Putting the spotlight on Goodreads Ads and Amazon.com Campaigns…
This is the fourth in a series of articles about ebook promoters and indie author services. Have mercy! It may go on forever because every single day we indie authors are approached by new promoters entering our indie universe and asking for our $$$. In an earlier post, I promised I would share our promotion experiences on Goodreads and Amazon.com. Goodreads leaves me confused. I love Amazon. Amazon pays my bills.
I offer as a caveat: Indie authors who have mastered Goodreads may have wonderful success promoting with Goodreads. Ten of
us in eNovel Authors at Work did not. What we did: We each bought a promotion, coordinated the days of promotion and the cost of click throughs up to 75¢. Some of us popped for $100. Our titles were either FREE or 99¢. We saw lovely numbers on impressions in the 1000s–which is the number of times our ads were shown.
A few of us saw our titles put on TBR lists. But! Not a single sale at 99¢. And no downloads–even for a free book. FREE units were tagged on TBR lists, too. Many members on Goodreads block ads, so you may not reach the very audience who might like your book. I still have about $50 hanging fire on Goodreads because I cannot figure out how to get refund. I did ask, and the reply from GRs was: “I don’t understand what you are asking? HUH? What part of “I want my money,” don’t you understand? I am sorry to tell you this, but as soon as two of our ads started popping, we picked up a troll. Before the ad, we were under the radar. Nicholas Rossis reports on his blog an author who spent $5000 for a Goodreads ad and reported NO SALES. Read the report here.
Let’s look at Amazon. com. Amazon in 2015 offers authors in KDP Select three campaigns to promote our books on Amazon.
The first campaign is shaped exactly as is a Goodreads’ ad with the exception one must commit $100, plus no hassle, automatic refunds if the $ is not used up. Click throughs to sales are charged against that $100 until the campaign ends in the time frame the author designated or the $$$ runs out. The author ‘bids’ for impression slots. In my first Amazon Campaign from January 30 to March 30, 2015, I committed $200, placed my bids at 67¢. Amazon showed my ad 164,477 awesome times–which does not mean readers actually noticed it. 133 viewers clicked on the ad, 191 went to the book buy page and I sold $11.96 worth of books for a total cost to me of $89.13 of the $200 I committed. Not exactly a lovely return on investment. During two days of the campaign, No Perfect Secret was priced FREE. Because I am just learning ehow to promote wisely, I have booked another Amazon.com Campaign for three days June 25-27 when No Perfect Fate will be in its first major free run. I will report on that once completed.
I engaged two more campaigns on other titles. Impressions 132,158 and 16,511. But only 185 readers actually clicked through to the buy page. Thus cost to me was $110.57 to generate $17.92 in sales. If you want to engage an Amazon Campaign for exposure. Do. For sales and a return on investment. Don’t. Instead, to actually see downloads on a FREE or discounted book, hand your promo $$ to OHFB, or buy the $29.99 deal on KND, or check out Bargain Booksy, all of which are on eNovel Authors at Work‘s preferred list.
As we in eNovel engage in Amazon Giveaways, we will share our results. As for other indie author services, if you are looking for an editor and find this in a blog post… “us indie authors” .. .run! If I have to tell you why–you do need a qualified editor.
Other sites we in eNovel prefer and use often: eBook Stage. Book Praiser. eBooklister. KindleBoards and in the UK for FREE romance novels, we like: eBook Deal of the Day. Visit eNovel author Effrosyni Moschoudi for a fabulous list of sites FREE and paid. Without paying so much as a dime, Frossie
saw 5,000 downloads on one of her titles in a free promotion.
I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work. If you are wondering why I am prompted to write this series on promoters, I’ll tell you…
As a newbie indie author, I listened to a promoter hype a promotion, paid good money for it and did not sell a single unit.
When I queried the promoter, I was told, “Well, you have to write a good book.” Whoa. So. I pulled the book. Paid for another round of edits. Paid for a new cover, changed the title, wrote another description. Paid to have it formatted again. Six months later, networking with other indies, there was discussion about that particular promo. Not one author saw any sales. Holy Smokes! Next we started getting emails offering the same promo at a 75% discount. Oops. It was not my book. The promo was a new endeavor by the promoter and it did not fly. NO subscribers. That promoter did not deliver and blamed it on my book. Well, I was new and Eating Stupid for Breakfast. Ain’t doin’ that again. I’m checking promoters out. I’m asking the tough questions. Promoters can give straight answers or not. Their choice. I got this response from a promoter just yesterday who says he has a vast network and thousands of subscribers. When I asked how many subscribers, he said he can’t reveal the number. Pffft. As for his vast network: Alexa says his site has 3 sites linked in. eNovel Authors at Work has 169 sites linked in; updated daily.
For actual figures and results of recent campaigns, go Here and Here . Pete Barber reported on a free run on NanoStrike Here. Read the results of one of Weger’s early campaigns Here. Why bother? Because we report actual figures and costs and it gives you a comparative idea if your campaigns are working for your book–or not. At the very least, you won’t take a promoter’s word as Gospel that: “Hey! It’s not us. Write a better book.”
Comments are welcome. If you have run a great campaign, tell us in comments. If not, tell us that, too. We have all been there. It is fine to leave the link to your book. If you have a question, ask! If we don’t know the answer, we will find a reliable source who does.