Finding #5: Promo sites are the most effective marketing channel
The one area of agreement in the survey was on which marketing channels were effective. Promo sites (Bookbub, Freebooksy, Bargain Booksy, etc.) were ranked as the most effective marketing tactic by a significant margin. They scored significantly higher (3.4) compared to Amazon Ads (2.6) and Social Media (2.5), the next highest-ranked marketing techniques.
There was also a resounding agreement that marketing is hard and is the one area where all authors wanted the most help.
Above we have plotted the effectiveness of a marketing channel against the time investment required for each marketing channel. Featured deals on Promo sites were ranked as the top two for a reason: they are both time-efficient and effective time-intensive. That is, they get good results without much labor. Plugging your book into a promo site, selecting when you want the promo to run, and logging off is easy. Paid marketing channels (Facebook ads, Amazon ads, Bookbub ads) are highly time-intensive as authors need to spend time learning how to use the platform, then spend time setting up the ads, and spend additional time to monitor the ads every day. All of those tasks take hours away from writing. For many authors, being thoughtful about where to spend their time marketing can be a game-changer.
How to level up
Set a specific number of hours you will spend marketing.
Start with the most effective marketing channels first.
Identify which marketing tactics you have the skill and desire to learn and pick one.
For all authors, it makes sense to spend time in the most efficient way possible. Granted, one technique may work better for one author over another, but our chart above can be a guide on where to start.