Marketing your Self-Published Book - A review of Digital Book Today vs Facebook Advertising

You have written your novel.  You have done everything right by writing the story, hiring a copy editor, and book cover designer. This is your baby - the damn thing is well written, and looks professional. The manuscript, uploaded to all of the sales channels, is complete.  Now you can sit back and watch the sales dollars flow into your bank account, right? (Excuse me a moment, while I finish laughing hysterically.)

No, my friend, not even close.  Somehow, you need to have your unknown book visible to the masses, amongst the millions of books out there.  How do you do that?  I have no earthly clue, BUT what I can tell you is what has worked for me through trial and error (and yes, spending money).

First, what didn’t work.  As shocking, as it may sound Facebook’s paid advertising bombed.  Let me be clear, when I say bombed.  I mean not one click on the ad.  (Quite shocking to me considering the number of people with accounts on Facebook.)

How Facebook Paid Advertising works.

I wrote a post on my Author page.  (Yes, you should have an Author’s page on Facebook so your fans can find you easily).  There was  a button that asked if I wanted to boost my post, which I said yes to.  After clicking on the link, I was brought to a great page that, then asked me to choose my audience.

Step 1:

I had to choose one of the following:

  • People who like your page and friends (unless you have a huge fan following – not a good choice)


  • People you choose through targeting (This is the one I chose and I picked the United States)

Step 2:

I now needed to choose Age/Gender/Interests. - This was easy for me.  My audience tends to be woman between 28 and 55 years of age who like to read romance, paranormal novels.

Step 3:

Pick your budget.  The default on my screen was $100.00, which I quickly changed to $40. (I am a struggling artist and not sure if this marketing works yet)

Step 4:  It gave me the estimated number of people I would reach, and then recommended narrowing my target audience.  This is where I needed to play around a bit to find out what worked for my genre.

Step 5:  I was then asked for the duration of the ‘boost’:  (I picked two days)

Step 6:  Here I found the all important payment information.  I use Paypal, so this was easy and I did not have to enter any more personal information than needed.

That was it.  I then had to wait for my “ad” to be approved, which took about twelve hours for my first marketing boost and thirty minutes for the second.


I found out that I had visible access at all times to the number of people reached and to the number of people that clicked on my post.  My friends, I did not get one CLICK.

Thinking it HAD to be me; after the Facebook marketing campaign ended, I tried to run another one, changing it up a bit by using a different novel, higher budget and clearer wording.  I ended up with the same results.

Facebook marketing was a huge failure for me.  On a positive note – It did not cost me anything.

Facebook Advertising Rating:  1 Star       Facebook Communication: 2 Stars

Second:  What worked for me.

Kindle Direct Publishing with the help of Digital Book

There are many opinions on using KDP Select by other authors.  I have since stopped listening to them all and decided to test it out.

I have run several campaigns with okay results; meaning that I have given away some free copies, which got my book and name out there, and did have an up tick in sales.

This time I decided to try something different by using  to help get the word out there to readers.

Currently I have six published novels.  The book I chose this week to run a free promotion is In Search of Grace, a romantic suspense story.

I spent a long time on the Digital Book Today website familiarizing myself with my many options.  I choose Option 11: Be A Featured Free Book with a total cost of $30.00.  (Pretty excited that this was less than my Facebook budget, but not entirely confident this is going to work.)  I decided to continue with the process anyway.

Step 1:  Choosing the week I wanted to run my promotion and filling out the on-line form with the following information:  (Some weeks are “sold out”.  This impressed me knowing that Digital Book Today was not going to squeeze in too many ads)

The form asked me for:

  • Author first and last name
  • Genre & Book title
  • Amazon Book Link or ASIN #
  • Date Book is free
  • Valid email address

Step 2: Payment (again, I used Paypal)

That was it.  Two steps.  Now, I am really nervous and feel I may have wasted thirty dollars.  It was too easy.

Week of the Campaign Results:

The day my “ad” was run on Digital Today, I received an email, stating that Your Featured Free Book promotion for your free day is up and running.  No more than 30 minutes later, my free books number was moving quickly on Amazon.

I am day 2 in my KDP Select Campaign.   In Search of Grace has reached #15 in the Kindle Store Romance/suspense category and #69 in the top 100 Kindle free store.  If you have ever done a free promotion, you know how hard this is. I have one more day of the free promotion and I have already “given away” 3486 copies.  As of this moment, I consider this promotion a success.   Readers are learning my name.  Now it is up for my story to hold up its end of this marketing journey.  I will let you know how it goes.

My Rating for    5 Stars      Communciation from DBT:  5 Stars