Miles to Go

This month my first (and most likely only) book ad came out in Creative Nonfiction magazine. It was one of those things that just came up and I had to make a fairly blind decision. To ad or not to ad?

CNF magazine, Jill Kandel

In general, traditional advertisement is often not worth the investment. But I decided to go with it for several reasons.

  1. I like Creative Nonfiction magazine and want to support it
  2. They offered me a discount ($250 instead of the regular $315)
  3. Creative Nonfiction IS my target audience
  4. CNF mag prints 9,000 copies and has 4,000 subscribers
  5. My daughters created the ad so I didn’t have to pay extra for actually making it

We were given these specs: Bleed: 8.625 x 5.625, Trim: 8.375 x 5.375, Live Area/No bleed: 7 x 4.75 for a half page ad.

Here is what we came up with:

Creative Nonfiction magazine, Jill Kandel, So Many Africas, memoir

We tried to design something slightly not traditional. I added in the mileage. “FROM FARGO TO ZAMBIA: 8,627 MILES,” making the book into a trip. I tried to engage the reader with a question: “HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO?” We put the ISBN number in a format that could be scanned. (I LOVE my Goodreads’ Scanner)

With up to 9,000 people seeing the ad, the question is, will it sell any books? Time will tell. Or not. How do you know, when a book is sold, what was the impetus? It’s all a little murky.

For a little book ad fun, here is a great post by EBook Friendly on 20 of the Most Clever Book Ads. It’s great.

For those nostalgic about the days when ads were king, here’s a fun post by Brain Pickings on First Ads for Famous Books

And last of all, a post I want to refer to in the future. Book Marketing Using Paid Advertising. This post includes information on blog tours, Amazon advertising, Goodreads, Book Blurb, Kindle, sales, paybacks, rankings, promotion. It’s a really great resource that I plan to return to.

Their conclusion … “Your mileage may vary.” Well. That’s helpful. No, actually, it’s honest. One ad might take off and another fizzle. It’s a journey. And I’m just trying to get the most mileage that I can, because, well, I’ve always like to travel.



Jill Kandel
  • Suzzanne Kelley
    Posted at 11:49h, 25 August Reply

    Thanks for the links and for the summary about your thoughtful process for placing an ad. You gave careful consideration to a number of items, especially your audience. I’m betting you’ll generate some sales.

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 13:40h, 25 August Reply

      Thank you, Suzzanne!

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