Is it good? Is it bad? Possibly indifferent?

I've been hitting the promotion front pretty hard since September. It started off with Experimental Notebook. There were cover reveals, followed by advanced sales. Early reviews came next, then Lisa Burton toured around and discussed the book. A small bit of that is still going on.

Part of Notebook is a free sample of Will O' the Wisp. The hope was that leading into October, folks might be interested in that kind of story. Lisa made a stop on Friday, and has one more in early November to talk about this book.

Macabre Macaroni is part of the mix too. If someone likes one of those stories, maybe they will take a 99¢ chance on my Notebook.

There is more Macabre Macaroni coming, but I'm also trotting Will O' the Wisp out for another blog tour. You'll probably see a few reblogs around here to help my supportive hosts out.

I want to talk about Amazon advertising today. I decided to run a campaign for each book, but I chose different options in each case. This isn't a scientific comparison, because they are different books with a different price point. I still think there is some information to be gleaned.

In each case, I bid 19¢ for placement of my ad. Amazon awards the bid to the highest amount, but only charges enough to win the spot. Some of my ads were placed for 6¢. I'm only charged when someone clicks on my ad, not whenever it gets seen. Let's look at the chart.

The bottom campaign is an old test drive for Will O' the Wisp dating back to May. This campaign placed my ads on products that might be similar to my book. You can see that I spent 95¢ to show my cover to 28,000 people. Seventeen of them clicked on my ad, and I never sold a single book.

In my mind, this is a mediocre winner. I got a lot of exposure for 95¢. I wasn't convinced or defeated here. So I decided to do it again.

On October 4th I ran a very similar campaign. I am banking on the season to help me with this particular book. Right now I have 19,500 views, and 12 interested parties. Nobody has taken the bait yet, but I've only spent 94¢.

The top row is for The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack, and it started on October 6th. For this campaign, I chose genres instead of products.

I didn't know until after my first campaign what the difference might be. With products, you cannot be advertised on Kindles or the various apps. With genres that is where your book gets placed. What this means is if someone is shopping for a boxed set of the television show “Charmed” they might see the advertisement for Will O' the Wisp. The risk is they aren't shopping for a book, and might not be readers at all.

The Notebook campaign shows 2634 placements, 17 clicks, and one actual sale at 99¢. (Which I have to share with Amazon.) These ads were all placed with folks shopping for ebooks. I have no idea why I have more page views than clicks. I assumed there had to be a click before there was a page view. Maybe the person who bought the book went back and forth a few times??? You can see that my 35¢ royalty cost me $2.55.

Both current campaigns are performing better than my original one. I'm getting a ton of exposure, and I know my covers are great. The Notebook cover isn't as awesome at thumbnail size though.

I don't see these campaigns as losers. I'm spending a minuscule amount of money for a ton of exposure. It is possible that someone will return later and make a purchase too. They might see the cover for Wisp on the blog tour and go, “Oh yeah… I'm going to buy that.”

For those who haven't explored this program, you have to commit a specific amount of money. In my case $100. This serves as a fail safe to prevent dumping a million dollars on a campaign that goes crazy. The campaign ends at $100. There is also an ending date for the same reason.

It looks like the campaign that targets genre is performing a little bit better. Notebook is cheaper, but one sale doesn't sway the performance much.

I know I've spent $50 on several promotions that never netted a single sale. This doesn't look too bad by comparison.

Let me hear from you guys. Have you ever used this service? Are my numbers pretty typical, or do they suck? Would you ever use this service? Has this post piqued your interest in this service? Do you want to buy a book?


Filed under Writing

17 responses to “Is it good? Is it bad? Possibly indifferent?

  1. Ali Isaac

    I havent tried it myself yet, not until my third book in the trilogy is published, so I’m interested to see your results.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t tried this myself but I attended a blog conference last weekend, as you know. The opening tal was about social media. What I took home from it was before the internet there was a scarcity of information and an excess of time/attention, now, with this rise of social media there is a lot of ‘noise’ creating an excess of information and a scarity of time/attention. The advice was, if you want social media to work for you ‘stop posting’ and start listening – an interesting theory and one that there is a lot of truth in. I know this is marketing not social media but I’m wondering if the excess ‘noise’ and scarcity of time works the same way with marketing. I have no answer for this, if I find it, I’ll be sure to sell it to you 😉


    • There’s an idea. I could sell my secrets. 😀Part of my issue is doing it all at once right now. September and October are an experiment too, in a way. Would tying everything together make a difference? It has, but it’s small.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been doing talks and more face-to-face stuff. I’m going to do some craft fairs in the lead up to Christmas and I’m taking part in the Portsmouth Bookfest next year. It gets my name out there and people like to chat, so I’ve found that works to a point but I think most of this stuff is a slow burn. ‘Just keep swimming’ as Dory says 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • It really is a bunch of little things that add up in this business.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve not used this service, but your post certainly piqued my interest, especially with a new book coming out. Thanks for the info. Very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this. You’ve definitely piqued my interest and I’ll be trying it myself. So I’m clear, you run the campaign under specific categories instead of including all keywords that pertain to your novel?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right. They don’t let you get that creative, but there are a lot of genres listed. It works like one of those screens where everything is on one box, and when you click it moves to the empty box. Whatever you add to the empty box is your promotion. The other option is to target products. This is where I targeted Witches of Eastwick, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc. I’m sorely tempted to run a concurrent campaign with Wisp using the categories. The only reason I wouldn’t is bidding against Notebook.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t tried the service either, mostly because I didn’t really understand how it works. I do want to place my book covers as ads on Kindle readers and this sounds like the way to go. I really want to give it a try.

    Right now Myth and Magic is kicking butt. It’s hit bestseller status on Amazon and B&N for my genre. WOOT! I need to ride that wave as far as I can, so maybe I need to do an ad now. In fact, gotta go throw together a quick blog post. Something I don’t usually do on a Saturday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s wonderful news. I sell a book here and there, so you’re really kicking it. I think keeping the momentum going is important. It’s hard to get momentum, and we need to pamper it when we have it. I’m considering running a genre based campaign for Wisp, but I’ll be bidding against myself with Notebook. I just checked stats, and moved another notebook because of this ad.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have not used the service since I was with a traditional publisher and ha no control over this kind of program. This time around it will be on me to do it all, The information is interesting. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very interesting read. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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