Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ads in books: coming to a novel near you

The topic of advertising in books has been around for years and we've already seen it in more subtle forms. The back matter of many novels feature ads for other books, whether they're from the author or not. I recall reading romance novels that had ads inserted in the middle, mailing cards I could punch out and send off to receive more books or to sign up for a book club. But for some reason, the thought of a few pages of actual ads at the back of a book really freak out some authors, publishers and readers. Quill & Quire recently blogged about this, as have many bloggers and book industry sites.

I have a confession to make. I've sold advertising in my books. I may just be one of the pioneers of advertising in books and ebooks. To date, these ads are very subtle and you may not even be aware they are an ad. Sometimes I've mentioned a company's name (ie. product placement). Sometimes I've thanked them on my acknowledgement page (not everyone I thanked paid for advertising). Sometimes they're part of a bigger sponsorship campaign. Sometimes it's just a small bit of promotion.

This doesn't mean that every product or business or real person I've ever mentioned has paid me. The majority haven't. With some, money has exchanged hands. With others, I've bartered for services in exchange for advertising. Advertising in one of my novels is an opportunity that is affordable (my ad rates are cheap compared to many alternatives) and reach a wide demographic.

People in the book industry are talking more and more about advertising in the back of books. Why? With the falling prices of ebooks, publishers and authors have to look for alternative means to make an income. Selling ad space makes sense. Like television, these ads would be in front of many eyes. Makes sense to me! And it doesn't bother me a bit, especially if the ads are interesting.

As an author publishing my own ebooks, I like the flexibility of being able to choose my sponsors and my advertisers. I'm looking for specific kinds of ads, ones that are complimentary with each novel or with writing in general. I won't ever do blatant overwhelming product placement ads in the actual story (you know, sentence after sentence with name brands mentioned), but if I can fit a product or service in naturally, I'll do so. Or I'll place ads at the back of my books, which is my preference.

I've just sold ad space for ads at the back of my bestselling inspiring novel Whale Song, which will be re-released in paperback before Christmas, if all goes well. This may make Whale Song the first novel to feature actual ads at the back. This novel is very popular with schools all over the world. It's also very popular with film industry professionals.

Next, I'll be looking for advertisers for the paperback edition of my contemporary romantic suspense Lancelot's Lady, which is slated for publication in 2011. The ebook is being released September 27th and will be released with a huge 100+ online virtual blog tour.

If you're interested in purchasing advertising space in one of my upcoming ebooks, please email me via my website at Let me know a bit about your product or service and who your target audience is. I am especially interested in selling ad space to suspense authors, YA authors, romance authors, publishers, agents, editors, freelance book professionals and more.


Anonymous said...

I don't care how many ads they put at the beginning or end of a book, I will simply become prejudiced against any publisher that puts anything in the middle. Of course, Ads all over the place will probably become the norm. It doesn't matter how much anyone argues for progress or necessity, some things are just signs that the world is getting worse and ads in the middle of novels is a huge red light for me.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

I agree. It doesn't bother me if there are ads at the end of a book. But sticking them in the middle or anywhere in the novel itself just jars the reader out of the story.

I wouldn't mind a bit of advertising at the front, maybe a page, two max. I wouldn't want to see so many in the front matter that I have to wade 20 pages in to start the story.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Toemailer.