I'm curious if anyone here has had any success using per-per-click advertising such as Google Adwords to market their books.
Personally, I'm a bit skeptical about using pay-per-click for marketing most books (it's very expensive), but I think it's a valuable way to discover keywords that people use to search for your topic. Lots of authors also use the Overture Keyword Selector Tool
to see what people are searching for.
Those who are looking for more sources of keywords should consider opening an account with ClickRiver.com, Amazon's pay-per-click advertising network that's now in beta. It has a very powerful keyword-suggestion feature.
ClickRiver is very similar to Google Adwords, but it's a bit easier to use. The keyword-suggestion tool, I think, is its strongest feature. The suggested keywords are very appropriate to books -- for example, if you were compiling keywords about "bread baking," ClickRiver would suggest author names, title phrases, and other words and phrases that customers have used to search for books about bread. With Adwords and other keyword tools, you don't know what the mindset of the searcher was. With ClickRiver, you can be fairly sure that the objective of the search was to find a book (or other product), very possibly with the intention of making a purchase.
By the way, I don't think ClickRiver is going to be an effective tool for people who are marketing consumer books. In my opinion, there's not enough profit margin in a $20 book to pay for per-per-click ads. But I still think it's worth having a ClickRiver account, just to have access to the keyword tool.
If you want more detail on this, see my blog post
Author: "Plug Your Book: Online Book Marketing for Authors"