Amazon Ads: Worth It?

As an indie author, I’ve relied mostly on word of mouth and social media to sell my books. Why? Limited $$$. Let’s face it: Advertising can be pricey. And time-consuming, unless you’re hiring someone to help you, and then it’s just pricey. However, I think it’s important to try new things, and I’ve experimented with various kinds of low-budget advertising, such as Facebook ads (with limited success).

This week, I’m coming off my first Amazon ad campaign for Baby Bailino, and I’m actually surprised at how dismally the ad performed. Like most indie authors, I think I went into the advertising campaign with thoughts of super high conversion rates dancing through my head. I set a budget of $100, 25 cents per click, just to dip my foot into the ad waters. I mean, in an ideal world, if every click translated into a sale, that could have meant more than a thousand bucks in sales! However, the realist in me believed I’d probably sell a handful of books. Maybe 10, maybe 20, if I were lucky.

I wasn’t.

The ad ran for 10 days, and…crickets. Not a click. Granted, I didn’t set much of a budget, so I’m not sure how much that hurt me, but by the end of the promotional period, this is what I saw:

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Blogger Billboards?

Wish I were there?

At first glance, I thought this billboard was for a real estate agency — there’s actually a photo at the far left of a carefully coiffed, middle-aged woman smiling. But it’s for a blog associated with a senior living community. This is the first billboard advertising for a blog that I’ve seen. Effective? I’m not sure. My thinking is cable television or a tennis court, rather than a blog, would make residents want to sell their homes and live there. What do you think?

Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: The Video

I am overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support from my family, friends and colleagues who are out there buying Good Girls Don’t Get Fat, whether or not they have daughters or children or even time to read. You guys are amazing! And now if we can keep this momentum going for when Baby Grand hits the shelves (fingers crossed!), I won’t have to declare bankruptcy buying all the copies of the novel myself! LOL! Here’s the new promotional video for Good Girls.

My First (& Probably Only) Facebook Ad

I’ve had my Facebook Fan Page for a few months, and I’d always seen those little ads on the right side that try to goad you into advertising on Facebook.

I was curious about it, so I decided to give it a try. I created a cute little ad, using my Baby Grand graphic and the easy-to-use Facebook tools, and set a week-long campaign. I didn’t want to spend all that much for this little experiment, so I set a daily budget of $5 for 7 days with a CPC (cost-per-click) set-up. There is a bidding system with Facebok ads that, after reading extensively about it, I still don’t really understand, but basically in order to be seen, you bid with other advertisers to secure ad space. Bid too low, and you don’t get seen — which I learned the first two days, when I ignored the suggested bids and chose to set a bid of 5 cents. On the third day, I caved and set a bid of $1.17 (the low end of Facebook’s suggested bid range) — which I thought was ridiculously high for a suggested bid, considering my daily budget was $5, but whatever.

And voila! The impressions started, and so did the clicks. Few of them, but there they were. At the end of my little week-long campaign, I had about 93,000 impressions and a mere 36 clicks from those (was it my ad copy? my graphic? my intended audience? who knows?). And of those 36, only about 10 or so actually became a fan of my page.

In the end, I spent $30 for 10 fans. Probably not the greatest or most cost-efficient marketing strategy ever attempted, but I have to say my new fans are wonderful and active, and I satisfied my curiosity.

Would I do it again? Probably not. It was fun, but word-of-mouth suits me — and my pocketbook — just fine.