Advertise Your Book!

Advertise Your Book!

by Lilou DuPont

Tomorrow, Monday, August 6, Crimson Romance will publish my debut novel, Dangerous Love.

In Dangerous Love, Laura quits her job in the advertising world for an adventure in Eastern Europe. I wrote about what I know. My “day profession” is advertising sales. I thought I would use my slot on Ladies in Red to discuss online advertising for our books.

We’ll start with some basic terminology. Website performance is typically tracked by the month.

Page Views – Total number of pages on the Website that were displayed on all computers and devices

Impressions – Number of times your ad was displayed

CTR – Click Through Rate – Percentage of impressions that results in a click on your ad

Conversion Rate – Percentage of clicks that results in a sale (or another measurable action)

ROI – Return on Investment

Are you considering advertising on a niche, romance website? Good choice! These are questions that you should ask the site’s marketing person.

1. How many Page Views does your site receive each month?

2. Will my ad be displayed all of the time or will it rotate among other ads?

3. If my ad will rotate, how often will it appear?

4. What are the Click Through Rates for your various ad sizes and positions?

My manager has a saying: “Sculpt the client’s expectations.” Here’s an example of why:

A Website receives 100,000 page views per month. Your ad will be displayed on every page. The rate is $50 per month. Sounds like a deal, right?

First, these are not 100,000 people or “uniques.” This is okay. You want to be reinforcing your ad message to many of the same people.

Second, the average for Click Through Rates is 0.1%, that is, one-tenth of one percent. Your ad that receives 100,000 impressions will be clicked on 100 times. For fifty dollars? That’s not too bad, you say.

Conversion rates vary by industry, but I have read that 2 or 3% is the norm. Given the low price point for eBooks, let’s assume a 10% conversion rate for your book on Amazon. Ten sales @ $4 (gross) X 30% = $12. What is your return on investment? Minus $38.

I am sure you are wondering, how does Lilou DuPont sell any ads? She earns a living doing this?

I do not sell by touting ROI. I sell benefits. What are the benefits of advertising if you are (initially) going to lose money? I am sure that you can tell me! Here are my thoughts:

Any incremental sale resulting from your paid ad is a sale you would not have had otherwise. It should improve your Amazon ranking.

You can have your ad link instead to your blog. Change the action goal from making a purchase to leaving a comment (engagement). Figure the conversion rate based on that new metric.

A book repeatedly displayed on a popular website strengthens awareness of the title, imagery, and author name. Potential buyers may recognize your book if and when it comes up in searches on Amazon and elsewhere.

With your author visibility, you are building the audience for your next book.

* * *

In Prague, Laura feels that she has met her soulmate. Yet how can her soul merge with the son of a Nazi?

After being passed over for a promotion at a Chicago advertising agency, Laura cashes in her stock options, quits her job, and moves to Prague. There, she begins an erotic romance with Byron, only to discover that he is German and his father was in the Hitler Youth. As an observant Jew, Laura has deep misgivings about becoming involved with the son of a Nazi, but the attraction between them is so strong that she cannot resist.

When a woman from Byron’s past – the darkly exotic Zsa Zsa – comes between them, can the true love of Laura and Byron survive?


Meet Lady in Red: Lilou DuPont

My romance novel is Dangerous Love. It will be available in 2012.

1. Introduce yourself, please (name you write under). Is this a pen or personal name? Why did you make the choice to write under that name?

Lilou DuPont. It is a pen name. Lilou is a newly popular French name and not completely all over the Internet. DuPont is after Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. A hub for people from all walks of life.

2. Let’s get the details out of the way: Single, married, divorced, widowed?



No. I have five nieces and one nephew.

Living where?

In Washington, DC. The name of my neighborhood is Foggy Bottom. I am eight blocks away from The White House.

Doing what, other than writing?

I sell advertising.

One—just one—physical characteristic


3. What’s your secret passion?

Java Chip Frappucino®. Hey, it helps me to write!

4. Tell us one thing about yourself you’d never change.

My independence.

5. If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why?

New York City or Paris. I love big cities. New York for its grit and anything goes atmosphere. Paris because it is Paris.

6. Do you write about where you live or where you’d like to live?

I write about Eastern Europe! I am not sure that I would ever want to live there, but I have visited several times to research settings. Very inspiring!

7. What’s the first creative writing you remember doing outside a class?

My first feature length screenplay, based on my experience of falling for a car thief.

8. Why do you write romance novels?

I write in the Spicy subgenre. The sex is romantic, edgy, imaginative, metaphoric to the theme of the book, dangerous . . . I have no idea why! My main objective is to tell an entertaining story, to take the reader on a journey that ends very happily.

9. What else do you write?

Dangerous Love is my first book. I have written screenplays, song lyrics, plays, & short stories.

10. What one thing from your book did you take from personal experience?

My novel is based on a random encounter I had in Prague with a man whose grandfathers had been in the German SS.

11. What did you cut from your book that felt like severing a body part?

The last chapter—when Laura introduces Byron (the son of a Nazi) to her father (Jewish, traditional)—was very difficult for me to write. I basically journaled it for an entire summer. Then, one day in September, while on a train from NY to DC, I realized that I had just written my ending! I threw out all of the journaling.

12. Do you identify closely with one particular character? How?

While the heroine is based on me, I also identify with Leo, who makes a student film about blowing up the Prague Castle. I, too, attended film school. Leo is me, in my early twenties.

13. The best part about my writing life is: Realizing a vision.

14. The worst part about my writing life is: Preferring the company of my characters to that of actual people. Did I really say that?

15. Give us a hint about what the next book’s like.

Going deeper into Eastern Europe. I am working on a super sexy spy romance set in Bucharest, Romania. Vampires? No. Gypsies? Yes.

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