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Why I stopped using paid ads for my book marketing campaign?


Why I stopped using paid ads for my book marketing campaign? The answer is very simple. I have started selling more books by my own than through paid ads and I don’t see any points of using them again. Besides, they mostly don’t work. If it was not working, why should I waste my money then? It is as simple as that and I will explain why.

Before anything else, please always keep in mind that I never write as an expert but only as my own experiences and readers should make judgment based on your own situation, experience and preference.

But as far as I am concerned, most of the paid ads won’t work at all and whoever says they can make you a bestselling author, he/she is simply lying. Some of the service providers even give you certain numbers of book sales, they are not only playing with your emotion but also scheming for your retirement fund, (Sorry, I am not trying to be cynical or sarcastic here but most of the writers like us are retirees) and you shouldn’t fall in for that crap unless they have a full proof plan, which I genuinely doubt, and you have full confidence and trust on them.

Sorry for being skeptical. Some ads might even work out well for you that didn’t for me. But one thing is pretty sure; you have to be extremely lucky, because it is not less in any sense than winning a lottery and we all know the odds on lottery.

It is not because they are not trying but simply because it is damn too hard and nobody has a magic wand. There are genuine and really good service providers out there who will do their best to get more bangs for your money. And not everyone who bought tickets can win a lottery, right? It is as simple as that and book marketing is no exception.

What they are mostly offering is exposure and it is unfortunately such a vague thing that cannot be measured in real terms. It is also the reason why I have been saying writing is a very long, slow and assiduous journey from the very beginning, it is like a marathon not a hundred meter dash and if you don’t have time, patience and interest for such a long term commitment, you rather start choosing for other profession and take writing simply as a hobby.

Having a book with your name on the cover is a great feeling. If it was all what you have wanted is not as hard as it used to be just a few years ago, digital books have made it extremely easy as shopping commodity online, and if vanity was the main reason why you become a writer, then it is a very easy task. Welcome to the golden age of vanity writing, congratulation you have already become a writer and now get back to your original work at wherever or whatever you do for this thing called living. However, if you are here for long term as a serious writer, you must be fully prepared to go all the way to the end and be ready to accept the challenge as well as the final outcome. There is no such thing as guarantee in life, either you tried and lived with no regrets or gave up from the start and lived like a loser. It is up to the individuals and every decision will have consequence. Writing is no exception.

When you reached at the certain stage of your writing career, there are things that you can start doing it by your own and book marketing is no exception. I think I have somehow arrived at that particular phase of my career that I can do many things by my own now and generate better result than so called paid ads normally promise. It is about time, you should know when you are ready to take the helm of your own ship, and start cruising ahead as you have envisaged before at the start of your career. After all, there is no better person than you who can represent you as well as your works, right?

Having said that I still recommend new writers to use some of paid ads at the very early stage of your career, it will not only provide you the much needed exposure at the beginning but also the necessary skills and experiences on book marketing that you can learn along the process. Once you know the basic skills, you can harness them with more practices and eventually do it by your own.

I have learned almost hundred ways on book marketing but hardly use them all. Since I am too busy on finishing more books this year, I just use few tricks in a daily basis and still sell few books. It is not great but still far better than when I had bought paid ads and if I can do it, you can do it by yourself as well.

All you need is a heart, love what you do in a daily basis and if you want few more tricks on book selling, you can always write to me. Oh, BTW, did I say it is for free? As I only write for charity, I can afford to do it for free and the reason I am doing it is this – I know how hard it can be for a new writer and trust me, I have walked through that same scary road alone and I know precisely how it feels. All the best!


I am a writer of conscience and righteousness. I write for good of people, society and humanity. Most importantly, I write for my own self.

10 thoughts on “Why I stopped using paid ads for my book marketing campaign?

  1. Randall Krzak

    Hello Tim,

    A great article and very timely for me. I’m using a small publishing house (not a vanity) that helps writers become authors. They don’t have much money for promotions so much falls on the writer/author. My first novel will be published in Spring 2017, and I’m beginning to put together my own marketing plan. The publisher does help with this, but I also believe in immersing myself in the process. I will use a small advertising budget initially as part of my total package, but as a retiree myself, funds are limited.

    Thanks again for taking the time to publish your posts.
    Regards, Randy

  2. Nancy Sustersic

    Hi Tim, I would like help on marketing.
    I just published an eBook on co-parenting and the challenges and need to be the best role models we can all be for the sake of the children.

    I am part of KDP and not even sure how to use any of the tools like Create Space.

    I would love your help and tips and thank you for offering them. It is a scary place to be when I don’t know WHAT to do next or HOW.

    Have a super day and look forward to hearing from you.
    How may I be of service to you?
    Nancy Sustersic

  3. Patricia E. Gitt

    Tim you have described in detail why we have to be our own agency in presenting our work to potential readers. However, you left out that doing your own marketing can be a steep learning curve. I also agree, that your efforts are worth the time to build your audience. Well done and thanks.

  4. Vincent F. A. Golphin

    This is well stated and clear. I will check your website for self-marketing ideas. If not, write about a half dozen entries on bookselling techniques.

  5. Tim Gurung

    Hi Randall, Thank you and congratulation, hope your new venture will be a gratifying one, and it is about time you should start promoting your book. Please read my blog of 13 June 2016 – 50 ways to promote your books – right here on the same site, and you will find plenty of ideas to get a head start. All the best!

  6. Tim Gurung

    Nancy, Thank you, and yes it is a very steep learning curve. I had a long marketing career before I became a writer, so, for the new and inexperienced ones in marketing, it might be quite intimidating. However, it is not as scary as you think, take it as a lesson, learn the trade and try to perfect it. It is when you buy paid ads, see how and what they do for marketing and if necessary ask them for a proof. Sometime, it works, the other time not, but you still learn few things.
    Please read my previous blogs, especially the on 13 june 2016, 50 ways to promote your books – and learn from it. If you still need help, please feel free to write to me, I will do my best but of course, please keep in mind that there is no such thing as sure bet. All the best!

  7. Tim Gurung

    Patricia, Thank you and yes, totally agreed, it is a steep learning curve and we should learn from the experiences. Hope things are going well at yr side and all the best!

  8. Tim Gurung

    Thank you Vincent, yes, please do, as I have already written a lot about book marketing. But I never write as an expert, just about my experiences, and if necessary, I might start writing in details in the future. Thank you so much again and all the best!

  9. Douglas Winslow Cooper


    Sound advice. The profit per book is typically quite small, so advertising is usually a loss. If you use the book partly as a thick business card, then paying for exposure can make some sense. Basically, we have a literary lottery, and the advice of most of the winners is almost as valuable as the advice from the guy who wins a lottery: kids’ ages, wife’s weight, mother’s birthdate….

    So, we invest our time in social media, and hope or pray or both.


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