Friday, April 21, 2017

Moneysuck Or Do Facebook Ads Really Work?

Or, simply throwing your money away...
I've created a monster.
No, really...I now have something like 25 novels, novellas, and collections in print (see, I can't even keep track of the specific amount), about half of them with traditional publishers and the other under my own imprint, Bear Media. Like hungry little children, all these books need to be fed, or they will wither and die. That means, advertising. Sure, the best method for selling a book is still word of mouth, but I'm not only hoping to sell a few copies from out of my local indie bookstore, I'm selling to a global audience (Now you see why I do very few book signings). That means paid advertising like Facebook Ads.

I first heard about the possibilities of these little digital devils when I was in Italy sometime around XMas, 2015. I thought, well how hard can this be? I went to You Tube, looked at a tutorial on creating an ad set (the demographics, the budget, the copy, the image...), and I was off. Since then I've spent close to $10K on FB ads, and here's the thing: I'm not sure they work.

That said, I'm certain my books have landed millions, and I mean, millions of impressions. And quite a few clicks which I can only assume translates into sales. Or some sales at least. But for sure, I cannot attribute $10K worth of book sales to $10K worth of ads, which in the end would be a wash anyway. Taken a step further, I am most definitely not making a profit on these ads.

So why then, do I do the illogical thing and keep them going?

The answer lies in the impressions. Product recognition. What I'm hoping for is that when enough people finally recognize the novels I'm advertising, they will warm up to the idea of taking a chance on giving them a go. So I guess I can say, my investment in FB ads is more of a long-term thing. Right now, I'm the bakery that's giving away free cookies and cakes. That's not to say, I'm not learning how to optimize these ads better so that I'm not tossing money away. Numerous courses exist on creating the perfect ad, but they are expensive, and I'm not entirely sure the investment in time would be worth it.

In fact, I've been experimenting with Amazon ads as of late, and I find these effective in terms of dollars and cents (You are charged only per click, as opposed to FB ads where you spend exactly what you pledge per day). To a lesser degree in effectiveness are Book Bub ads.

In the end, I still believe the best way to push your books on the global market is to write more and more of them. Anyone who follows the Vox knows the mantra by now. Write. Publish. Rinse. Repeat.

But you still have to get the word out.

And this means advertising. So, if you're planning on using FB ads, make sure you spend only what you can afford, and experiment with them. Tweak them until the click rate is less than .05 per click. Anything more than that and you'll see your profits being eaten away like a cancer that thrives on healthy cells.

If you like what you see, follow me on Patrean
Out today and available for a very limited time at a special low price: The Chase Baker Trilogy, Volume II


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  2. Thanks for this, Vincent. I've heard that $.05 is a good rate to shoot for. I've heard a lot about Facebook and Amazon advertisements. Things change so much that it's hard for the average author to keep up with sometimes.

    You might also find this helpful:

  3. Huh? Yeah, that was my reaction when I was told you can get paid good money to use Facebook. But I checked it out and I loved what I found.

    If you know how to use Facebook then you can generate a serious income doing this, too. Click below to get all the details: