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Experiments in Facebook boosts and Amazon ads

July 2, 2017

June was a big month for me in terms of trying out new things. I posted twice a week to the blog, to see what I thought (a bit too much work! Back to once a week for now). Facebook groups were amazing in terms of connecting with people, getting new ideas, and setting up my first newsletter swaps. I also participated in two list building activities that I'll talk about in a separate post.

 

Finally, I tried Amazon ads and Facebook boosts in June. Again, this is an area where I see a lot of talk about big numbers and how great they can be, yet I find myself disappointed when I don't manage to reach the same success myself. I do see more of this "it's not working for me!" in the Facebook groups I've joined, which has been a relief. Feeling less alone was a big help this month. 

 

Here are the results from the ads I ran in June. I followed the advice from Dave at Kindlepreneur and Mark Dawson, and had lots of keywords (that took about 3 hours to find), I put keywords in my copy and in my blurb, and set budgets that I was comfortable with.

 

You'll notice that while there were lots of impressions, there were very few clicks. 1 for every 2000 impressions isn't terrible, but I know some people get 1 per 200. There are also no sales. I did actually sell 3 copies of my novella and 2 copies of my short story, but I'm pretty sure that was from other efforts. AMS does not take into account page reads for my books in Kindle Unlimited, but again, I only had 120 pages read (=one person) and I don't think it was from the ad. And even if those were all because of the ads, it's still a negative ROI, which is obviously not the goal.

 

I also boosted a few Facebook posts, for a total of $30 over the course of the month. The $35 from May was a boost to get more page likes, and that actually went pretty well I think. But the two in June didn't reach nearly as many people, despite being very well targeted, and one ended up costing quite a bit more per engagement. The one that was intended to get people to download my short story for free resulted in zero downloads (though there were some page likes).

 

 

 

However, the advantage of the "failed" ads is that it helps identify what is wrong. After consulting with some of the author groups I'm in, I think my covers are really the issue. Despite how much I like them, they are not jumping out to readers. So, also thanks to author groups, I've found designers to work on them for very reasonable prices and will have some new covers to debut very soon!

 

While I know impressions are important, and you have to see something at least 7 times before making that purchase, and ads are kind of mysterious anyway, and you should let them run for weeks and weeks before making any judgements, it's still disappointing. I really feel like I did everything "right" and yet, nothing helped.

 

Still, I will try to take lessons I've learned here and apply them to my next efforts, hopefully with more success. And fingers crossed that the new covers help too!

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