Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Advertising Experiment, Update One

I suspect I'll probably have two or three updates.

As some of you may remember, earlier I had mentioned I was trying out advertising on Amazon. The set up was a bit of a pain as they are pretty stringent about what they advertise. Not only that, but I BELIEVE they DO NOT advertise erotica. Now, the book I am advertising--The Queen of Swords--is not erotica, but rather fantasy/sci-fi/"superheroes", so I avoided that. The cover is gorgeous, so that was no problem... but summing up a book in 140 characters? Hard, very hard. Or was it 75? It might have been 75. How do you write something short and effective?

This is what I ended up with:

That's the "full length" ad. There's also a variant of shorter ones, designed to fit iPhones and other small devices (like, say, a Kindle). This is what those look like:

In some variation anyway. Some might be across the screen lengthwise, or have different proportions. Anyway, it was hard coming up with the summary. And because I have a tendency to use ellipses even when I shouldn't, I had to redo the title since it ended initially with an ellipses. They don't like that. However, they said something was wrong with the "cover", and I was like grrr wtf. When I changed it and cut the ellipses, then the ad was suddenly OK. Lesson learned, Amazon, you still don't give great direction even when I'm trying to give YOU money.

Once it was set up, then you can check out the stats via your advertising dashboard. It looks like this:

"Impressions" is the number of times the ad was generated. Clicks is how many times someone clicked on your ad. The CTR is the Click Through Rate, the ration of clicks to impressions. DPV is the number of times someone has clicked on a product of MINE after clicking an ad. Which as you can see, that's higher than the number of clicks. So, a couple of people have clicked other products of mine after clicking the ad, which is pretty cool. The amount spent is next (of $100, and yea, maybe only 20 people have clicked, but the ad has been generated almost 12K times... which means people have SEEN it, so it's out there). ACPC is Average Cost Per Click, and then the fun part... estimated orders and sales. As you see, at least one person has decided to buy The Queen of Swords after clicking on the ad and reading it. They took a chance. I hope they enjoyed it!

What this doesn't tell you is number of borrows. I can tell you from my KDP author dashboard that the ranking for Queen has stayed around 100K for the last few days, which means in addition to the sale there's been about a borrow a day, and there have been page reads. No new reviews, but that's ok. So, obviously, this is working at least a little bit. Whether it'll be worth it in the long run, I have no idea.

The sale actually came through when I had about 7-8K Impressions, so it seems to be roughly one sale per 10K impressions generated, but that's really impossible to tell right now.

I'm not sure how useful all of this will be. I'll be happy if I break even after doing this advertising thing. What I do know is that the ad will be up there for a while. My budget is a hundred dollars... and I've spent less than four so far. Just having the picture out there, my name out there, might be worth it... but we'll have to see down the road.