Does Advertising Guarantee Book Sales?

This “Indie Author Minute” video features BookBaby Publishing Specialist Rachel Kerr, who explains what you can — and can’t — expect from social media and display banner ads.

Did you know there’s an estimated one thousand books published every day? That’s a lot of new titles, but the good news is, demand for new books has never been greater — and self-published works are getting a bigger share of the market every single year.

And even more good news is that, with digital advertising, it’s never been easier to get your book in front of potential new readers. But that won’t happen by accident — or overnight. As a self-published author, you’ll be the one responsible for marketing and promoting your work. Without it, your title could get lost in the sea of options facing readers looking for their next book.

To begin, you’ll need a marketing plan and a dash of dedication and patience, because growing your book sales takes time and requires constant attention. We like to say that book selling is a marathon, not a sprint. But it all starts with building a platform and creating awareness among potential readers about your book and about you as an author.

BookBaby’s Ads for Author services

Advertising on the Internet and via social media can be an important part of your marketing and sales plan, and while you are in charge of your marketing and promo, you don’t have to go it alone. BookBaby will be your partner with our Ads for Authors services.

We have three different programs that help you market your book online:
1. Facebook and Instagram Ads
2. LinkedIn Ads
3. Display Banner Ads

Increase book sales by finding your target reader

With Facebook and Instagram ads, you’ll set your weekly budget and length of your promotion, and we’ll create an advertising campaign, including ad copy and visuals, and serve it to your target audience’s Facebook and Instagram news feeds. You can track your ads’ performance right from your BookBaby account dashboard.

LinkedIn ads work exactly the same way, with your ads being served on the social media platform built for business professionals looking to network and develop their careers.

BookBaby’s Display Banner Ads service isn’t about social media — we’ll create banner ads and place them on the websites and news services most likely to be visited by your potential readers. From the Washington Post to the Hollywood Reporter, from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal, your ad will appear on websites that fit your genre and target market.

Which ad service and what sites you want to target will depend on the type of book you have published. I wouldn’t recommend advertising a children’s book on LinkedIn or your book on yoga and meditation on As with any effective marketing campaign, you’ll want to consider the genre of your book, determine who your target reader is, and figure out where your potential audience is most likely to be online: on Facebook, LinkedIn, or on one of millions of websites reached through targeted Display Banner Ads.

Does advertising guarantee book sales?

I think you already know that anyone who guarantees something like that is not being honest. What we can honestly guarantee is that online advertising will get your book title and cover seen by thousands of potential readers, and the better targeted your advertisements are, the better the chance you’ll get people clicking to your page and purchasing your book.

Book advertising and promotion is a long game. You’ll need to consider your overall ad budget, your social media pages, your author website, your mailing list promotion, and even your offline marketing efforts like book signings and author appearances.

But there’s no question that advertising on social media and on well-known websites is one sure way to bolster your book promotion and bring awareness to your book release. Book sales start with book awareness. You need to let potential readers know your book exists — and BookBaby’s Ads for Authors program is designed to help you spread the word.

For more information on our Ads for Authors program, give BookBaby a call at 877-961-6878 or email us at

We’d love to help!

See all our Indie Author Minute videos on the BookBaby YouTube channel.

Your path to self-publishing



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