The biggest ripoff in the publishing world today


…or – how a fool and his money are soon parted


Last month with my book sales at absolute zero for several days, I decided to conduct a one time only experiment. Why not do the other thing – try paid advertising, after all we writers are being continually bombarded by the promoters to partake of their services. So because my publisher is Amazon, I went with their Amazon Marketing Services.

The first of my books I put forward for consideration was Race Against Time, which they refused because the cover showed human skulls (click on the red link), which beggars belief since it was perfectly acceptable to use when I published it via Amazon’s KDP. So I then proposed they promote Céleste, which was accepted.

The alarm bells began to ring when I found out that the minimum amount they allow you to budget for is US$100. I don’t know about you but to me, one hundred dollars is a lot of money, The starting date for the advertising campaign was the 14th of November this year. The end date was the 13th of January next year (2017).

The theory behind the exercise is that for every click on the advert by someone, Amazon take US$00.15 from your budget. At this point the alarm bells were really ringing.

What it does not mean is that you get any sales. After a few days I terminated it. As it turned out during the short period I let it run for, according to Amazon Marketing they posted 12,352 ads. Any reasonable person might conclude that from that many adverts, surely the writer might expect at the very least fifty to one hundred sales. No such luck.

In effect I gained just one.

So if any of you are considering paid advertising, FOR GOD’S SAKE DON’T DO IT!

Just remember this – you are spending your own money on something your publisher should be doing for nothing. The only ones who benefit from scams like paid advertising are those actually promoting its use!

Newsflash! When you publish a book, the general idea is that other people spend money to get themselves a copyNOT YOU, YOU IDIOT! NOR DOES GIVING AWAY FREE COPIES GUARANTEE FUTURE SALES EITHER! And yet for reasons of sheer stupidity and desperation many continue to do both. The whole notion of paid advertising is nothing more than another money making scam. Will I be partaking in something like this again? If you have to ask…

I don’t need to apply the principals of Ockham’s Razor here to work out that I sell far more books through talking to potential readers on Facebook and from my linked posts (anything highlighted in red is a book link) here on my blog than I ever will now that Amazon has stopped all Indie promotion. As the old proverb at the top of this post says – a fool and his money are soon parted…



5 thoughts on “The biggest ripoff in the publishing world today

  1. This reminds me of a few things I’ve observed since publishing my books: 1. While pursuing the market of readers, we indies are a huge market for others — editors, formatters, cover designers, publicists and advertisers. Most are quite legit, but we have to make good choices as to whether and where we spend our money. 2. Some say they would never give away their books for free, but advocate paid advertising, even though there’s no guarantee of sales. Why? Your experience reinforces my belief that free copies make more sense than paid ads; at least there’s a chance someone will read that free book, and even post some review-type comments, whereas ad money may very well have zero results. (And yes, I’ve heard the opinion that no one reads free books. It’s not true: I may be an exception, but I do read other indies’ free books, and sometimes write reviews of them).

    Liked by 2 people

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