Can Advertising Revive An Old Book?

I hear this question a lot on the author forums from people who aren’t quite sure if throwing money at advertising can help an old book, and the answer is definitely YES. Even a bigger yes if it’s the first of a series. Unfortunately for me, since all I have at the moment are firsts in series with all the second books sitting in my hard drive while I quiver in fear for their release, there is no sell-through when I sell the first in that series.

Instead, I get emails asking me when the second book is coming out. If I had the second book already, can you imagine how many people would be able to just buy it instead of searching online and not finding it?

So the answer is yes, advertising, whether it’s FB advertising, Amazon ads or even Twitter ads can greatly help with getting an old book VISIBILITY that it otherwise didn’t have. I see that happening with LA when I stopped advertising it right around Christmas and then said duck it, I need to start advertising again even if it means I need to cut back on a few things. I had originally thought I’d cut back on the entertainment around the house since I don’t use them (Pandora, Netflix, etc) but my whole family does so it’s still on the monthly list. I did cut back on trips to the local coffee shop for that grande mocha so I could devote that amount to advertising. Here’s what LA sales look like for the last 90 days, from the end of October to today:

Hardly any sales just before Christmas and then when I started posting that ad again around the New Year, the sales pick up, sometimes as many as 10 copies a day sold (although not as common as I’d like)

This chart is the Draft2Digital chart which shows zero sales just before Christmas and it picks up again after when I restarted running the ads. Each day I wonder what would happen if I stopped running the ads but I already know the answer and I’ll also regret turning the ad off so I’ll just focus on what I can and should be doing right now, which is writing Book 2 and let it go, like that song.

One interesting experiment to run would be Collateral, that’s for sure. I suspect it will be poor sales because of a bad story even though it has a high average, about 4,7, I think for the reviews. Either that or the cover needs to be revamped even though I hate disappointing the cover artist. But I also have to remember that I had this cover made before I knew the trends of the genre. I had absolutely no clue.

But that would be a good thing to check and see with advertising, wouldn’t it? Would it sell a few copies? Right now, this is how the sales bar graph looks like. It’s pretty embarrassing.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see the chart AFTER ADVERTISING? I’ll have to budget that in and work on the sequel. It doesn’t even have a blurb yet.

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