Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Facebook Ads

Writers in several groups to which I belong have recently asked people to share their experiences with Facebook ads in boosting book sales.

I'm sorry to say my experience has been disappointing. After having thought it over, though, I wonder if the fault didn't lie with my ad, not with Facebook.

In case you're considering buying a Facebook ad, here's how it works:

You go here and follow the links to read suggestions on how to set the ad up. You have to "bid" on the ads. Facebook suggests a bid for you; apparently, if you don't bid enough, your ad doesn't get shown. Of course, if it doesn't get shown, you don't pay, but you also don't ... you know ... get shown.

I bid what Facebook suggested, and I selected to pay per click (people click on the ad and go to where I send them) rather than pay per impression (in which I pay for every time the ad shows up somewhere, whether people notice it or not).

My ad ran for 30 days at a lifetime budget of $50. I had 327,782 impressions in that month, and 77 clicks on the ad out of those 327,782 appearances of the ad. I know I sold one book during that time; I may have sold more, but not enough to generate a royalty check, so I didn't sell many.

The text of the ad was:

An old woman stands between greed and a holocaust of mermayds, but a bigger challenge is friends who would kill to keep her safe.

Is that boring? I mean, seriously, I'm asking you, is it?

I linked the ad to the page on my website that's full of links to excerpts, reviews, and links to pages where the book can be bought for Kindle, Nook, and other formats. Did that extra click kill sales? Would it have been better to buy three ads and have each ad click through to a different storefront?

These are the questions I'm asking as I prepare for the launch of my next book, FORCE OF HABIT.

These are the questions you should ask yourself as you consider setting up your own ad, on Facebook or anywhere else.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

5 comments:

Enid Wilson said...

I use Facebook ad for work and it's not generating result either. Can't compare to Adwords. I think when people log onto Facebook, they are socialising or trying to play games. They are not looking for buying things. I think I will try Adwords for my books in future.

Chemical Fusion

Marian Allen said...

Thanks, Enid! I'll look into Adwords, then.

Debra Purdy Kong said...

Interesting experience, Marian. I just started a fan page this week (which is what my latest blog's about) and was curious about the ad offer. For whatever it's worth, I think your hook is really intriguing, but I also agree with Enid that people probably don't come to Facebook to buy books. I've also heard that ads, in general, don't pay for themselves.

skwilliams said...

I ran a Facebook ad back in May for two full days and ended up with 62 new likes. My book doesn't come out until October, though, so my goal wasn't to sell anything. I just wanted new readers/friends to interact with. I think it does make a difference where you link the ad to. I linked directly to my page, so it was easy for people to "like" me.

Don't know if this will ever translate into sells, but again, my goal was for interaction/more FB readers. I like FB ads and plan to run one again when I can fit it in my budget.

re: Your ad. Perhaps include a call to action? Ask viewers to click to learn more? I know the characters are so limited, though. It's difficult to fit things in. I posted what I did over here: http://www.magicandmayhemwriters.com/do-facebook-ads-work-for-authors-part-1-set-up/ and next week I'll go more in depth on my results, but if you can fit FB ads into your budget again, I'd say give it another go.

Marian Allen said...

Sandy, that was a great post! So useful, in fact, I'm going to make the link live: Sandy Williams' post on Facebook Ads

I Liked your page--you're right, it's unique and professional.

My Facebook Author page is Marian Allen Author

I'd love to have you Like me!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes