Experiments (Of The Kind That Don’t Go Boom)

I’ve been doing a few experiments this week (and last). Unfortunately none of them involved high explosives, but ya can’t have everything, right?

Mostly my experiments have been with ads: Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Goodreads ads, etc. I wanted to see which (if any) provided bang for buck, and which (if any) would provide hard sales. I began with Goodreads ads, which I’ve had some success with in the past. I ran an ad and a giveaway for my new book Wolfskin. Those are still running, but my conclusions from this and past campaigns is that Goodreads, although providing a few scattered sales, is mostly good for name awareness. It gets my books out there for the notice of readers. And that’s not accounting for the slow burn of sales: each of my books on Goodreads is on a couple hundred To-Be-Read shelves. I’m hoping that will mean sales in the future.

Facebook ads. Well, I tried. I got no further than using my book cover as an image. Initially, the ad was approved. Five seconds and two click-throughs later, it was disapproved. Why? Apparently it had ‘more than 25% text’. It’s a book cover. It has a title and an author name. What you gonna do? Until FB ads allow book covers, they’re going to be pretty useless to me. I canceled the ad and won’t be bothering again.

Twitter ads. Huh. What can I say? Oh, I know: don’t bother. Not unless you love being retweeted and faved by fake accounts. I don’t know whether it’s a dodge by Twitter themselves, to earn easy money, or whether it’s just a whole bunch of fake accounts that love retweeting and faving random stuff, but it was next to useless. I got a heck of a lot of click-throughs, but since all the retweets and faves were from fake accounts, I’m not holding out much hope that the hundreds of clicks are from real people either. I guess the next couple days of sales will tell. At this stage, I don’t think I’ll be bothering with another Twitter ad, though. It’s too much to pay for fake interest.

have been doing other things these last couple weeks, though, so All Is Not Lost. I’m very close to being able to start final edits on Spindle, I’ve written a guest blog post over at Tiger Hebert’s Blog (entitled The Problem With Self-Publishing– check it out!), and I’m having lots of fun on Twitter apart from bogus ads and fake followers. Oh, and I just sent off the review copies for my Xpresso Book Blog Tour of Wolfskin! It’s a week long from July 6-10, and will have 2 Guest Posts, 2 Author Interviews, and roughly 10 book reviews, so YAY! Also keep an eye out, because There Will Be Excerpts!

Maybe next week I can start with the kind of experiments that do go BOOM.

6 thoughts on “Experiments (Of The Kind That Don’t Go Boom)

  1. Shame about facebook and twitter. (how many times have THOSE words been said since their inceptions, I wonder? 😉 ) What do you know about sites that specialise in promoting indie books? Many of them seem to do it for free, but I’m skeptical as to how many sales they would actually lead to. I mean, how many people go to those sites anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

    • After further study, I’ve found that FB has different kinds of ads, one of which means that I CAN use my book cover. So now I’m trying that (will have to get around to editing the post 😀 ) and I’ll post further updates when I see results/lack of results from that.

      I have had a brief look at the free sites, but none of them except perhaps Buck Books looks particularly appealing – like you said, I’m skeptical about how many sales that would bring in. I’ve signed up with Buck Books as an affiliate, and I’d like to advertise with them (it’s free, but you have to be up to a certain standard: still waiting to see if I’ve met that standard). So we’ll see how that goes as well.

      I’m trying a few different things at once, and it’s a bit like juggling with sand. 😀


  2. Update: I’ve found one of the FB ads that DOES work with a book cover, and so far I’m seeing a small uptick in sales. When it reaches its conclusion, I’ll post my results from that.


    • But is the uptick in sales statistically significant? Or just within the normal randomness?

      (don’t mind me, I’ve just been studying statistics…)

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s just the problem: I don’t know! 😀 I’m inclined to think that the exposure itself is working, but the sales haven’t been merely for the book I was advertising- I’ve sold some of all of my books except one title. So though only one book was advertised, I’m seeing an uptick in the sales of ALL.

        Not complaining, mind you! Just confused . . .

        Now that the ad is finished, it will be interesting to see if the sales continue at this new threshold or go back to what they were.


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