Paid Facebook Advertising And Not Luck Sells Books

Paid Advertising And Internet Marketing Sells Books

Self-publishing success didn’t come from writing a great book.

It came from being an Internet marketer who used paid Facebook advertising to sell ebooks.

We have all read about the outlier authors who have made it big in self-publishing, and how they are raking in the money from Kindle ebook sales in particular.

But sometimes, what you read is not necessarily the whole story or even the truth.

The Guardian published an article about a new self-published author, Adam Croft, who is making £2,000 per day from ebook and books sales.

While the story abounds with all the normal cliché elements of a rags to riches, overnight success and being a bit lucky type of article, one small throwaway line in the article was where the truth of this story was hiding.

Croft, who lives in Flitwick, Bedfordshire, was running an internet marketing company when he wrote his first novel, Too Close for Comfort, in 2011

An Internet marketing company? Now that knowledge might help explain something, but the article didn’t mention this relevant piece of information again.

It was only by digging into the comments, and the candid comments of Adam Croft in particular, that the real story came out.

This comment by a reader started the uncloaking of the truth.

Sales “trickled” in at first, until they took off enough for Croft to decide that he would write full-time.

The elephant in the article is how sales took off. There must be hundreds of thousands of self-published books on amazon, so how did this first effort stand out from the market? Even If it is the best novel ever, it is vanishingly unlikely that the mass market would notice it from the dross.

Croft, who lives in Flitwick, Bedfordshire, was running an internet marketing company

Maybe that’s a clue…

So a long thread got moving after the above comment before Adam Croft added some very relevant comments of his own.

Adam Croft 

Hi, thanks for your kind words. Although they didn’t mention it in the article, the bulk of my sales are down to my marketing plan which includes building my mailing list organically and a huge amount of Facebook advertising (commercial advertising, I mean). Mark Dawson’s course on FB ads is what kicked it all off for me. That was my lightbulb moment.

So it wasn’t all down to good luck. The Facebook Ads course mentioned costs $697.00! And this course gets a second mention, so I had to wonder if Adam is ‘topping up’ and getting a commission from Mark Dawson.

Adam Croft 

Hello. Yes, I did mention it to the journalist but it didn’t make the final cut. The biggest catalyst was Facebook advertising, which I started doing after taking Mark Dawson’s online course.

Ah! The Guardian journalist cut this important piece of information. Why? Didn’t it fit with a rags to riches story?

Adam Croft 

I’ve been banging on about high earners paying their way for years, and I’m privileged to be in a position to do so now. Now I just need to make sure everyone sees the 2k a week figure and not the actual 2k a day one from the article… 

Right, so the headline was wrong. Not £2,000 a day, but £2,000 a week. There goes any hint of accuracy in this article.

Adam Croft 

A self-published author without any marketing know-how won’t get anywhere anyway, as that’s the whole point of self-publishing. You *are* the publisher. People won’t buy an unadvertised product. That’s a given.

The comments continued after this, but you can read them all if you wish from the link to the article at the beginning of this post.

While I wholeheartedly congratulate Adam Croft on his success and commend him for being so open and honest in his comments, the article itself is a fairy tale based on mistruths and omissions.

Yes, there are many authors who are becoming very successful through self-publishing, but would it hurt, to tell the truth?

Successful self-published authors might write well, but they are very often good Internet marketers and know how to exploit social media, and especially understand the value of a big investment in paid online advertising.

As Adam says, “people won’t buy an unadvertised product.”

Ain’t that the truth?

Enough of the fairy tale tabloid success stories about self-publishing.

Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

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