From author Martha Conway via Jane Friedman:
For the past year or so, I have been hearing about the effectiveness of Facebook ads around the social media water cooler. As an author with three novels published and a new one scheduled to be released next year, I try to get the word out about my work as much as possible.
I’ve tried Amazon ads and Google ads with very limited success (neither one paid out, but they increased awareness of my books—I hope). The conventional wisdom in book publishing is that ads aren’t an effective way to increase sales unless the author is mega-successful already, and my experience with Amazon and Google advertising seemed to confirm that.
However, I couldn’t ignore the many people I respected who seemed to think Facebook ads were worthwhile. And I told myself that perhaps the Facebook platform was more controlled, and possibly more targeted, than Google. So I took the plunge.
Wow. What a roller coaster ride. I went from thinking This is the greatest piece of promotion I’ve ever done to thinking I might as well have burned that fifty dollars in my backyard Weber.
It wasn’t all bad, because I figured out where I went wrong after a few days and adjusted my ad settings. But if it weren’t for my husband, who works in the advertising industry, I probably never would have figured it out.
. . . .
I targeted an audience who was in and around the Chicago area, as my novel takes place in Chicago, 1921. I limited it to women (who generally buy more novels, especially historical novels); I set the age from early twenties and up; and I targeted those with interest in mysteries, literature, fiction, jazz music, reading ebooks, and a few other interests and behaviors.
I also set my daily budget and set a schedule for seven days.
So far, so good. But there was one more step in the Facebook campaign specs process: to choose my ad’s “Placement.” Here is where things went seriously wrong.
. . . .
I received 166 clicks in one day. To give you some context, most of my Amazon or Google ads received only about 100 clicks over the course ofone week.
Not only was the number of actual clicks enormous, but the click-through rate (i.e., clicks divided by impressions) was 5.34 percent, whereas my ads on Amazon or Google typically had click-through rates of 0.46 percent. Here the Facebook click-through rate was over ten times higher—to industry experts this would be a red flag, but I just thought it was great.
Checking my Kindle sales page for that day, however, I saw that, for all those clicks, I had sold only two books. Not great, but the ad campaign had just begun.
On September 7 my ad received 157 clicks, and on September 8 it got 172 clicks. Of course, each of those clicks cost me money (approximately $0.12 per click), but hopefully they resulted in some sales. If these ads performed as well as Amazon ads (and Amazon is able to calculate approximate sales their ad campaigns generate), I would expect at least five book sales each day.
But I didn’t get that. Nothing like it.
Link to the rest at Jane Friedman and thanks to Nate for the tip.
Here’s a link to Martha Conway’s books. If you like an author’s post, you can show your appreciation by checking out their books.