Like many authors I love writing, but I'll confess that I'd like to sell those stories. As an indie author it's up to me to sell my books, recently I've been experimenting with paid advertising. Conventional wisdom is that paid advertisements rarely pay for themselves for self published and for the most part I've found that to be true.
Here are the various places I've tried and the results I gained, it's worth remembering that results vary, so you may well have different results.
kufads are ads placed on the KUF forums (one of my favourite places to hang out online) and associated mailing lists and sites. The ads are reasonably priced at £8 a week and booking ad placements is fully automated and a doddle to use.
So far the ads have generated a few sales, although I am fairly well known on the site, so I wasn't expecting too much of a boost. However it's a great place to chat with other authors and readers and placing the ads here are as much about supporting the community as trying to sell more books. To be fair while there are rules for promoting books, they are quite generous in allowing authors to promote their work.
Goodreads is probably the main site for readers and writers, like with KUF I'm very active in various groups. It's another great place for authors to connect with readers. I'm also an avid reader so it's a decent place for discovering new reads.
They provide a self-serve advertising programme for authors. It's a pay per click . Unfortunately it's an expensive method as you need to pay quite a lot for each click, with low priced e-books that eats a lot of your royalty. I also didn't see a large increase in sales, it netted a few, but not enough to cover the costs of the campaign.
The Goodreads ads were one of my first paid adverts, I might give it another try now that I have more reviews for my books.
I had high hopes for my advert here. It's a busy site, the book was reduced to 99c and by then I had a good number of positive reviews. The ad resulted in no sales at all, that was not a well spent $90.
The Kindle Book Review
I paid $40 for a month long sponsorship that is still running. It's difficult to be sure, but it's generated a few sales. Nothing like what I've paid for the ad, but a few nonetheless.
This was another place I had high hopes for. I'd heard good things from promotions here but it got me zero sales and cost me $50.
EReader News Today
I've saved the best until last, the ENT campaign gave me a decent sales boost and even better they charge you only a fee depending on the number of of sales they actually generate. It's a pity more sites don't operate on a similar principle - I'm more than happy to pay for results.
So that's been my experience with paid ads up to date, if you know of a good place to advertise then mention it in the comments - and I know about Bookbub, unfortunately I don't have enough reviews for them yet.