsorship, but it’s worth mentioning that I write high fantasy, which isn’t the most popular genre. KND publishes a spreadsheet, and you can see how well the more popular genres, such as thrillers, do over there. There are definitely folks who have been “made” by paying for a sponsorship here (there are several options with prices starting around $80).

If your one-day KND sponsorship gets your ebook enough buyer love in a day, it might be elevated into bestseller status (Top 100) at Amazon for the categories it falls under. Being in one or more of those bestseller lists can help people find you (and keep your ebook selling well enough to stay in those lists).

Other advertising options

There are other online advertising venues for ebooks as well, though I’ve had less success with theses (and I’ve read similar reports from others). If, however, you fall into the camp of just wanting to get your name out there (creating “brand” familiarity), you might give these a try.


There are a couple popular forums devoted to ebooks that offer advertising, usually by means of a banner. Two biggies are the Nookboards and the Kindleboards. With the Nookboards, you pay for a certain number of impressions each month. With the Kindleboards, you buy a one-day sponsorship.

Book Blogs

I’m not going to mention specific blogs here, but quite a few are popping up that offer daily or monthly advertising options. If you’re going to consider this, try to find blogs that cater to your genre, rather than simply to a certain model of ebook reader, and make sure they have a decent number of daily visitors. You can check the Google PageRank and Alexa Rating with tools online, but you can usually gauge popularity, too, based on whether the blogs receive comments or not.

So, there you have it: Goodreads, Kindle Nation Daily, forums, and blogs, all advertising options you can check out to get rid of the obscurity-tag sticking to your ebook. Thanks for reading!

  • Interesting piece. Thank you.

  • Thanks for reading, Robert!

  • Thanks for sharing, Lindsay. It’s a subject that all of us struggle with on what works and what doesn’t. I think basically it’s a matter of luck at lot of times and being at the right place at the right moment.

  • It’s nice you care enough to write your pieces. Thank you.

  • Lindsay, I also appreciate your sharing this information with those of us who need it the most. I’m going to follow your advice with both Goodreads and Kindle Nation. Linda is probably right, though: “it’s a matter of luck” and “being at the right place at the right moment.”

  • Thanks for the comments, folks!

    Of course, everyone needs to decide if advertising is right for them. I do think luck has an easier time finding you if you’re out there in more places. *g*

  • Social media…networking online…is no longer ‘an option’; it’s required. Doubly so, if you’re publishing for mobile devices like Kindle or iPads. This MUST be part of your publishing plan-of-action in order to succeed in today’s evolving (e)marketplace!

  • Thanks for outlining the basics. There is so much information, and so many options, to sift through and articles like this are really helpful.
    On a side note, I wonder why Amazon doesn’t start authors up with a lits of helpful links and tips when they sign up for author central or load their book on the DP.

  • If anyone is interested check out my ebook, The Witch and the Sunflower girl a fairy tale about Karma vs tyranny and Free will vs fate


    Thanks! Sincerely Erik

  • I have just put my e-book on amazon. It is called ‘a brain tumours travel tail’. Would love your feedback 🙂

  • sorry that was meant to say ‘Tale’. My laptop makes up words for me lol