What am I not getting? Book marketing through context ads

Okay, all you schmott guys: this is not going to be about me going on about something – this is going to be about YOU going on about something.

me: You know what I’m curious about in terms of book-marketing money spent?
Kate: what’s that?
me: Google ads.
Kate: what about them?
me: For Instance, the ‘related sites’ stuff that shows up alongside GMail and on websites and stuff.

They don’t cost much, relative to whatever, and lots of people embed them on websites, plus Gmail and Google search pages, it seems like the kind of thing that would be a no-brainer for people to do.

You’d need someone skilled doing the keywords for the ads, so that you’re showing up alongside the right searches, obviously, but it just seems like a good idea.

Related to that: Facebook ads; which is somewhere I actually do see book ads.

I almost never see them in Google ads though, which is WEIRD.

I have to assume people just… don’t do them for books, because if they did… the kind of emails I send and receive would call up book-related ads… or game products… whatever. Something.

I mean, I’m exchanging emails with a guy about his story, so it’s all about writing and characters and motivation and the genre the thing is set in… and the “related” Google ads alongside are… “Document management”, “Google TV ads”, “Convert PDFs to Word”… a Talking Smartpen, and “Google Docs Backup”.

Kate: I see a lot of ads from print-on-demands houses, and editorial services and such in Facebook, but no, not really for books themselves.

me: It feels like an marketing blindspot. Especially when many avid readers are also writers and talk about such things in email.

Right, so… what am I missing, people?

Someone has to know more than me about this.
Someone has to know more about this than I do.
  • Why is this not happening? Am I the only one not seeing ads for new books showing up in Google ads, or are people simply not doing them?
  • If so, why?
  • Is it so complicated as to make it a bad idea? What’s the cost outlay to set it up? How much tweaking do you have to do to get your “Product” showing up alongside things to which it’s related.
  • Has anyone out there done this sort of stuff as part of their day job? Facebook ads, Google ads… whatever. I don’t care, I just want to learn.