The Power of Advertising by Debbie Bennett

When we watch television – anything other than the good old BBC – we are constantly bombarded with advertising. Buy this body spray and every woman will fancy you. Buy this loaf of bread and your husband will eat it all and you’ll ruin his shirt. Buy these vegetables and your kids will be the brainiest in their class. Even online, it’s constant and apparently tailored specifically for me – how does Facebook know to advertise credit cards, online gambling and recipes on my page? Where does it get this information? I haven’t even bought a lottery ticket for over a year and as those who know me will verify, I’m not exactly Nigella Lawson (in the kitchen or anywhere else). Recently Facebook went through a spate of showing me adverts asking me if I knew where my teenage children were and did I know they might be taking drugs. Now, I have a fifteen year-old and it does make me wonder exactly how much online activity is logged and stored away for future reference. I’m fairly sure she’s not taking drugs …

But advertising can be powerful. When I first published my psychological thriller Hamelin’s Child back in February, I took a out a small ad on one of the ebook review sites. It didn’t generate much in the way of extra sales, so I thought I’d try one more. I went with EReader News Today and took out a book-of-the-day sponsorship for $25 in early June. The first available date was end of October so I sent my links, paid my money and promptly forgot about it.

My sponsorship went live on October 26th. It’s a US site, so I’m not sure of the timing, but when I came home from work, there was no change. Out of idle curiosity I checked again an hour later and I’d sold over 80 books. Another hour and the total had passed 100. My amazon.com ranking peaked at 180 (from somewhere in the many, many thousands) and I’ve made nearly 400 sales that I can directly attribute to this one advert. And sales are still trickling in – probably after the free sample has been read.

Not a bad investment of $25.

You can find out more about me & my books at the following sites:

www.debbiebennett.co.uk

www.authorselectric.co.uk