Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Facebook Ad sells a Bazillion Books!

Well, a long time ago (April 21st, 2009), I tried out Facebook's ad campaign to mixed results. Enough time has passed and I've saved up enough cash that I decided to try again.

I chose to advertise my recently released eBook DUST.


As you can see I made up a clever ad (which is relatively easy to do with Facebook Ads) and pressed the "go" button. Facebook allows you to choose your target audience, so I selected America (because the eBook is only available there) and young adult/horror. I chose to pay $5.00 a day for three days. Because I published this version of DUST it meant that I could track sales exactly. My hope was that people would see the ad, click on it and go directly to the Amazon kindle site, then voila--buy the book. And I'd pay off my mortgage (okay that's more of a long term goal).
Here were the results:

As you can see there were 91,000 impressions and 49 clicks. And the number of books sold during that time period = 1. Yep, only sold one. I needed to sell at least 8 to break even.

Now I didn't expect the ad to sell bundles of books. First the person who clicks on the ad would have to own an eReader, then they'd have to have $2.99 to spend, and finally be willing to take a chance on an unknown book. So obviously this ad wasn't hitting the impulse buyers (all I need is about 100,000 impulse buyers...is that too much to ask).

I have been told that advertising usually takes 3 months to imprint onto your audience's brains. At that point they are more likely to buy the "product." But I'm not prepared to buy 3 months worth of ads. I may try Project Wonderful next, which is much cheaper. And have been itching to give Goodreads a try, too.



Art

17 comments:

rachel said...

oh. should I go buy the other 7????

Arthur Slade said...

If it's not too much of a problem. Oh, wait you have to live in the US of A to buy it. Thanks for the offer. : )

Kate @ Candlemark said...

I haven't noticed much return from a month of Facebook ads for our press's two books. I've noticed a lot of people adding the books on Goodreads from those ads, but not a lot BUYING either of them.

NO sales at all from Google ads.

Next stop is Project Wonderful, along with getting creative with physical ads and running ads in various sf/f magazines...

jim bronyaur said...

Interesting info here Arthur - thanks for sharing...

A few questions/notes:

(1) If you're targeting a YA audience, does FB go by the age of the person on FB? If so, how probable is it that a teenager will have an accesible credit card to use? I know times have changed, but I'm only 24... and when I was 16 or 17 I didn't have a credit card to use online.

(2) Is the book available in print too? If so, maybe next time link it to a page on your site ABOUT the book and give the customer an option to purchase in print or ebook.

(3) I just clicked the link and read everything about it - the book looks great and I've added it to my wishlist. Maybe try running another ad run but use it for a more adult audience... just to see... I know personally I LOVE finding good horror books meant for kids.

But hey, that's me! :)

I love when authors like yourself try something and talk about... it's good to see "real time" results, etc.

Best of luck with everything!!!!

Jim Bronyaur
www.jimbronyaur.com

Cathy said...

I'm curious about the targeting. Seems like you'd have better results if you could somehow target people who are more likely to own a kindle. Is it possible to target people who "like" the kindle facebook page, or have the word "kindle" somewhere on their profile or something? (I know gmail will tailor ads based on words I have in my emails)

Eric Hammond said...

Thanks for the info, Art. I'm always looking for what works and what doesn't.

Brent Hartinger said...

Fascinating! I love statistics.

(Wait. Did I really just write that?)

Arthur Slade said...

@Jim 1) Yes, facebook will let you pick 14 and older, 18 and older so there are various categories. I don't see teens as my main "buying" audience on kindle. More the percentage of adults who are either buy ebooks for their own consumption... Not sure how many teens are buying ebooks, yet. Or which ones have credit cards.

2) the book isn't available in print in the U.S. Except as a used book, which doesn't help my pocketbook. : )

3) Yay for making your wishlist.

@Cathy I didn't think to add the "kindle" tag. Good idea! Next time (if there is one), I will. I put Kindle on the ad, just so people would know.

I may try another campaign, except with a really low click through price (10 cents or so). That way I'm not spending as much per click. Though I won't be getting as many clicks because Facebook uses a bidding war system...

Lois D. Brown said...

Interesting information. Thanks for passing it along. I'm your newest follower. My blog is www.idevourkidbooks.blogspot.co,

David H. Burton said...

This mimics my own experiment with Facebook ads. Twice now I've used a free 50.00 coupon for Facebook ads. Lots of click-thrus...barely any sales. Not worth the investment. Google Ads is more of the same.

The ones worth investing in are targeted to kindle/e-readers from what I've seen.

I'm glad to see that I'm not alone in finding out that these kinds of ads don't generally work though. ;)

Arthur Slade said...

Always happy to be a guinea pig!

Ryan said...

Arthur, Thanks for the breakdown.

I found your post from the Magic and Mayhem blog and this data is really helping me determine how to market my own Facebook page. So far all my luck has come from relentlessly nagging my friends to tell their friends, and tell their friends, etc.. I keep mulling over trying Facebook ads but it looks like they are of questionable value. Thanks again for the info!

--Ryan--
www.facebook.com/moorecrazy

Ryan said...

Arthur, Thanks for the breakdown.

I found your post from the Magic and Mayhem blog and this data is really helping me determine how to market my own Facebook page. So far all my luck has come from relentlessly nagging my friends to tell their friends, and tell their friends, etc.. I keep mulling over trying Facebook ads but it looks like they are of questionable value. Thanks again for the info!

--Ryan--
www.facebook.com/moorecrazy

Arthur Slade said...

Ryan,

I'm glad it helped out. I bang my head against the wall so others can learn.

new york facebook developer said...

is that important to have Google ads account for facebook ads activation or not ?
can i pay through google adsense account ?

Arthur Slade said...

Actually you don't need a Google Account. All you need is a Facebook account. Oh, and a credit card...

Catherine Stine said...

Thanks for alerting folks to this issue.